AS RECORDED IN:
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND
REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903 P. 115
BOWEN MATHEWSON. During his long and
well remembered career in Pomfret, Windham county, George Bowen Mathewson was
not only associated with the agricultural and political advancement of his
adopted locality, but by reason of pronounced talent, built up a reputation as
an artist by no means local. A
scholar also, and an earnest student of men and events, his horizon was
necessarily a broad one, and caused him to be an important figure in a time when
the hand guiding the plow and harrow recognized in the surrounding landscape a
chance for harvests only rather then an opportunity for pictorial delineation.
Yet in the life of this man, so appreciative of the fine and beautiful
things of this world, farm work had its compensations and seems to have been
harmoniously blended with a study of the classics, and with the portrayal upon
canvas of the sunsets, dawns and faces which made up his environment.
Born in the beginning of the nineteenth century, in 1804, he was but a
lad when the family fortunes were shifted from the Israel Putnam farm in
Brooklyn, Conn., to Pomfret, where he received his preliminary education at the
district schools, where he spent his entire life, and where his death occurred
in 1877. He was a worthy descendant
of one of the oldest families in Connecticut, and it was ever his design to
maintain its traditions and excellencies.
Henry Mathewson, or as the name is written in Rhode Island, Matteson, of
East Greenwich, R.I., was born in 1646, and was an early resident of Greenwich.
He took up land in East Greenwich in 1678, and about that time married
Hannah, daughter of Hugh and Elizabeth Parsons, of which union the following
children were born; Henry, Thomas,
Joseph, Francis, Hannah and Hezekiah. The
father, who died in 1690, was deputy of the general court in 1685.
Joseph Mathewson, of East Greenwich, had one son, Joseph, by his first
wife, Rachel, and by his second wife, Martha, had ten children;
Obadiah, Jonathan, William, Alice, Elizabeth, Thomas, John, Ezekiel, Lois
son of Joseph, was born March 22, 1706-7, and to him and his wife, Rachel, were
born the following children: Rachel,
born Dec. 24, 1729; Annie, Sept. 6,
1731; Elizabeth, Jan. 26, 1733-4;
Clement, Jan. 7, 1735-6; Joseph,
March 3, 1737-8; Lydia, July 17,
1740; Hannah, Oct. 25, 1742;
Benjamin, Dec. 3, 1744; and Elias, Feb. 11, 1746.
These births are all recorded in Coventry.
son of Joseph (2), born March 3, 1737-8, married Jan. 5, 1763-4, Prudence,
daughter of Aaron and Experience Bowen, of Coventry, born May 15, 1736.
In 1795 Mr. Mathewson purchased the Colonel Israel Putnam farm, then in
the town of Brooklyn, Conn., but in later life he removed to the home of his
son, Darius, in Pomfret, where he died Oct. 14, 1825.
Darius, fifth child of the third Joseph, and father of George Bowen, was
born Nov. 3, 1775, and in 1800 married Mary Smith, daughter of Ebenezer and
Margaret (Bowen) Smith, of which union there were three sons and six daughters,
viz.: Rufus Smith, married to a
daughter of John McClellen, of Woodstock, Faith Williams McClellen, of whose six
children, William Williams, Harriet Cordelia, Mary Trumbull, John McClellen,
Arthur and Albert, the second married Dwight M. Day, of Putnam, the third
married Colonel Alexander Warner, of East Orange, N.J., the fifth is a well
known eye specialist of Brooklyn, N.Y., and the sixth died young;
George B.; Huldah, who
married John W. Adams of Pomfret; Cordelia,
who married Rev. C. P. Grosvenor, a minister of the Congregational Church at
Kingston, R.I.; Harriet, who died at
the age of nineteen; Charles, who
married Mary G., sister of Rev. C.P. Grosvenor, and died in Nebraska;
Nancy, who died unmarried; Caroline,
who became the wife of Edwin C. Searls, and mother of the Hon. Charles E. Searls;
and Emily, the wife of Jeremiah Olney, a retired business man of Thompson, now
residing in Hartford, Connecticut.
earliest youth the student propensities of (VI)
George Bowen Mathewson manifested themselves in divers ways, and to his childish
eyes even the commonplace contained much of beauty and charm.
He would draw and paint with fidelity to detail when his companions were
absorbed in their sports, and it was his good fortune to be able to repair to
Boston occasionally to perfect himself in technique and composition. During his
whole active life he farmed during the summer and painted his portraits and
landscapes during the winter season, and so excellent was his work that it drew
praise from those excelling in the art of criticism.
He never failed to study and read, and he was one of the best informed
and generally well read men of his time in Pomfret.
One of his many varied interests was politics; he was a staunch believer
in the principles and issues of the Republican party, and represented his town
in the State Legislature. He was a
member, and for many years a deacon, of the Congregational Church, and
contributed generously towards the maintenance of that denomination.
Pomfret Mr. Mathewson married Hannah Payson, daughter of John H. and Amaryllis
(Paine) Payson, the latter a daughter of Rev. Joshua Paine, a minister of a
Congregational Church in Massachusetts. Of
their children, (1) Amaryllis was educated at a young ladies seminary in
Massachusetts, and for many years engaged in educational work in Fairfield
county, Conn. She is a woman of
culture and breadth of mind, and is an ardent worker in the Congregational
Church. (2) Edward Payson was
educated in the public schools and at the New Britain Normal, and subsequently
taught school in Coventry and in South Carolina before the Civil war.
He was a soldier during the war, and later became very prominent as a
probate judge and was one of the leading citizens of Pomfret.
He married Marian Chandler Holt, in 1863, his wife being a daughter of
Dr. Holt. Edward Payson died in
1892. (3) Elizabeth P., who also was
a school teacher, married Hon. Charles Grosvenor;
(4) Anna became the wife of Benjamin Grosvenor, of Pomfret;
(5) Mary is deceased; (6)
Olive lives at home; and (7) Darius, who married Mary Baldwin, lives in
Return to Main Page
This page was created by Linda Pingel on
April 7, 2008
copyright 2008 - all rights reserved