Matt J. Scherer, attorney and counselor at law, was born in St. Louis, November 21, 1879. His father, the late Martin Scherer, was a native of Basil, Switzerland, and a son of Martin and Catherine Scherer. The former brought his family, consisting of his wife and son Martin, from Switzerland to the new world, first establishing his home in St. Louis. In 1846 they removed to south St. Louis, which was then known as Frenchtown. The grandfather was a carpenter and builder and followed that vocation to the time of his death, which occurred in the latter part of the ’50s and was occasioned by cholera, which was epidemic at that time. His son, Martin Scherer, was reared and educated in St. Louis and for a quarter of a century was engaged in the art of photography. In 1893 he entered politics and for ten years was assistant city registrar under various administrations, while during the last six years of his life he was successfully engaged in the insurance business. He was also a Civil war veteran, serving as a member of Company G, Third Regiment of Missouri Volunteers. He entered military service as a drummer boy when seventeen years of age and after the close of the war became a member of Hassendeibel Post, G. A. R., serving as adjutant thereof for twenty five years. Politically he was a stanch republican and took a most active part in local, state and national politics. He died in St. Louis in 1911 at the age of sixty-five years and in his passing the city mourned the loss of one of its representative and progressive men, one who had always stood for advancement and improvement in public affairs and who at all times lent his aid and cooperation to plans and measures for the general good. In early manhood he had married Henrietta Hohl, a native of Darmstadt, Germany, and a daughter of Philip and Elizabeth Hohl, who were early settlers of St. Louis. Mrs. Scherer, who still survives, became the mother of three sons and three daughters.
Matt J. Scherer, who was the fourth in order of birth, was educated in the public schools and in the Manual Training school of St. Louis and was graduated from the latter with the class of 1899. He afterward attended the Benton College of Law, from which he received his LL.B. degree in 1907. In the meantime he had made his initial step in the business world. Following the completion of his high school course he took a position with the Burroughs Adding Machine Company, when eighteen years of age, at a wage of five dollars per week. After a short time, however, he secured a better position with the Bell Telephone Company as a draftsman and subsequently was with the Widman-Walsh-Boisselier Architectural Company. He remained with the latter for two years and then took up the profession of teaching in public schools, with which he was thus identified for three years. On the expiration of that period he was advanced to the position of high school teacher, since which time he has taught mechanical drawing, devoting sufficient time from his law practice and the pursuits of his profession to this task, in which he takes a great interest and for which he is highly qualified. He also holds a chair in the St. Louis University, teaching dental jurisprudence. At the same time he is an active lawyer with a good practice, trying all kinds of cases and trying them well.
At St. Louis, on the 7th of August, 1914, Mr. Scherer was married to Miss Clara Selkamp, a native of St. Louis and a daughter of Herman Selkamp, now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Scherer have one child, Ruth, who was born December 11, 1919.
During the World war Mr. Scherer acted as a civil instructor of gas engine work in the St. Louis school detachment of the National Army and also served on the legal advisory board of the eleventh ward. He has always been a stalwart republican and an active worker in ward politics. He belongs to Pomegranate Lodge, No. 95, A. F. & A. M., and has attained the fourteenth degree in Scottish Rite Masonry. He also belongs to the Woodmen of the World, to the O. M. P. and is a member of the Western Rowing Club, the St. Louis Automobile Club and the Chamber of Commerce, while his religious faith is that of the Lutheran church. His activities and his interests are wide and varied and the principles which govern his conduct at all times make him a man of sterling worth, highly esteemed wherever known and most of all where he is best known.