Rev. Matthew A. Fox

Rev. Matthew, son of William and Eleanor Fox, was born in Ireland in 1812.  He received his education from private tutors and Trinity College, Dublin.  In 1835 he was married to Elizabeth Jane Fletcher of Neury, Ireland.  In 1836 he migrated to American and settled in Indiana where he united with the Presbyterian Church.

He was ordained by the Presbytery of St. Joseph, Michigan.  In 1845 Rev. Fox brought a tract of land just north of Lakeview.  During some time previous to 1879, Rev. Fox built a small church on the upper corner of his farm in which ministers of all denominations were invited to preach.  In 1879 the church became the property of the Methodist Conference.

Rev. Fox organized the Presbyterian Church in 1845, built the first church building in 1856 and served the local congregation until 1880 when he retired.

Well Known Men of the Community. IN Souvenir of Oregon Centennial, Supplement to the OREGON OBSERVER, June 26, 1941, p. 31.

A Second profile:
REV. MATTHEW A. FOX, Oregon; he was born in County Longford, Ireland in November 1812; after a course of instruction under a private tutor, he entered Trinity College, Dublin; in May 1836, he reached the New World and located in LaGrange, Co., Ind. where he united with the Presbyterian Church, having studied theology under the Episcopal creed, in Ireland; in 1838, began preaching as a licentiate; was ordained in April, 1839, by the Presbytery of St. Joseph, Mich.; during 1839, he took charge of the Brooklyn and Newburg churches, near Cleveland, Ohio; in 1845, he came to Wisconsin and settled on a new wild farm four miles north of what was afterward Rome Corners; twenty years were spent here, ten in a log house :through the roof of which one could study astronomy.”

As the sketch of the Oregon church shows, Elder Fox was the first Presbyterian minister to locate in this section of Dane Co. and for thirty-three years has he ministered to the spiritual needs of his people, his scarred hands of a Sunday in former days showing labor well and faithfully done on his farm which he still owns, 300 acres on sec. 13, 14 and 24, Fitchburg.  In 1866, he built his pleasant village home. Elder Fox married, in Ireland, Elizabeth Cletcher, who died in march, 1874, leaving four children-William, Edwin, James and Marion (Mrs. D. Osborn); two sons, Loftus and Charles, died before this; the present Mrs. Fox was Mary Nelson, widow of Judge Armstrong, of Janesville.  Elder Fox is an excellent type of the pioneer preacher, erect, strong and manly, one whose labors and example left a deep impress on the hearts of his townsmen.

Reference: Western Historical Co. (1880). History of Dane County, Wisconsin.

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