Matthews, Nathan, 1854-1927
Nathan Matthews, Jr., Boston's thirtieth mayor, was a native of Boston. He was born March 28, 1854, educated at Harvard, also studied in Germany, and received from the Harvard Law School an LL.D. He was a lecturer on municipal government at Harvard.
Entering politics early in life as a Democrat, he was elected mayor four times, receiving at his second election the largest majority given any mayor up to that time. He opposed Mayor Hart's suggestion that the tax and debt limit be increased, and during his term of office stood for economy and efficiency in the management of public affairs. He reduced the number of executive departments; brought the street departments into closer relations thereby effecting economy; systemized street cleaning; brought the ferries under one head, and wire inspectors under the Fire Department. Many schoolhouses were erected, and the Tremont Street subway built. His whole course as mayor was opposed to laxity or corruption in city management. He was first chairman of the Boston Finance Commission in 1907-09.
Taken from "Boston's 45 Mayors from John Phillips to Kevin H. White," City Record, Boston, 1979.
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Photographs and other images collected by the Boston Landmarks Commission for reference use and for publications as well as photographs taken by the Landmarks Commission documenting their work and city neighborhoods.