John Matthews was born about 1873.
According to John Matthews’ headstone in Sowers Cemetery he was born in Hatfield Heath, England.
Hatfield Heath is a village in Essex County, England. Essex is in the southeastern part of England and Hatfield Heath is about 30 miles northeast of central London.
In the 1910 census John was living in Precinct 8, Enumeration District 109 (Sowers community). John is listed as Jack Matthews, a single Englishman that farms on rented land. The year he immigrated to the Unite States is listed as 1892.
The Census taker for Enumeration District 109 was Otis Brown.
John died on January 2, 1913, from a hemorrhage of the bowels caused by dysentery.
Dr. John W. Roberts was John Matthews’ attending physician from Dec 15, 1912, until John’s death on Jan 2, 1913. Dr. Roberts was the stepson of Dr. Daniel Gilbert and practiced medicine in Irving from 1911, when he joined his stepfathers’ medical practice, until his untimely death in 1918 at age 34. Dr. John Roberts is buried at Sowers cemetery.
The paper trail for John Matthews is very short. Besides his appearance in the Sowers Community 1910 census and his death certificate no other documents have been found as of this writing.
No definitive birth record or immigration records were found, and no other census or tax records have been found for either name of John or Jack Matthews in Texas or the U.S.
And appears that his neighbors also did not have much information about John Matthews.
The death certificate listed John’s age as ‘about 40 years’. It also indicated that he had lived in the area for 15 years which would loosely align to his 1892 immigration date.
The death certificate shows that John was living at Babe Fulbright’s home at the time of his death. Babe was the nickname for George G. Fulbright who also lived and farmed in the Sowers Community along with his wife Ida Mathis Fulbright and their children. George’s father was William Daniel Fulbright and mother was Mary Abigail Brock Fulbright who both are interred at Sowers cemetery. George G. Fulbright died in Dallas, but location of interment is unknown as of this writing.
I believe John’s neighbors and friends did well to properly honor him with his interment and memorial in Sowers Cemetery. John Matthews headstone reads:
John Matthews Formerly of
Hatfield Heath England
Died Jan. 2, 1913
Age 40 years
The location of John Matthews plot is in the middle-north part of Sowers cemetery just north and west of the drive-in entrance and close to the area designated for parking for the cemetery.
It is one of the only upright monuments in that northern section of the cemetery.
John Matthews’ memorial was restored by the Sowers Cemetery Association in 2021.