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Great John Mathis Chapter

Great John Mathis house and property

Who was Great John Mathis?

Great John Mathis (Mathews) was born in 1690 and came to America, as a youth, with his brother Charles. John settled in Little Egg Harbor Township, having come from Long Island. In 1713, he purchased what was known as Biddle’s Island. It was renamed Daniel Mathis Island. John later became the largest land speculator of the Township, owning up to four square miles.

He married Alice Andrews-Higbee in 1716. Six sons and a daughter were born to them. John and his son, Micajah, established a thriving business in shipbuilding, operated fisheries, and lent money to individuals. as well as to the American Government during the Revolution. However, loans repaid by the Government — in currency of depreciated value — resulted in heavy losses to his estate.

John Mathis died October 23, 1779, in Tuckerton, at the advanced age of 88. His old homestead is now owned by Viking Yacht Company, Route 9, New Gretna. Several of our charter members, and at least six current members, are descendants of Great John Mathis.

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