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Remembering
David Ault
David Ault
1940 - 2008

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Thomas G. Mathewson
(1854-1942)

From: History of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical
NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920

THOMAS G. MATHEWSON, one of the prominent citizens of Warwick, and superintendent of the Goddard Estate at Potowomut, is a member of one of the old Rhode Island families, the members of which have been identified with this region for many generations.  He is a direct lineal descendant in the seventh generation from the Hon. Henry Matteson of Scotland, from which the line runs through Joseph, Josiah, Russell, Wilbur, and Syria Wilbur, down to Thomas Greene Mathewson.  Mr. Mathewson's father, Syria Wilbur Mathewson, was born at Coventry, February 19, 1824, and died October 15, 1904.  He resided on the old Hill farm until 1868, when he built and opened a summer hotel at Narragansett Pier.  He met with success in this enterprise, and in 1896 enlarged and entirely remodeled the hotel and changed its name to that of the New Mathewson House, which he continued to operate until his death. It was then taken over by the Mathewson Company, composed of his three sons, with Thomas G. Mathewson as president, Everett L. Mathewson as vice-president, and Syria Wilbur Mathewson, Jr., as secretary and treasurer. This company was finally dissolved and the hotel sold in 1917.  The elder Mr. Mathewson was an expert machinist in early life, a trade which he followed for a time, as he did also that of weaver.  He was a member of the first Town Council of Narragansett Pier, and was active in having the town district set off.  He was a member of the Quidnesett Baptist Church.  He married, December 17, 1848, Ann Eliza Hill, a daughter of Thomas and Lucy Ann (Allen) Hill, and a member of the old and distinguished Hill family of this State.  Mrs. Mathewson was born Dec. 12, 1829, and died March 20, 1910. They were the parents of the following children:  Ida B., who became the wife of John J. Benson, of Vermont, now residing in West Palm Beach, Fla.; Thomas G., of further mention;  Syria Wilbur, who died in infancy;  Syria Wilbur, Jr., who makes his home at Narragansett Pier;  Walter H., born March 28, 1861, died Feby. 2, 1887;  And Everett I., born Nov. 2, 1865, died Jany. 11, 1916, at Narragansett Pier.

Thomas G. Mathewson was born November 5, 1854, on the old Hill homestead in North Kingston, R. I., and as a lad attended the district schools of Quidnesett, in North Kingston township.  He later studied at the East Greenwich Academy, and finally completed his schooling at the celebrated Bryant & Stratton Business College, at Providence, where he took courses in surveying and architecture.  He possesses a natural gift for forestry and landscape gardening, and so great a fondness for the work that he has devoted the major part of his life to the work.  At the request of his grandfather, who desired to have someone care for him and his place, the young man went to live on the old homestead, which he greatly improved, and where he carried on general farming.  He remained there until the year 1890, and then secured a position as landscape gardener on the handsome estate of Mr. Russell, at Potowomut.  He remained in the employ of that gentleman until the latter's death, and since then has worked on the same estate for his successor, Robert H. I. Goddard.  He has assisted Mr. Goddard in enlarging the forest that covers a part of the property, and is still in charge of it, as well as being superintendent of the entire estate.  The old Hill farm upon which he was born was deeded to Mr. Mathewson in 1901 by his mother, and he has since purchased the old Forge property, at one time in the possession of the family, but which had passed into other hands for a number of years.  Mr. Mathewson is therefore the owner of a considerable property in this region.  He is very active in the affairs of the community, and has held a number of public offices here, among which should be mentioned that of trustee of the Rhode Island State College Board of Kingston, road surveyor, commissioner of the town farm, and member of the Board of Agriculture and the executive committee thereof.  Mr. Mathewson is also a member of the Rhode Island Horticultural Society.  He was one of the organizers of the Quidnesett Memorial Cemetery in 1902.  He designed and laid out the grounds, and is now superintendent, a member of the board of directors, and also vice-president.  Mr. Mathewson has been a member of the of the board of trustees of Rhode Island State College at Kingston since January, 1903.  In his religious belief he is a Baptist, and attends the church of that denomination in Quidnesett, being a trustee and deacon thereof.  He is a member of King Solomon Lodge, No. 22, Free and Accepted Masons, of East Greenwich, and of Quidnesett (at one time Davisville) Grange, No. 44, Patrons of Husbandry, and served in all the chairs of the latter.  He is a member of the Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Thomas G. Mathewson married, November 9, 1881, Celia Maria Madison, daughter of Joseph Warren and Maria (Smith) Madison, and a direct descendant of the Hon. Henry Matteson.  They are the parents of the following children:  1. Anna Maria, who married, July 28, 1909, Dana Lawrence, of Arlington, Mass., to whom she has borne two children:  George Hill Mathewson, born June 19, 1910, and Lucy Maria, born Jany. 12, 1915.  2.  George Hill, born March 4, 1886, died at Mt. Hermon School, Mass., Sept. 14, 1904.

Thomas G. Mathewson is buried in the Quidnessett Cemetery, North Kingstown, RI.

 


 

Ancestry Chart of Dea. Thomas G. Mathewson

                 +--+ 7-Henry Matteson,b.October 1646,d.Abt 1690
                 | 
              +--+ 6-Joseph Matteson,b.1678,d.Abt 1758
              |  |    
              |  +--+ 7-Hannah Parsons,b.August 7, 1646,d.After August 9, 1693
              | 
           +--+ 5-Josiah Matteson,b.1720,d.Abt February 1801
           |  |       
           |  |  +--+ 7-Clement Weaver,b.1647,d.September 18, 1691
           |  |  | 
           |  +--+ 6-Rachel Weaver,b.December 24, 1684,d.May 29, 1776
           |     |    
           |     +--- 7-Rachel Andrews,b.April 9, 1654,d.December 10, 1712
           | 
        +--+ 4-Russell Matteson,b.April 18, 1774,d.November 22, 1840
        |  |       
        |  |  +--- 6-John Nichols,b.1682,d.???
        |  |  | 
        |  +--+ 5-Mercy Nichols,b.March 22, 1722,d.Bef April 24, 1815
        |     |    
        |     +--- 6-Rachel,b.1686,d.???
        | 
     +--+ 3-Wilbur Mathewson,b.July 3, 1797,d.December 8, 1879
     |  |       
     |  |  +--- 5-David Straight,b.Abt 1746,d.September 26, 1837
     |  |  | 
     |  +--+ 4-Mary Straight,b.January 28, 1774,d.February 11, 1837
     |     |    
     |     +--- 5-Mary Aylsworth,b.Abt 1747,d.???
     | 
  +--+ 2-Syria Wilbur Mathewson,b.February 19, 1824,d.October 15, 1905
  |  |       
  |  |  +--- 4-George Potter,d.???
  |  |  | 
  |  +--+ 3-Hannah Potter,b.June 19, 1799,d.July 31, 1875
  | 
--+ 1-Deacon Thomas Greene Mathewson,b.November 5, 1854,d.1942
  |       
  |  +--- 3-Deacon Thomas Hill,b.1793,d.September 16, 1880
  |  | 
  +--+ 2-Anna Eliza Hill,b.December 12, 1829,d.March 20, 1910
     |    
     +--- 3-Lucy Ann Allen,b.1800,d.May 1, 1879

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