Matlock and Wassell are the publishers and editors of that recognized leader among Republican journals of southern Illinois, the Chester Tribune. They are both young, energetic, determined men.
J. B. Matlack was born in the city of St. Louis, Mo., June 7, 1847. His parents were William I., and Harriet A. Matlack, the one a native of New Jersey, the other of Maryland. When sixteen years of age Mr. Matlack entered the office of the “Star of the West,” at Sparta, to learn the printer’s art; thence to Chester, where he engaged on the “Picket Guard” as a typo; then to the “Clarion” office, where he worked off the first copy of that paper. Next to Belleville as assistant foreman in the “Advocate” office, when patent outsides were issued there from. The business management of the Nashville Journal was entrusted to him in 1870. This paper he bought in 1872; sold out to Wassell Brothers, and went into the State Auditor’s office, Springfield, Ill., in 1876. In 1881 he bought the “Tribune,” in connection with Wassell. He was married to Emily Wassell of Chester, October 18, 1869; by her he has two children living, one dead.
James F. Wassell is a native of Chester, where he was born May 10, 1856. Charles Wassell, his father, is a merchant tailor of this city. James learned the printer’s trade in the home offices. In various capacities he has been connected with the Nashville Journal, (of which he became part proprietor in 1876), and a paper in Petersburg, Menard County, where he was foreman. In 1880 he returned to his home, and in 1881 became associated with Mr. Matlack in the management of the Tribune.
They are making a fine success of their paper, possessed as they are of thorough practical knowledge acquired by long experience in the work, and of a familiarity with the expectations of the reading public in a paper’s make-up. It is fast becoming a recognized power in behalf of Republicanism throughout southern Illinois. ((Combined History of Randolph, Monroe, and Perry Counties Illinois – Biographical Sketches of some of their Prominent Men and Pioneers, Published by J. L. McDonough & Co., Philadelphia 1883 Page 301.))