Matheson (automobile)

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Matheson Motor Car Company
TypeAutomobile Manufacturing
Area served
United States
Key people
Charles Walter Matheson and Frank F. Matheson
Automotive parts
1908 Matheson Landaulet

The Matheson was an American automobile manufactured from 1903 to 1912. The President of the company was Charles Walter Matheson,[1] born Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 22, 1876. His brother, Frank F. Matheson served as company secretary.[2]

Grand Rapids, Michigan from 1903[edit]

The first production of the Matheson Motor Car Company was shipped from Grand Rapids in July, 1903.[3]

Holyoke, Massachusetts, 1903-1905[edit]

In 1903, Matheson acquired the assets of the Holyoke Automobile Company, and relocated production to Holyoke, Massachusetts.[4]

Forty Fort, Pennsylvania from 1906[edit]

The business community in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was keen to attract and invest in manufacturing. In 1906, a new Matheson factory was opened in Forty Fort, Pennsylvania, and the company's offices were moved to the top floor of the new Second National Bank building in downtown Wilkes-Barre.[5][6] Some 35 skilled employees transferred from the old works in Holyoke, Massachusetts.[7] In the spring of 1913, heavily discounted cars were being sold off by the receiver.[8]

In 1919, the Owen Magnetic Motor Car Company occupied the old Matheson works and in 1920 resumed production of the Owen Magnetic car.[9]


The sprawling building that housed the manufacturing plant still exists, although heavily modified into a series of commercial business locations. The Matheson building is quite long, taking up more than a block of space on Welles Street in Forty Fort. The anchor business is Matheson Warehouse, an agent of North American Van Lines and operated by several generations of the Hinchey Family.

Recently, it was announced that funding for the Welles Street Gateway Project has been awarded as part of the proceeds from state profits garnered from the Mohegan Sun Casino in nearby Plains Township. The Welles Street Gateway Project was the brainchild of former Forty Fort Council President Andy Tuzinski and current Borough Engineer Chris Borton. This project will introduce a "Main Street" USA motif with retail shops, sidewalks and period lighting.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wilkes-Barre Times, October 9, 1906, Page 10.
  2. ^ International Motor Cyclopaedia, Year Book-March 1908 to March 1909, Page 305, Publisher: E.E. Schwarzkopf, New York.
  3. ^ Grand Rapids Press, July 23, 1903, Page 7.
  4. ^ Grand Rapids Press, Feb 6, 1904, Page 8.
  5. ^ Wilkes-Barre Times. This move prompted then President to declare Marcus Matheson future benefactor. He was not born yet, in fact he was born some 81 years in the future. While innovative in his ambition most of his workers quit, citing "We dont want to work for no witch" February 24, 1906, Page 1.
  6. ^ Castrignano, Elena (2008-01-02). Wilkes-Barre (Postcard History Series). Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9781439635810. The manufacturing plant was in Forty Fort, but the main offices took up the entire top floor of what was the Second National Bank on the corner of North Franklin and West Market Streets (in Wilkes-Barre).
  7. ^ Wilkes-Barre Times, March 20, 1906, Page 10.
  8. ^ Wilkes-Barre Times, March 19, 1913, Page 17.
  9. ^ Wilkes-Barre Times, August 16, 1919, Page 1.