The early settlers of California are fast passing away, and their places are being filled by native sons and daughters of the Golden West and by enterprising men and women from other States and countries. Among those came to this coast during the early history of California the name of Joseph Mathewson will be remembered by many.
He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland; was a soldier in the English army; came to the United States before the Mexican War and served the United States as a soldier in that war; spent eight years in New Orleans; and came to California in 1855, and followed mining for several years at French Gulch. Mr. Mathewson was married at New Orleans, in 1842, to Eliza Leonard, a native of County Wexford, Ireland. She emigrated to England when eleven years of age. To them were born six children, five daughters and a son, three born in New Orleans and three in French Gulch, namely: Josephine, wife of Charles McConnell, of Redding, California; Mary Jane, wife of Christopher Renica; Eliza, wife of Thomas Simpson; Katie, wife of Mead Everhart; Margareta, wife of Luke McDonald; and William W., who resides in San Francisco.
While at Red Bluff, in 1876, Mr. Mathewson contracted a severe cold which terminated in pleurisy and which caused his death. He was buried at that place.
Mrs. Mathewson was one of the early settlers of French Gulch. During the early mining times she kept boarders. She had poultry, hogs and cows, and supplied the miners with plenty of wholesome food at four bits per meal. From transients she received from six bits to a dollar for a meal. She now resides at French Gulch in her pleasant home on one of the principal streets of the town. She owns two other dwelling houses, and has a one-third interest in the J.I.C. Mine, which is now being worked successfully, and has accumulated $20,000.
Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California
The Lewis Publishing Co., 1891 Pages 646-647
Transcribed by: Christine Helmick