Matson, John A.

Born: 1810-09-09 Hamilton County, Ohio

Died: 1870-07-15 Greencastle, Indiana

Flourished: 1851 to 1870 Greencastle, Indiana

John A. Matson, attorney, was born near North Bend, Ohio and studied at an academy in Cincinnati before attending Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he graduated in 1828. He read law in Cincinnati and in Connersville, Indiana, ultimately settling permanently in Indiana. Matson qualified at the bar about 1831 and practiced law in Brookville, from 1833 to 1850. In the latter year, he moved briefly to Cincinnati, then relocated again in 1851 to Greencastle, where he lived for the remainder of his life. Matson acted as the first professor of law at Indiana Asbury University (later DePauw University) from 1853 to 1854, returned to the role four years later, and was replaced in 1861. He served in the Indiana House of Representatives, 1838-39 and 1840-41, and was a Whig Party candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives twice, and for governor of Indiana once, in 1849. Matson was a supporter of Abraham Lincoln’s presidential administration and of the Union. He married Margaret (Margaretta) M. Woelpper in 1835, and following her death married Mary C. Johnson in 1863. Both marriages produced children. By the time of the 1860 census, Matson had acquired real estate valued at $18,000 and $6,300 in personal property. In religion, he was a Methodist.

Leander J. Monks, Logan Esarey, and Ernest V. Shockley, eds., Courts and Lawyers of Indiana (Indianapolis, IN: Federal, 1916), 2:480, 682, 3:965, 1147; The Alumni and Former Student Catalogue of Miami University Including Members of the Board of Trustees and Faculty (Oxford, OH: Oxford News, 1892), 5; Indiana Marriages through 1850, Franklin County, 26 May 1835, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN; William E. Henry, comp., Legislative and State Manual of Indiana for 1899 and 1900 (Indianapolis, IN: William B. Burford, 1899), 54, 87; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Ward 8, Cincinnati, Hamilton County, OH, 485; DePauw University. Semi-Centennial Reminiscences and Historical Addresses. 1837-1887 (Greencastle, IN: DePauw University, 1887), 27; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Putnam County, IN, 21; Indiana, U.S., Marriage Index, 1800-1941, 17 September 1863, Putnam County (Provo, UT: Operations, 2005); U.S. Census Office, Ninth Census of the United States (1870), Putnam County, IN, 115; The Lafayette Daily Courier (IN), 16 July 1870, 1:2; The Democratic Register (Lawrenceburg, IN), 22 July 1870, 2:2; Gravestone, Forest Hill Cemetery, Greencastle, IN.