Mattingly Settlement

Mattingly Settlement
By Norris F. Schneider
(From Zanesville Sunday Times Signal April 17, 1949)

Three Mattingly brothers came with Lord Baltimore to the shores of Maryland in 1633. After nearly 200 years their decendants, still clanlike and strongly Catholic in religion, drove their covered wagon across the Alleghenies, over Zane’s Trace, and into the woods of Muskingum township.

The letters they sent back to Maryland by stagecoach gave a good report of the land, and so many other Mattinglys followed the first of their family that the settlement spread over a five-acre area.

Other family names have been preserved in the place names of the county. We find them in Frazeysburg, Gratiot, Adamsville, Roseville, Chandlersville, Putnam and Zanesville. But the names honor one person, while the Mattingly Settlement was so called because about two dozen families by that name lived near each other.

In the last 50 years the number of Mattinglys has decreased. Many have moved away, and the name has been lost by marriage so that only half a dozen families bearing the name of Mattingly live in the settlement today.

Although the Mattinglys are scattered, their clanlike trait brings them back to the Mattingly church for a family reunion each year.

Ship Engineers
There is a town named Mattingly in England. It was from England, according to tradition, that the first members of the family came to America. Three brothers – Charles, James, and Caesar Mattingly – came with Lord Baltimore to Point Comfort on February 24, 1633. In England they had been ship engineers, and no ship could leave the shores of England without their approval.

The first member of the Mattingly family who migrated to the settlement was William Mattingly of St. Marys County, Maryland. Born in 1774, he left home with his family in a covered wagon and came westward to Newcomerstown. After spending a year there, he became the first of his name to settle in Muskingum township in 1812.

Rev. J. F. Mattingly said in his "Traditions and Genealogy of the Mattingly Family" that "William was a devout Catholic, never missing mass on Sunday, making the trip to Zanesville. 10 miles distant, every Sunday.

Makes Large Donation
When the St. Thomas church was under construction but could not be completed for lack of money, William Mattingly came to the rescue with a donation of $4,000 – enough to complete the edifice – according to the family history. In appreciation of his gift, a marble slab was imbedded in the sanctuary beside the main altar. But it has been removed in alterations of the church.

After William Mattingly settled in Muskingum township, other members of the family came from Maryland and bought farms near him.

As the Catholic population increased and the farms prospered, the people in Mattingly settlement decided they would build a church of their own. Cletus Mattingly says that his uncle, William, offered a site west of the present church, but the congregation accepted the donation of a tract of land from William’s brother, John, where the church stands today.

Church built in 1856
As you drive west on the Old Creamery road about a mile and a half, you see a neat brick church to the north. This is St. Mary’s Catholic church, built in 1856. It has the same name as the Maryland county church from which the first of the Mattingly family came to Muskingum township.

A marker that stands north of the church has this inscription: "St. Mary’s Cemetery, Mattingly Settlement. Perpetual care, 1929."

A grotto of flint stands in the churchyard. Inside the grotto is a statue of the Virgin Mary imported from Italy.

The brick for this church were made on the John Mattingly farm and the lime for cement was burned in the field adjoining the churchyard. Although the church will be a hundred years old in eight more years, the brick walls are still solid and the cement between the bricks is still hard. It has never been pointed.

Four large larch trees planted symmetrically in the front of the church and the white fence around the yard give a beautiful setting to the historic building.

Three Become Priests
Because of the strong religious faith of the Mattinglys, it is not surprising that a grandson of the first settler by that name became a priest. Rev. Father Theodore Mattingly was born within a stone’s throw of the church and ordained in Cincinnati on June 19, 1895. He said his first mass in the church at the Mattingly settlement and observed his golden anniversary at the same church in 1945.

Rev. Julius Mattingly was born in the settlement in 1863 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1890. He became rector of St. Mary’s church, Richmond, Ind. He died in 1935. He was the author of the family history.

Rev. James Mattingly was a third member of the Mattingly settlement to become a priest.

Today only about a half dozen families by the name of Mattingly live in the settlement.

The five children of Vincent Mattingly live near the church. They are John, Benjamin, Estella, Cletus, and Lucinda. Their parents went to housekeeping in a two-story hewed log cabin near the present frame residence. It was built by George Conn.

Born in Cabin
John Mattingly was born in the cabin. The cellar beneath the cabin collected water in rainy weather. When Mrs. Vincent Mattingly wanted some of the stone jars of fruit she had placed in the basement, she told her husband to put on his boots and go down through the water to get them.

The log cabin is used for a tool shed today. Although the farm is modern and mechanized, John Mattingly still makes red oak shingles with a frow to roof the cabin and other farm buildings.

A hand made sleigh collects dust on the second floor of the cabin, and from the rafters hang a pair of saddle bags. John and Cletus Mattingly have heard their father tell that he took eggs in those saddlebags to Nashport and sold them for four cents a dozen. The white oak logs of the cabin are 18 to 22 inches high.

Last Updated on Oct 30, 2003.

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