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John Matthews ( 1796 - 1861 )  Category ( Businessmen_Women ) [suggest a correction]
 

He was born in Virginia in 1796 and would become one of the wealthiest men in his era. John Matthews moved to Texas around the time of the Texas Revolution. He was from Virginia but he would become a die-hard Texan and one of the first to show that everyone in Texas did things on a much larger scale.

John Matthews settled in Jackson County. He moved to the eastern side of the Colorado River and his first home was actually built in what was considered the river bottom lands. Flooding would force John Matthews to seek higher ground which is what he did. The land would become known as Matthews Prairie. Matthews built an extravagant home for his era. He brought in Cypress lumber and it was hauled across the open land by wagons.

John Matthews would have a lot of his financial history recorded on tax records. At one point, the records would show that Matthews had seventeen slaves and over two thousand acres. In 1850, his land would be valued at ten thousand dollars. By 1860, his land was valued at over $225,000 and he was a slave owner with ownership of 140 slaves.

In 1860, the value of the property showed his wealth but the production that came from the land proved quite prosperous. In that year, over 10,000 bushels of corn came from John's land and 589 bales of cotton.

John Matthews never married. When he became ill in 1861, he deeded his land over to his brother and returned to Virginia where he spent his final days before his demise in 1861.


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