African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

John Frederick Matheus, Biographical Note, in "Caroling Dusk" (1927)


"I was born September 10, 1887, in Keyser, West Virginia. My early education was received in Steubenville, Ohio, my mother's home. I was graduated from High School in 1905. For one year thereafter I was bookkeeper and helper in a plumbing shop. Proceeding to Cleveland, Ohio, I entered Adelbert College of Western Reserve University. In 1910 I won the A.B. degree cum laude and a wife.

I lived for a time in Philadelphia then began service in the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College at Tallahassee, as teacher, first of Mathematics, then of Latin and English. Later I became Professor of Romance Languages. During the war and after, I served as the college auditor and secretary.

In 1921 I received the M.A. Degree from Columbia University and the Teachers College Diploma as teacher of French. In 1922 I became professor of Romance Languages in the West Virginia Collegiate Institute, Institute, West Virginia. In 1924 I traveled in Cuba; in 1925 I studied at the University of Paris during the summer and toured Switzerland, Italy and southern France.

My interest in letters began early in grammar school days. The daily papers of my home town used to print my puerile efforts when copy ran low.
Recently I have been the recipient of prizes and mention in the three annual Opportunity Literary Contests and in the 1926 Crisis contest, for short stories, personal sketches, a play and poems. The 1925 Opportunity prize story 'Fog' is published in the New Negro, edited by Alain Locke.”

Published in Caroling Dusk1927