“Henry H. Matthews was born at the Arsenal Academy of Columbia, South Carolina, Oct 23rd, 1854, and was the son of Captain Joseph Matthews who at that time was Superintendent of that branch of the South Carolina Military Academy, known as the “Arsenal,” having risen from the position of a private in the U. S. Army to the office of Superintendent, with the rank of Captain, of this institution. At an early age Brother Matthews was left an orphan, his father dying during a recess of the Academy in June 1856, his mother following in 1865. His school days were spent in the city of his nativity, where he received written distinctions for meritorious conduct and proficiency in studies. He came to Alabama in 1870 and located in the city of Montgomery, which position he held under various appointments to the time of his death.
Brother Matthews “sought his first light” in Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 173 A.F.& A. M., on the 19th of November, 1875, less than one month after arriving at the age of twenty-one years, and was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on the 14th of January, 1876. He served his Lodge as Worshipful Master for three different terms. A further advance in Masonry was made by his receiving the Capitular Degrees in Montgomery R. A. Chapter No. 22. He was exalted a Royal Arch Mason January 19th, 1877, and was elected High Priest thereof in June, 1888, and re-elected in June, 1889. He was anointed, consecrated and set apart to the Holy Order of High Priesthood in 1899. He was received and greeted in Montgomery Council No. 3 R. & S. M., November 28, 1894, and was elected Thrice Illustrious Master thereof in 1898. He was knighted in Montgomery Commandery No. 4, K.T. in 1879.
Brother Matthews filled the various stations of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Alabama and was elected M. W. Grand Master December 7, 1904, and re-elected December 6th, 1905.In the Grand Commandery of Alabama, he was elected R. E. Grand Commander in May, 1897, and served the Constitutional limit, retiring in May, 1898, and was appointed Inspector General in 1901, and acted as such until May, 1906, declining reappointment on account of failing health. Brother Matthews also received the various degrees of the A. A. Scottish Rite from the 4th to the 32nd, inclusive, the latter degree having been conferred on him February 4th 1903, at Birmingham, Alabama during the reunion held in that city.
Henry Hudson Matthews died June 6, 1906 after a long and serious illness during his second term as Grand Master and was unable to complete his term. He was a man of unimpeachable character much respected and beloved in the community in which he lived and his virtues as a man and citizen were recognized wherever he was known.”