A Jan Joosten Van Meteren Line: INTRO & DIRECTORY

Thomas Jefferson Van Matre (1839-1925)

Thomas Jefferson Van Matre also called T.J. Van Matre, is the son of John Johnson and Mary “Polly” (Matthews) Van Matre. He was christened “Thomas Jefferson Higgenbottom Van Matre”. Although he is not in the direct line I am following, I thought his story was worth sharing.

Born:               20 Jan 1839 in Fayette, Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA.

Died:               30 Jul 1925 at the age of 86 in Jonedale, Iowa County, Wisconsin, USA.

Married:           15 Nov 1861 Elizabeth “Betsy” Hallock Cox in Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA.

Find A Grave:   Memorial #117495712 buried at Waldwick Cememtery, Waldwick, Iowa County, Wisconsin, USA. 

Elizabeth “Betsy” Hallock Cox daughter of Stephen and Mary Ann (Hallock) Cox.

Born:               4 Jun 1835 in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, USA.

Died:               11 Nov 1905 at the age of 70 in Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA.

Find A Grave:   Memorial #117495749 buried at Waldwick Cememtery, Waldwick, Iowa County, Wisconsin, USA. 

Table of Contents

The following excerpts are from A Story of a Van Matre Family, by Joseph M. Van Matre.1

Thomas J. Van Matre

Thomas J. Van Matre was born in the Town of Fayette on January 20, 1839. When he grew to manhood, he attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the only one of the family to accomplish this honor. When he finished his education, he was appointed to the office of Superintendent of Schools for Lafayette County. After a few years he returned to the farm, and during the years that followed he held many positions in the field of agriculture.

He was a politician, deeply involved with the Prohibitionist Party. He was very much opposed to the use of tobacco in any form and ws strongly opposed to the sue of all alcoholic beverages. He wrote and gave many speeches for the good of the Party.

He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and a believer in its teachings.

He was called T. J. by the older people of the area, and the younger folks lovingly called him Uncle Tom. He was always well-drressed and always a gentleman.

Betsy Hallock (Cox) Van Matre Obituary

Thomas Jefferson and Betsy Hallock (Cox) Van Matre“Mrs. Thomas J. Van Matre died on Sunday morning, November 11, [1905] at the home of her daughter , Mrs. Charles Collicut. Her maiden name of Elizabeth Hallock Cox. She was born in Brookly, New York., June 4, 1835. In early life she came with her parents to southern Wisconsin and settled on the farm now owned by her brother G. G. Cox. On November 13, 1861, she ws united in marriage to T. J. Van Matre, the day of her funeral being the forty-fifth anniversary of her marriage. To this union were born four children, Mrs. Collicut, Mrs. Carter, Walter and Clarence Van Matre, all of whom are now living. Here conduct as a wife and mother needs no enconium; as a sister she was loving and true – her mother said a peacemaker; as a friend faithful – one to be depended on at all times, – respected by all with whom she came in contact. She was a great sufferer, but bore all her pain patiently. Her remains were followed to their last resting place by a large concourse of friends and relatives. The services were conducted by the Eastern star and by Rev. Wm. Crost.

Sister, thou most mild and lovely,
Gentle as the summer breeze;
Pleasant as the air in evening,
When it floats among the trees.”


“Whereas. The members of this chapter have been called upon to mourn a loved sister, Mrs. T. J. Van Matre.

“Resolved. That in her death the chapter loses a member who was ever faithful to the teachings and purposes of the order. In the conflict of life she has finished her allotted task. As she was faithful to her convictions of duty, as she loved kindred and friends, as she lived in the spirit of charity, and in her great affliction evinced a trusted faith, so will be her reward.

“The members of this chapter deeply sympathize with the family of our departed sister, whose presence always brought light and joy to our meetings.

“Resolved. That this memorial be spread upon the records of the chapter and that the chapter room be draped in mourning for the space of thirty days.”

Reminiscence of an Octogenarian

January 20, 1924

Today I am recorded by the calendar eighty-five years old – by the grace of God I am eighty- five years young. The Bible says I was born in 1839. I do no mean the inspired part of the Bible, but the modern chronological part, the family record, and that I was christened “Thomas Jefferson Higgenbottom van Matre”.

The addendum notes that I was put into a basket and placed between the handles of a plow, which was propelled by a yoke of cows and when the pangs of hunger clung me, the team was stopped and miled, my hunger appeased and the work went on. So you see my earliest experience and education was in the direct line of agriculture. My eyes first beheld the light of day on the same farm where I now spend my summers, so you see I have not been migratory in my habits, and I assure you I have never been sedentary. I never had any use for a sedentary farmer. I mean a farmer who would sit around the streets on dry goods boxes in summer time and tell long stories while the weeds were devouring his crops, and would sit around the saloons in winter, guzzle beer and munch tobacco while poverty and cold were devouring his stock. of course we have no farmers of that description about Mineral Point, but they are legion in our neighboring cities and villages.

In 1827 father came here to the lead mines of southern Wisconsin. He dug over here on the hill back of Billy Walker’s old hotel, he dug up at Dodgeville and he dug down at Shullsburg with varying success for two years, after which he went back to Ohio and remained there until 1837 when accompanied by his family and a few friends he moved here and settled upon the same farm, which is in the hands of the fourth generation of Van Matre’s in direct descent.

He selected for the situation of his home, the most unsightly spot which could have been found on the whole section of land and surrounded it with outbuildings and fences corresponding with the site. Those of you who have noticed the early pioneer have noticed this fact, they were not very particular in the selection of a site or the beautifying of a home. I do not say this as a reproach upon those good people, for I believe there is no class of men and women of earth to whom society is under greater obligations than to the early pioneer. (They have made the future of America possible and I say to you, when you view the cloudless heavens, the stars shining with greater luster, but feebly represent the disembodied spirit of the early pioneer made perfect, each of who deserves to have erected to his memory a monument higher than the Eiffel Tower of France.)

At that time Wisconsin was almost a reckless wilderness where might be seen the smoke ascending from the Indian wigwam and the wild fox dug his hole unscared. I have seen Wisconsin grow from a territory of less that thirty thousand souls to a state of more that two and one half million. I have witnessed the development of her agricultural and mineral resources until today they are second to none in quality and high above the average in quantity. I have seen the primeval forests denuded and the stubborn glebe subdued until so far as the eye can reach may be seen cultivated fields groaning under their weight of agricultural products which find a market in the most remote parts of the civilized world. I have seen the patient bovine which was used as a best of burden to transport the agricultural and mineral products of southern Wisconsin to the great metropolis of the state superseded by the more fleet and agile equine and he in turn superseded by the iron horse whose labored breathing and breath of this great commonwealth.

I have seen the educational system improved from its primitive, crude form to its almost perfect system of today, which makes it possible for every son and daughter to receive an education which will fit them for future usefulness.

I have seen the old log school house give way to the more neat and attractive stone and frame building which may be seen at every crossroad.

State normal schools, seminaries, academies and colleges of the highest order may be numbered by the hundreds, benevolent institutions are met with wherever their presence is required and here and there, all over this beautiful land may be found churches whose spires pointing heavenward seem to admonish us to raise our eyes from earth to heaven, that mysterious source from whence cometh every blessing. But in the very shadow of these sanctuaries might have been found the licensed grog shop placed there by and with the consent of the Christian manhood of this land. I say shame! shame!

I have seen the deadly upas tree strike its roots deeply into the earth and spread in poisonous branches all over the state until its baneful effects may be traced to every village and hamlet and its blighting influence too plainly written upon the countenance of helpless infancy and dependent womanhood.

Fifty years ago I entered the crusade against intemperance and in favor of universal suffrage.

Imagine my great complacency upon having lived to see both of these great reforms become not a statuary law, but a part of our national constitution. And today at 85 years of age I stand firmly with our president in favor of a rigid enforcement of the Eighteenth Amendment, and he who does not is unworthy to be a citizen of this great and glorious country.

“Once I was young, now I am old, yet have I never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging bread.”

My feet are now tottering on the verge of eternity, the grave open to receive me and I shall soon sink into its bosom.

But I will not go like “the quarry slave at night scourged to his dungeon, but with a firm, unfaltering trust in the saving grace of God, I will wrap the drapery of my couch about me and lie down to pleasant dreams.”

I have but one request to make on my departure from this life, and that is that Mineral Point Lodge No. 1 Free and Accepted Masons, see that I am decently interred.

This is my last will and testament and by divine providence and the assistance of the bretherns, I hope the terms of this bequest will be consummated.

T. J. Van Matre

Passed away July 30 1925 at Jonesdale.

Thomas J. Van Matre Ends His Earthly Mission

The subject of the obituary record was born at Fayette, LaFayette County, Wisconsin, on January 20, 1839, and his spirit bid adieu to all things earthly at Jonesdale, Wisconsin, July 30, 1925, after a sojourn here of 86 years, six months and ten days. Most of his life was spent on the farm where he was born. In his young manhood he attended the state university and some time thereafter was spent in teaching. On November 15, 1861 he joined hand and heart in wedlock with Miss Betsy H. Cox and to them were born four children, all of them surviving – Mrs. Collicut of Mineral Point, Walter and Clarence of Darlington, and Mrs. Mary Carter of Jonesdale, at whose home the message of death plucked him after only a short illness. Mrs. Jane Baker of Blanchardville, a sister, the last survivor of the old family is also in grief and lonesomeness, and groups of grandchildren and great grandchildren will greatly miss the smiles and helps of this kindly man.

“Mr. Van Matre loved farm life and was active and helpful in the farm duties until the day before death claimed him. The wife and mother went on ahead nineteen years ago. Mr. Van Matre was a clean man, physically and morally, possessed of a keen mind, he ever trained in the grooves of right and noble thinking and so came to his end with a most honorable record.

“Funeral services were held from the Carter home at Jonesdale on Saturday afternoon, Rev. A. H. Schoenfield officiating. The Lodge of Masons of Mineral Point, of which the departed was a member, attended in large numbers and had charge of the burial then at the grave in the Waldwick cemetery. A male quartet of Masons rendered comforting selections at the home where great numbers assembled to pay farewell tribute of respect to a man of high and good character.”

Thomas Jefferson and Betsy Hallock (Cox) Van Matre Children

1. Minnie Van Matre

daughter of Thomas Jefferson and Betsy Hallock (Cox) Van Matre.

Born:                1862 in Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA.

Died:                8 May 1958 at the age of 96 in Mineral Point, Iowa County, Wisconsin, USA.

Married:           22 Jan 1885 John “Charles” Collicutt in Fayette, Layette County, Wisconsin, USA.

Find A Grave:   Memorial #116557019 buried at Union Cemetery, Calamine, Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA. 

John “Charles” Collicutt son of Robert and Jane (Richardson) Collicutt.

Born:               27 Sep 1857 in Miffin, Iowa County, Wisconsin, USA.2 [obit shows birthdate as 18 Dec 1858]

Died:               6 Jun 1919 at the age of 61 in Chicago, Cook County, USA.

Find A Grave:   Memorial #116557040 buried at Union Cemetery, Calamine, Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA.

Charles Collicutt Obituary3

Charles Collicutt.

It is with feelings of deepest regret that we make mention in this issue of the paper of the passing from our midst of one of the noblest men of the community. When Charles Collicutt was summon ed to his eternal rest, a good and true light ceased shining on earth. Mr. Collicutt had been in failing health for nearly a year, yet no particular uneasiness about his condition was felt until about six weeks ago when matters took a decided turn for the worst and as a last resort he was taken to Augustan hospital, Chicago, where the best medical skill in the land was called to his assistance, but to no avail; his immortal spirit was Calle din tot he presence of its Maker early Friday morning, June 6, 1919. Mr. Charles Collicutt was born at Mifflin, Wisconsin., December 18, 1858, being the eldest son of Mr. And Mrs. Robert Collicutt, pioneer settlers in the county.

When Charles was seven years of age he moved with his parents to the Willow springs neighborhood, and here, with the exception of one year spent in this city and a short time at his last residence, he lived his life of usefulness and integrity, esteemed and honored by all who knew him.

On January 22, 1885, Mr. Collicutt was united in marriage with Miss Minnie Van Matre. Five sons blessed this union, two of whom preceded the father over the river. Three sons, Harry, Home and Earl are left with the wife and mother to mourn the closing of this princely life; also two little grand -daughters. Mr. Collicutt’s departure marks the passing of the last member of the old Collicutt family.

Funeral services were held from his late home, one mile east of this city, on Sunday afternoon, Rev. A. A. Schoenfeld of the First Congregational church officiating. Comfort and consolation in Christian song was brought by the Willow springs choir, assisted by members of the First Congregational choir. Burial was made in the Willow Springs cemetery. The unusually large attendance at the funeral of friends and neighbors and business acquaintances from near and far was a beautiful tribute of affection and esteem to the life and character of Charles Collicutt.

Minnie (Van Matre) Collicutt
Mrs. Collicutt

South Wayne Woman 85 4

SOUTH WAYNE — Mrs. Minnie Collicutt observed her 85th birthday Saturday at the home of her son, Harry, with whom she lives.

The former Minnie Van Metre [sic] was born Nov. 8, 1862, on a farm in Fayette township. She attended Darlington schools and was married to Charles Collicutt, who was employed at Gratiot. They farmed for several years near Mineral Point, then lived in Mineral Point. her husband died in 1919 and she moved to South Wayne in 1942.

She has three sons, Harry, South Wayne; Homer, Mineral Point, and Earl, New York City; two granddaughters, Betty C. Collicutt, Beaver Dam, and Mrs. Louis Gore, Hominy, Okla., and a grandson, Lieut. Collicut.

Charles and Minnie (Van Matre) Collicutt Children

  1. Harry Van Collicutt (1886-1954), married Esther Bennett.
  2. Homer Hallick Collicutt (1890-1971) married Anna May.
  3. Herman T. Collicutt (1895-1906).
  4. Earl Hall Collicutt (1897-1982) married Mary Kerr Henderson.
  5. Charles Caryl (or Carlyle?) Collicutt (1902-1906).

2. Walter Van Matre

son of Thomas Jefferson and Betsy Hallock (Cox) Van Matre.

Born:               8 Mar 1865 in Fayette Township, Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA.  

Died:               20. Aug 1958 at the age of 93 in Shullsburg, Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA.

Married:           27 Nov 1889 Corda Campton in Darlington, Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA.

Find A Grave:   Memorial #109535073 buried in Union Grove Cemetery, Darlington, Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA.

Corda Campton daughter of Abraham Van and Emaline (Cannon) Campton.

Born:               29 Jul 1865 in Wisconsin, USA.

Died:               15 Feb 1945 at the age of 79 in Darlington, Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA.

Find A Grave:   Memorial #104681384 buried at Union Grove Cemetery, Darlington, Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA.

Walter Van Matre Obituary5

DARLINGTON- Walter Van Matre, 93, a retired painter, died in a Shullsburg nursing home after a long illness.

Funeral services wil be held at 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Sharer Funeral Home here.

Walter and Corda (Campton) Van Matre Child

  1. Betty Belle Van Matre (1891-1931) married Bert Chapman.
Corda, Betty and Walter Van Matre
Corda, Betty and Walter Van Matre6

3. Clarence Van Matre

son of Thomas Jefferson and Betsy Hallock (Cox) Van Matre.

Born:                8 Oct 1867 in Fayette Township, Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA.

Died:                15 Aug 1951 at the age of 83 in Darlington, Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA.

Married:            25 Aug 1881 Annice Proctor in Mineral Point, Iowa County, Wisconsin, USA.

Annice Proctor daughter of John Henry and Mary Elizabeth “Matthews” Proctor.

Born:                May 1869 in Waldwick, Iowa County, Wisconsin, USA.

Died:                12 Oct 1961 at the age of 92 in Dodgeville, Iowa County, Wisconsin, USA.

Clarence and Annice “Proctor” Van Matre Child

  1. Leland Thomas “Bernie” Van Matre (1900-1991), married Olga Elizabeth Kammerud.

4. Mary Van Matre

daughter of Thomas Jefferson and Betsy Hallock (Cox) Van Matre.

Born:                8 Sep 1873 in Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA.

Died:                5 Jun 1959 at the age of 85 in Dodgeville, Iowa County, Wisconsin, USA.

Married:            21 May 1895 Henry Reed Carter in Fayette Township, Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA.

Find A Grave:   Memorial #242790125 burial details unknown.

Henry Reed Carter son of William and Ann (Reed) Carter.

Born:               8 Sep 1873 in Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA.

Died:               5 Jun 1959 at the age of 85 in Dodgeville, Iowa County, Wisconsin, USA.

Married:           21 May 1895 Henry Reed Carter in Fayette Township, Lafayette County, Wisconsin, USA.

Find A Grave:   Memorial #242790091 burial details unknown

Henry Reed and Mary (Van Matre) Carter Children

  1. Alice Blanche Carter (1896-2001) married Jesse Glen James.
  2. Dorothy Elizabeth Carter (1899-1983) married Earl Wilmore James.
  3. William Thomas Carter (1908-1995) married Christle D. Runden.

Citations and Attributes:

  1. Joseph M. Van Matre, A Story of a Van Matre Family. 1985, pp. 62 - 64
  2. John Charles Collicutt Birth, Ancestry.com. Illinois, U.S., Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
  3. Charles Collicutt Obituary - Iowa County Democrat, Mineral Point, Wisconsin, Thursday, June 12, 191 retrieved from Newspapers.com at https://www.newspapers.com/article/iowa-county-democrat-obituary-for-charle/128154717/ (Accessed 13 Jul 2023).
  4. Wisconsin State Journal, 09 Nov 1947, Sunday, page 13 retrieved from Newspapers.com at https://www.newspapers.com/article/wisconsin-state-journal-south-wayne-woma/128153179/ (Accessed 13 Jul 2023).
  5. Walter Van Matre Obituary, Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, Wisconsin, Thursday, August 21, 1958, retrieved from newspapers.com at https://www.newspapers.com/article/wisconsin-state-journal/128158748/ (Accessed 13 Jul 2023.]
  6. Corda, Betty and Walter Van Matre photo, shared by Jeff Wonders on 8 Sep 2019 on Ancestry.com

The family Information was retrieved from a variety of family trees, webgens and family stories. I will note citations as appropriate and hope the information assists you in your research, but please do not use this as proven evidence. Feedback is welcome!

Pat Burns. Copyright © 2024. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *