Indiana Governor (January 9, 1893 to January 11, 1897)
Story of Matthews
Matthews, Indiana was founded in 1895 named in honor of then Indiana Governor Claude Matthews. Matthews is located in Southern Grant County in Jefferson Township. 2010 Census population was 596.
In 1902, at the height of the natural gas boom, Matthews, was home to 15 glass factories, 4 churches, 4 drug stores, 7 restaurants, 2 newspapers, 2 banks, 7 blacksmiths, 1 dentist, 4 doctors, 24 general stores, 2 laundries, 1 bakery, 2 furniture stores, 2 morticians, 2 real estate agencies, 2 insurance men, 3 barbers, 3 attorneys, 1 jeweler, 1 photographer, 1 telegraph office, 2 ladies hat shops, 3 hardware stores, 2 candy stores, 4 sawmills, 6 livery stables, 22 saloons and a justice of the peace.
Anyone who has been to Matthews would find it hard to believe that Matthews had the world's largest natural gas wells as well as being seriously considered in the running for the capital of Indiana, both of which is true. That may be why Matthews is best known as the Wonder City. Many "wonder' what happened! After the gas failed, most businesses and residents moved away and Matthews had to start rebuilding itself.
Matthews now is known for having the only covered bridge in Grant County Indiana. Each year the annual Covered Bridge Festival is held the second weekend in September. The festival features steam and old gasoline engines, craft exhibits and local talent.