H. N. Matthews, one of the leading and respected citizens of Louisa county, is a retired agriculturist residing
in Oakville, which town he is now serving in the capacity of mayor. His birth occurred in Jefferson township, this
county, on the 17th of August, 1842, his parents being Solomon B. and Emily M. (Bras) Matthews, both of whom were
natives of Ohio. The father came to Louisa county in 1836, settling in Port Louisa township, where he worked as
a millwright. Subsequently he took up his abode in Tollsboro, there opening a sawmill and gristmill. In 1849 he
made his way to California by ox team, returning to this state in 1852 and passing away the same year. His wife
was called to her final rest in 1883. Their children were two in number, namely: H. N., of this review; and Homer
A., who is a resident of Toolsboro, Iowa.
H. N. Matthews began earning his own livelihood as a boy and has been independent upon his own resources ever since.
In 1862 he volunteered for service with the First Missouri Engineers, being honorably discharged on the expiration
of his term in 1864. He participated in the siege of Vicksburg and Atlanta. On returning to Louisa county he took
up the pursuits of farming and stockraising, meeting with a gratifying measure of success in his undertakings as
an agriculturist. In 1907 he put aside the active work of the fields and removed to Oakville, where he has since
lived retired in his beautiful two story residence.
On the 8th of February, 1870, Mr. Matthews was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary E. Brown, a daughter of John and
Anna (Daniels) Brown, both of whom were natives of Ohio and are now deceased. They were the parents of the following
children: Benjamin, who has passed away; Benjamin, who is a resident of Wapello township; Elizabeth, the wife of.
Henry Speck of Vici, Oklahoma; Peter, living in Alaska; Samuel, who is deceased; Nancy, the wife of James P. Courtly,
of Louisa county; David, who makes his home in Cairo, Iowa; Mrs. Matthews; Emmett, who has passed away; and three
who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Matthews had four children: Emily A., who died in infancy; Solomon, now living
near Wapello, Iowa; Charles F., of Oakville, Iowa; and Fannie, the wife of J. A. Williams of Oakville.
In politics Mr. Matthews is a stanch republican and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, have
called him to various positions of public trust. He has held all of the township offices, served as deputy sheriff
for one year and is the present mayor of Oakville, exercising his official prerogatives in support of many measures
of reform and improvement. The Spiritualist church numbers him among its valued members. He also belongs to the
Grand Army of the Republic. His entire life has been spent in Louisa county and he has long enjoyed an enviable
reputation as one of its most prominent and esteemed citizens.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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