SAMUEL W. MATTHEWS is a native of Hampden, Penobscot County, Maine, where he was
born May 21, 1832. He received his elementary education in the town school, and was fitted for college at the Hampden
Academy, mainly under the instruction of his father, Asa Matthews, who was an early graduate of Waterville College.
Young Matthews, having received a thorough preparation, entered Waterville College, now Colby University, in 1850
and graduated with high rank in scholarship in the class of 1854.
After his graduation he adopted the profession of teacher, which he followed for a number of years, teaching for
a time at the Lee Normal Academy, and later in various institutions in North Carolina. Finally deciding upon law
as his permanent profession, he came home and entered the law office of Hon. John E. Godfrey in Bangor, where he
diligently pursued his studies for some time, and in 1860 was admitted to the Bar in Penobscot County. After his
admission, he entered actively upon the practice of his profession, locating in his native town, Hampden, where
he built up a nice practice.
In 1862 Mr. Matthews was appointed Assistant Assessor of Internal Revenue, the duties of which office he discharged
most acceptably for ten years. In 1873 he was elected to represent his town in the Maine Legislature. I)uring his
term of service he held positions on important committees, and was an active and influential member on the floor
of the House.
Mr. Matthews removed to Caribou, Aroostook County, in 1879 where he continued in the practice of law.. Seeing the
need of a local newspaper in that town, he yielded to the solicitations of friends and engaged in the work of establishing
the Aroostook Republican which he carried out thoroughly and most successfully. Under his management the paper
grew rapidly in circulation and influence, being now one of the most prosperous papers in the county.
In 1887 Mr. Matthews received the appointment to the responsible and important position of Commissioner of the
Bureau of Industrial and Labor Statistics of the State of Maine, which office he has held continuously by successive
appointments. A thorough collection and compilation of statistics showing the condition and progress of the great
industrial interests of the State requires patience, perseverance, industry, and a special fitness for the work.
That these are possessed to a marked degree by the present Commissioner is conclusively shown by the exhaustive
reports which are annually issued by his Bureau. These have become to be regarded as among the most valuable and
instructive of all the State documents.
Mr. Matthews has always from his youth been a most ardent Republican, and has for many years done very efficient
service for his party, both through the press and- on the stump, his services being eagerly sought in every campaign.
He has a very extensive acquaintance all over the State, and a host of friends. Being of a cheerful and genial
nature, he makes friends and retains them by his honest, open, and straightforward course.