Leonard Matthews to Celebrate 100th Birthday Saturday
December 15, 1927
Main Interest In His Garden in the West End.
Leonard Matthews, pioneer St. Louis drug merchant and world traveler, will celebrate his one hundredth birthday at his home at 5447 Cabanne avenue on Saturday. Matthews, in spite of his age, retains an active interest in what remains of his formerly large garden in the back of his home.
Resigning from the Board of Directors at Shaw’s Garden five years ago, Matthews has been able to keep up with modern horticultural developments and had contributed several rare plants to the botanical garden. He is exceptionally proud of his garden as people from all over the world have seen it when it was in its prime. At the present two apartment houses are being built on each side of his home and have reduced the size of his flower beds.
Of the rules of longevity Matthews has few to lay down. “I believe that healthful habits are formed in a child before he reaches the age of 10,” he says. “But even then it is a matter of nature. I don’t think that a man of my age can drink, smoke or chew without harming his health.
Born in Baltimore.
Born in Baltimore, Md., on December 17, 1827, Matthews came to St. Louis thirty-two years later, when he entered the wholesale drug business. He sold this business to the Meyer Brothers’ Drug Company in 1865. For many years thereafter he traveled extensively in Europe, Asia and Africa. He tells of one incident when he was visiting Moccha. He was drinking some of their famous coffee when a waiter told him that he was drinking Cuban coffee, as the people there consider Cuban coffee superior to their own brand.
Matthews and Gen. Galatin Edwards founded Matthews & Co., investment bankers, about twenty years ago. Matthews subsequently retired and the firm is now known as Whitaker & Co.
Matthews relates he “helped organize one of the first noonday clubs and we always had a heavy luncheon.
“After each of these luncheons I generally had severe headaches,” he said. “Then press of business kept me away from the club for several weeks and I found that I didn’t have headaches when I ate sparingly. To that lesson and to regular habits of living I attribute my long life.”
Matthews’ sons and daughters are: Mrs. Robert Lee Morton of Webster Groves; Mrs. Saunders Norvell of Larchmont, N. Y.; Mrs. Lucy Chambers of Rolla, Mo.; Leonard Matthews, Jr., of St. Louis; Edmund Matthews of Nogales, Mex.; Claude Matthews of this city, and William_____.