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ORAL HISTORY OF SARAH MATHESON
November 3, 1990i
Saturday Morning, 9:30 AM
i"" :i. r d In t ervi ew
This is Dr'. Mark Barrow. I'm talking to Sarah Matheson.
This is the third interview about the Matheson and the
Hamilton families. We are down to 1933.
Dr. Barrow: "Sarah, last time we talked we talked about
that you. got married in 1933. Then we want to go from
there. Where did you go at the time, when you got married
to Chris Mathesonr'?
Sarah: "I was married, I don't remember whether we talked
about where, at Montreat. We were married by two of Chris'
cousins, John Matheson and Gordon Matheson and we went on
our honeymoon from Ashville, N.C. to Columbia, S.C. and to
Charleston visiting the Citadel where Chris had graduated
and then to Gainesvi.ie, his old home, and there we were
greeted by his many, many friends and then on the way back,
we stopped at Davidson., Mother had closed the house and was
settled in Davidson. Then we went on back to Shawnee,
Okl:: ahoma where Chris was the minister of the Central
Pr e s; b yterian Chur ch in Shawnee, Okl0 ahoma. So we lived
there. We moved into the manse. Chris had helped them to
build a manse that belonged to the church, but they had no
family to live in it. Nrow he had a wife and we moved into
th e manse and1 wre very happy there in Shawnee, k ::1ahoma
which was 45 miles from Ok:. lahioma City, a:Aout 30: from Norman
where the University of O l:: aho.ma is. It is a beautiful,
oeautiful central iart of Ok:lahoma. I had taught, you see,
down atu Durant, Oklahoma, for 5 years, but that was in the
southeastern part of the state. There I took an active part
in the .life of the community and: the churt..ch wori-:: and 1 i vae
wit hi n t he community H- aw t horn e Club and Red Cross and
American Assoc:iat.in f Un:iversity W: imen. I or-gani z ei the
::hanter or Delt a :Ka- Gamma whicn was a sorority for
eacher's education. And then, we left k::lahoma,...'
Dr. B.: "What was the date that yo.u left Okl.ahoma?"
Sarah: "We left there in .1945. We were there 12 years.
ris was th e mi sister, was very belovedd, very much like
Preac her G:orl:)n her i e :in sin our church. I was
just noticing a little climbing the other r cday f 25 years
where the Mini ster:al Associat:ion said we are goi. ng to have
a bia celebration to honor Chris Matheson and it told about
th.e minister from the First Prsyterian Curch would give
the tal .:: and the on e from the iBaptist C :hurch would pr side
and the one om te Ch i st ian Chur ch would c give the
i nvocation and m entionred anout the Salvatio n Army, the
Captain and all the mini sters of the town tool.-: part and
that the town was inv:i.te.d,, Chr:is was a charter member of
the Ki wani s Club and all the oil people that were there, he
had learned to know. Well,, he was just beloved by the whole
comrumimnity. ,, I went to o,.-many funerals. He had f:funerals for
people of all denominations so many, many different ones.
We were very happy., Tie church gave us our first Bui.ck: car.
They kept us in cars. We went out to Creed, Oklahoma that
f i rst year in our car, out to Fi sherman' s Paradi se and
visited the West, drove through the duststorms, had a
wonderful life in Oklahoma, but Chris developed Par l::insor:'s
disease and we went to Oklahoma City. We went to Mayo's
twice. They knew nothing that would cure it but gave
certain things that delayed it. We went to the Scott White
Clinic which is the Mayo's of the Southwest, but as it
developed Chris had to resign a few years before retirement
and we came bac: to Gainesville to the dear old home. We
came to North Carolina for Chr istmas and came to Gainesville
then the first of 1946, so were back home and got the house
done over then. We got the lady who was renting it out and
sold some property to spend to get the house renovated and
ready fcor living. Oh, we were so happy to get back into the
hotu:se aand ot pan and some of h:is friends said,
'Chris, we've never seen the house look: as pretty as it is
now.' So we were soo happy to be back in Gainesvi. lle and
Chris co.ul d walk:: u: to the square and see hi- friends,
A dolph Vic:ial, all the V:idals, Max; ie Dell and oh, :1 can't
think. : had a party for them and had lots of the oldtimers
tog ether an d we just enj..iyed Gainesville a The paper gave a
big clipping about wel coming him back::. The former" mayo r has
come back ::o G: a:inesvi. lle again, so we would go to Montreat
in the I!2sumeri i anid taki::e an active par-t :i.n the chiur-che s. He
visited and was asked to help some in the church as long as
ne was aile. a ie died in '52. We hadc been to Montreat for
the summer ana came ba-c:t in the fall and his death was in.
Dr. B.: "Was :i.t r::rom !p:: pneumonia or did he have a stro:: e "
Sarah: "J.ust a little st rok:, I thin ::, he died quietly."
Dr. B.: "Was :i.t here?
Sarah: "Hiere in the hou.. set. Hi e died in the same house in
which he was b :::,rn, That was very interesting that he had
been bi:::orn in this dear old Mat heson house and then had come
cacd:: ho e a ini a a na several years of a happy if:e and there
di in the me., Dr MicCl amroch was our doct or. .
remember" e came.. to see him. It was just a stroke, Im s ure
becausee ine didn:L c t live bt. about a wetiek:, i think."
Dr ..,, : And ta. it was in 1955?
Saran : "1952.
Dr ,, B. : "When you were ir Sh a wnee, d ii y" a. 1 come bac : t o
Ga.inesville every now and then?"
Sarahl: "Oh, every year. Every summer we came bacl:: to check
on everything,, A unt l.a, yoI ..u see, Aunt Ola, the widow o-f
Willi am Math eson, lived in one of the lii ttl. e ho uses that
Chris owned. iWe sti ll speai : of it as Aunt Ola's cottage."
Dr. B.: "Is it the first' one f-rom here or the seconci one?"
Sarah "It' the second one. "
Dr. B.: "And she lived ho:w long?"
Sarah: "She had died- a few years before we came back. She
was not living then. "
Dr. B.: "Alr:i.ght,, and so after Chris passed away in 1952,
you stayed here. You didn't go back to Montreat?''
Sarah: "No, I stayed right here in the home. "
Dr., B.: "By that time, yoiu knew a .lot fc::, peo,-pl e andi had a
lot of fri ends,,"
Sarah: "That s right, I did. Dr. G ordion, U.S. G.ordon
call. ed me at C hr i sat mas time,, Chris d i e in ctO c o ber. T he
f ami ly came here for thie funeral,, then I went ti:o :David. dison,
North Carolina for Chr:i.stmas a:.n Dr. G:ordic cai.lea men whi:i.e
i there and sai 'Sarah, we need: a wori l:er at thie Student
H use the Pres::yte:rian Stcudent Ho.se. Al Taylor has ..ust.
resigned and was gone and we would love for you to come and-i
t hi n-: abutL it na tal:: to my fiami 1 y. Hy e said:, "I'll ca
you tomorrow night?' So he did. They said, "Sarah, this
is wnat you.. need, to get busy." So came back. My mother
came w:i.th me, in .January, tne first of January and 1 became
the Direc to.r of the Studen.. t Centeir in Janfuary,, Preacher had
said, Sarah, we don't kno:: w how long,, I i m.gnt be two
mno::ntns., it* might .be si:x.. months., we cldon't k::now. Df co::urse,
we"i. have to ha ve a man t:o c al::e over la. er rhis i :
typical o:f F reachc her- Gorcdon, so I did it and enjoyed it and
had the name., iOh, wnat did i they' call me':' : can't think of
what the st udients claa..ied me, something. of Westmini ster,, No
the i::. princess, ::but the.... "
Dr-, B.: "The Du..chess?. '
Sarah: "That's right., The Duchess of Westminister; An.:d,
oh, I enjoyed th:e few love affairs t hat went o:n. I o.ld
tell you 2 or 3 companies, I c:oul id see it mater.alizin andii
they did marry and have raised happy families since then.,
So when Ju.t--ne came, we had a man come,, !eely M Carter who is
president of one of: the seminaries in the West. He came as
a wonderful Director and it -freed me just at the right time
to go to Montreat as usual because I spent my summers there
and so I did enjo:iy that. But that was an interesting
experience, L..ater, o!ltt of the blue I received a letter
saying, 'M"rs. Mat heisP, yo cu've been nominated for mission
service. Would i you coLfsider going to 1::orea?" I threw up my
hands and .said, Do you think I can takeI. the climate? I
prayed that the door would :open or shut tight and it opened
and I did: go to Korea then to teach. "
Dr. B.: "When was that?"
Sarah: "That was in 1960. I went in 1960 for two -full
years.. I said, "Let me go for a year and see if I can take
the climate at my age, the severe climate, and so I said, 'I
h ave a conscience and I' 11 stay longer if necessary."' So I
did. I enjoyed it very much."
Dr. B.: "Did the go by yourself?"
Sarah: "Well, there was a family of father and mother and 3
children who were going. We met in California at the Home
of Peace, packed our trunks and so forth that were shipped
from there and we went on the Pacific shipline going out.
There were 26 of us, 6 of us going to i::orea, and the other
20 to Japian,, So we landed in 1Japan, touched there and I was
greeted with a family that took me f:or lunch and drove me on
over to Tokyo and we got into Korea then in '60.'
Dr. B.: "I.How long cici that trip tail::e? A couple of weeks."
Sarah: "Oh I "think it took 10 da:y, ac..out 1i0 days think.
But we flew then from Tokyo over to Seoul and were met ania
taught missionaries' children., : hadi 7 children the -tir'st
year and 9 children the second year, all: th(e way, gradee one
through si x. n"
Dr. B.: "Wnere dia you live?"
Sarah: "in Soon Chun., T'here were :3 families a:na: a doctor,
Dr. Stan Topple. S.o Stan and I had a house with a coot:: anc
an outside man who took care of: all the stoves you k. :now and
the work around the house. Mi little scooi house was a
beautiful little two-room schoolhouse right above the house
and I would come home, the cook:: wouic have lunch. Stan was
a surgeon for le ro-sy., He worked in a i le Iro ..us area and he
would come in the evening ani:::i we'd have dinner ana :d say,
STell. me what ..you dia to: ..' y,, Hetd say, i:'i I ui t u. a h e.!.
of this man or this woman.,,." andi he would i. e. us go down -co
hospital where they haca a thous.andl p::atient'.s."
Dr. B.: "A thousand?"
Sar -ah "Yes, a thou..sanT. Th ey were' t al. ... some of them
were old and they had stopped their disease, I guess, they
were curedti,, Some of them were working there and then we g.ot
Stan married 1 ater ."
Dr. B. : "Who did he marryy"
Sarah: "He married a' girl from Norway who was up a.t Seoul
and she was' a doctor. We went up to Seoul for the wedding
andE they went to Japan for their honeymoon and hi.s father
and mother were there and they had begged me to.. I was
trying to take care of Sam, you see. I was li.l::e his mother.
So his father and mother had come. We had the most
wonderful ti me. Another doctor from Atlanta, Cunningham,
came out and the two doctors and a minister and I, Stan's
father and mother, would go to an island and there we would
meet people:) e. They would line up to see the doctors, you
see. TIhey had never had a doctor. The minister had his
equipment, his movie, you know, and his things, slides and
stories ancl he'd go across to another place where they'
never heard of the gospel and we'cl set up an evening meeting
and people would crowd in to hear him., you see. That was a
marvelous s experience. We'd go over in a little boat and
meet them. WhI:ile i the doctors were meeting th e patients, I'd
run out with a Kodak and take pictures of the mothers
hol ding thI bab ies you know,, little naked bab is. T hey
were just darling. I loved the K:orean people and had many
exp:er i ences wi th them bi esi cies en joyi ngr teaching th ese boys
and girls throu..gh the si.th grade. So I stayed trere two
ful.. .1 years. "
.Dr. B. "D.)i d you ai::t two or something'?"
Sairah "Yes, two sons. "
.Dr B. "How d:i.d: that hap:pen?"
Sarah "Well ,, :I .just met them. They were a:L wa-vs r i n
he91p, of course. They naa their hand out for hp and to
improve the:.ir Engli h i ,, Cin the train, people wo di j..iust
crowd um around you knowing ta you coula speak Engi n.,,
you know, saying,, Hepin us to ea Enih So -I met one
bo' who wante-d t cL: o it school and: needed a little money and
1 helped him some. I didn't have too much but I'd help him
to finish his school. I helped: another one to go on through
th semi nary. lie is a minister now. When I lwent bac: in
7::., th in i.::, another time : went I:ack to :::or-ea to vis:i. t, he
invitee me to come o his c.ur.c ai.no hi e had:: a b:i.g, beat if: : i
ju:s. like we have here in our church, ::nd his wife, and h;
had a son who played the I:::,iano for us, so I've kept up. i rn
fact, abou..t two weekss: ago: : had a letter -r from him and he'd
say, Your son in Chri st you know. :'You are my mcrioher
So I Iept the other boy who is a teacher at the Maison
School. I have those two, Kim and Lee."
Dr. B,,: "iim and L.ee?"
Sarah: "Kim is the .name. If you throw a hat down a
mountain i n Seoul, i t'will fall on a Ki:m or Lee. They are
the two nares. "
Dr. B.: "Are they b:: rotIh ers? "
Sarah: "No. They were no kin. One was Kim and one was
Lee., So I came home then from Korea with a friend that I
met from Decatur, Ge-orgia and we went around the world,
vi sit i ng mi ssi i on stat i o ns and f ri ends in Bu.trma and the
Phillipines, Singapore,, then we came even to the Holy Land "
Dr. B.: "Were you flying"
Sarah: "We were flying. For instance, when we got to
Man i a, I h heard somebody say, Ms. Matheson, Ms. Matheson,
and I looked and :it was a fam:i y that I had met on the boat
going cut two years earlier. I had played games with her
little boys andd I had written her asking if she would give
us the name :of a safe place to stay in Manila and she wrote
:ack:: that she was living .up::: at ? then, but that her
son would be down there or she would arrange for us. Wel.
they had decided to come down and meet us together, .so here
they w ere at thie airport to t a k e us ancd had area dy accepted
and invitati on, to h ave dinner Gcodrich,. what is the
r. .bber? G oodr" i :: h r ut :: b er pl. a n a t i on peo ple They we e
Eoiscopalians, Anyway, they had arranged for us to stay the
g u est h o.e a f r E: n g ci s h speaking pe p lI e, Oh, just
exn::eri ence s :i. k::e th at a 1 l ar ot.riund Biuirma.'
Dr. B,, "lHow long didl that trip take?"
Sar ah "That too:: two months, I thin ::. iEast Pak:istan then
which : :l niw Be ang acIesh. Virginia L epps, my good d-rie nd
from Gainesville, she and her husband had gone. out to Daik::ar,
E, Pakistan, to the University. Shie had inv :ited u.s c o stop
their e so when we got to this place in In dia, we got ano other
tick.:e't and: went over -to EI. Pakistan which is now Banglades-h,
,Dka is the capitol and we had a marvelous four days with
Virginia and her hu sband: there seeing all of the interesting
thin c around Dai:: a. Down the big ri ver to an island that
her ipeoale wanite:id us to! siee. That was a marvelous tripi. "
Dr. iB. "You.. got bi:ack:: here then in '62?"
Sarah: "1962 and .: I askei
haci :put me on, that was a fringe benefit, and I received a
who le ano then a half and then a half you see. So I said
preacher, I need a little. e part.-t:i.me job to Finish out the
quarter so I can get the m ini imum and he a-sk.ed me to be
Church Visitor,, So I work::ec 9 months as Church Visitor and
3 months to go t o o Montret in the summer and I'm still doing
it at 89."
Dr. B,, ";1 know, that's great,, So you've- been doing that
Sarah: "Where all do you visit?"
Dr. B,: "On e minister goes on Monday to the h ospit a s and
another one goes too. I go Wednesday. Every Wednesday, I
go to Nlorth Fla. Regional and I go to Alachua General and I
go to, Shands when we have people there. I don 't go to
Shands every week:, :but people wil]. phone in -rom say, South
Carolina, and say we have a woman out at Shands, will you go
to see her? or we have a child from Miami, will you go, so I
go there quite often. I go to the VA Hospital, too. I have
regulars over there at the Nursing Home. So I go there and
then I'm chairman of the home circle so i have 25 people who
are shut in- who can't come to regular circle meetings so I
have to go to see them, and I 'm a Co-Chairman of an area
neighborhood group and have to take care of all of the
families that live in that area, visit them. If anybody
gets sick, you know, you've got to see that they get food
and visit them and so on. "
Dr. B. "So you are out somewhere everyday?"
Sarah: "Everyday I visit, yes". I go to Special Care every
week, Palm. Gardens, down there and all these cii.ffernet ones
where we have people I go. I don't limit it just to First
Presbyterian Chu .rch All 1 the Presbyter ians may be f rom
Mi canopy or Williston or wherever. Then another thing I do
for the Chu.rch is that 1 call everyone on their birthday. I
have 3 pepl:::le to day,, Yesterday I had Ray Weiver, Paul Moore
and I've forgotten the third one r eight now. But I've ot
r.wo or.. three toaay tha. I haven't called yer- ., o some:l.mes
it "' 1 be 10 o" cloc I :: at nig i and I'll say I 11 cal l t h em
first thing in the morning or say, Is it too late to wish
you a happy birthday? '.
Dr'. .- "So you've cgo.t all the b:i.rthdays of all of vo.ur
pari shi owners "
Sarah: "They"ll say, "-'H owd y ..I .: now th at this was m
birthday?' and .:'ll say, "Oh, a little bird told me.' Then
I' l have to : say al sn we have a computer. Sometimes the
computer gets the wrong date,, I called :o oneon the 21st and
she s aic:, h, my bir-thday was Lthe 12th. '"
Dr. B.. "So you'.. e h.ad a very full and active life."
Sarah: "I was the first woman elder in our Church, you
know. It used to be just men, nobody but men and Preacher
Gordon was the minister for forty years and he did not
bel i eve in havi n g women n el ders, cert ai n .1 y no women
preachers. So when tie retired from our Church, he was
preaching at Archer and around a little bit, so they asked
me to be an elder and A.fter much prayer I said that I would.
So I was "the first one in 1969. Because I went to the
general assembly as a commissioner in 1970 where there were
only eight women out of 400 commissioners. The next year
there were 18 and the next year more, but that was
something. I was the only woman elder from Florida at the
General Assembly meeting in Memphis, Tennessee in 1970. "
Dr. B.: "What did Preacher say?"
Sarah: "I ran up on him in the Post Office and he said,
'Here comes by Elderina. : and I said, :'Preacher, I didn't
know whether you would speak to me or not since I've been
made an elder.' And he said, :Oh, now Sarah, you know I
love you .just the same. Then he came up a little closer
and said, 'But ypu didn't maI::e it while I was in, did you?'
So we Ihad a laugh and that's in the book, you know, that
Perry Foote, Jr. and Lester Hale wrote,, What is it?"
Dr. B.: "Yes, I read that book."
Sarah: "The Misc:hiievous Saint" and that little story is in
there. It didn't name my name but it told about Ellerina.,
Oh, that s that, :but Preacher was a wonderful, wonder ul
person and loved by the wnole town, just as Dr. Thomas was
the doctor at the time and Preacher Gordon Well, :'ve been
a member, I'm still an active member of PE, whicn is a
sorority and I've been a member of DJelta K:appa Gamma, oast
president of Gainesv:i l1 e Council for International
Friendshipp. in fact, I appointed a e a committee to get a
sister city in S south American. we went to Columbia, two
trio s, and selected Mri an aza s as our sister city in
Columbia. That is the Ga:i.nesvii C Ie Council for International
Friendship. i'm a member of the Alachua County Historical
Society ano I've been interested in :preservation all of my
life and I'm a member of that, what else? Friends of Music.
Friends of the Library."
Dr. B.: "Tell me about the fire that occurred here."
Sarah: "That was in 1985 wasn't it?'"
Dr. B.: "What happ:::ened there?""
Sarah: "Well, there was a floor. r furnace anc i c went into
the chimney there in the center of the build ingi, in the
hallway,, I seems that the brick in the chimney, it was a
chimney fire, and some of the mortar had slipped out betweenn
the bricks and a spark got into it and it just was going up,
but I was sitting there and all of a sudden saw just a
little spark, just a little bit and I thought, Oh, my, and I
want to the phone ancd palled 911 and gave the alarm and
called the man upstair 'who was rooming here and I gave him
a blanket. The boy -f'rom across the street had seen some
.:s moke goin I up, so he' c *tame over an d t he two of them, "I
said, I believe'you can put it out, here's the blankett, you
:know, but it was inside the chimney and it went on up into
the attic. The Fire Dept. came and it didn't take them
long. It was the coldest day. It was below freezing. The
water was freezing as it came down, and yet the man, the
Chief said we lost one over by the duck pond. We're going
to save this one and they led me outside the building and
finally, the boy who lived there was so 1 ovely. He seated
me there. I picked up one picture as i went out and then
I'd see the flames going up and I'd say, 'Oh, can't they get
it out.' I was just frantic. I told then though to come
over and bring these portraits. So he and Mark Coffey, our
Director, was here also temporarily and they brought the two
portraits over there and then I said, :'I've got a box of
history pape::.eis, you know, and they got that over to the
house, because it was up in this part of the hou.se. T he
front part was not being very destroyed except through the
water ana the smo::e, y.ou see., They had to get thie hose and-
the water came all over it and the smok-e, so the whole house
Sarai:: "Thac was what-, in the early afternoon,, wasn't :i.t.
Tihev began o::arding :i.t up tnen and watching it all afternoon
ani :int::o evening, They began to get th:i.ngs out..
SBaran: "Yes. S:o tnen we got cte i ns.' uran ce, The insurance : -.
oa.id for mi!ost of i.:, dcid no have to pay more than :6,000
besi.es wnai the insurance paid for, .o it :cam o v:er
well. Wie go all .i., : nci advic.-, v u k now, ao tt how i:
preserve it, and it"' pre served buit :i.i:. s noi: as goc: as it
was, I don't think. B..t you are just thanl-::f..,iU that it was
preserved :an::i w-e c:! as! much of th e furniture and thi ngs
that we did, very little lost: The rcom upitai. r in the -
hall had to e re .ilt -and, of course, t ne Fnew roof, I
gue.ss., an a:ll.:,, but we were fortunatee: to get it d:cine asc well
as we aid. '
Dr. .,,: "whe-:n .l. ou. ...u st::art think-ing in terms of o narti.,ng;
your..u" no:use and ::: ro :::err as a m.u.. s-eum? "
Saran: ".Jell even .fro::m C.hris"' a-ea'th od n i wanted the hou..I.se
preserve in some wav becau..tse o
came al. ong and so now 1 t eel very happy with the
organization of the Matheson Historical Center. "
Dr. B. "I think that we have a very good Board, don't
Sarah: "Yes, we have a good Board, we certainly do."
Dr. B.: "Everybody really is interested and works hard."
Sarah: "But we can't thank you enough, Mark, for what you
have done because you have been the spearhead."
grandfather, and their part in the history and the house,
because it must have been just about Chris' death that the
realtors had a luncheon and Mrs. Linger was one of the ones
who called me and she was saying that this was the second
oldest house in Gainesv.:i lle and people were coming before
that to look at the house, you know. So I realized that it
was something unique as. well as architecturally it was worth
saving and then the history part. So I wanted it preserved
and I thought about the Historical Society. I knew that it
was not strong enough to do it and I just kept seeking and
looking for some way to get it preserved and Mark Barrow
a a r an ; .-.: J.1. .I. *...At '. .J.... I i.. i.J L .J u u 1.. .. II .U .1. Tr .. i. J w.LL. I aU ::, : L' e t-0.'_::- .:e
I could do it and it has made it possible f or the plans that
Dr. B.: "Well, you've been the real spearhead."
I. .-- syj .....,i "I" =2 M
to have, on you..r next birthday, we want to have a
celebration and dinner,,"
Sarahs "Gooo. "
r., ., "ie ave a comimi tZ:.ee appointed and you will be on
tne c:.:mrmi ttee to ma.e ::e sure it is done right."
Sarah: Th an k v :ou..,
Dr,. B., "WAli, l e't: move on then to tail:: something about
the pictures ana cthen we- 'l finis h up because : know that
Dr:, B,, "Well, I thi[ ink it will work: co.ut, especial ly with
the two grants, now.'"
Saran.: "Yes, yes, those ::grants were wU.on er fuli."
Dr. B.; "We'll be able to re-do the house the way it should
be and paint it. :
Sa rah S :: as my ninrieth year appr coaches I feel that i
ca-n feel saisfiea. thnat it: will it: s in geood hands."
you get tired. Regarding the photos, I guess the first one
that we ought to talk about is the one that is hanging over
the mantle in your living room, Augustus Steel. Tell us
Sarah: "Augustus Stee! was an early pioneer into Florida,.
-He came from some have'said a Connecticut Yankee, but he was
certainly from Connecticut but I have more information from
Massachusetts, which was maybe on the border. It may have
been a part of Connecticut in the beginning. I have many
letters that he wrote to h:is parents at Longmeadow,
Massachusetts. I have letters from 1816-1819 from Savannah,
Georgia and then after being there several years and working
as a merchant he came on with settlers coming into Florida
in 1825 and came to Magnolia, Florida which was about 11
miles outside of Tallahassee and there he settled and became
a Justice of the Peace and editor of the paper, the Magnolia
Advertiser and we have a complete bound set of the issues of
that paper that Chr:i.s and I presented to the Florida '.1::.
Yonge Library and I can go and get it anytime. I think we
could, if we wanted to, I've thought about getting all of
his things together. "
Dr. B.: "Yes, we need to do that and get it on microfilm at
least, so we've got it in the museum."
Sarah: "Yes, i:ecause it's .so interesting."
Dr. B.. i "Nowt, the picture of him, where did :it come from?"
Sarah: "It was done by Christie., When Chris in :Oklahoma,
part of the time, he gave it to the museum to keep ani, who
was the curator? I can't bring up his name rignt now, :but
he got permission from Chris to send it to the art gallery
in Washington to be restored or to be checked over and that
was when they had a fit over the artist, almost as much as
th e portrait They loved the portrait and put it under
glass. It's the only one I've ever seen of a real portrait
of oil, you kn< ow, iunaer glass. Why they did it, I don't
:now. To protect :i t, I guess:, buti now, once two or tree
years ago i had: to rake it to Chesnut's ani our lawyer,
what hi s name, looked at it not long ago and said he
though there- was some moisture getting in now and that we'd
better check it: again. Anyway, it was by Chris.tie."
Dr. B.: "The next portraiti t is Katherine Hale."
Sarah "Ka father :i. ne Haie e f C rom Camden, S outlh Caro ina. She
was the daughter of B.enIjamin Ha.le, who h--ad many pl antat :i. onan
ana land around in Camden and then he had 10 children, and
Katherine marr-ied Christ opher, the first Chris-itopher who had
come over from Sco::tland. Remember he got his naturalization
papers- there :in the county :i.n the early 1800s, so that was
Dr. B. : "Who did that? The same person?"
Sarah: "No, that was .n.: from Charleston, I'll have to add
that because that is v.ery :iml::portant.."
Dr. B.: "But we don't have one of Christopher Matheson'?"
Sarah: "No, that's a mystery. We can't even find where he
is buried. He died in Gainesvi1lle in '61."
Dr.. B,: "The nex-t one i.s James Douglas -Matheson. We have
several of him:, don't we?
Sarah: "Yes. "
Dr B. "OK:, you've got those in the album, James Douglas
and who else was with him?"
Sarah "'His wife Augusta."
Dr. B. "And Augusta was Augustus Steel's. daughter."
OK, so Augusta Steel Matheson married James D. Matheson. So
we those there in that album together. Well., I'll get those
and get them copied,,"
Sarahl: "We have one of the wife there, an older picture,,
that :i Mrs.,, A. .rugustus Steel. "
Dri. B. that Augustus Steel :' s wif e. (K<, that's
important., I didn't know we had that. You don't kn::ow her
Sarah: "El i zabeth. "
Dr. B.: "So Elizab:eth ana:: Augustui.t s hiad Ag..ugs..tsta, wh-o mar-ri .ed
J ame s D ou: as. Arigh lets see, the ex t one t. n r ,wo. u i.
ihave i:D een,, ( ::j t e -ivv of a.r:ny of the ot her i- ei:i the o
Alexander or Ben..amin or any o:f those?"
Sarah: "'Two little ie girls who died the second year af ter
their births. This is little IKatherine and Bessie."
Dr. 8: "Ok, so we've got Kathler:ine and Bessie, Let's see,
Kati-erine and Bessie iathieson they were James Doug:las and
we have one of Steel Mat"heson., who was shot. "
Sarah: "We have this oine of James Doulas:,,"
Dr. B: "OK::. "
Sarah: "Bess:i.e is the olier- one, I think."
Dr. B: "That's that one, see the ears, the ears stick. out a
li tt le. So we've got one of James DougI. as in the a bu f
hoildi ncg the ch ild who is probab 1 y who, Bessi e?'
Sarah "Yes.. Where i4. s that other one'? Th i. s one that I
thin:: is Jamesa Douglasand William, his brother."
Dr. B.: "K, so James Douglas and William. Are they the
one who had the store?"
Sarah. "James Dou..glas owned the store."
Dr. B. ; "Was William his brotherr"
Sarah: "1--l1is young gest brother. "
Dr. B.: "So that was his brother, James Douglas and
William, OK. So James Douglas anc William."m
Sarah: "We have a picture of Augustus Steel's brother. H1-is
name was: Austin. '
Dr. B,, "OK, alright, Autstin Steel, OK, Austin brother to
Augustus. Do you have any more of the old, old ones? We
don't know who this is, it's not on here, right. OKi:, let's
see, we've already mentioned the one of Mary Matheson and
also one of Kate Matheson,, iOK,, we've got that."
Sarah: "D :oe that say C hr :i. s?"
Dr. .,, "'That says Chr i s Mathes:on "
Saran: "That's when he was 3 or 5."
Dr. B.:: "Your Chris?"
Sarah: "My Clhris,, yes. See the old pictu..re of Grandmtithier
Dr.. B. "Then we no::: havneo then of ner -. Is thi s
K::atherine? This is K:atherine. "
Sarah: "No, this is El izabeth, Augu..stus Stel s wi e. "
Dr. B.: "iOK:, Aug..stus Steel was married to:: Elizabeth."
Sarah: "See, this is Eli aeth ,,"
Dr B .. "' :, we have a c:::oup:)le there : : :f El:i. z aBeth Cott:: ii nit onr
Steel. who was Augustus' wife. times two. in album.,
Sarah; "Iere s:. L : : y lc::: .uen WaIl. i-:: er, that the clauanter of
E 1 za .eth, y nwt :: n "
Dr. B. "Ok, well there are some, we'll have to look on the
back:: of some of these and see."
Sarah: "Aunt Serena H le. iow I've got the whole Hale
genealogy so I can look1: 'and see which was Serena. "
Dr. B: "OK:, Millie Taylor..."
Sarah: "Yes, they loved the Taylors. What does that say?"
Dr. B.: "Julian. "
Sar ah : "W h s Ju i. a. In'?"
Dr,, B.: "That one's not identified."
Sarah: "We have that little one of Kate, so this is not
pretty like that."
Dr. B.: "It may be the same person. OK:, well look at that
later. We'll set that one aside, any other there?"
Sarah; "There's one of Judge Steel. I want to take that
glass out and get a good one."
Dr. B. "I' 1 get that done for you. We need to get that
Sarah: "i th:i.nk that this is a better one of James Dougilas.
These two, I believe,, are the ones that we li ke.'"
Dr. ,,: "That why Chris grew that mustache up t: ere,,
wasn't it? They look:: very similar, don" 't they'?"
Saran: "Yes, that's his father."
Dr. .B. :, "OK, ver.y good. hiat the same as this one see
these go tt:ogether., They sure do. 01K:. We've got Chris from
a baby .....
Sarah "This i s one of the little boats that went over the
to their home there in C.e:laar :::evy, an is.land. I 11 have to
lool-:: n the i::ac:ks of these. NMow there's Cal lie Miatheso: n.
.Oh, thats Carolin',. She's' the one who di c t ihe c1 ures,
the paintings,, iShe either p:aintecd them or collected trem.'"
Dr. B. : "Is this Chris"' sister?"'
Sa r a "Ca ro ine :is James Dou g as sister."
Dr. B: "OK:: and iishe was anr artist, iOK., "
Saran "S he's buried o:ut at the cemetery.'"
Dr. B: "Alright, there's the Malthesons again, alright."
Sarah- "Which two do yo: u likl.:e? That's Gussie at another
Dr. B.: "OK, we've got all ages f:or Gussie, don't you?"
Sarah: "Ys, o1.ok at t thl little child, "