My Contribution: I was a Christian missionary who served as president of the Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion Church Missionary Society. I contributed to the financial and overall well-being of my church and was an activist and organizing member of the Independent Order of the Daughters of Temperance.
My Legacy: I was a dedicated leader of Black Christian organizations in Harrisburg. Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion Church remains a fixture of Harrisburg, thanks in great part to the benevolent work of my life.
About Me: “Special services will be held in Wesley Union African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church tomorrow evening by the Missionary Society in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Mrs. Matilda Stuart as an active worker in the society. She has been president of the society for forty-five consecutive years.” — Harrisburg Telegraph, March 27, 1920.
Full Name: Matilda Bryan, Mrs. Matilda Stuart. Alternate Spellings: Stewart, Steward
Birth Date: October 31, 1843
Death Date: August 15, 1925
Place of Birth: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Race: Black (1880-1920 Federal Censuses) and “Colored” (Certificate of Death)
Places of Residence: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: 418 South Street (1880-1910, owned) and 1511 Derry Street (1917-1925)
Connection to the Old Eighth Ward: Resident and property owner; active member of Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion Church.
Family Members: Father: A. Bryan. Mother: Matilda Lew- is. Husband: Jeremiah Stuart. Children: Mary Stuart, Anna “Annie” E. Stuart Davis. Son-in-Law: John M. Davis. Grandchildren: Steward J. Davis, Morris R. Davis, John N. Davis, Dorothy A. Davis, Forrest Davis, Ross O. Davis, Myrtha L. Davis, Matilda A. Davis Fitzhugh, and James M. Fitzhugh (grandson-in-law).
Education: Could read and write.
Occupations: Cook. Mother. Missionary.
Church Membership: Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion Church
Activism: Active in Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion Mission- ary Society (president for over 40 years), Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion (stewardess), Wesley Union A.M.E. Zion Church W. H. and F.M. Society, Willing Workers’ Club, and Independent Order of the Daughters of Temperance
Connections: J. Steward Davis (grandson), Mildred Mercer Cannon, Hannah Braxton Jones, Joseph Popel, John P. Scott, Morris H. Layton, Sr., Annie E. Amos, and John Q. Adams.