He was a decades long icon on the streets of Murphys. William Mathis Jr., better known as “Buggy Bill”, has passed away.
After moving from Nevada to Murphys in the 1980s, Mathis started his horse-and-buggy business and gave rides to tourists and residences nearly every weekend.
Over the last several years, the $10 ride through town (which began at the corner of Church and Main) included Mathis, his buggy, his unproven but entertaining stories, his dog Spot and his horse Jim.
Mathis was known for giving several children free rides and would also offer adults free rides during special celebrations such as birthdays, weddings and on Christmas Day.
In 2006, Mathis was named Grand Marshall of the Murphys Homecoming Parade.
Around the same period, Mathis became the talk of town when a couple of business owners complained about both his horse and his starting point. A number of “Save Buggy Bill” bumper stickers were distributed around Murphys.
Mathis died from natural causes on Sunday April 1st, at the age of 62.
A public memorial gathering will be held Sunday April 15th, at the Nugget located at 75 Big Trees Road in Murphys.