Convention Member Sylvester G. Matson
Born in Middlesex, Vermont, March 5, 1808. His boyhood was spent on a New England farm where he secured a liberal education and became a teacher. He graduated in the Medical Department of the State University and became a practicing physician. In 1845 he removed to Iowa Territory, locating near Anamosa. In 1846 he was elected a member of the convention which framed the Constitution under which Iowa became a State. He was the same year chosen a member of the House of the First General Assembly and helped to frame the first laws for the government of the new State. He was chairman of the committee on schools and reported the bill which provided for a State University. Mr. Matson was influential in framing the first school laws and was chosen a trustee of the State University. As a legislator he left the impress of his early work upon the permanent laws of the State. He was a Democrat up to the time of the organization of the Republican party when he united with it in opposition to slavery. He died on the 5th of February, 1898.