Biography - George Matthews

George A. MATTHEWS, merchant and contractor, Litchfield, was born in Caroline County, Md., and, when four years old, left his native State. He was raised in Muskingum County, Ohio, and, at the age of eighteen, began to learn the brick-mason's trade, and also brick-making; he served three year's apprenticeship in Zanesville, Ohio. In 1857, he came to Illinois to build the railroad shops at Litchfield, and acted as foreman of the men on brick and stone work during 1857 and 1858; he was foreman when the shops were remodeled for the Litchfield Car Manufacturing Company, and also rebuilt them after the fire of 1872; he was a contractor and builder in partnership with his brother, W. T. MATTHEWS, under the firm name of Matthews & Bro., until the close of the war, after which the firm mane was MATTHEWS & CHAMBERLAIN, his business career in this direction extending over a period of twenty-five years, during which time they put up the major portion of the brick structures of the city. In 1865, he formed a partnership with Mr. KESSINGER, the firm name being KESSINGER, MATTHEWS & Co., and engaged in the grain and merchandising business, continuing about three years, when Mr. MATTHEWS sold his interest to KESSINGER& BAKER. In addition to the brick-yard and brick-laying, he afterward engaged in the manufacture of candies and in the bakery business for two years, when he again devoted his entire time and attention to brick work. In October, 1877, he bought out the store of L. CRAMP, and continued business in the frame building on the corner of State and Madison streets, which he replaced with a handsome two-story brick building in 1881, in October of which year he sold his old stock. In January, 1882, he formed a partnership with Theodore HART, under the firm name of G. A. MATTHEWS & Co., and opened a new stock of groceries in his new building on the old site, where they are conducting a good and lucrative business. He has built ten dwelling houses for himself, and two storerooms, and has given employment to from eight to twenty men fora large portion of each year. Mr. MATTHEWS is a stanch Republican. In 1866, he was married to Miss Temperance JONES, of Litchfield. In 1859, he married Miss Hattie CARLO, of Zanesville, Ohio, and removed to Wyandotte, Kan., where he lived three months, when his wife and child died, in September, 1860. His present wife, nee Miss JONES, has one daughter, Jessie, born on May 30, 1879. The father of our subject was a ship carpenter, and his wife, Mr. MATTHEWS' mother, was of Quaker parentage - was Sarah VAIN; she died at the age of seventy-eight. Their children, with the exception of our subject and another son, are residents of Ohio.

Extracted 19 Nov 2016 by Norma Hass from 1882 History of Bond and Montgomery Counties, Illinois, Part 2 Biographical Department, pages 153-154.

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