Matthews in his book of memoirs tells of social drinking in St. Louis in what might be called the “pre-saloon” days. This was in the early ‘60s.
“At that time,” he wrote, “excessive drinking at social gatherings was more common than now. Everybody kept wine and spirits on their sideboards, and the merchants, banks and insurance companies also kept them, free to all. I remember a party at a St. Louis home. That night, or rather the next morning, many carriages were upset or driven the wrong way, as each driver had a bottle of champagne.”
Matthews has frequently expressed his belief that prohibition will be a good thing if by enforcement or by the creation of sentiment in its favor the people can be brought to a state of mind in which they will want to do without liquor. He believes prohibition would be more successful if it were world wide.
Was Always Healthy.
In the latest extended interviews which he was able to give Matthews was asked to what he attributed his long life.
“That is something I have never thought about,” he said. “I have been so healthy all the time that I did not give much thought to what I did to stay that way. I might say that I never did eat too much and always took plenty of exercise.”
No elaborate preparation of the 102nd birthday next Wednesday has been made. There will be a dinner for Matthews and those relatives who can be here for the occasion.
Matthews’ children are Mrs. Robert Lee Morton, of Webster Groves; Mrs. Saunders Norvell, of Larchmont, N. Y.; Mrs. Lucy Chambers, of Rolla, Mo.; Leonard, Claude and William Matthews, of St. Louis, and Edmund Matthews of Nogales, Mex. He has 25 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Mrs. Matthews died in 1918.