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Born in County Down, Ireland, in the year 1823. Graduated from Belfast College, Ireland, 1846. Teacher, 1846-1851. Attended Princeton Seminary and graduated from Western Seminary in 1854. Received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from Washington and Jefferson College in 1873. Licensed by the Presbytery of Redstone, April, 1853; ordained by the Presbytery of Clarion, December 6, 1854. Pastor of Licking, 1854-1875; Leatherwood, 1854-1883; Sligo, 1875-1881; of New Bethlehem, 1881-1883. Died in New Bethlehem, October 1, 1883. Served six months as Chaplain of the One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Army of the Potomac.

from A History of the Presbytery of Clarion, [Penna.], pp. 201-2.

Report of the Death of Rev. Mateer

Westfield Republican, Westfield, N.Y., October 3, 1883, p. 3.


On Monday a dispatch was received announcing the death of Rev. Joseph Mateer, D. D. at his home in Sligo, Pa. Dr. Mateer left Westfield only a week ago for his home. He had spent the summer with the family of his brother in Westfield, Mr. R. M. Mateer, in hopes to regain his health, which had completely given way from the pressure of overwork. Much of the time he had felt encouraged, but of late his strength had gradually failed, and at the last the heart, which had struggled on for months with a defined valvular difficulty, broke down, and the weary, patient pastor was at rest.

Dr. Joseph Mateer was born in Ireland in 1824, and at the time of his death was 59 years of age. He received his collegiate education in Belfast, and coming to America, spent one year in Princeton Theological Seminary, and two years in the Allegheny Seminary. Twenty-nine years ago he took his first charge over the Presbyterian Church at Sligo, Pa., and there he continued until he fell in his work, utterly exhausted, to enter upon a new life where bodily infirmities are unknown, and where service is unaccompanied by pain. The tenure which Dr. Mateer held with his people was indicative of his character. He was wise and scholarly, judicious in all things, tender of others' feelings, yet firm as the hills where a moral question was involved. He was an able preacher, and in everything drew his argument from the scriptures. He was a fluent speaker, and with a tenacious memory was never at a loss in statistics or for the correct quotation. He was a man greatly admired by those who had but a slight insight to the beauty of his character; while to his people, and to those of the inner circle, he was esteemed beyond measure.

The funeral obsequies will be held to-day.

Obituary of Eleanor Junkin Mateer


Entered into rest Thursday evening, January 13th, 1910, at ten minutes after eleven o'clock, Mrs. Eleanor Mateer, aged 81 years.

Elnor [sic] Junkin Mateer was born August 16th, 1828, at Marinsville, a town near Emlenton named for her mother. Her father was Judge Benjamin F. Junkin, well known in early Pennsylvania history; her mother was Anna Maria Agnew, of the distinguished Philadelphia family of that name. She was one of a family of nine children, only three of whom survive: Dr. J. G. Junkin and Mrs M. E. Poppins, of near Wilmington, and Mr. Bingham Junkin of Grove City.

Her early life way[sic] spent near or at Emlenton until her marriage to William Russell of Pittsburgh, which took place before she was 20. Three children were born to them: Mrs. W. E. Shaw, now deceased; Mrs. F. H. Newell of Curilsville; Mrs. J. C. Armstrong of Holdrege, Nebraska. They resided at Pittsburgh until Mr. Russell's death.

By her second marriage, she became closely identified with early Presbyterian history of this vicinity. She was married to Rev. Joseph Mateer, of Belfast, Ireland, one of the most scholarly ministers ever in this section, educated at a Belfast University, Princeton and the Western Theological Seminary. To this union were born five children, who survive to mourn their great loss: Jennie Junkin wife of Rev. O. G. McDowell, of Philadelphia; Westanna L., Mell J. and Robert F., all of New Bethlehem. Dr. and Mrs. Mateer moved to New Bethlehem in 1881, and became official heads of this Presbyterian church, Mrs. Mateer being the first minister's wife of this church. After Dr. Mateer's death in 1883, Mrs. Mateer continued to make this place her home.

The funeral services were held at her late home, Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock Rev. U. D. Reiter of the New Bethlehem Presbyterian church, assisted by Rev. John L. Proudfit of the Connellsville First Presbyterian church, conducted the services. The Rev. Reiter spoke from a portion of Gen. 48, especially emphasizing the 21st verse: "Behold, I die: but God shall be with you and bring you again unto the land of your father,"--the theme being a parent's legacy to his children.

The Rev. Proudfit then spoke, and his summary of Mrs Mateer's character was so complete and truthful, we shall quote largely from it. On this occasion, owing to a particularly close friendship of eleven years with Mrs. Mateer, for the first time broke his rule as to speaking of the dead, and paid a most touching, eloquent tribute to his dead friend. He prefaced his remarks by saying he felt he would rather be sitting with those who mourned than speaking of her who was gone. He characterized her as one who loved and served God, giving Him the supreme place in her life; as one who loved God's house and ordinances; as one who loved His work and sought to the very end of life to exalt Him in heathen lands, as well as in her own land. A woman of great, natural endowment as to mind and will, she consecrated both to Christ's cause. She was a woman who fulfilled the private and public ideals of a minister's wife, where some sane advisor and true friend or as a officer of splendid executive ability and great tact at large conventions. She was one of the organizers of the Presbyterial Missionary Society, for many years its treasurer, and a life-member of its Executive Board. For many years she was, also, president of the local Missionary society. She never lost her vivid interest in Christian work, particularly Missions. She never seemed old because each generation found in her an interested friend. Rev. Proudfit concluded by paying a very rare personal tribute, when, as her pastor, he found her a wise counselor, a sympathetic friend and a helpful listener.

At the close of the services, private interment was made in the New Bethlehem cemetery, where she was laid to rest beside her husband.

The friends from a distance were: Mrs. Bingham Junkin of Grove City; Miss Annie Poppino of New Wilmington; Mr. and Mrs. F. H. Newell of Curllsville; Rev. O. G. McDowell of Philadelphia; Rev. J. L. Proudfit of Connellsville.

[clipping in 1911 diary of Jane Crosgrove Mateer]

Obituary of Robert F. Mateer Jr.

Memorial service held for former community leader

A memorial service was held Sunday, June 29, for a well-known New Bethlehem funeral director and community leader.

Robert F. Mateer Jr., 87, of New Bethlehem died Wednesday, June 25, 1997, at his home.

Born February 23, 1910, in New Bethlehem, he was the son of Robert F. and Anna (Gliech) Mateer Sr.

He married the former Alice May Reed on August 9, 1841. She preceded him in death on June 13, 1994.

Mr. Mateer was director of Mateer Funeral Home in New Bethlehem. His father, Robert F. Mateer Sr., established the business in 1906; his son, John R. Mateer, joined the business after becoming licensed in 1971.

He was a former co-owner of H.B. DeViney Co. of New Bethlehem.

Mr. Mateer was a member of New Bethlehem Presbyterian Church, where he had formerly served as an elder.

He was a 32nd Degree Mason and past master of Masonic Lodge No. 522 of New Bethlehem.

Mr. Mateer was a lifetime member of New Bethlehem Volunteer Fire Department, past president of the Clarion County Fair Association, and had also served on New Bethlehem Borough council.

He is survived by three sons, Robert F. Mateer III of Japan, Terry R. Mateer of Alexandria, Va., and John R. Mateer of New Bethlehem; four grandchildren, Robert F. Mateer IV, Diana K. Mateer, Capri J. Mateer and Sterling J. Mateer; a brother, M. Joseph Mateer of Middletown; and a sister, Jean Evans-Mihaly of California.

He was preceded in death by his wife and parents.

A memorial service was held at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Mateer Funeral Home in New Bethlehem. The Rev. Don Hamilton, pastor of New Bethlehem Presbyterian Church, officiated.

Interment was in New Bethlehem Cemetery.

The family suggests memorial donations be made to the New Bethlehem Area Free Public Library, or to the New Bethlehem Volunteer Fire Co.