From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Matthews, Mark, Sr.

(born: Aug. 7, 1894  -  died: Sept. 6, 2005

Mark Matthews, Sr. was the oldest living Buffalo Soldier. He was born in Greenville, AL and grew up in Ohio. When he was young Matthews came to Lexington, KY and at the age of 15 was working at a racetrack exercising horses.

At the age of 16, Matthews joined the 10th Cavalry. The enlistment age was actually 17, but Matthews' boss forged some papers that the recruiter accepted as proof that Matthews was the appropriate age.

Matthews was stationed in the West and rode with General John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing's 1916 expedition into Mexico. Matthews also saw action in the South Pacific during World War II.

Matthews retired from the Army in 1949 and worked as a security guard until his second retirement in 1970. He died September 6, 2005, at the age of 111.

For more see J. Holey, "Sgt. Mark Matthews Dies; at 111, Was Oldest Buffalo Soldier,"Washington Post, 9/13/2005, p. B06 Metro; ""Mark Mathews, Buffalo Soldier born" at the African American Registry website; "A Tribute To Trooper Mark Matthews, August 1894 - September 2005" at the Buffalo Soldiers Greater Washington DC Chapter 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association website; and "Buffalo Soldier Mark Matthews is a Monumental American," a video at the MSNBC website.

See his photograph on p. 118 in Prince George's County, Maryland, by J. T. Thomas, et al.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Washington post (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Prince George's County, Maryland

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Matthews, Mark, Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 21, 2024, https://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/items/show/886.

Last modified: 2023-07-24 16:42:36