"Out to Lunch" in  the Yellowstone 

Larry's Lunch Stations

Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.

Larry Mathews (sometimes spelled Larry Matthews) was quite a colorful Irishman who managed establishments in Yellowstone from 1888 to 1904. Larry was born in Drogheda, Ireland in 1854 to parents Patrick and Elizabeth Fredigan McMahon.  Larry immigrated to the United States in 1882 and it is assumed that he changed his name to Mathews at that time, to appear less 'Irish.' He moved to Minneapolis and in 1886 married Bridget Clinton. 

 

In 1887 Larry went to work in Yellowstone for Yellowstone Park Association (YPA) at Mammoth.  Larry was moved to manage the Trout Creek Lunch Station in 1888. That tent operation was established along Trout Creek in Hayden Valley. It served the crowd coming over the Mary Mountain road from the Lower Geyser Basin to visit Yellowstone Lake and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. He married Mary Brennan Slatterly in 1890 and the following year daughter Elizabeth, or "Lizzie," was born. When the new road over Craig Pass from Old Faithful to West Thumb opened in 1892, Larry moved his business to Thumb to serve visitors traveling from Old faithful, over Craig Pass, and down to the Thumb of Yellowstone Lake. Thumb was about the halfway point between Old Faithful and Lake Hotel and served as the required lunch stop.

"The Wild Irishman." F.J. Haynes Cabinet Card

larry Mathews, Larry Matthews
Norris Hotel 1887

The 1st Norris Hotel, Spring of 1887.

[F.J. Haynes Stereoview, YNP #345]

The new hotel at Norris opened up in the spring of 1887, even though construction was apparently incomplete. A workman started a fire in an unfinished chimney that set the hotel ablaze on July 14. The Livingston Enterprise reported that there were many guests in the hotel, but that all were saved. ​By the end of 1887 a temporary wooden hotel was completed with 20 sleeping rooms. It was long and narrow, built with 1" board siding. It also had a relatively short life of six years.

The second hotel at Norris burned down in May of 1892 and Larry moved to Norris the following season to establish his third lunch station. He entertained guests at this new station until the Yellowstone Park Association (YPA) opened the second Norris Hotel in 1901. Matthews worked at the hotel the first year, then was sent by YPA to manage the crude Shack Hotel/tent operation at Old Faithful. He spent two years at the Shack, and when the new Old Faithful Inn opened in 1904, Larry became manager there. The Shack Hotel was torn down, probably during construction of the Inn. When YPA refused to increase his pay after 15 years of service, he left the park.

Trout Creek Lunch Station  -  "Hotel de Elk"
1888-1891

 Larry Mathews (also Larry Matthews) was an entertaining Irishman who managed establishments in Yellowstone from 1888 to 1904. Trout Creek became the first Larry's Lunch Station in 1888. The operation began in 1888 by YPA under the management of Larry Mathews. The Trout Creek Station, located in Hayden Valley, was the halfway point between the Fountain Hotel and Yellowstone Lake and Grand Canyon. From Fountain Hotel, the road traveled east over Mary Mountain and Mary’s Lake and down into Hayden Valley. Larry’s offered travelers a break in their journey to have lunch and freshen up a bit. The Lunch Station went by many names, including Hotel De Elk, and the Trout Creek Dinner Station.

 

This was the main route of travelers visiting Canyon and Lake until 1892 when a new road was completed over Craig Pass from Old Faithful to West Thumb. Numerous travelers to this station commented on the flag that Larry flew above his tent. He also had a large stack of elk antlers near the entrance. That year YPA and Mathews moved the operation to West Thumb to provide lunch services along the new road.

yellowstone map

Map ca1905 showing the hotels in the main part of the loop in Yellowstone. Trout Creek was located to the west of halfway point between Canyon & Lake. Click to enlarge.

[NorthWestern RR Brochure, 1907]

One group in 1891 had just ascended Mary Mountain, mostly on foot to ease the load on the stage team. The writer speaks of the "Hotel de Elk.". Ready to descend, "All clambered into coaches, we bowled down its opposite side, for the road was now good and less precipitous, at a lively pace, and landed at the Hotel de Elk at the foot in the best of humor and with the most ravenous appetites. The Hotel de Elk is only a tent where a mid-day meal is served, but to its honor be it said, it is the only place in this park . . . that the stars and stripes were floating. A good meal is set here too, and the wit and contagious spirits of rolicking Larry Matthews, a genuine son of the "ould sod," makes it one of the most enjoyable we have eaten" [Vallec Harold, Portsmouth Daily Times, OH, 3Sep1892]

May A Haslehurst, in her book Days Forever Flown, published in 1892, describes part of her trip in September, 1891:

     “We passed over "Mary's Mountain," a very precipitous climb, one bit of road being so narrow and rough, that Jamie and I walked up it, and found afterwards that we had climbed, not " the golden stairs," but the " Devil's Ladder." . . . After driving about sixteen miles, we came to a hollow in between the hills, and there found a little collection of tents, and were informed that it was "Larry's Lunch Station!" It was a most remarkable place, one tent for a dining-room, one for a waiting-room, a kitchen, and all the necessary requirements; and elk-horns, with their great branches, ornamented every available space in front of the entrance to this remarkable abode. On the white canvas were grotesque drawings, two of which we photographed.

     The owner of this quaint lunch station, was a roaring Irishman, with a fund of ready wit and humor, really remarkable and truly amusing. He acted the part of host to perfection, in his shirtsleeves and little round skull cap, and although "his guests" sat down at his bountiful board as strangers, they arose as friends, for his remarks, as he walked back and forth from one to the other, to see that all were waited upon, produced such an uproar, that we lost all formality and ceremony while in that tent. A long wooden bench stretched down each side of the table, and one either had to go in at the end, or climb over. As one lady climbed to her place at the table, Larry exclaimed, "Please, lady, don't soil the upholstery," and soon perceiving some haste on the part of one person present, he shouted, "You have one hour and a half to eat; this ain't no twenty minute lunch counter."

        Just as we were all seated and had opened our Japanese napkins, and prepared for our meal, Larry electrified us all, by shouting at the top of his decidedly loud voice, "Let her go, coffee," and to our surprise, from another tent near by, there came a young man, with an earthenware pitcher full of really excellent coffee. It was surprising how good things did taste to us all.”

Trout Creek, Lunch Station, Larry's, Larry Mathews

One of the few known images of the Trout Creek Lunch Station. Larry was known for flying a U.S. flag on his main tent. Above the entry reads: "Welcome."

[YNP #109730]

In July 1890 Edith Alma Ross, accompanied by her father, trekked to Yellowstone National Park. The journey was to collect botanical specimens, in addition to touring the park. Leaving the Firehole Basin, their stage struggled up the Mary Mountain Road:

“Having summited the Devil's Stairway, surviving passengers once again climbed aboard the coach and continued westward. About ¾ of the way from the Firehole Hotel to the Hayden Valley road was the midday rest stop called the Trout Creek Lunch Station - Larry Mathews, proprietor. Kipling's group, "pulled up disheveled at Larry's for lunch and an hour's rest. Only "Larry" could have managed that school-feast tent on the lonely hillside. Need I say that he was an Irishman? His supplies were at their lowest ebb, but Larry enveloped us all in the golden glamour of his speech ere we had descended, and the tent with the rude trestle-table became a palace, the rough fare, delicacies of Delmonico, and we, the abashed recipients of Larry's imperial bounty. It was only later that I discovered I had paid eight shillings for tinned beef, biscuits, and beer, but on the other hand Larry had said: "Will I go out an' kill a buffalo?" And I felt that for me and for me alone would he have done it. Everybody else felt that way. Good luck go with Larry"

[Edith A. Ross, A Trip to Wonderland: Yellowstone National Park]

A party in 1892 described Larry’s:

It was way out in the heart of the Yellowstone National Park. We were traveling through there with an excursion party of newspaper men, and one warm day in July, while passing over from the Upper Geyser Basin to the Grand Canon of the Yellowstone River, our stage slopped for lunch at the “Hotel Elk,” a summer hotel, consisting of two big tents and kept by Larry Mathews, one of the jolliest sons of Erin we ever met. His place received its name from a big pile of elk horns in front of the entrance, built up like a monument. Larry's main circus tent was the sitting and waiting room, with some curtained nooks for dressing rooms, and the other was the dining hall with kitchen attached.”

[West Virginia Argus, 16 Feb. 1893]

West Thumb Lunch Station  -  1892

The Yellowstone Park Association (YPA) was granted a lease in 1886 to operate boats on Yellowstone Lake, but did not exercise that option until 1891. At that time a new road was being built over Craig Pass from Old Faithful to West Thumb. Ferry service would eliminate the tedious and dusty ride from the Thumb Lunch Station to the Lake Hotel. E.C. Waters, who had been manager of the National Hotel, accepted the offer to manage the ferry service. The Zillah, a 40-ton steamship, began running that route in 1891 and was licensed to carry 125 passengers. Waters would pay the stagecoach drivers fifty cents for each passenger convinced to take the ferry.  Larry Mathews managed the tent lunch station in 1892 after the Trout Creek station closed. Larry moved to Norris the following year.

"Lunch Station at Thumb, Yellowstone Lake"

Stereoview #1300 High Grade Original Views

[Thanks to Bob Berry, Cody, Wyo., for sharing this photo.]

West Thumb, Thumb Lunch,  Lunch Station, Larry's, Larry Mathews
 Lunch Station, Larry's, Larry Mathews, West Thumb

Larry Mathews and his daughter Elizabeth - "Lizzie." This photo was said to be 1893, however since Lizzie was born June 1891, this would date it to 1892, thus the West Thumb Lunch Station.

[Thanks to Pat Perry for sharing this photo!]

Carrie Belle Spencer, a young school teacher from Nebraska, Yellowstone National Park in July and August, 1892. She was in the company of her older brother Alvah and his wife Adaline. They were “traveling on their own dime,” as they say, and not with the transportation company. She had this to say about Larry’s:

 

   “. . . we were soon on the beautiful waters of the Yellowstone sailing smoothly along toward the Thumb. After a delightful ride of 1 1/2 hr. we landed at the dock on a beautiful beach and saw on a slope not far distant five tents in a row, this is what is known as the Lake Side Lunch station; as we were about ready for lunch and desirous of finding some place to leave our luggage we started in that direction. When not more than half way up the slope a gentleman, with skull cap, white apron, towel etc. started toward us saying "Good morning ladies, good morning", & before we had time to reply he had our luggage in his hands saying "Right this way to the waiting room." & entering this tent, he took me by the arm & pointing out of the tent in an opposite direction he says "Ladies toilet just ahead. . . The waiting room was a tent about 20 ft. sq., dirt floor & contained a few chairs, stove, cigar case & slat benches around the room.   

The "toilet" was out doors & too cute for particulars, ta ta. After arranging our "twilight" and entering the waiting room this man "Larry" Mathews as he proved to be began asking questions & entertained us in a royal manner until we heard the rattle of approaching hacks, which were of course the expected tourists. "Larry" no longer had time for entertaining individuals as each new comer was greeted in the same manner.

    It was not long until we heard the call "All register" & "Right this way to hash". Soon 40 ladies & gentlemen were seated on slab benches at long home made tables, and the bill of fare was soon commenced; it was not very extensive but every thing was enjoyed, being season with Larry's Irish wit. "Run in the hens." "Let 'er go pie." It was not long after lunch until the tourists were on the steamer & we were left in our glory with "Larry, wife and baby Lizzie.”

Norris Lunch Station  -  1893-1901

 Larry established a new "Larry’s Lunch Station" at Norris Geyser Basin in 1893 after the second hotel there burned down in 1892. He entertained guests there in tent facilities through the year 1900. The following year, YPA opened a new Norris Hotel, that Larry managed for the first year.

 

 The Norris Lunch Station was located southwest of the Gibbon River, across from the Norris Ranger Station (current Museum of the NP Ranger).  A small bridge eventually crossed the river around this spot (shown above). The currently road passes through the middle of the old site and a large wildlife viewing pull-out now lines the river. The view to the right shows passengers making the "leap" from the carriage to Larry's porch.

Norris Tent Hotel in 1896.  Photo by FJ Haynes,

courtesy Montana Historical Society

Norris lunch station,  Lunch Station, Larry's, Larry Mathews

Charles Maus Taylor describes his experience at Larry’s in his book, Alaska and the Yellowstone, published in 1901.

     As the stage stops in front of a spacious tent, we are met and heartily greeted by the famous “Larry,” or more properly Mr. Lawrence Matthews, and his pretty daughter Lizzie. With cordial hospitality, Larry invites us into his tent: but this is no “Will you walk into my parlor act,” for within we find all conveniences, by means of which we may make a respectable appearance at the lunch table. We are introduced to Larry’s wife, a sensible woman, who attends to the comfort of the ladies, while Larry offers to the men, with his ever ready joke, “a wee drop under the rose,” which proves to be only a mild lemonade.

     Our whole party is soon seated at a long table, abundantly provided with good fare, well cooked; and we ail do justice to the repast. Meanwhile Larry entertains us with Irish and Yankee songs, and comic anecdotes, interspersed with serious reflections and some valuable suggestions. He “mix’d reason with pleasure, and wisdom with mirth.” Larry’s daughter Lizzie collects specimens of the native flowers of the Yellowstone, and arranges them in small albums, with such graceful and pretty effect, that they find a ready sale among the visitors to the Norris Basin. Having made our selections of these, and finished our lunch, we are ready for the tour of the Basin.”

Larry Mathews, Lizzie Mathews, Yellowstonw

Larry Mathews and his daughter 'Lizzie.'

[Burton Holmes Travelogues, 1905]

George E. Hardy remarked upon Larry’s Lunch Station in The Rosary Magazine in 1896:

    “Lunch at Norris Basin can never be a serious matter as long as Larry is its presiding genius. Larry is one of the characters of the Park. He is an auburn-haired Celt, whose mirth-provoking sallies and lavish hospitality have endeared him to every visitor to the Yellowstone. In the absence of any definite information as to his original surname he has been dubbed by the tour ists, Larry ** Norris,” and as such he is known far and wide.

“   Welcome to Norris Basin, senator! ” was his salutation to the doctor as with dignified courtesy he grasped the latter’s hand.—"A man of more than ordinary penetration anti intelligence,” remarked the doctor, reflectively, when we were discussing Larry’s merits some time later. “Did your sister enjoy the trip? ” Larry slyly inquired of the boyish groom, as he assisted his wife out of the coach. “This way, your Riverence,— I mane your Grace, was his unblushing greeting to Father Moran, the jovial senior member of a party of three Dominican missionaries, as he ushered them into the tent where a bountiful lunch was being served to the hungry tourists.”

The Cheery Irishman

A writer for the Burton Homes Travelogues noted in 1896:

"What traveler does not remember Larry Matthews and his canvas palace? Who can forget his cheery welcome when lifting the ladies from the coach . . . And who can forget the honest Irish face of landlord Larry Matthews? His ready wit is remarkable. Every day he is expected to be funny from 11 to 2 o'clock, during which hours he must not only delight the inbound tourists, but carefully avoid repeating himself in the presence of those outward bound who lunch here the second time . . . We never know what we are eating at Larry's busy table d' hote. He never gives us time to think about the food. He is able to make the people laugh so much and eat so little that the company should meet all his demands for an increase in salary."

Over the years, though, he became a bit haughty when it came to dealing with the independent 'sagebrushers', who traveled through the park on their own, and not with the established transportation companies. He could be become rude or unpleasant with them and try to overcharge them for his services. Aubrey Haines, in his "Yellowstone Place Names", observed that ". . . Larry became over conscious of his importance and less often polite and courteous; also he was more likely to yell at such people . . ."

"Larry's Lunch Station at Norris, 1896. 

[Burton Holmes Travelogues, 1905]

Norris Lunch Station,  Lunch Station, Larry's, Larry Mathews
Norris Lunch Station,  Lunch Station, Larry's, Larry Mathews
Calamity Jane Yellowstone,  Lunch Station, Larry's, Larry Mathews

Top Left: Real-Photo postcard of Larry's Norris Lunch Station, undated.

Top Right:  Larry with Calamity Jane in 1896.

[Burton Holmes Travelogues, 1905]

The Yellowstone Park Association opened a new hotel in 1901 at Norris Geyser Basin, after their previous two hotels had burned in 1887 and 1892. Larry was chosen to manage the new lodgings. It served as a lunch station and also provided 25 sleeping rooms. According to a Rochester, Minn. newspaper, the hotel officially opened Friday evening August 2, 1901.  They touted that,

"A 5 o'clock dinner will be served, after which a grand ball will be given. Ice cream, lemonade and all kinds of fruit will be served during the evening. This hotel is built on the formation, where all the large geysers of the park can be seen from the front porch, is a large affair costing $150,000. including fixtures. A large silk flag 80x47 feet will be erected over the center of the building. 'Mr. Mathews will have the management of the hotel, and is considered by the park association as the best manager in the park. [Post and Record (Rochester, Minn), 2Aug1901]

3rd Norris Hotel & Lunch Station, 1905
Charlie Russell, Wylie Camping

Postcard from the Wylie Camping Co.

Illustration by Charlie Russell

BEARS IN YELLOWSTONE PARK

Furnish Imaginary Adventures for Larry’s Tenderfoot Guests


Colorado Transcript, Nov. 9, 1898


    Among the stories which Horace C. Du Val brought back from, his trip to the Pacific coast was one about "Larry," the proprietor of the luncheon station at Norris, in the Yellowstone Park, which everybody will appreciate who knows the witty Irishman, and few people have made the trip in tie last few years to whom he is unknown.

"The park is full of bears, cinnamon and silver tips," said Mr. Du Val, "and the after-dinner hour at the hotels is always spent by the guests in watching the big clumsy brutes come lumbering out of the woods to feed at the refuse heaps.

    Larry's is only a luncheon station, a big tent, at which tourists stop in the middle of their day's journey for rest and refreshment. All Larry's supplies come from the hotels, and one day, a short time before our visit, the luncheon hour had almost arrived, and the bread wagon from the hotel had not made its appearance. There was not a slice of bread in the tent. Larry is proud of the reputation of his table; something has to be done, and done at once. Already he hears the rumbling of the wheels and the hoofbeats of the horses that tell him that his guests are at hand. An inspiration comes to him. He hastily summons his entire force, waiters, cooks, scullions, and all and imparts a few words of instructions.   

    As the coaches draw up at the front of the tent out dashes Larry at the other end, shouting at the top of his lungs, out comes the table and kitchen force at his heels, waving tablecloths, napkins, anything at hand, and scattering in all directions. “There he goes!” yells Larry. “Head him off, kill the murtherin’ beast! O, the thafe of the world. There he is behind the corn, now we’ll run him down by the fence!” and away they all go dashing about in all directions, the amazed guests still sitting in the coaches and wondering what it is all about.

    One by one Larry’s people return. Larry at their head – hot, crestfallen. “Och, whatever shall I do,” says Larry, “the thievin’ devils; sorra crumb of bread, barrin’ crackers, have I got in the place, the brutes have stolen the whole of it.” The guests assemble around him with words of comfort, but it is long before Larry will be pacified. He’ll have the life of the whole tribe, whether the government protects them or not. Sure, how can he set a decent table if the black marauders steal it all? Little by little the guests calm him down. They “like crackers,” they wouldn’t “eat any bread if they had it.”

    Larry had gained his point, and material had been furnished for an adventure of no ordinary kind, and many members of the party will doubtless entertain their friends with the story of how the bears stole their bread at Larry’s.”

Another Bear Story from the Norris Lunch Station Archives:

Larry Matthews at the lunch station had a midnight raid made on him. Larry is one of the most eloquent, polite and persuasive orators of the Great National Reservation. But all his colloquial powers were insufficient to persuade one of Uncle Sam's bears that there is a limit to human endurance. They got on a regular spree one night, upset the stove and cleaned out the larder. It was a regular bread riot. Larry is a law abiding citizen aud of course went in search of the law in such cases made and provided. While in search of the riot act, Uncle Sam’s proteges got away with whole skins and full bellies.

Sundance Gazette (Wyo) November 25, 1898, page 1

Shack Tent Hotel & Old Faithful Inn  -  1902-1904

After working at the new Norris Hotel in 1901, the YPA sent Matthews to Old Faithful to manage the crude Shack Hotel/tent operation.. He spent two years at the Shack, and when the new Old Faithful Inn opened in 1904, Larry became manager there. The Shack Hotel was torn down, probably at the end of the 1903 season, while during construction of the Inn was going on.

 

Once again, he was a successful and popular manager, and after fifteen years of service, felt his talents and effort deserved an increase in pay. When YPA refused, he left the park for good at the end of the season. During his off-seasons he had been working as an agent in Canada for the Northern Pacific RR. He was also employed by the Gates Touring Co. to lead touring parties to Panama, Cuba, Mexico and Southern California leading and having charge of all arrangements for Gate's Tours. He seems to have retired around 1909. By the late teens he was suffering from cancer, and an operation around 1919 was apparently not completely successful. He had moved in with his daughter for his last years and passed away on Oct. 7, 1922 at age 68.

Old Faithful Tent Hotel, Shack Hotel,  Lunch Station, Larry's, Larry Mathews

Old Faithful visitor Clifford P. Allen recalled being welcomed by Larry Mathews, first manager of the inn. He
recalled the moment when in 1904, church services were held one evening in the Inn’s lobby. After repeatedly checking his timepiece, manager Mathews announced to the assembled worshippers that Old Faithful was about to erupt. In response to the preacher asking for more time for closing hymn and benediction, Larry
said, “You cannot have them, the Geezer waits for no mon.” That was the end of the church service, as everyone filed out to watch the geyser play under the illumination of the inn’s spotlights. According to Allen, “Old Faithful geyser came to time to the minute.”

Old Faithful Tent Hotel, 1903

[Library of Congress, #90715246]

One guest in 1903 related that, "Driving up to the hotel we received the most effusive welcome of the entire trip. Larry Matthews, as wild an Irishman as ever escaped from the Emerald Isle, is in charge there. He meets all guests in the same loud and enthusiastic manner and hustles around amongst them during their stay, inquiring “is iv’rything all might” and cracking jokes he has probably used every day of the Park season during the past dozen years."

[The Big Sandy News, Louisa, Kentucky, 21 Aug 1903]

Now ‘‘Old Larry” is an interesting Irishman who keeps the “Auld Faithful Hotel.” In the art of talking, he is perpetual motion, never lets up from the time you arrive till you go away and all his geysers are “geesers" hence “Our Geeser Girl. Just after we had all got settled for dinner. Larry, who was every where present, would announce: “Now. ladys and gintlemen. auld Faithful is due in tin minutes, you can see her from the porch, but there's no hurry, ivery body eat all they kin.” Now some were so unkind as to say Larry was afraid we
would eat too much. Any how he served a good dinner and the best ginger bread I ever ate.

[The Fairmount News, Fairmount, Ind., 03 Nov1903, p4]

Larry Mathews and guest at the Old Faithful Inn, 1904

"Jolly'in a Guest."

[T.W. Ingersoll Stereoview, 1905]

Old Faithful Inn,  Lunch Station, Larry's, Larry Mathews

IN A TENTED FIELD.
One of the promises of the tour was that we should sleep in tents one night, and at noon on Tuesday we espied in the distance a snowy line of tents adjoining "Larry's" lunch station. Larry is a garrulous Hibernlan noted in the guide-books, whose jokes have delighted tourists for some ten years. Our party took three meals with Larry and found a great similarity between his jokes and his meals; but he is one of the features of the trip. Our tents were almost convenient enough to be ridiculous for tents. They had all the necessities and were actually supplied with stoves. Each tent has six rooms and a hall. In the morning a voice shouted, "All who want hot water put out their small pitchers," and where should this luxury come from but from the "Old Faithful" geyser, a stone's throw away. They have a barrel set on wheels and all they do Is to ladle out the boiling water and bring it to the tents. We are cautioned not to drink it, however.

[THE INDIANAPOLIS Journal, SUNDAY. Sept. 7. 1902]

Larry's Camp,  Lunch Station, Larry's, Larry Mathews

It is said that a grouchy old fellow complained to Larry one day about the turkey  they had for lunch, and in accents wild asked Larry where they came from.  Larry whispered as low as the "groucher" had talked loud, "They came over in the Mayflower and walked here."

 

 

Larry swears sometimes, and a lady who heard him said: “Larry, if you talk like that-where do you think you’ll go when you die?”

“It makes not the slightest difference, ma'am,” replied the jolly Irishman. “I’ve lots of friends in both places.”

Lawrence Mathews,  Lunch Station, Larry's, Larry Mathews

Top Left: Description of the Old Faithful tent hotel, 1903.

[Vicksburg Evening Post, 15Aug1903]

Right:  Part of Larry's tombstone at Saint Mary's Cemetery, Minneapolis.

[Photo from FindaGrave.com]

FUNERAL TODAY ENDS VARIED CAREER OF "LARRY" MATHEWS

Lawrence "Larry" Mathews, aged 68, passed away at the home of his daughter Mrs. Ralph L. Kirsch, Elm street, shortly after four o'clock Saturday. Death was due to cancer from which the deceased had been failing for weeks. An operation for cancer three years ago was not wholey successful. "Larry" as his friends called him was born on January 29, 1854 in Droghoda County, South Ireland, the son of Patrick and Elizabeth Matthews. He came to the United States in 1880 and settled in Minnesota. In 1885 he went to Yellowstone National park where he had charge of park hotels for 18 years achieving a wide reputation among thousands of tourists. He spent the winters of these years in Panama, Cuba, Mexico and Southern California leading and having charge of all arrangements for Gate's Tours. Mr. Matthews also was a traveling passenger agent for the Northern Pacific Railroad during part of this time. In 1909 he retired from active business and returned to his old farm near Rochester, Minn., where he lived until 1918 when he came to Crookston. He had resided in the city with his daughter, Mrs. Ralph L. Kirsch since that time. The deceased is also survived by his wife Mary Brennan Matthews.

Crookston Daily Times - October 9, 1922

Famous Larry and his Lunch Station,  Lunch Station, Larry's, Larry Mathews