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 descendants.)


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 shop.


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 River.


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. Mathews.





Written from memory by Ross W. Mathews


Their Panaca home was built on the North West 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 North.


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 fire.


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.