Watson B. Matthews
Morris Co. Up

Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.

The efficient superintendent of the public schools of Madison is one of the successful educators of the state and has attained a wide reputation. His labors in Madison have greatly advanced the standard of education here and the school system is one of which Madison's residents may well be proud. Professor MATTHEWS is a native of the Keystone state, his birth having occurred in Bradford county, Pennsylvania, in 1854. His parents, A. G. and Sally (COOK) MATTHEWS, were natives of Connecticut, and the former was a woolen manufacturer, conducting that industry for a number of years. Later, however, he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits in Pennsylvania.

In the public schools of his native county Watson B. MATTHEWS obtained his elementary education and later received private instruction from the Rev. D. COOK. He spent two years as a student in Lafayette College, pursued a business course, and also a course in the Normal School in Rome, Pennsylvania. Professor MATTHEWS then turned his attention to educational work and for a time was connected with schools in Atlantic county. In 1892 he came to Madison to accept the position of superintendent here and has since served in that capactity, to the satisfaction of the public and to the great benefit of the school system. There had been hardly any attempt made to grade the schools here and with his experience in this line of work Mr. MATTHEWS began the task of thus systematizing the work, which is now divided into the primary, intermediate and grammar departments and the high-school work, which embraces four years and includes both an English and Latin course. After graduation from this school, a student is fitted to enter the second year in the Normal School, and of the ten graduated in the class of 1895 several entered the Normal or became college students. The attendance has increased until now there is an enrollment of four hundred pupils and in all departments the school is doing excellent work as the result of the well-directed, practical and beneficial efforts of Professor MATTHEWS, who is an able educator having the happy faculty of quickly and clearly imparting to others the knowledge that he has acquired.

In 1877 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. MATTHEWS and Miss Ella POTTER, a native of Bradford, Pennsylvania. Their home is blessed with the presence of three children:

  • Bertha,
  • Raymond and
  • Ester,

and their household is the center of a cultured society circle.

This biography was scanned and contributed by Catherine Smith DeMayo.

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