Since an early period in the development of California David Mattly has resided within the borders of the Golden state and is now an esteemed resident of Jackson, Amador County. For many years he was a representative of the industrial interests, carrying on an extensive dairy business, but at the present time is living retired, enjoying the rest which he has truly earned and richly deserves.
A native of the land of the Alps, he was born on the 25th of December, 1831, and his parents, Felix and Kate (Gerrich) Mattly, were also natives of that land, belonging to old families of that country. Our subject was reared and educated there and in 1853 came to America. Two years later he made his way to California, by way of the Isthmus route, crossing Panama on the railroad, which had just been completed. He came direct to Placerville, where he was engaged in placer mining for some time. The work, however, was very hard and at most he could make only twelve dollars a day. On one occasion he took out a nugget worth ten dollars, found near Georgetown.
He followed mining only for a year, however, and then started out in the milk business at Placerville, having twenty-five cows. He received a dollar per gallon for milk in the early days and made money rapidly, his business steadily increasing in magnitude. After a time he was forced by popular demand to keep forty cows, and throughout the surrounding country he sold the products of the dairy until 1857, when he disposed of his business at Placerville and removed to Jackson, where he purchased fifteen acres of land. There he again embarked in the dairy business, and owing to his industry and systematic methods his trade steadily increased and his income proportionately grew. As his financial resources became larger he added to his landed possessions until he is now the owner of two thousand acres in Jackson and adjacent counties. He has had and handled as many as two hundred head of cattle at one time; but he is now living retired, the fruits of his former toil supplying him with all the necessities and many of the luxuries of life. He made the dairy business his chief occupation throughout his active career, but at one time was the owner of the Globe Hotel at Jackson.
In 1899 Mr. Mattly erected a very attractive and commodious residence on Main Street in Jackson and there he and his family are living. He was married in 1860 on Sutter Creek to Miss Mary Yager, a native of Switzerland, and their union has been blessed with nine sons, six of whom are living, namely: William, David, George, John, Albert and Joseph. These sons are still with their father and are carrying on the dairy business as his successors. Mr. Mattly is of the Catholic faith, while his wife is a Protestant in her religious belief. He has been a life-long Democrat and since 1862 has been connected with the Masonic fraternity. He also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Chosen Friends.
For many years his life has been one of ceaseless activity in the business world. Industry and enterprise are numbered among his chief characteristics, and through the aid of these qualities he advanced steadily on the road to prosperity. Meeting with creditable success, he won a handsome competence and is now in possession of a property that enables him to live retired. He has surrounded himself with a large circle of friends who were won to him by his genuine worth and his unselfish interest in his fellow men.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.
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