Early Settlers

Frank Matty





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McGrath Genealogy  |  Upperchurch Connections  |       Old Mattydale          |  What's New  |  Contact

















Frank Matty

This is a picture of Frank Matty's house on the northeast corner of Brewerton Road and E. Molloy Road from a newspaper published in about 1947. The picture taken by Keith Choiniere from a photo at the Salina Free Library. At just about this time the McKinley supermarket was built on the property butting up against the house on the south side. The house itself was eventually incorporated into a paint store that adjoined McKinley's on the north side. It was named Gilbeau's Color Bar.


Connection to Mattydale

Although his name has stuck to that part of the town of Salina, on the old plank road, just past the city line, Frank Matty was a late comer to the region. In 1900 he had purchased the Zimmer farm, with the aid of his friend Anson Alvord, but never moved onto the farm until late 1913 or early 1914. He arrived with his companion, Minnie Mansfield, driven not so much to found a community but to reduce his living expenses in light of his deteriorating financial situation. In March of 1915 he declared bankruptcy.


As more farms were turned into residential developments the population grew. The once sleepy farming community was rapidly becoming a competitive grouping of new neighborhoods. The formerly quiet school board meetings became riotous affairs, requiring the regular attendance of law enforcement to maintain order. Frank was always at the center of these activities even before he was elected to the Board of Trustees for the first time in 1925. Matty was enjoying his 2nd political career as he turned Salina School District No. 3 into a miniature version of his old 3rd Ward back in Syracuse. Until his death in February 1939 Frank Matty was actively involved in all aspects of the growth of the area that came to be known as Mattydale.


Family History

Where did they originally come from

Frank Matty was born in Mexico, NY in 1850. He was the only member of the Matty family to ever reside in Mattydale and that was several years after his long and colorful political career in Syracuse had come to an end. Frank didn't come to the area to build a life - he came to retire or so he thought. 


Where did they initially settle

The Victor Matty family came to Syracuse from Colosse, NY, in Oswego County, around 1861-2. They first settled at 73 Seymour Street, a street where other Matty relatives also lived. After a brief stint with the Syracuse Police force Victor Matty started a wood yard in Clinton Square. The family soon moved to Noxon Street, now Herald Place, just two doors down from the hotel on the northwest corner of Noxon and N. Salina Streets. Frank went on to have a long political career that is too involved to cover here.


Family connections

Unlike many of the other early settlers of the area, Frank came to what would become Mattydale at the end of his political career in Syracuse. He didn't marry into one of the local families and raise a family. Despite the fact that Frank had been married three times he had no children. He had no connections to the other families in the area when he arrived.


Property History

One of the first owners of the property that would become Frank Matty's farm was Richard Adams. He was not related to Miles Adams, who was also one of the early settlers of the area. Upon Richard's death the land went to his son, Claudius Adams, who sold the farm to Silas Zimmer and his wife in October 1886. Silas Zimmer died in the early 1890s and his wife Harriet remained on the farm and survived a tornado and a disastrous fire [1895-09-23] that destroyed her barns. After she died in 1899 there was a foreclosure on the property and Frank Matty picked up the farm in June 1900. He donated some of the land for the Episcopal Church, the fire department and the new school house. In 1922 he sold 20 acres to a developer and Mattydale was born. Even in this he was just an early follower with Syracuse Villas and Hinsdale Farms being the first area farms turned into a residential development. Unlike the others, Frank only sold 20 acres, he kept the rest and sold these lots to the public himself.


Notable Facts or Events

The Arrival of Frank Matty


The Building of the Legend - Frank Matty's Birthday Parties


The funeral of Frank Matty, February 13, 1939. Photo courtesy of Frank Calandra.

Originally published in the Syracuse Herald, Tuesday, February 14, 1939.



[1895-09-23] - "Big Fire in Salina, " The Evening Herald, Syracuse, NY, Monday, September 23, 1895.