Biographical Sketch of
Transcribed by Robert SchieberSource: Memorial and Biographical Record and Illustrated Compendium of Biography of Citizens of Columbia, Sauk and Adams Counties, Wisconsin, published 1901 by G. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago, 1901, Pages 639 - 640 Orlando Matthews, the owner and operator of a fertile and highly tilled farm on section 8, Big Flats township, receives his mail at the postoffice of the same name, and has won an enviable reputation as an honest and upright citizen of Adams county. He was born in the town of Granby, Oswego county, New York, April 10, 1843, and his ancestral stock long flourished in England; his grandfather was native to the manor born. Marvin Matthews, the father of Orlando, was born August 7, 1817, and grew to manhood in Oswego county, where he wooed and won Almina Burdick. She was born December 26, 1819, and proved in every way a worthy helpmate to her frugal and industrious husband. In 1847 they came to Delavan, Illinois, where they lived one year; and then, not satisfied with the outlook, came to Wisconsin, and secured a home near Waterloo. Eight years later he made another location, and one which proved to be his last, in Adams county. He died January 17, 1859, leaving a valuable farm of one hundred and twenty acres of good Wisconsin land, and the priceless legacy of a noble name. He was an original Republican, and was the first justice of the peace at the town of Brownsville, which was afterwards changed to Big Flats. His father, William Matthews, was born in England, was bred to the sea, became a captain of a coast steamer, and died full of years and honor. Orlando Matthews, the subject of this writing, came to Wisconsin while still a lad, and was married to Laura Haven, April 2, 1866, in the town of Preston, Adams county, Wisconsin. He is an extensive land owner, and has been singularly successful in all his dealings. His farm consists of four hundred and sixty acres, with two hundred and twenty under cultivation. The family mansion is ample and convenient in every way, there is a large barn, and the farm is amply provided with outbuildings suited to a modern and progressive agriculturist. He is a Republican, and his good standing among his neighbors is evidenced by his frequent election to important local positions. When he was twenty-three he was elected town clerk, a position which he held nine years. He was treasurer eight years, and in 1893 was made chairman of the town, and is still serving in that capacity. He has taken an active interest in county politics, frequently attended the conventions, and is universally recognized as one of the leading spirits of the party in his town. He also is deeply interested in the public schools, and does everything possible to promote their welfare and orderly administration. He made a homestead entry of the original eighty acres on which his home now stands, and the balance of his extensive real estate holdings has been secured a little at a time. He is giving much attention to cattle breeding, and sometimes has a herd of fifty cattle at a time. The extreme newness of the country at the time of his settlement is evident by the fact that when he made his location there were only eleven farmers in the town, and that for five years they were without a local school. Mr. Matthews was a soldier of the Union army during the last months of that great struggle---the Civil war, the time of his service being within the period set by September 24, 1864, and June 27, 1865. he enlisted from Big Flats and was discharged at Washington, D. C. He was one of General Sherman's soldiers, marched to the sea, and participated in the important battle of Kingston, North Carolina. Mr. and Mrs. Matthews are the parents of six children, only two of whom are now living: Ezbum married Christina Peterson, July 12, 1899, and is living at home. Katie is the wife of Fred A. Reid, a farmer in the town of Big Flats. There is one grandchild, Grace George, in the paternal home. Mrs. Matthews is the daughter of Charles and Margaret (Brown) Haven, and was born May 22, 1843, at Franklin, Pennsylvania, and came into his state when quite young. Mr. Haven made his first home at Madison, afterwards at Fall River, Columbia county, and in 1858 located in Adams county, where the remaining years of his life where spent. He was a cabinet maker and worded at his trade many years. He was born at Ogdensburg, New York, November 16, 1812, and was married to Margaret Brown, June 19, 1842, at Franklin, Pennsylvania. Her father, Jacob Haven, lived at French Creek, St. Lawrence county, New York, many years, and his mother (Streeter) lived to be one hundred and one years. Mrs. Jacob Haven was known when a girl as Catherine Streeter, and lived and died in French Creek, New York. Altogether it is an interesting family history, and repays close study.
Transcribed by Robert Schieber
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