Jacob D. Mater

Jacob D. Mater was born in Parke County, Indiana, on May 11, 1846, to Ira Mater, a famous circuit-riding preacher in the Wabash Valley region of Indiana. Growing up, Jacob attended public schools in Parke County while working on his parents’ farm.

On January 25, 1865, he enlisted for one year as a private in Company I of the 149th Indiana Infantry. Many young Parke County men joined him in the regiment, including Mater’s friends Marion Goss and Joseph Noble. Mater’s brother Hiram served as captain of Company I, and Jacob received a promotion to corporal on January 30. The regiment served on garrison duty in Tennessee and Alabama, where they accepted the surrender of Confederate Generals Philip Roddey and Leonidas L. Polk. Mater mustered out of service on September 27, 1865, in Nashville, Tennessee.

After the war, Mater returned to his father’s farm in Parke County, where he briefly worked as a school teacher. On August 25, 1870, he married Mary Ann Galey, the daughter of a Parke County farmer. She later gave birth to a son who died in infancy. The newlywed Mater attended Westfield College in Illinois for two months, but in 1871 he began studying medicine under his friend Marion Goss. Mater enrolled in the University of Virginia School of Medicine in the fall of 1872, graduating on July 3, 1873. After graduation, Mater practiced medicine in Rosedale, Indiana, for six months before settling in Bridgeton, a small community in Parke County.

Mater actively participated in the Marion Galley post of the Grand Army of the Republic, eventually serving as the post’s quartermaster. He also joined the Parke County Medical Society and the Indiana Medical Society. In 1879, however, he was expelled from the latter organization for allegedly advertising “secret nostrums” under his name. The expulsion appears to have been a misunderstanding, as the society subsequently reinstated his membership.

Mary Mater died on October 6, 1875, leaving no surviving children. On November 19, 1876, Jacob married Isabel Webster. She gave birth to a son named Bruce soon after, but he died at ten months old. Mater travelled around the region offering lectures, and Isabel accompanied her husband on his travels.

Although Mater maintained a thriving practice, he suffered from health ailments, particularly breathing problems, stemming from his time in military service. He applied for a pension and began receiving payments on May 15, 1890. He died from myocarditis on April 16, 1914, and was buried in Bridgeton Cemetery. His widow Isabel received a pension for her service until her death on September 2, 1927.

Name:Mater, Jacob D.
Alternative names:
  • Soldier
  • UVA (Union)
149th Regiment Indiana InfantryI
Branch of service:Army
Enlistment1865-01-25Terre Haute, INaccepted18
Muster In1865-04-30
Muster Out1865-09-27Nashville, TNMustered Out
Residence at UVA:Bridgeton, IN
UVA Begin Year:1872
UVA End Year:1873
Residence at enlistment:Bellmore, Parke County, IN
Rank In:Private
Rank Out:Corporal
Highest rank achieved:Corporal
Person 1Person 2NumberRelation Type
Mater, Jacob D.Mater, Jacob D.1125630application-invalid
Mater, Jacob D.noneapplication-minor
Mater, Jacob D.noneapplication-parent
Mater, Jacob D.Mater, Isabel102127application-widow
Mater, Jacob D.Mater, Jacob D.875657certificate-invalid
Mater, Jacob D.Mater, Isabel778737certificate-widow
Birth date:1846-05-11
Birth date certainty:certain
Birth place:Parke County, IN
Death date:1914-04-16
Death place:Bridgeton, IN
Causes of death:disease: myrocarditis, disease: paralysis
Occupations:Farmer, Doctor
Person 1Relation TypePerson 2
Mater, Jacob D.parent ofMater, Bruce
Mater, Mary Annwife ofMater, Jacob D.
Mater, Isabelwife ofMater, Jacob D.

Compiled Service Records for Marion Goss, Jacob D. Mater, and Joseph Noble, RG 94, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; Pension Records for Jacob D. Mater, RG 15, National Archives and Records Administration; United States Census, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930, accessed through Ancestry.com; Parke County INGenWeb, http://www.ingenweb.org/inparke/; Hiram Williams Beckwith, History of Vigo and Parke Counties, Together with Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley (1880); The Rockville Tribune, April 28, 1914, courtesy of the Rockville Public Library; Frederick A. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion (1909); Lorenzo Sayles Fairbanks, Fairbanks Genealogy of the Fairbanks Family in America, 1633-1897 (1897); John H. Eicher and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands (2001); “Jacob D. Mater,” Record # 74860, 19th-20th Century Indiana Physicians (database), accessed through http://www.biblioserver.com/users/content.php?bsuser=19centurydocs&m=sea... The Rockville Tribune, Sep 7, 1927, courtesy of the Rockville Public Library.