N. W. Mather, the subject of this notice, was born in the town of Malta, Saratoga county, this State Nov. 15, 1804. He was descended from hardworking, respectable parents, one of which, his father, died when he was a lad only seven years of age. Left thus as he was at this tender age, without the care and control of a father, he struggled on in life, thinking and planning, always very largely in accordance with his own personal judgement, althought he had for some time after the death of his father the good and timely counsels of his mother to assist him.
He removed in 1819 to Geneseo, this county, and remained there until 1827, when he settled in the town of Livonia, in that part familiarly known as Canadice Hollow.
In 1829 he married to Jane Ashley of Richmond, Ontariao county, by whom he had five children, four of whom are still living. His wife having died in 1842, he married Miss N. Cornelia VanFossen in 1846, by whom he had four children, who are all still living, one of them being a pastor of a Methodist Episcopal church in Southern California.
He had the satisfaction of seeing all but one of his children grown to maturity and established in life, and of knowing that they were all of them an honor to him who helped to rear them and gave them a father’s care, as well as an honor to the various communities in which they dwell.
Brother Mather thought that he experienced a change of heart when but a small boy. He scarce ever knew the time when he did not pray, althought he did not unite with any church until the year 1849, when he joined the M. E. Church of Hemlock Lake. At the time of his joining, the venerable J. K. Tuttle was pastor. Brother Mather was to the day of his death a very devoted and fully consecrated Christian. He had the great blessing of a very even temperament - always the same, never roiled or ruffled, no matter how severely the breezes might blow. One of his daughters, speaking of this in writing to him upon the occasion of his eightieth birthday, says: “My dear father, I can truly say that there has never been a single act of your life before me which I would change; nothing but kind words have I ever heard from your lips. Could I be assured that the memory of my life might be as blessed to my children as yours is to me, I would be satisfied.” What precious words were these for a father to hear at his advanced age. But we are convinced that they were none too strong.
As we have known him personally, we must pronounce him of noble character, of manly purpose, of the highest Christian devotion, and in his death the church, the community and especially his own family, sustain a loss irreparable to them in this life.
By James E. Wallace - Pastor M. E. Church, Hemlock Lake, NY