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Silas Matthew: An Early Pioneer


Layne Turner

Silas Matthew has been a long time resident of Humboldt.He has been a well known person by his many friends in the community.

Silas Matthew was born on March 16, 1895 in North Wiltshire,Prince Edward Island, Canada, which is approximately ten miles from Charlottetown.

Mr. Matthew has very fond memories of his early boyhoodon his father's farm in Prince Edward Island. His father owned two fiftyacre farms. As Mr. Matthew remembers, they farms were small at that time,usually about fifty acres. The soil in that part of the country was veryproductive and almost any kind of fruit and vegetable can be grown there.As Mr. Matthew stated, "The country is very beautiful with rollingcountry and many fresh springs with beautiful soft water."

At the time of his boyhood, fishing was a very productiveindustry over on the island. But most of the people were farmers growingmainly vegetables and fruit and also a few cattle. At the present time allof the small farms have vanished and big farming has moved in.

When Silas Matthew was nine years old, his father diedat the age of thirty-two years.

The Matthew family stayed on the Island for a year afterSilas' father's death. The family then decided to get a new start in theUnited States. So, in 1905 they prepared for the nine mile journey fromGeorgetown, P.E.I. to Moncton, New Brunswick. They boarded a ship by thename of the "Minto" for the first part of the journey. They wereable to almost get halfway across the strait before the ice became too thickto break. They then unloaded and hauled their belongings over two milesof ice to the ship "Stanley" which had come out to meet them forthe second half of their journey. Before leaving the Island the Matthewfamily auctioned off all of their belongings that were of no use to them.

Upon landing at Moncton, New Brunswick, the Matthew familycame inland by way of Maine and around the Great Lakes until they came toMinneapolis - St. Paul, Minnesota. From Minneapolis - St. Paul they cameupstate to the Red River Valley. They settled in the Humboldt area and Silashas lived here ever since.

At the age of fifteen, Silas began to work for his uncleAlfred. His main job the first year was to harrow in fron of the drills.

At the age of sixteen, he started doing regular farm workand he earned $25 per month. He worked for his uncle from the age of fifteento twenty-one.

At the age of twenty-one, Mr. Matthew started farming forhimself.

Mr Matthew remembers Humboldt as a town that was equippedwith everything from "sewing machines to threshing machines."

Mr. Matthew has found the career of farming to be a verychallenging occupation and I'm sure would not change this aspect of hislife for anything.

t change this aspect of hislife for anything.