The Dixie Kid
William H. "Dixie" Matthews was considered by many one of the finest athletes the state has ever produced. An incredible all-around athlete who excelled at baseball and football and captained the basketball team at Technical High School. He was an All-Rhode Island catcher for Tech in 1927 and 1928 and at end on the football team in three consecutive years (1925-27). At Providence College he continued to star at both sports before becoming a prolific semi-pro player. He led the Dixie Matthews Colored All-Stars, Providence Colored All-Stars and the Royal Colored Giants barnstorming against leading outfits on the diamond as well as "Daddy" Blacks Colored Panthers basketball five.
He continued on the gridiron with the Natick Sacred Hearts, Providence Steam Roller and Brown University great Fritz Pollard's Brown Bombers. He also played on the undefeated 1933 Providence Huskies eleven that was the only team in the professional or semi-professional record books to have not allowed their opponents to score a single point over an entire season. He was a former First Deputy City Clerk of Providence. "Dixie", as he was known to all, was considered by leaders of the city's African-American community as their "first but unofficial" City Councilman. Born in Providence, he retired after thirty-eight years of City employment, culminating in his appointment to the highest City post ever held by an African-American. He was very active in both civic and political causes.