Henry Walter Matthews was born January 21, 1857, the seventh of seven children. His father was William A. Matthews, one of the original settlers of Green DeWitt's Gonzales colony. W.A. first married Naomi DeWitt, daughter of Empresario Green DeWitt. Naomi's wedding dress was used to make the COME-AND-TAKE-IT Flag. When Naomi died, W.A. married Nancy King Fuqua, sister of William King, one of the Immortal 32. W.A. and Nancy had seven children, the youngest being Henry Walter.
Walter attended the Gonzales College and later took up farming and ranching. On March 10, 1885, he married Elizabeth Rachel "Betty" Askey and they had one son, J.J. Matthews. Betty, born April 26, 1866, in Gonzales, was the daughter of Harrison Askey of Arkansas and Catherine Lloyd Askey of Tennessee. Walter and Betty completed their Greek Revival style home in 1911 and it remained in the family until 1971.
Walter was shot to death by his niece's husband May 16, 1939. Betty died February 11, 1948. They are buried in the Gonzales Masonic Cemetery.