Biography of John Matteson
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

JOHN MATTESON, who has given nearly forty years of effective service to Cuyahoga County, where he now holds a responsible position in the office of the county treasurer, has been a resident of the county since his early childhood, was here reared and educated, and has seen Cleveland advance from the status of a minor city to that of a populous and beautiful metropolis. In the city and county he has a wide acquaintanceship, and it may consistently be said that the number of his frields is equally large.

On the North Sea, in the Province of Holstein, John Matteson was born June 24, 1852, his native province having been a part of Denmark but having passed to the governmental control of Germany in 1844. Mr. Matteson is a son of John Matteson, and the family name of his mother was Lohmeyer. In 1854, when he was about two years old, the family immigrated to the United States, and six weeks elapsed ere the sailing vessel completed the voyage across the Atlantic and the family landed at historic old Castle Garden in the Port of New York City. The first five years were passed at Westerly, a village about twenty miles distant from Albany, New York, and then, in 1859, removal was made to Cleveland. Mr. Matteson well remembers the incidents of this momentous journey of his boyhood, the same having been made by way of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad, the line of which then entered Cleveland on a trestle work of spiles in Lake Erie, a condition that caused wonderment to the observative boy. The family home was established in that part of the south side of Cleveland that was then known as Rockport and later as University Heights. The district now constitutes an integral part of the City of Cleveland, the limits of which on the south extended only to Erie Street (now East Ninth Street) at the time when the Matteson family here located. Cleveland then had a population of about 40,000 west of the river, extending to Gordon Avenue, a district at that time known as Ohio City, and from Gordon on to Highland was the district designated West Cleveland. Mr. Matteson advances the statement that in that period West Cleveland was governed by the trustees of Rockport. At the time when University Heights made its initial efforts to become a part of Cleveland there were only two bridges connecting that section with the city, one at Ohio City and the other at Detroit Street.

Mr. Matteson gained his early education principally in the public schools, and as a boy he entered the employ of H. P. Hadlow, a gardener and fruit grower. With other boys he there picked fruit, dug vegetables, weeded gardens and did such other work as was assigned to him. He frequently accompanied his employer to the Cleveland market, which was at that time situated on Ontario Street, where now are the stores of the May Company, Southworth, Bailey and Richardson Brothers. Mr. Hadlow, the employer, there had a market stand at a point opposite the present establishment of Richardson Brothers, and when the city built and equipped the new market he there established a market stall. One of the duties of young Matteson in the early days was to deliver vegetables at the Union Depot, where Russell & Wheeler then conducted the dining toom, and he had customers also on Bousc, Seneca, Bond and Superior streets, as well as Euclid Avenue. He delivered vegetables also to homes that stood on the present site of the City Hall and the Cuyagoha County Courthouse.

After leaving the employ of Mr. Hadlow nineteen years of effective service were given by Mr. Matteson in the employ of the Lanson Sessions Company, and he then took a position in the office of the county treasurer. He has continuously been in the service of the county during the long intervening period of thirty three years, and during a part of the interval was in the office of the county auditor. Mr. Matteson is a dimitted member of the Knights of Pythias, and passed the various official chairs in that fraternal order.

The year 1881 recorded the marriage of Mr. Matteson, at Buffalo, New York, to Miss Katharine M. Welz, who was born on Johnson Street in the City of Cleveland. Of this union have been born three sons and one daughter: Lewis C., the eldest son, married Miss May O'Leary, and they have one son, Jack L. John F. remains a bachelor and is a resident of Cleveland. Paul L. was one of seven persons killed in a railroad accident in California, where, on the tine between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the engine and seven cars of his train were thrown from the track. Jasmine, the only daughter, is the wife of William A. Cochran, and their one child is a daughter, Marian L.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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