James D. Matthew
Biography

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 332-333, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  James D. Matthew was born near the present site of Columbus, Franklin county, Ohio, in 1813, November 24. His father, Simon Matthew, was born in Fauquier county, Virginia, and his father, Nathan Matthew was, as far as is known, born in the same State. The great-grandfather of subject, Edward Matthew, was born in Wales and came to America, settling in Virginia in colonial times. He was a miller by trade, and his son was also a miller, and he erected a mill in Virginia during the Revolutionary war. He resided in Virginia until about 1817, when he went to Washington county, Indiana, and was a resident there until his death. His son was reared in Virginia and went to Ohio when he was twenty-six years of age. He settled in Franklin county and was one of the first settlers there. He assisted in cutting the logs to build the penitentiary at Columbus. In 1818 he emigrated to Indiana, settling in Washington county, which was a heavily timbered country at that time. He rented a tract of timber land ten miles west of Salem, and erected a log house in the wilderness. There were no railroads in the State at that time, and the nearest market was fifty miles away. He lived in Indiana until 1832, and during that time cleared quite a tract of his land. In 1832 he sold that and came to Illinois, settling ten miles southeast of Springfield, where he resided until his death. The maiden name of his first wife, the mother of our subject, was Ann Dearderff, born near New Castle, of German ancestry. She died in Sangamon county, after the arrival of the family.
  James came with his parents to Sangamon county, Illinois, and was nineteen the day he reached there. At that time the capitol of the State was Vandalia, Springfield being but a hamlet, and the nearest market for farmers in Sangamon county was St. Louis or Beardstown. He resided there until 1838, and then came to Cass county. He had visited this section and entered forty acres of land in 1837, in section 32, township 18, and forty more acres in section 19 of the same township. In 1838 he built a hewed-log cabin and commenced at once to clear the land. At that time deer and other kinds of wild game supplied the table with meat. Wheat sold from thirty to forty cents a bushel, and corn for ten cents a bushel. The wife dressed the children in homespun of her own raising, carding and weaving. He added to his farm until it is now about 365 acres, the greater part improved.
  He was married March 27, 1834, to Dorcas Hamilton, born in Virginia, daughter of Pressley and Susana Hamilton. Mr. and Mrs. Matthew have had the following children: Simon P., Ann, Charles, Jane Ruth, Rodney, Nettie, Henry L. and Lincoln.
  Mr. Matthew was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as is his wife. He was a Whig and Republican, and was a good and honorable man. He died April 7, 1892, at his home. Thus one of the oldest settlers and a man respected for his sterling integrity has passed away, and the family and large circle of friends and acquaintances are left mourning. He died a firm believer in the Christian religion. His aged wife of fifty-six years, standing, still occupies the old home where they settled in 1838. They celebrated their golden wedding March 27, 1884. They were married in Indiana.




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