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

Matthews, Mark, Sr.

(born: 1894  -  died: 2005) 

Mark Matthews, Sr. was the oldest living Buffalo Soldier. He was born in Greenville, Alabama, 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, he joined the 10th Cavalry. The enlistment age was actually 17, but Matthews' boss forged some papers which 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. He 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 09/13/05, p. B06 Metro. See also his photo on page 118 in Prince George's County, Maryland, by J. T. Thomas, et al.


Cited in this Entry

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

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Matthews, Mark, Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 18, 2020,

Last modified: 2017-08-22 22:10:48