George C. Matthams visited the shores of Lake Worth with his wife in 1888. After subsequent visits, they returned in 1891 to become permanent residents.
Matthams was born in England in 1843. He married Elizabeth Lindsell Gower on 10 August 1869, they emigrated to the United States in 1881 and settled in Chicago. They had one child who died young.
George and Elizabeth had a house built on the west shore of Lake Worth. After learning how easily pineapples grew in the South Florida climate, George became a pineapple grower in partnership with Henry Maddock and his son, Sidney. Their plantation extended from Dixie Highway westward to Parker Avenue in what became known as the Flamingo Section of West Palm Beach. After their partnership dissolved, Henry Flagler, having noticed that the beautiful pineapple fields were visible from passing trains and gave a favorable impression to tourists, took over the business.
Matthams, popularly known as Captain Matthams, was a lover of flowers who made trips to the islands to bring back different varieties to plant. He is credited with being the first to raise orchids in this area.
The Matthams celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in West Palm Beach on 10 August 1919 by attending Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and afterward entertaining some close friends. Elizabeth, who had been in poor health for several years, died one week later and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, West Palm Beach. George lived on alone in the house he and Elizabeth had shared since it was built in 1892. He died 14 March 1922 and is buried beside Elizabeth.