submitted by Ronna Thuman, November 14, 2007


In Memoriam.

At a meeting of the Old Settlers of Muscatine county held January 30th, 1880, on occasion of the death of Mrs. Betsey Ann Mathews.

Mr. Richman, president, stated the object of the meeting, paying a high compliment to the character of our deceased friend. Mr. Bridgman called up many reminiscences of our associations with the family of Mrs. Mathews in the past. Mr. John A. Parvin spoke with much feeling of her kindly neighborly ways and helpfulness in sickness. Messers. Burnett, Cloud, Block, and Washburn spoke warmly of her many excellencies.

Messrs. R. M. Burnett, D. C. Cloud, J. A. Parvin and J. Mahin were made a committee on resolutions. On suggestion of Mr. Richman it was made a rule of the Society, that friends of deceased members make known their death to the Secretary.

On motion of Mr. Washburne the committed on resolutions were instructed to include Mr. Goldsberry and Mrs. Walton in their resolutions.

Adjouned to meet at funeral.

D. C. RICHMAN, President.
P. JACKSON, Secretary.

    Resolved. That in the death of Mrs. Matthews the Old Settlers feel that they have suffered no ordinary loss. During her residence here, beginning in 1839, she had shown all the attributes that would endear a woman to those with whom she associates. She always manifested kindness to her neighbors in times of sickness and sympathy in trouble, and warm interest in those around her, and especially in the young. In her patient endurance of long and severe suffering, she manifested the Christian virtues of patience and resignation and firm reliance in her Savior, whish is the crowning glory of an aged Christian.

    Resolved, That we tender our sympathy and condolence to the bereaved family.

    Resolved, That we attend the funeral in a body.

    Resolved, That we spread upon the records of this society a copy of these resolutions, and that a copy be furnished to the family.


    Resolved, That in the recent death of Mrs. Eunice Walton, nearly of the same age as Mrs. Matthews; and who came here about the same time, we recognize the loss of one, who, though not so well known to most of us, possessed equal sterling attributes of character as a kind hearted neighbor and Christian, and that we tender to her surviving relatives our deepest feelings of sympathy, and in a like manner will have these resolutions recorded on our minutes.


    Resolved, That in the late death of Levi T. Goldsberry the Old Settlers lost one for whom those who knew him best cherished a genuine esteem and respect, his family a kind and indulgent father, and the community a worthy citizen.

    Resolved, That as a further token of respect these resolutions be placed among the records of the Society.

    R. M. BURNETT,
    D. C. CLOUD,

For the JOURNAL.
Recollections of the Early Settlement of the Matthews Family.

The fame of the good country in the Blackhawk purchase, west of the Mississippi, had been sounded high in Ohio in 1836-7-8, and as Congress had passed the act to establish the Territory of Iowa, to go into operation from and after the 4th of July, 1838, Robt. Lucas, ex-Governor, received the appointment of Governor of the new Territory of Iowa. He induces many good citizens of Ohio—Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati and other places—to come with him or follow him to Iowa. The first government land sale was ordered late in November, 1838.

Mathew Matthews, b. other of Hiram Matthews, came here some time before the sale to select lands near this place, which he bought at that sale. He then returned to Columbus, Ohio, to spend the winter, returning early in the spring of 1839 with this brother Hiram. The latter being a brick-mason, was employed by his brother to build a brick dwelling house. This was the first brick dwelling house. This was the first brick building in our city, a two story house built in the summer and fall of 1839. This house stood on the lot where John Painter now lives, but was long since pulled down and the present one put up in its place.

Hiram Matthews also built a snug, comfortable log cabin for his own family on a lot on Water street, just one square east of where he built the brick for his brother. If my memory serves me right, Mr. Mathew Matthews, with his sister and daughter Helen and the wife and two daughters of Hiram, came together from Columbus, by boat from Cincinnati, and landed here at Bloomington rather late in the fall, and moved into their new house.

Mathew Matthews was the leader and I believe the principal one in establishing the Episcopal church in this town, and with some assistance built a frame building for the church, which stood on the rear end of the same lot where their stone church now stands. I believe this was the first church building in town, though the Methodists had a partnership in a school house that stood where the JOURNAL office now is.

The two brothers and their families were among the most prominent, active and useful among the early settlers, contributing much to establish and enliven the society circles, which is so much needed to drive away dull care and homesickness in the new settlement. But more than this, Mrs. Betsey Ann Matthews will long be remembered with deep gratitude as rendering timely assistance to the sick and afflicted. Such attention and nursing in a sick room is often better than a physician.

Other biographal notes of Mrs. Matthews appear in the JOURNAL of the 29th.-- SUEL FOSTER.


CITY HALL, Muscatine, Jan. 29, 1880

Pursuant to call, the old settlers convened in more than usual number—President Richman in the Chair and P. Jackson acting as Secretary.

The President stated the object of the meeting to take some action in regard to the death of Mrs. Hiram Matthews. He said he had known her since 1844. He spoke particularly of her fortitude and trust in her many and weary hours of affliction; she appeared at all times cheerful and happy, and often said that, while so many of the old settlers were passing away, she seemed to be overlooked and might live to see them all gone.

Joseph Bridgman said this event called to mind the days of Old Lang Syne. He named a number of the young men of Muscatine forty years ago, who were in the habit of mingling freely with the family of the deceased, and spoke warmly of the pleasant evenings spent at her happy home and of the universal feeling of respect felt for her who has now gone to a brighter and better land.

John A. Parvin said he contemplated this event with no ordinary feelings. The deceased, though but little older than himself, had been as a mother to him. She came to Muscatine about the same time he did; they were neighbors for years, and having had much sickness in his family, she had endeared herself to him by her kind-hearted and sympathetic aid at such times.

R. M. Burnett said aside from her surviving daughter, he had, perhaps, known the deceased longest of any one in the community. She lived fifty years ago in the town where he was born, and she had told him that she remembered seeing him and his brother lying together asleep in a trundle-bed. When he came here 28 years ago, she met him as a friend, and had been constant in her friendship and kindly sympathy for him. He could not but notice that though suffering herself, she was patient and forgetful of self, never dwelling upon her own sufferings nor of her isolation, but having cheerful and encouraging words for all. She seemed to take a special interest in the young.

D. C. Cloud said he first saw the deceased in 1833, when he was a boy and she resided with her family in Columbus, O. She came to this place soon after he did. He had known her long and well, and he regarded her as one of the best and purest-hearted of women. He thought this more than an ordinary occasion and he spoke with much feeling of the memory of the departed.

M. Block referred to the deceased as a mother in Israel, whom he had known a long time. She was everybody’s friend and everybody was her friend; of cheerful, happy disposition, honorable, up-right, and assuredly fitted for the better land.

L. R. Washburn said his recollection of the deceased dated back to 1841-2, when, in the employ of her husband, he became more than ordinarily intimate with the family. She was one of the good of the earth—a Christian indeed.

On motion of Jos. Bridgman, R. M. Burnett, J. A. Parvin and D. C. Cloud were made a committee on resolutions. John Mahin was afterwards added to the committee, and the committee was also instructed to draw up suitable memorial resolutions in reference to the death of Mrs. Walton and L. T. Goldsberry.

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