Colonel Asa Carrington Matthews was born in Perry, Illinois, in 1833. He was the son of Benjamin Leach and Minerva Carrington Matthews. Asa attended McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois and after graduating studied law and was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1856. On October 5, 1858, Asa married the daughter of Col. Wm Ross Anna Edna Ross.
In 1862 Asa began to recruit men that would become Company C of the 99th Illinois Infantry and Asa would be elected captain of the company. He rose through the ranks over the course of the war to Colonel. At the end of the war, he was selected by the War Department to accept the surrender of Confederate General Kirby Smith. Matthews was also sent into Indian Territory to negotiate the surrender of Confederate Cherokee and Choctaw Indians who had fought on the side of the south.
After the war Colonel Matthews returned to Pittsfield and his law practice. In the years that followed Asa held several important political positions. He served as Collector of Internal Revenue for the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Elected three times to the Illinois Legislature along with serving as Speaker of 36th Illinois General Assembly. He was appointed the first United States Comptroller by President Harrison. Along with the many political appointments he was highly active in veteran affairs. Asa served on the Vicksburg Commission whose task was to erect a monument on the Vicksburg National Military Park in memory of all the Illinois soldiers who fought at Vicksburg. Asa Carrington Matthews died on June 4, 1908, and was laid to rest in West Cemetery, Pittsfield, Pike, Illinois.