About Joseph Patrick Matthews
Joseph was the first native son of St. Mary's to be ordained a priest. He was one of twelve children, born October 30, 1859. His parents, Michael and Ellen Matthews came from Baltimore, Maryland, probably by covered wagon. Enroute to Indiana because of the Land Craze", they stopped in Madison, Indiana, where their first child was born named Owen, On January 17, 1838. According to a land deed of August 1, 1839, Michael Matthews purchased 80 acres of land in Section 9 in the neighborhood of St Mary's.
Twenty years later Michael and Ellen had a son whom they named Joseph. He was to become the first native son of St. Mary's to be come a priest. He studied for the priest hood in Bardstown, KY. He was ordained June 3, 1884.
He served St. Michael's Trainor, Indaina, (now R.R. Montgomery Indiana) for 16 years before being transferred to St Peters, Montgomery, in 1903. He served St. Peter's for 17 years until 1920 when he was moved. He died in Terre Haute, Indaina, August 7, 1930.
Here is more history on Joseph P Matthews
Joseph P. Matthews
History of the Catholic Church in Indiana
Logansport: Bowen, 1898
Rev. Joseph P. Matthews, pastor of St. Michael's church, Daviess County, with his post office at Trainor, Ind., is a native of this county, was born October 30, 1859, and is a son of Michael and Eleanor (Owens) Matthews, of whom further mention is made in the biographical notice of E. W. Matthews, a brother of the reverend gentleman whose name heads this sketch. Rev. J. P. Matthews, at the age of fourteen years, was confirmed by Bishop de St. Palais. He was educated primarily in the common schools, and later attended the school of the Sisters of Providence at Loogootee. In 1876 he entered St. Meinrad's College in Spencer county, where he remained two years, and in 1878 began a classical course of study at St. Joseph's college, which ended at the close of three years. In 1881 he entered Preston Park Seminary, Wayne County, Pa., where he completed his theological studies in 1884, and, June 10th of that year, was ordained priest by Bishop McCloskey, of New York. His first appointment was as assistant to Rev. D. O'Donaghue, of St. Patrick's church, Indianapolis, but eighteen months later was transferred to the church of the Holy Trinity, at New Albany, as assistant to Rev. John B. Kelly, and, in 1887, was placed in charge of his present parish of St. Michael, with the mission of St. Joseph, in Martin county, ten miles distant. When he assumed his duties at St. Michael's, the congregation comprised thirty or forty families, while that of St. Joseph's was constituted of eighty families. With these two charges, Father Matthews labored arduously for seven long years, when he relinquished his charge of St. Joseph's and has since devoted his entire attention to his duties at St. Michael's.
Prior to the coming of Father Matthews to St. Michael's, services had been held by the Venerable Father Piers in the homes of the leading members of the congregation. Although the erection of a church edifice had been discussed, the project had discouraged by both Father Piers and the bishop; but Father Matthews, aided by Nicholas Ryan, John Daily, Thomas Wade, and other determined and ardent members of the congregation succeeded in raising funds sufficient to pay for the erection of the present frame church building at a cost of $3,500, and this was dedicated by Bishop Chatard in 1888. A year or two later a parsonage was erected at the cost of $1,600, and of the total, $5,100 not one cent is now unpaid. The present congregation numbers about sixty families, or 300 souls, and is in a most flourishing condition . Father Matthews has been untiring in his labors for both the spiritual and temporal welfare of his flock and in promoting the growth and prosperity of the Catholic church, and well deservs the love so freely bestowed upon him by his devoted congregation.
Partly Contributed by: John D. McMullen and the last few sentences added by Phillip Martin. Transcribed from the book, " History of the Catholic Church in Indiana." Vol II 1898.
Joseph Matthews's Timeline
October 30, 1859
June 3, 1884
Bardstown, KY, USA
Joseph was ordained a Catholic priest in Bardstown Ky.
Montgomery, IN, USA
Served as a parish priest for St. Peter's Church in Montgomery, IN.
August 7, 1930
Terre Haute, Vigo, Indiana, USA