Richard Van Zeelust Mattison (1851-1936)

Dr Richard V. Mattison, the "Asbestos King" of Ambler, Pennsylvania

Associated Houses

Lindenwold Castle


Beach Cliffe


He was born in Solebury Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He was a graduate of both the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (1873) and the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania (M.D., 1879). He formed a partnership with his old classmate Henry G. Keasbey and began manufacturing pharmaceutical products followed by asbestos products that revolutionized the building industry. Becoming known as the "Asbestos King" Dr Mattison was the business brain behind Keasbey & Mattison and expanded their interests as President of the Bell Asbestos Co., at Thetford Mines, Quebec; President of the Asbestos Shingle, Slate & Sheathing Co.; President of the Ambler Spring Water Co.; and President of the Upper Dublin Water Company. He was Vice-President of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy; President of the Philadelphia Drug Exchange; President of the First National Bank of Ambler; and, a director of other industrial and financial concerns in Philadelphia, New York, & Montreal.

"Doc" Mattison was married twice: (1) In 1874, at Hightstown, New Jersey, he married Esther, daughter of James Dafter. They had 3-children but were survived by just one son. (2) In 1920, the year after the death of his first wife, he married one of her friends, Mrs Eleanor (Cottrell) Seger of Princeton, New Jersey. He lived between Lindenwold Castle at Ambler (the town he built) and Bushy Park (also called Beach Cliffe) in Newport.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 22/09/2021 and last updated on 04/10/2021.