Matthews was considered a crony of Mark Twain, Kippling and Roosevelt. His friendship reached back to 30 years with Twain. Though listed simply as an instructor of Columbia University, Matthews had studied law there. After completing his academic degree along with his law degree, Matthews spent time in London and Paris. He made many friends there, but returned to New York where he became a professor of English, literature, and dramatic literature beginning in 1891. During his residence, Brander wrote prolifically and assisted in the founding of widely known organizations including the Authors and Players Clubs, the American Copyright League, and the Dunlap Society. His death was published across the nation and declared as a great loss to the literary and art world. Half of the residue of his estate was left to Columbia University to expand the Brander Matthews Dramatic Museum.
The new owner of 337 West 87th may take a walk around the home once belonging to Matthews knowing that the history of a longtime owner contributed so deeply in the literary world and may have been the host of his good friends Twain, Kipling, and Roosevelt.