JOHN G. MATTOS, JR.
Among the leading and influential citizens of Centerville, none takes precedence over John G. Mattos, Jr., who
has attained distinction as an able and successful lawyer, while in political, civic and fraternal affairs he has
been active and has been honored with important official positions. Mr. Mattos was born in Horta City, Fayal, Azores
Islands, on the 1st day of August, 1864, and there attended the public schools to the age of fifteen years, when,
in 1879, he accompanied his family on the emigration to California. They settled in Centerville, where he has lived
continuously to the present time. He was made an American citizen July 31, 1886, and became an active worker in
the republican party. In 1888 he was elected road overseer of the Centerville district and was reelected in 1890.
In 1891 he was appointed a deputy county assessor for Washington township, filling that position for four years.
In 1889 he was commissioned a notary public, which position he has held continuously since. In 1900 he was elected
a member of the state assembly for the forty-sixth district, which at that time, comprised all that portion of
Alameda county south of San Leandro creek, being the townships of Washington, Eden and Murray, and was reelected
to the same position in 1902. While in the state assembly he was a member of the code commission and chairman of
the roads and highways committee and the committee on education. In 1901 he was appointed by Governor Gage a member
of the board of trustees of the Deaf, Dumb and Blind children at Berkeley, resigning after five years service.
In 1904 he was elected a member of the state senate without opposition from the Thirteenth senatorial district,
serving as chairman on the committees of education and roads and highways. In 1906 he was appointed by Governor
Pardee a member of the board of harbor commissions, but by legal complications did not take office. In 1907 he
was appointed by President Roosevelt, appraiser of merchandise at the port of San Francisco and served for seven
years, until the election of President Wilson. In 1918 he was appointed by Governor Stephens a member of the board
of prison directors for ten years, and resigned after eight years of service.
Later Mr. Mattos devoted his time to the study of law and in August, 1897, was admitted to practice. He has been
more than ordinarily successful as a lawyer, maintaining offices in Centerville and in the Bank of Italy building
in San Francisco, and confines his practice mainly to the probate courts, in which department of legal procedure
he is regarded as an expert, so that he has built up a large remunerative clientele. Mr. Mattos took an active
part in organizing the Bank of Centerville, of which he was chosen president, and served in that capacity until
the bank was sold to the 'Bank of Italy, in 1919, since which time he has served as vice president and director
of the last named Bank. In 1893 he was elected a member of the Centerville school board, and has been reelected
ever since, serving continuously in this last capacity for upward of thirty-five years. In 1895 he became a member
of the high school board, of which he was made secretary and served one year. He has long been prominent in the
U. P. E. C. (Portuguese Union of the State of California), the strongest Portugese fraternal order in the state,
of which he was elected supreme president in 1894, being reelected in the following year. Since 1896 he has been
supreme director of that order and since 1902 has held the office of supreme treasurer. He held the office of justice
of the peace for Washington township for eight years, and in that time, assessed fines of over thirty five thousand
dollars for violations of the motor vehicle act. A man of alert and vigorous mentality, sterling character and
progressive ideas, he has been true to the highest obligations of citizenship, has done his full part in affairs
concerning the welfare of the community, and commands the confidence and esteem of his fellowmen to a marked degree.
History of Alameda County, California
BY: Frank Clinton Merritt
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill 1928
Alameda County, CA
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