In the 1900 US Federal Census for Sugar Creek, Shelby, Indiana, 38-year-old Indiana-born [sic] farmer Joseph R and his 33-year-old wife Nettie [Jennette German] Mathis have been married 14 years and have had three Indiana-born children, who are living with them. These children are 10-year-old Elda, 8-year-old Willard [sic] and 6 year old Hettie. Elda and Millard have attended school six months of the past year. Hettie has not attended school. Joseph, Nettie and Elda can read, write and speak English. Joseph is farming rented acreage. Everyone's parents were born in Indiana [sic]. In the 1920 US Federal Census for Pleasant, Johnson, Indiana, 57-year-old Ohio-born farmer Joseph R Mathis is doing general farming on acreage that he owns, but with a mortgage. He and his 52-year-old Indiana-born wife Jennette F [German] Mathis can read, write and speak English. Joseph's father was born in Indiana and his mother in Kentucky. Jennette's parents were born in Indiana.