This Week in Texas Methodist History Jan. 1
Rev. Henry Matthews Reports on New Year’s Feast, January 1, 1838
Rev. Henry Matthews moved from Houston to San Felipe in 1837 and in December hosted Martin Ruter and Littleton Fowler who asked him to form a Methodist class in San Felipe. He declined, citing his professional duties. Matthews by this time was no longer preaching. He had become a doctor and pharmacist and was even acting as coroner for Austin County.
Ruter and Fowler left for Washington about Dec. 21. Matthews recorded the feast his family enjoyed on New Year’s Day, 1838.
At noon we had a splendid dinner consisting of apple and peach pies, pound cakes, sugar cakes, custard, stuffed chicken, preserves, etc, etc. so that our family & hands are feasted as well here as we ever were in similar occasions in our living. . . . We have had Holy Day fires as well as feasts here since Christmas.
One year later in Dec. 1838. Jesse Hord also stopped by San Felipe and asked Matthews to organize a Methodist society. Again Matthews refused.
The refusal of Matthews to organize his Methodist neighbors is somewhat puzzling. He kept his local preacher credentials and is famous for marrying the first couple to receive a marriage license issued by Harrisburg (later Harris) County.