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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Merchant, Postmaster, Alderman, Mayor


Samuel Mather was born March 7, 1847, in Whallonsburgh, Essex County, New York. He was one of ten children of Joshua Emery Mather and Maria Frisbie.

His family came to Illinois in 1852 and they settled on land south of 111th Street and west of Naperville-Plainfield Road in Wheatland Township, Will County.

Samuel attended the Naperville Academy in 1864 and 1865.

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He married Melvina M. Ballou, the daughter of Isaac Albee Ballou and Hannah Allen of Lisle, Illinois, on November 20, 1866, and they were the parents of Zillia Alice, Fred Elbert, Ethel May, Glen E., Roscoe N., and Roy Allen.

Samuel returned to the family farm in 1865 and operated it until 1873 when he took his family to California. He was a rancher and farmer in Santa Rosa, California, until about 1880 when he returned to Wheatland Township, Will County, following the death of his father.

Samuel moved to Lisle Township, DuPage County, in 1883.

In 1888 Samuel, William King, and John P. Rickert purchased the George Hunt Creamery and organized the Naperville Co-Operative Company, a creamery that manufactured high grade butter and cheese. Samuel became General Manager, Secretary and Treasurer. The creamery was located at the site of Fredenhagen Park on the East side of Washington Street and South of Chicago Avenue.

He served as Naperville Postmaster from 1899 to 1903; as Alderman for the third ward in Naperville from 1907 to 1910; and was elected as Mayor in a special election held in 1910 when Peter E. Kroehler was forced to resign.

Samuel was reelected as Mayor in 1911. In 1906 he was an incorporator and member of the Board of Directors, along with Walter F. Keeney, Asa M. Royce, Jonathan F. Royce, and Alvin Scott Sr., of a Railroad to be constructed between Wheaton and Naperville.

Samuel also was a member of Euclid Lodge No. 65, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and Euclid Chapter No. 13, Royal Arch Masons.

Samuel Mather died January 24, 1932, in Yankton, Yankton County, South Dakota, at the home of his daughter, Ethel May. He was buried in Naperville Cemetery, with members of the Masonic Lodge performing the simple Masonic Burial ceremony.

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Tim Ory
Tim Ory
Tim Ory is a fifth-generation Naperville native, descended from Francois Sebastien Ory, who immigrated to America from Alsace Lorraine, France, in 1844. Signing off as "Tim Ory, Historian, Euclid Lodge No. 65 Ancient Free & Accepted Masons," Tim adds that he continues to research the History of the Masonic Lodge and Naperville every day. Contact him at tjory@sbcglobal.net.


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