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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


HIRAM C. MATTESON. It is not so difficult a matter for a man to achieve success when he does not meet with obstacles, but it is to his credit when, in spite of adverse circumstances, hampered by the ill health of dependents, he manages to build up a large and prosperous business, and this is just what Hiram C. Matteson has done, so that his dairy business is one of the largest in San Bernardino, and he is accounted as one of the reliable and honorable men of this region.  

Hiram C. Matteson was born near Lake Winnebago in the northern part of Wisconsin, January 1, 1863, a son of Dr. Cyrene K. Matteson, a veteran of the war between the states. While the several wounds he received during his period of service did not result seriously, his health was greatly impaired because of an attack of smallpox and black erysipelas from which he suffered. On account of this ill health he moved to Northwestern Iowa when his son was a lad, and there the latter attended the public schools from 1869 to 1875. Still seeking a more congenial climate. Doctor Matteson came to San Bernardino, the date of his arrival being March 30, 1884. He had studied medicine in the Cincinnati Medical College, from which he was graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine, and he oftentimes stated that Doctor Colliver and Mrs. Dohrman of San Bernardino were also graduated from the same college. He was engaged in an active practice, in Wisconsin, Iowa and Tennessee, but not in California. Mr. Colliver's professional act was to vaccinate one of Doctor Matteson's grandchildren shortly before his death. Doctor Matteson was a man of high standing, both socially and in his profession, and in his death San Bernardino lost one of its most representative citizens.  

Hiram Calvin Matteson was engaged in farm work in and about San Bernardino for the first few years after his arrival in this section of the country. In 1903 he established himself in a dairy business, but met with reverses owing to the inability to collect his accounts and the expense and anxiety attendant upon the sickness of his wife, but he is a man who does not know there is such a word as "quit," and, therefore, with characteristic energy he began again, although with only $75.00 as his capital. His new business dates back only to 1919, but he has now made such progress that he has his retailing department well located in commodious quarters at 412 H Street, and is handling a trade that averages $3,000 a month. He has accomplished what is a modern miracle, by working practically day and night, for his hours run from 5 A. M. to 10 P. M.  

Mr. Matteson married Miss Elizabeth Walton, who was born in Northern California, and they have four children, namely: Caroline, Francis, Charles Kenneth and John. Caroline was married to E. E. Perry, a veteran of the World war. Mr. Perry was wounded in the back by a piece of shell while serving in the trenches in France. As a result of this injury he is unable to do anything but light work. Owing to his absorption in his business Mr. Matteson has not been able to take much part in outside matters, but is interested in the progress of the city and is willing to do what lies in his power to secure the welfare of his home community.

History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011