A sketch of the lives of Grandfather Charles and Grandmother
Elizabeth Jones Mathews as related from memory by William Mathews Sr. (Written 7 April 1924, by
Margaret Mathews and augmented later with information provided by other unnamed
Grandfather Charles Mathews was born at South Littleton,
near Evesham in Worcester,
England on 17
April 1824. He was the ninth child of
Joseph Matthews and Ann (or Nancy) Berrick. Four years later on 20 April, 1828,
Grandmother, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Jones, was born at Persia (Wicks, near Pershore)
in Worcester, England. She was a daughter of William Jones and Jane Summerson/Summerton.
NOTE: The villages of Wicks and
South Littleton are about 7 miles apart, both located near the rive Avon (see
map of Worcester, England).
Practically nothing is known about their childhood days, but
Grandmother was the first to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints. They were married in the Parish
church at Dodderhill in Worcester on 24 October 1846. At the time of their marriage, Charles was
age 22 with a listed occupation as a laborer, and Elizabeth was age 18 with a
listed occupation as servant (see marriage entry certificate).
While residing at Rashwood, Worcester, England,
two children, a son George (17 October 1847) and a daughter Jane (15 April
1849) were born to Charles and Elizabeth.
On New Years day in 1850, Charles, Elizabeth, their two
children and Elizabeth’s father, William Jones (his wife Jane Summerson/Summerton having previously died), left their
native land and sailed for America
aboard the sailing vessel Argo from the port of Liverpool. They were nine weeks on the ocean, during
which time both children were taken seriously ill and Grandmother was panic
stricken for fear that she would have to bury them at sea. Finally they recovered and upon reaching the United States at the port
of New Orleans, the family embarked
upon a river boat and traveled up the Mississippi river to St. Louis, Missouri. There, grandfather obtained work in a butcher
During their two year stay in St. Louis,
they became acquainted with sorrow, since it became necessary in 1851 to bury
their three children: George, Jane and a new baby boy named Joseph (born in
November, 1850), as well as Elizabeth’s
father, William Jones.
In 1852 they started with a company of immigrants for Utah. Grandfather had purchased a wagon and two
yoke of oxen. In due
time they arrived at the Platt
There, Charles bought a ferry boat for five dollars from it’s owner, who was leaving for California.
As he didn’t know how to use the boat, it proved to be a poor buy and in
a week he traded it off for a wagon.
When they crossed the Platt River,
the cattle became frightened and started back to the other side. Grandfather, not being able to head them off,
caught hold of one of the cow’s tails and landed on the other side of the
river. Grandmother, seeing his hat go
down the stream, thought he had drowned.
He then took the cattle about five miles distance up the river to a
ferry where they were able to cross back over the river. He brought the cattle back to where Elizabeth was
waiting. They then joined up with an
immigrant train of saints on their way to Utah.
In crossing the Green river,
the lead team in the train stopped for some reason. Grandfather’s outfit was in the middle of the
stream where the current was so swift that it broke the reach. The rear wheels turned over once and
disappeared in the water. The wagon box,
with Grandmother in it, started down the stream. Somehow she managed to climb on top of the
wagon bows as the bed was fast filling with water. The men in the company immediately came to
her rescue. A number of men tried to
swim their horses out to stop the wagon bed or rescue grandmother, but with no
success. Then a man by the name of Liston, a good swimmer, ran down stream and swam out into
the stream and by hard work he was able to guide the wagon box in to the
shore. A few more feet down stream and
the wagon would have been swallowed by a whirlpool. Grandmother was safely landed and they
managed to save a few of their things before the wagon box disappeared.
A merchant by the name of Jennings,
of Salt Lake (city), was in charge of the
company and as he had a large freight outfit, he had them put their things in
one wagon and put their cattle on another wagon. Grandfather was given another team to drive
while Grandmother had to walk. As they
journeyed along, Grandfather found a barrel sawed in two and thinking what a
good tub it would make, he loaded it into his wagon. The man in charge of the company refused to
allow him to take it and threw it off. Grandfather
put it back on and words were exchanged.
Grandmother then told him to pile his things out and unhitch his cattle,
which he did. The company went on,
leaving them alone on the prairies.
They camped alone two nights then packed their things, what
few they had, on the backs of their cattle and while having a little trouble in
getting them started, proceeded on their way.
Another immigrant train came along and the leader wanted to know what
they were doing there all alone in a country where the Indians were so hostile. He then told them to put their things in one
of the wagons, and as Grandfather was about to leave the old barrel, the leader
told him to bring it along.
They reached Salt
Lake (city) without
further trouble, arriving there on the 13th day of August, 1852. On September 26th, just six weeks later,
their fourth child, William, was born.
From there they moved to Cottonwood,
where grandfather gleaned wheat for their winter use. There, their daughter Susannah was born just
two year later. Soon after, the family
moved to North Ogden, Weber
County, where grandfather
took up land. Their son, Charles was
born on March 19, 1857 in their first log cabin home. This was known as the Prairie House. During their residence here, the following
children were born: Charles, Philip, Henry, Mark, Elizabeth and Daniel.
At this time, Johnson’s Army came to Salt
Lake City and the Mathews family moved to Spanish Fork, spending
all of one Summer there, before going back to their
home in North Ogden. On October 29, 1864, grandfather and
grandmother Charles and Elizabeth Mathews were Endowed and Sealed by Wilford Woodruff in the Salt Lake Endowment House.
After a few years of living at the Prairie House,
grandfather had accumulated considerable means.
During the early part of the year of 1866, the Mathews family was called
to help settle the Dixie country, but it was
autumn of the same year before they could arrange to leave. They attended October Conference in Salt Lake
(City), leaving there immediately after and arriving in Panaca
just one month later.
Their outfit consisted of five wagons loaded with food and
flour for one year, four horses, four yokes of cattle, a span of mules and two
saddle ponies. Beside these, they drove
a herd of one hundred head of sheep and sixteen head of cattle. They traveled alone all of the way except for
two men who accompanied them, one called “Captain Colonel”.
Their greatest Indian scare happened just before reaching
“Sulfur Springs”. There had been fires
on the mountains all day and they knew these to be Indian signs. Sulfur Springs was a little mail station and
some packers and camped there for the night.
Darkness had overtaken them when Charles outfit (which was in the lead)
reached within about 100 yards of the camp.
It looked to him like a bunch of Indians, especially when he spied an
object moving. He halted and called
“Captain Colonel, come up here”! Every
gun in the outfit was brought forward ready for action. The man immediately made his presence known,
and it proved to be one of the campers out investigating. The Indians loitered near all night long, but
did not attack them.
After reaching Panaca, grandfather
left his family there and went to St. George to consult with President Erastus
Snow who then presided over the Dixie Mission.
President Snow advised him to settle in Panaca.
The people who had taken his farm were unable to pay, so he
took some oxen, etc. and called on Bishop West of Salt Lake
for the return of four hundred dollars he had loaned him a year earlier. Grandfather took wheat for pay and had it
made into flour at Parowan, then sold the flour at Panaca. Fear of the
Indians caused him to drive night and day, never putting their guns down. His son, Charles, then and a
half years old, walked all of the way as he had done the year before.
On May 24, 1868, a son, James, was born and two years later,
on June 22, their last child, Mary Ellen, was born at their home in Panaca.
In the fall of 1867, Charles built an adobe home, the first
real home in Panaca.
The lath was hand sawed and split by ax.
Mr. Syphus did the carpenter work. All the lumber used in the house was hand
sawed. The home faced East with the
meadow joining his land on the West.
During his early life in Panaca,
Charles made considerable money by dealing in flour, grain and other
merchandise. He bought a half share of
interest in a lumber mill at Clover
Valley, but after a few
years, sold it. During these years
Charles owned about half of the town of Panaca and outlying lands. He owned the field at the mouth of Condor
canyon and the meadows West of his home. He also owned the Cole Spring
field five miles South of Panaca.
(see picture) This home was located on the second street
West of the courtrock, running North and South.
Charles was the only bank the town knew and he was always
liberal with his money. In the year 1868
or 1869, he donated three hundred dollars to help the saints in Omaha. It is said that he gave one thousand dollars
in a single bill to help complete the temple.
He owned and ran a brewry, but he never got
drunk. People liked to work for
him. He was honest, kind and gave better
meals than was the custom.
Everyone liked grandfather Charles Mathews Sr. He was always generous in his donations to
the poor and in helping to build up the community. He visited each home in Panaca
every Christmas and New Years for many years.
Each Christmas holiday found him making an English plumb pudding which
he boiled in a giant fifty gallon kettle.
It was then served with a sauce made with whisky. He enjoyed children and his cellar held many
barrels of apples. Seldom did a child
pass his home without being called in to have one.
Grandmother Elizabeth passed away on June 3, 1891 at the age
of 63 and was buried in the Panaca Cemetery.
After the death of Elizabeth,
Charles continued to live in Panaca, but it is said
that during his later years, he made at least three separate trips to England
to visit relatives. He met and married a
woman named Dorothy Poulsen. Not much is known about this spouse and their
marriage lasted only a short time.
Charles later met and married a woman of Scottish descent named Marion
White, on October 19, 1898. They lived
together in his home at Panaca until his death on
January 21, 1920, lacking three months of being 96 years of age.
At this time, we have identified 1705 direct descendants of
Charles and Elizabeth Jones Mathews. If
you add the spouses, this number increases to 2517.
This biography was taken from “The Progenitors and Descendants
of Charles and Elizabeth Jones Mathews” compiled and edited by David R.
THE PANACA HOME OF CHARLES AND ELIZABETH MATHEWS
Written from memory by Ross W. Mathews
Their Panaca home was built on the
corner of Second and E Street and faced to the East. It was constructed of adobe, and I believe
that there was a porch on the front. It
contained four small rooms. The living
room was in the South East corner and it probably had a fire place for heat. Adjoining it to the West was the kitchen and
dining area. The bedrooms were on the
At the back (West side) was an open porch where they did the
laundry. The laundry equipment consisted
of tubs and scrub board with a hand turned wringer. The water was heated in tubs over an outside
I remember that the chickens came right onto the porch and
into the kitchen, but granny didn’t seem to mind even if they left their
tracks. The street in front of the house
was lined with large trees.
Their garden area was on the South side of the house and
this is where I and other boys helped pull weeds. The granary was on the North side of the
house and I believe that another small building was on the West along with the
corrals. Great granddad also owned the
pasture to the West.
In this little home my great grandparents raised their nine
children. Great grandmother died here on
January 3, 1891 and great grandfather died here on January 21, 1920.
The block to the East was occupied by four of their children:
Susannah Mathews Lee, Philip Mathews, Daniel Mathews and Charles Mathews
Jr. My great grandfather, William
Mathews Sr., acquired a quarter block across the
street South of Charles Mathews Jr.
Mathews, William, Sr. History
of Charles Mathews & Elizabeth Jones. Written 7 Apr
1924 by Margaret Mathews. Published in “The Progenitors and Descendants
of Charles and Elizabeth Jones Mathews.” Compiled and edited by David R.
Mathews. Copied 22 Nov 2005 from photocopy of original by J.F.