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Governor Claude Matthews

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Office Dates:  Jan 09, 1893 - Jan 11, 1897

Born:  Dec 14, 1845

Passed:  Apr 28, 1898

Birth State:  Kentucky

Party:  Democrat

Family:  Married Martha Renick Whitcomb; three children

School(s):  Centre College

CLAUDE MATTHEWS, Indiana's twenty-third governor, was born in Bethel, Kentucky, on December 14, 1845. In 1867, he graduated from Centre College in Kentucky and then moved to Indiana, where he became a successful farmer and livestock breeder. Matthews entered politics in 1876, serving as a one-term member to the Indiana House of Representatives. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Indiana State Senate in 1882, and served as Indiana's secretary of state from 1891 to 1893. Matthews won the 1892 Democratic gubernatorial nomination and was sworn into the governor's office on January 9, 1893. During his tenure, the National Guard was called in to suppress a coal miner's strike, and persuasive attempts were made against an organization that supported horseracing and prizefighting. After leaving office in January 1897, Matthews retired from public service, and returned to his farming interests. Governor Claude Matthews died on April 28, 1898 after suffering a stroke three days earlier. He was buried at the City Cemetery in Clinton, Indiana.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the
Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.;
Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Indiana Historical Bureau

County History

The Political Graveyard