John A. Mather Jr.

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General John Atkinson Mather Jr. was born on July 17, 1865, in Gloucester City, NJ, to John and Luisa Wallace Dawson Mather. His father, John Mather Sr., had served as a Sergeant with Company H of the 10th New Jersey Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.

The Mather family called 423 South 3rd Street in Camden their home. The 1887-1888 directories indicate that John Mather Sr. and John Mather Jr. worked as a jeweler and bookkeeper, respectively. In the years from 1888 to 1891, the elder Mather operated as a jeweler in Philadelphia, and John Jr. was employed as a clerk in the same city. During this time, John A. Mather Jr. enlisted as a Private in the 3rd Regiment of the New Jersey National Guard. Winfield Scott Price also enlisted during this period. In 1889, John A. Mather Jr. married Elizabeth Weatherby, who, unfortunately, passed away in 1898. Around 1900, he married Helen C. Betts, the daughter of John B. Betts, a lawyer in Gloucester County. By the time of the 1910 Census, the Mathers were residing at 23 Grove Avenue in National Park, NJ, which was the home of John Betts, who was then 74 years old and retired. John A. Mather Jr. was working in real estate and insurance.

General John A. Mather Jr. had a distinguished military career, ascending from the rank of Private in the National Guard to Brigadier General. He served as a Captain during the Spanish-American War and later took command of the 3rd Regiment of the National Guard of New Jersey from August 13, 1903, until February 25, 1913.

On February 11, 1917, General John A. Mather Jr. passed away suddenly. He was laid to rest at Harleigh Cemetery in Camden, NJ. He was survived by his parents and his wife, Helen, who now rest beside him. Helen Mather served as the President of the Woman’s Club of Camden, N.J., from 1915 to 1919 and was actively involved with the Camden County Red Cross during America’s participation in World War I. She passed away in 1947.

The General John A. Mather Camp, No. 39, of the United Spanish War Veterans, was named in his honor and remained active in Camden for many years after his passing.


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