Biographical / Historical
Wallace G. Mathis, 1904-1981, was born in Collierville, Tennessee, where his father, C.M. Mathis was president of, and his mother taught music at, the Bellevue Female College. C.M. Mathis later founded the Rugby University School, a college preparatory institution housed in the old Starks Fielding mansion on the east side of Bardstown Road between Douglass Boulevard and Woodbourne Avenue, in the Highlands neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky. The Rugby School was in existence from 1928 to 1948.
Wallace Mathis began teaching at the Rugby School in 1930 and later became its headmaster. From 1933 to 1941, he also worked part-time as a cartoonist for the Louisville Courier-Journal. His daily cartoon, “Rollin’ Stone Says,” featured the folk observations of a philosophical small-town tramp. Mathis had honed his skills at Vanderbilt University, where he was cartoonist for the student publication while he earned his undergraduate degree.
In 1948, Mathis became a trust officer and vice-president of Citizens Fidelity Bank and Trust Company, retiring in 1969. He died in 1981, at the age of 76.