The Matteson Line
From: History of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical
NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920
The Matteson family of Rhode Island is of Danish origin, and was established
in Rhode Island in the year 1678, by Henry Matteson, who was born in Denmark,
in October, 1646, and died about 1690. He was of Prudence Island,
and removed from there to East Greenwich, R. I. No relationship has
been traced between Henry Matteson and Francis Matteson, who on June 2,
1657, were granted accommodations with a house lot at the further end of
Ship Cove, in Providence. Henry Matteson was the progenitor of the
well-known Rhode Island families of the name, and it is to him that Mrs.
E. Ellen (Matteson) Spencer traces her lineage.
Arnold and Waitstill (Barney) Matteson, grandparents of Mrs. Spencer,
were residents of the town of Warwick, R. I., where Arnold Matteson was
a prosperous farmer and highly respected citizen.
Henry Matteson , son of Arnold and Waitstill (Barney) Matteson, was
born in Coventry, R. I., in 1813, and was educated in the schools of his
native town. He learned the trade of machinist, and within a short
period became an expert mechanic. Mr. Matteson was employed in the
capacity of chief mechanic, superintendent and overseer in several of the
largest mills of Rhode Island, among them the mills at Washington and Phenix.
He was employed for several years in plants in Connecticut. His home
was in the town of Coventry, and he was well known in its life and affairs,
although he remained strictly apart from political circles. He was
a Republican in political affiliation, and an active member of the Congregational
Henry Matteson married, in 1833, Almira Arnold, daughter of Thomas G.
and Eleanor G. (Bowen) Arnold, who was born in Warwick, R. I., in 1816,
and died in Coventry, in 1881. Thomas G. Arnold, grandfather of Mrs.
Spencer, was born in Coventry, in 1786, son of Benjamin and Sarah (Greene)
Arnold. He married, in 1806, Eleanor G. Bowen, who was born in 1789,
and died in 1881, daughter of Asa and --- (Brown) Bowen. Thomas G.
Arnold was a well known educator in Coventry and the vicinity, and built
the first school in Coventry, which his wife taught during the opening
term. Henry Matteson and his wife Almira (Arnold) Matteson were the
parents of the following children: 1. E. Ellen, mentioned below.
2. Emeline A., who became the wife of Amos Fuller, of Worcester,
Mass. 3. Albert Henry, who was born at Scituate, R. I., and
was educated at the Norwich Academy, Norwich, Conn.; he subsequently received
an appointment as revenue officer, but resigned this to enter Brown University.
After leaving college he was employed in the Greene Mills at Norwich.
Mr. Matteson later was connected with the Pullman Car Company, of Chicago,
Ill., for ten years, but at the end of this period retired and returned
to the old Matteson home in Coventry, where he resided for the remaining
years of his life. He was well known and eminently respected in Coventry,
and took a deep interest in its welfare, espousing the cause of the people
against the political cliques. He was a Republican in political affiliation.
Albert Henry Matteson was a man of broad culture, a deep student, widely
travelled, well versed in business affairs, and was looked up to on many
occasions for advice in town affairs.
E. Ellen Matteson, daughter of Henry and Almira (Arnold) Matteson, was
born in Washington, and educated in the schools of her native town, later
attending the East Greenwich Academy. On completing her studies and
until her marriage she was a teacher in the schools of Coventry.
In 1860 she married Henry D. Spencer. Mrs. Spencer is well known
in social circles in Coventry. She has been prominently identified
with charitable and civic welfare work for many years, and is now active
in the Red Cross.
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