PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  444 & 445

MATHEWSON FAMILY.  This family of whom Philip Mathewson, of Central Village, Windham county, is a most worthy representative, is one of the oldest in New England, and traces its line to (I)  James Mathewson, who came from England to the Colonies, and located at Plymouth, Mass.  In 1635 he accompanied Roger Williams and his party to Providence, R.I., where he afterward made his home.  He died in 1682.  His wife, Hannah Field, daughter of John Field, died in 1703.  Their children were:  Ruth, James (1666), John, Isabel, Thomas, Lydia, Zachariah, Mary and Daniel.

(II)          Thomas Mathewson, son of the emigrant, was born April 1, 1673, and died Oct. 23, 1735.  He married Martha Field, who died in 1735, daughter of Thomas and Martha (Harris) Field.  Their children were, Thomas and Amos.  Thomas Mathewson resided in Providence, and later Scituate, R.I.

(III)       Thomas Mathewson (2), son of Thomas, married and became the father of Philip.

(IV)       Philip Mathewson, born Sept. 7, 1736, died at Scituate, R.I., May 1, 1796, aged fifty-nine years.  On June 22, 1760, he married Lydia Angell, and to this union were born six children, as follows:  Jeffery, born Nov. 26, 1761;  Anne, June 24, 1763;  Philip, March 26, 1765;  Angell, Dec. 7, 1769;  Mary, April 30, 1772; and Lydia, Oct. 6, 1777.

(V)         Jeffery Mathewson, son of Philip, was born in Scituate, R.I., Nov. 26, 1761, and died in Lisbon, Conn., Nov. 10, 1833.  On March 31, 1791, he married Almy Knight, who was born Sept. 9, 1770, and died Dec. 30, 1846.  This union was blessed with the following children:  Knight, born June 28, 1793, died May 10, 1795;  Bucklin, born June 20, 1795, mentioned below; and Robey, born May 23, 1800, married first Chancey Bacon, and second Isaac Knight, and died in Canterbury, Conn., Oct. 14, 1876, leaving two daughters, Lydia M. and Maria S., by her first marriage, and one, Phoebe G., by her second.

(VI)       Bucklin Mathewson, son of Jeffery, was born in Scituate, R.I., and when a child of six years accompanied his parents to Lisbon, Conn.  In early manhood, he engaged in mercantile business at Norwich, Conn., and for a time entered into the coasting trade, carrying goods in a chartered vessel, to the South Atlantic States and returning with southern products.  Later in life he located on the home farm in the town of Lisbon, and followed agricultural pursuits.  In politics he was a Whig and later a Republican, and twice represented the town of Lisbon in the State Legislature.  On Nov. 17, 1825, Bucklin Mathewson married in Wickford, R.I., Cifuentes Battey, who was born Nov. 13, 1802, and who died in Lisbon, June 18, 1852, aged forty-nine years and seven months.  Her given name Cifuentes is of Spanish origin, and was taken from a novel which her father was reading about the time of her birth.  She was a daughter of General William Battey, who served through the war of 1812 with a Major's commission, and was later a General of the Rhode Island State Militia.  Gen. William Battey was a son of Joseph and Amey (West) Battey, and a grandson of William Battey, a Colonial resident of Warwick, R.I., and he married Sarah Harris.  To Bucklin and Cifuentes (Battey) Mathewson were born three children, as follows:  Sarah Harris, born June 2, 1826, is the widow of Dr. Elijah Baldwin, and she resides in Canterbury, Conn.;  Robert Knight, born Sept. 22, 1827, died April 4, 1860; and Philip is the subject of this sketch.  Bucklin Mathewson died in Lisbon Nov. 16, 1882, when he was aged eighty-seven years and five months.

(VII)    PHILIP MATHEWSON  was born in Lisbon, Conn., Dec. 26, 1828.  He first attended the home schools and later a select school at Jewett City, and attended Bacon Academy, Colchester, Conn.  When he began life for himself, it was as a bookkeeper at Albion, R.I., and there he remained two years, at the end of which time he entered a mercantile establishment at Providence as a clerk, but later returning to Connecticut, he located in Canterbury and for three years engaged in farming.  In 1859 he came to Central Village, and became proprietor of a general store.  This business he sol to Grover & Battey in 1872, since which time he has lived a life of retirement, and considers Central Village his home, though for a number of years he lived in Providence, R.I., and Medfield, Massachusetts.

In politics Mr. Mathewson is a black Republican, and is interested in local politics, though not an aspirant for public office, in spite of the opportunities that have offered themselves.  In 1885 he consented to represent the town of Plainfield in the State Legislature, and he there served on the Railroad committee.  Since the early '60s Mr. Mathewson has been connected with the Masonic fraternity.  He is a member of Columbia Commandery, Knights Templar, of Norwich; and he also belongs to the American Mechanics of Moosup.

On March 7, 1855, Mr. Mathewson was united in marriage with Helen Walcott, a daughter of Arnold Fenner of Central Village.  To this union were born:  (1) Arnold B., in the insurance business and resides at Central Village, married Miss Elizabeth Bird Sampson, of Massachusetts, and they have three children, Helen, Ruth Standish and Pauline.  (2) Philip Augustus is superintendent of King Philip Mills at Fall River, Mass.  (3) Robert Knight, born March 24, 1860, died May 28, 1860.  (4) Helen Louise, married J.Arthur Atwood, manufacturer at Wauregan, Conn.

ARNOLD FENNER.  The Johnston, R.I., records say that one Arthur Fenner was the first settler within the present limits of that town.  It was in that town that Arnold Fenner was born March 21, 1794.  About 1825 he came to Central Village, and in company with a Mr. Richards operated a machine shop.  This partnership continued for a comparatively short time.  In 1828 Allen Harris, one of the pioneer manufacturers of Central Village, and Arnold Fenner built the upper brick mill.  Mr. Harris was born in Smithfield, R.I., May 16, 1790, and came with his parents to Plainfield in 1800, and for a while the village was known as Harrisville.  During the '30s Mr. Fenner and Holden Borden began cotton manufacturing and the venture proved successful.  After Mr. Borden's death Tully D. Bowen became interested, and the firm was then known as the Central Manufacturing Co.  After the death of both owners the business was for a time carried on by the heirs, and in July, 1881, the most modern mill (built in 1845) was sold to Leavens Brothers.  The property was christened Kirk Mills, and was operated for a number of years.  Of all the mill properties once owned and operated by Arnold Fenner, and his various associates, the last, the Kirk Mill, has been dismantled and on the same site is built the Plainfield Woolen Company Mill.  Arnold Fenner also owned property at Kennedy City which he purchased of John Kennedy about 1835.  There for a short time he carried on a small cotton factory.  He died suddenly April 8, 1871.

On April 15, 1833, Arnold Fenner was united in marriage with Adeline Walcott, a native of Pawtucket, R.I., and a daughter of Otis and Relief (Walker) Walcott.  The Walcott family has for generations been identified with Pawtucket, and one of the handsome residence streets of that city bears that name.  Adeline (Walcott) Fenner was born April 10, 1806, and died June 21, 1871.  She was the mother of the following children:  Helen, born April 14, 1835, is Mrs. Mathewson;  Adeline, Sept. 9, 1836, died Oct. 24, 1883;  Sarah W., born Nov. 3, 1837, died Aug. 4, 1839;  Susan, born Jan. 17, 1840, married Jeremiah Shepard, of Fall River, Mass.;  Arnold, born June 21, 1843, of Providence, R.I., married first Mary Rigney, and second Cora James.  In politics Mr. Fenner was in early life a Whig, and afterward a Republican.  He twice represented the town of Plainfield in the State Legislature, first in the early '40s at New Haven, and in the latter '60s at Hartford.  In his later years he united with the Congregational Church at Canterbury Village, which he assisted to build. 

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel


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