John W. Matheny served as the Clerk of Botetourt County Courts from 1888-1908.
He was born in 1839 and died in 1910.
He served with Stonewall Jackson in the Valley of Virginia Campaign as one of many soldiers who answered the call to fight for the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Regardless of the spin on history, he fought for his state, Botetourt County, his community and his family. And yes, the Confederacy embraced by the lot of them.
In 1862 near Winchester he had just finished eating and put his spoon in his breast pocket. A Yankee shot resulted in his loss of his left arm and the spoon stopped the bullet that would have killed him.
The spoon and the story about Matheny are featured in the Botetourt County Historical Museum in Fincastle.
His family donated the artifacts and photos in 2007 of a good citizen of the county. His character is evidenced by the obituary in The Fincastle Herald in 1910 after his death. He was also a member of Fincastle United Methodist Church and a member of the Board of Stewards at the church.
The monument in front of the courthouse was recently vandalized. The gentleman on the right in the photo is John Matheny. That is the type of person the courthouse monument represents. In our consideration of the past, we must remember the context of the times. A conversation has to be started on this issue as it has long been needed.
Maybe it will start here.
~ Cathy Benson, The Botetourt Bee