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The Childs-Mathewson House, built in 1844, is in an historically residential part of Durham, in the north part of the Historic District and on the west side of
The side doorway is flanked by plain pilasters which rise to a polygonal pediment above. The 6/6 sash facade windows are shuttered. A curved-top frame 4/4 is in the facade gable; the latter has a full pediment. A full entablature runs around the entire house. A 2 story bay with 6/6 sash windows, a single-story flat-roofed
garage, and a gabled dormer with one 6/6 sash window have been added to the north side. The house was remodeled around 1940.
The CHilds-Mathewson House, built in 1844, is a 2 1/2 story, 3 bay, side-hall plan, Greek Revival style dwelling. Its double-chimney post-and-beam frame has a gable-to-street roof, asbestos-shingled siding, and a sandstone foundation. From 1841 to 1844 Clerrent M. Parsons sold several small contiguous plots (on the west side of Main Street) to Dr. Seth L. Childs, who had come from New York after studying medicine there. In 1845 Childs conveyed his entire lot, now with a dwelling house and buildings upon it, to Jonathan C. Fowler, who in the next year sold the house to Dr. Benjamin L. Fowler, a graduate of the Yale Medical School.
The house became the home and office of Dr. Rufus W. Mathewson in 1857. Mathewson, a widely respected New England physician, was born in Rhode Island. He studied medicine at Yale and in New York, and was known for his treatment of typhoid fever and scarlatina.
Near the end of the nineteenth century, the house and the medical practice passed to Rufus’s son, Dr. Earl Mathewson.In addition to its distinction in the medical realm, the Mathewsons were also active entrepreneuurs. They were among the organizers of the Durham Manufacturing Company and have continued their association with the firm to the present. This home was the historic residence and office of Durham’s nineteenth-century physicians.