The following is from HARDEMAN COUNTY TENN - BIOGRAPHIES dated 1887.
Joseph A. Mathews, planter of Hardeman County, is a native of Abbeville County, S.C., born January 15, 1830, the thirteenth of fourteen children born to Joseph C. and Margaret (Brough) Mathews. The father, of Irish descent, was born in Abbeville County, S.C., and his occupation was farming and tanning. He was a Democrat in politics and an elder in the Presbyterian Church for many years. He died in his native county in about 1854. The mother was also .a native of Abbeville County, S.C., and a member of the Presbyterian Church, and her death occurred in 1860. Joseph A. secured by his own efforts a practical education and for several years followed the tanner’s trade in South Carolina, but in 1848 immigrated to Tennessee and settled in Fayette County. He here followed the same business for four years but in 1852 bought four horses and began teaming from West Tennessee and northern Mississippi to Memphis. In the summer of 1860 he took a prospecting tour through Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana, but did not buy and soon returned to Fayette County and gave his attention to farming. In 1865 Mr. Mathews purchased the place where he now lives in Hardeman County, where he moved the next year, and now owns 850 acres of laud in this county. September 15, 1857, he married Miss Ellen Morrow, a lady of highly respected family, born in Greenville County, S.C., June 22, 1822. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church and died February 27, 1880, leaving two children:William M., a young lawyer of much promise, and Jennie, a young lady of many accomplishments. December 1, 1881, Mr. Mathews married Miss Fannie Campbell, a most worthy lady, born in Mississippi, May 15, 1800. Mr. Mathews is a Democrat, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. --- end of article ---
Note: Joseph and Ellen's children were Margaret Jane, born in March 1860 and William Morrow, born 13 Nov. 1863. Ellen was the daughter of Col. William Morrow, a veteran of the War of 1812, and the Tennessee State Militia, and Jane Reid originally from Greenville, South Carolina.
Joseph is listed in the Fayette Co TN 1850 census as living with his brother Ezekiel W. Mathews and family in Civil District #12. In the 1860 census he is in Civil District #1(as is Ezekiel). The 1860 census list:
J. A. Mathews, age 31 male, born SC, farmer 1,000 real estate, 4,000 personal property
Helen, age 35 female, born SC
M. J., age 3/12 female, born TN
Since Joseph was in the 'teaming' trade for a period beginning in 1852 (about the time his brother Thomas migrated to Pontotoc, Miss.) in North Miss and West Tenn., did he come into contact with his brother Thomas and his family in North Mississippi? Thomas' son William was in a similar trade of hauling goods. Was this where William got his start?