California Genealogy and History Archives
HERSCHEL B. MATHEWS
To the man who places honor above all else in his dealings with his associates, life holds no real bitterness, for the consciousness of having obeyed the voice within lightens discouragements and makes of them but passing dreams, each milestone adding a measure of serene content incomparably precious to the soul which receives it.
In the well-spent life of Mr. Mathews, assistant superintendent of the Sacramento Electric & Gas Railway Company, is found no element reflecting discredit upon the name which he has given his children, and his excellent business judgment and keen foresight give evidence of the innate executive ability which he possesses. Born August 30, 1862, in Wyandot county, Ohio, of which section his parents, Daniel and Emma Jane (Barnthouse) Mathews, were among the first settlers, he accompanied the family four years later to Clay county. Mo., from the public school of which locality he graduated at the age of fifteen. Until 1883, when he rented a farm of his own, he assisted his father, his close attention to his work enabling him to take charge of his own affairs with great ease. After four years he abandoned agricultural pursuits and going to Kansas City, Mo., he secured a situation as conductor on the Metropolitan Street Railway, but in 1888, tiring of city life, he returned to his home section, welcoming gladly the duties of the farm, which at least afforded the peace and freedom of the great out-of-doors. In 1891, having convinced him- self that the opportunities to be secured in the west were worthy of investigation, he disposed of his interests and set out for California, arriving in Sacramento in November, 1891. Without difficulty he obtained a position as conductor on the line of the Sacramento Electric & Gas Railway Company, and after a faithful service of twenty years, during which period he amply demonstrated his sterling qualities and his devotion to duty, he was made assistant superintendent of the entire line, taking charge of his office April 20, 1911, his subsequent management of his work proving beyond criticism.
In February, 1894, in Sacramento, Mr. Mathews was married to Miss Adelia Ilgner, whose birth occurred in Dixon, Cal., and whose parents, William and Sophia (Gotwalt) Ugner, natives of Germany, were early settlers in California. Mr. and Mrs. Mathews have two children, Ruth and Olive, both of whom are ambitious students in the Sacramento high school, and the family home at No. 2411 K street is the scene of many a gathering of happy young people.
A Republican of broad and practical principles, Mr. Mathews takes a prominent part in civic affairs, and as a supporter of the Emanuel Baptist Church, of which his wife is a member, is counted among the most active workers for the advancement of all uplifting projects.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011