Joseph W Van Matre
J. W. VAN MATRE DEAD
Oldest Settler of Oneco Township dies at Rockford Hospital
Joseph W. Van Matre, the oldest settler of the town of Oneco, died Sunday evening at the Rockford sanitarium, following an illness of several weeks. For some years past the deceased had been treasurer of the Schuman Piano company of Rockford and for that reason made his home there the greater part of the time. The remains will be taken to Orangeville this evening.
Mr. Van Matre is one of the well known family of that name who are pioneer settlers in Stephenson county. He was the son of L. D. Van Matre, and was born Oct. 8, 1838, in Oneco township. He resided with his parents until he was twenty years of age, helping to till the farm and attending the district school. In the spring of 1859, carried away by the spirit of restlessness, he started for Pikes Peak, but only reached Fort Des Moines, Iowa. Remaining there for a while he returned to his state and worked by the day until the spring of 1860. He then entered the store of Squire Hartsough, of Orangeville, where he was employed as a merchant's clerk for one year.
After severing his connection with Mr. Hartsough he farmed for one year on his father's place and then moved to the property across the road which he rented and farmed until the spring of 1865. During this year he enlisted in the 46th Illinois but the war was at an end and he returned home. Later he purchased a half interest in the farm and a few years later purchased the remainder.
He was married, October 8, 1858 to Sarah Williams, daughter of George Williams, a native of New York state. This lady died in the second year of her marriage, shortly after the birth of her son, George W. Mr Van Matre was married the second time in 1860 to Samantha J. Arledge, daughter of William Arledge, a native of Ohio.
The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Van Matre are: Dora B., who became Mrs. Bowen; Lewis D., Thomas J., who died in 1887, Emma R., Fred N. and Joseph C.
Arrangements for the funeral have not been made, but will probably be held Wednesday at Orangeville.
Freeport Daily Journal, Monday - May 3, 1909 - Page 1 Column 4
This is my husband's great-granduncle, Joseph W. Van Matre.
Submitted by: Cynthia Gould on Mon, 19 Nov. 2001