Date: Saturday, April 7, 2012


I'm writing from San Luis Obispo County, CA. I don't know if you have any families or members named Matlack, but thought I would pass this on in case anyone is interested:

We have a Steubenville native named John Matlack buried here in the Old Mission Cemetary. Basically, Matlack was a well-borer from San Jose, CA. Nothing indicates why he was here in San Luis Obispo, but he joined the local vigilance committee who was seeking to arrest members of the Jack Powers Gang, a notorious band of outlaws that terrorized this county and Santa Barbara county in the 1850's.  He was killed in a gunfight with members of the outlaw band on June 12th, 1858 near Los Osos, CA. The story is documented in "History of San Luis Obispo County, California with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men and Pioneers", by Myron Angel, 1883. 

Matlack has a wonderfully inscribed headstone which reads as follows: 

"Sacred to the memory of John Matlack, a native of Steubenville, Ohio, who was killed June 12, 1858, in assisting to arrest a band of assassins.
Aged 22 years, he died doing his duty." 

Here is the link to a photo of John Matlack's headstone:,%20John.jpg

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

Manny Silva
Los Osos, CA