Hon. Charles Mathewson. A brief sketch of the life and character of the Hon. Charles Mathewson, may appropriately be introduced in connection with the history of the town, which owes its present prosperity more to his energy and business ability than to any other cause. Col. Mathewson, as he is most frequently called, was born in Brooklyn, Conn., March 24, 1812. His worth and abilities were recognized by his fellow citizens of Connecticut, by their electing him twice to the State Legislature, and three times to the State Senate. During the war of the rebellion, he evinced his patriotism by serving in the Union Army as Colonel of the Eleventh Connecticut Regiment, which regiment he commanded at the battle of Newbern, N. C. In 1865, he was appointed agent for the Winnebago Indians, succeeding Maj. Balcombe, of Omaha. At the expiration of the term for which he was appointed, he removed with his family to Madison County, and founded the now thriving town of Norfolk. In April, 1870, he completed the building of the Norfolk Mills, the first in the Elkhorn Valley above West Point. Late in the year 1879, Col. Mathewson was for a long time severely ill. His wife rendered him constant and devoted attention, which so shattered her constitution, already enfeebled by age, that she rapidly sank away and died. The shock of her death, added to the result of his long illness, proved too much for his enfeebled constitution to survive, and, on May 10, 1880, he died. Col. Mathewson was a man of high moral character, and a devout and steadfast friend of the church and of religion. He left two sons and two daughters, all of whom are highly respected and valuable, members of society.
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