History of Coles County, Illinois
By Charles Edward Wilson
Transcribed by K. Torp
Note: In explanation of the lack of uniformity in spelling the name "Humbolt," or "Humboldt," it is proper to state that, on the organization of the township which now bears that name, it was called "Milton," but in 1860, was given the name "Humbolt," spelled in the county records without the "d" In 1875 this name was applied to "Milton Station," the principal village and postoffice in the township, but about 1902 the Government, in its official publications, changed the name of both the township and the village to Humboldt. The original spelling, however, seems to be largely retained locally, as well as on Railway Guides, County Maps, etc.
Humbolt Township (spelled in Government publications"Humboldt") is one of the prettiest, the wealthiest and most productive townships ships of the county. It lies on the northern tier of townships and is the second township from the west. It is bounded on the north by Douglas County, on the east, south and west by Seven Hickory, Lafayette and North Okaw Townships, respectively. It contains fifty-four square miles and comprises all of Township 13, and the south half of Township 14 North, Range 8 East. It has, perhaps, more fine country homes, well kept farms and up-to-date improvements than any other township in the county. It is somewhat undulating without being broken, and has only a slight bit of native woodland, that being a skirt of the North Okaw timber about one mile long and one-half mile wide. The township is traversed by the Illinois Central Railroad, which enters Section 21 on the north and leaves on Section 31 at the south. Its only water-way is Flat Branch, a tributary of the Okaw River, which courses its way east and west, entering at Section 36, Township 14, and leaving at Section 6, Township 13. This stream is the principal drainage outlet of the township, four large drainage ditches emptying into it. Eight iron bridges cross it, and, throughout the township, iron bridges span every water-way whether in the field or on the highway.
Through the south half of the township is a portion of a fifteen-mile water-shed, the crest of which is thought to be the highest point in the county. It was on this ridge that the University of Illinois selected a 13-acre tract, on the Charles Westrup farm, for experimental farming in 1904. Here thirteen varieties of corn were cultivated, the Boone County white corn being the standard. Fine results were obtained. In 1905, in order to be nearer to the railroad, a similar tract was rented on the Joseph Farrar farm, near Doran's Station. Here, also, thirteen varieties of corn were planted and cultivated during the summer, this station, also, being on the water-shed.
The soil of the township is deep and black, and that reclaimed by drainage is extremely rich and productive. It has the distinction of being the home of the largest land-owner and wealthiest man in the county, John Moore, who settled where he now lives in 1857. He, Jefferson Harry, Mrs. William Stevens and Mrs. Nancy Hawkins, are the only pioneers of the township yet living. The first child born in the township was the late William A. Poorman, on March 7, 1842.
The first broom-corn in the township was grown by Col. John Cofer in 1865. His first planting was two bushels of Tennessee evergreen, in the extreme northeast portion of the township. The industry increased annually, and from 1870 to 1890 about 10,000 acres were grown yearly. Since then the acreage has gradually shrunk, and in 1904 about 2,500 acres were planted.
There never was known to be a log house in the township, and outside of the village of Humboldt, there is to-day neither a brick nor a stone building except what was formerly the Evangelical Lutheran church in the southwest corner of Section 15.
Walter Dunn, the turfman, had a half-mile track on his -farm just west of the village of Humboldt on Section 5, from 1887 to 1890. There he raised and trained several fine track horses, among them being Argot Wilkes, the famous pacer, (time 2:14¼), for which Mr. Dunn was offered $14,000.
In Section 19, on the Illinois Central Railroad is Doran's Crossing. It was established in 1856 and, in 1865 an elevator was built by F. and I. Jennings, of Mattoon. It came into possession of the Mattoon Elevator Company in 1899, and in 1900 it gave place to a 40,000 bushel elevator. In 1903 another elevator was built by the company, having a capacity of 10,000 bushels. The annual output of both elevators is estimated at 350,000 bushels.
Doran's also has a small park and a reservoir, the latter being excavated 100 feet long, 65 feet wide and 8 feet deep by the Illinois Central Railroad in 1880 at a cost of $2,500. It supplies the locomotives at that point with water.
A postoffice is also maintained at Doran's, the present Postmaster being George Ricketts.
Humbolt Village.— In 1853, A. A. Sutherland settled on the present site of Humbolt, and in the same year built a two-story house, the finest in the township. In 1859 he donated ten acres of ground to the railroad for a town-site and platted a twenty-acre tract just east of it, which is now known as the original town. The first name given to it was Milton Station, under which it was incorporated February 20, 1866, the first Village Board being W. B. Hawkins, President; H. L. Stewart, Clerk; W. A. Wood, Treasurer; J. P. Westby, J. C. B. Wharton, H. L. Stewart, W. B. Hawkins and W. A. Wood, Trustees. The original town was enlarged by Wampler's first and second additions to the west and Hays' addition to the north.
Shortly after the railroad was built a depot and freight office were erected by the company, Dr. Wesley Wampler being the first ticket and height agent, in which capacity he served until 1870. He and T. K. Fleming, in 1859, erected the first houses built in the village. Wampler also built and conducted the first store. In 1860, John Payne, from Paris, Ill., opened a second store.
Business Establishments. — In 1868, Dr. C. M. Odell established a drug store and later another was opened by Hawkins & Stewart.
A postoffice called Milton Station was established in 1838 (? or 1858?) with Aric A. Sutherland as Postmaster. In 1861 he was succeeded by Silas Wood, and he, in turn, by G. W. Gray. Other changes were made with the changes of administration. In 1875 the name of the postoffice was changed to Humbolt, later, by Government authority, to Humboldt. In 1888 the office was separated from the stores and given a building to itself. Clark Elkins was Postmaster at the time. He was succeeded by W. A. Combs and S. C. Ashbrook, each of whom served four years. In 1901 Mr. Elkins was reappointed and is still serving the public. The postoffice has a lobby, well stocked with stationery and notions. It also has a 25-mile rural route to the west, which serves 600 people. J. S. McGee is carrier.
There are two grain elevators in Humbolt and four broom-corn warehouses. One elevator, owned by Cuppy Brothers, has a capacity of 35,000 bushels. It was built in 1902 to take the place of one burned in 1901. The latter was bought of Moore Brothers in 1900, and was built on the site where, in 1872, and also in 1865, a mill belonging to Mr. Watkins burned.
The other elevator, having a capacity of 40,000 bushels, is owned by J. M. Ernst, and was built in 1903, at a cost of $7,000. It is on the site where three previous elevators burned, the first being erected in 1859. The average shipments of grain from these two elevators, annually amount to 300,000 bushels.
Two of the broom-corn warehouses are owned by J. Danner, and have a combined capacity of 225 tons; another, of 75 tons capacity, is owned by S. W. Phillips, of Mattoon; and the fourth, of .50 tons capacity, is owned by J. M. Ernst.
Schools and Churches. —The first school in Humbolt was the result of a divided district. In 1861 a small school house was built in Section 4 on the John McNutt land, a short distance east of Humbolt. The first directors of this school were John McNutt and Richard Brown, and among the early teachers were Nana Humiston, John H. Moore and M. G. Stevenson. In 1870 the district was divided, the little school was abandoned and the same year the Humbolt school, a two-story building, was erected. Among the early teachers were: R. T. Barr, John H. Moore and M. G. Stevenson. In 1893 it was burned and another was erected in its stead. The building is one story, with two rooms, and still serves the needs of District No. 70. The present Board is composed of J. M. Ernst, E. M. Mulliken and I. A. Hogan, and the teachers for the winter of 1904-05 were Douglas Moore and Olive Coon.
At present there are two churches in Humbolt. The Methodist Episcopal Church was erected in 1859, one mile west of Humbolt, in Section 6. In 1868 it was moved to Humbolt. In 1870 the building was torn down and the materials shipped to Larned, Kans., and used in the building boom of that city. In the same year another church was erected on the site, which still stands, having been improved with additions, including a Sunday School room and vestibule. A prosperous Sunday School is maintained. Among the early trustees were John Poorman, John Lowden and Judge Walker, the first pastors being Revs. William Mitchell and Hookstep.
The other is the Disciples' Church, known as the "Church of Christ." It was built about 1870 at a cost of $1,000, an early elder being W. B. Hawkins. It was reorganized in 1897, and since that time a fine Sunday School has been maintained, E. M. Mulliken being the continuous Superintendent. He was also an early trustee and an elder of the church, which offices he still holds. Among the other officers of the church are S. B. Moore, James Daugherty and J. S. Grant. The present pastor is Rev. Louis M. Mulliken.
Two churches have been abandoned. A Presbyterian was built in 1882, but the congregation disbanded in 1890, and the building is now being used as a broom-corn warehouse.
The Catholic Church, known as the Holy Angels, was built in 1870 under the direction of Father Mangin. In 1898, during the pastorate of Rev. Father Martin, it was abandoned. It was torn down in 1902 and used in the building of a double house by Thomas Cowton.
Business Enterprises.—A telephone exchange was established in August, 1901, and is yet maintained, the officers being James McDougle, President; J. O. Toland, Vice President; S. C. Ashbrook, Secretary. It has eleven rural lines and two clear lines. It serves 187 families in the country and has twenty-five local phones.
The village also has three general merchandise stores, one drugstore, two barber shops, two blacksmith shops, one meat market, one entertainment hall, two hardware stores, two furniture stores, one undertaking establishment, one harness shop, one feed stable. In addition, it has an enterprising newspaper, "The Humbolt News," established by J. S. Grant in 1898, who is still editor and proprietor.
In 1900 a township hall was built, and it is there that the township elections and political meetings are held. The village has nearly one mile of concrete walks, built during the last two years.
The only brick business building in the town is the bank building. It is one story and has a burglar and fire-proof safe and a steel vault for private boxes. It is known as the First National Bank of Humbolt, and was opened for business July 1, 1904. The officers are E. M. Mulliken, President; S. B. Moore, Vice-President; John W. Poorman, Cashier.
Fraternal Organizations.—On March 21, 1877, Prospect Lodge, No. 636, I. O. O. F., was organized under dispensation by Deputy Grand Master James Hamilton, new of Mattoon. On October 10th a charter was granted, the first principal officers being: W. B. Kennedy, N. G.; J. D. Denning, V. G.; Hugh Maxey, Secretary; O. M. McNutt, Treasurer. For several months after the organization of the lodge meetings were held in a wagon shop. In September a building was purchased for $600. Here meetings were held until 1887 when the present Odd Fellows' building was erected at a cost of $4,000. The upper story is used for a lodge room, which is handsomely furnished and fully equipped. Three storerooms occupy the lower floor. Prospect Lodge is one of the wealthiest in the county, having real estate and personal property valued at more than $20,000, while the aggregate wealth of the members is $2,000,000 or more. A cemetery is also maintained by the lodge. In 1880 John Moore donated to the lodge five acres and twenty rods one mile west of Humbolt for cemetery purposes. In 1902 the lodge purchased fifteen acres adjoining, which was also platted. The cemetery is the pride of the township, being one of the best kept in the county. A six-room cottage in the cemetery serves as a house for the sexton, L. J. Oliver, who is employed by the lodge. The cemetery has many fine monuments, is set with four hundred evergreens and is indeed picturesque.
May 1, 1890, Agamemnon Lodge, No. 237, Knights of Pythias, was organized with twenty-eight charter members. Meetings are held in the hall of Prospect Lodge on Thursday night of each week. The principal officers are: J. W. Poorman, P. C.; V. L. Reed, C. C.; C. R. Holmes, V. C.
In June, 1897, Humbolt Court of Honor, No. 591, was organized with eleven charter members. The first officers were: Rev. H. L. Murray, Chancellor; Miss Lessie Major, Vice Chancellor; Miss Cora Mizelle, Recording Secretary. At present it has a membership of thirty-eight, the officers being W. P. Brown, Chancellor; C. A. Stewart, Vice-President; E. M. Mulliken, Recording Secretary.
In December, 1894, Humbolt Camp, No. 2604, AL W. A., was organized with nineteen charter members. Among the first officers were: A. F. Moore, V. C., and E. M. Mulliken, Clerk. The present principal officers are: J. S. Grant, V. C.; D. S. Bryant, Advisor; E. M. Mulliken, Clerk.
On March 3, 1905, Humbolt Lodge, M. A. F. O., was organized with 101 members, the three highest officers being: Frank Shirley, President; Edward Poorman, Vice-President, and Frank Trimble, Secretary.
Country Schools.—Outside of the village of Humbolt, there are thirteen schools in the township. South of Humbolt, in Town 13, there are eight schools.
The oldest is the Bond School, in District No. 78, located in the northeast corner of Section 35. It was originally near the north line of Section 36, an early Board being: Lane Loflen, Rev. Robert Hill and Jacob Harry. Early teachers were a Mr. Huntington and an Englishman named Cresswick. In 1869 the school was moved to its present location.
In 1859 a small school house was built in what was known as "Blue Grass Grove," in Section 4, one-half mile southeast of Humbolt. An early board was composed of James Kelly and Ira Steele, and among the early teachers were Maggie Edgar and Lottie Johnson. The building was 16x24 feet, and often as many as sixty-five children attended the school. It was moved about 1868 two miles east of the W. K. Watson farm, in Section 2, and a year later one-half mile south to the Richard Brown farm, in the same section. For ten years longer it served the community, among the teachers being Noble Danner, James Danner and Daniel H. Robertson. James Kelly, B. E. Hilligoss and Daniel H. Robertson constituted an early Board. In 1879 a new building was erected in Section 11, on the Tinch land, for which the school was named. It is in District No. 73 and the present Board consists of W. R. Wampler, J. W. Ashbrook and Wesley Hood. It also has a library of fifty-one volumes, established in 1903.
In 1865 the school now known as the "Black" was built at a cost of $500 in the northern part of Section 8 on the Black farm. An early Board was composed of Alfred Grooms, J. W. Seaman and George Moore, and among the early teachers were M. G. Stevenson, R. P. Barr and E. P. Walters. Three years later the school was moved about three-quarters of a mile south to the John Moore farm, in the southern part, where it now stands in District No. 72. The present Directors are: James Grooms, J. C. Moore and A. F. Moore.
The Poorman School. District No. 71, was originally built in 1868, three-quarters of a mile south of where it now stands. An early Board was made up of W. A. Poorman and S. H. Gasaway, and among the early teachers were M. G. Stevenson and R. P. Barr. In 1876 it was moved to the southwest part of Section 5, where it is now located.
In 1869 the Doran or Bean School. District No. 76, was erected in Section 29. The first Board embraced the names of Z. J. Baird, S. C. Doran and J. W. Farrar, and among the early teachers were: Maggie Donelson, Erastus Kinzel and John Moore. In 1882 it was abandoned and the present school was built at the west boundary of Section 9. The present Board is composed of Henry Wilhelm. H. H. Tatkenhost and J. F. Farrar.
In the early 'seventies the Brewster, or "Pleasant View" School, in District No. 77, was built on the Brewster land, on the east boundary of Section 28. An early Board consisted of J Brewster, C. J. Bishop and H. Mohlenhoff, and among the early teachers were S. M. Leitch, G. R. Hamman and Charles Kincaid. In 1890 a larger and better school took the place of the old one and Miss Katrine Morgan, of Mattoon, wielded the birch in the following year. The name "Pleasant View" was suggested by the fact that the school is on the crest of the water-shed. The present Board consists of H. Furste, B. Horseley and E. C. Homann.
In 1872 Union No. 8, now known as Zion School, in District No. 75, was built in the southwest corner of Section 18 by M. S. Ashworth and William Thornton. Among the early teachers were John H. Moore, M. G. Stevenson and Frank Harry. The present structure was built in 1899 at a cost of $700. Miss Nellie Camery was the first teacher.
In 1869 Wesley School was built in the southwest corner of Section 13, where it still serves the needs of District No. 74. An early Board was composed of Jacob Ernst, Allen Whitsell and J. Gideon, and among the early teachers were Wm. Webster and R. P. Barr and Thornton Ashbrook. The present Board consists of Robert Watkins, Clarence Ernst and C. O. Handley.
At the north, in Town 14, are five schools. In the early sixties a school was built in the southeast corner of Section 28. It was long and narrow and its weak construction caused its roof to sag in the center, which peculiarity gave it the name of the "Sway-back." Among its earliest teachers were Mrs. Clint Hutchinson. M. G. Stevenson, W. D. Hanna and C. G. Chrisman. In 1875 it was torn down and a new school house was erected, which still stands in District N o. 68.
About 1865 a school house was built in what is now District No. 122. It was near the line between Sections 23 and 24, and the district included parts of both sections. Naturally, the directors were divided in their choice of location, and when a majority belonged to the opposite section the school house would be pulled across the road, until it had been moved four times. Thus it got its name of "Pulltight."
Another union school is the Hartford, located in the northwest part of Section 20, on the Douglas County line near the border of North Okaw. It was built in the early 'sixties. It is in District No. 121.
The Floyd School, in District No. 69, is the nicest and best kept rural school in the county. The first building was erected in 1860 on the south line of Section 30. It was very small and the early teachers were Mr. Walters (also a teacher of instrumental and vocal music) and Mr. Young. An early Board was composed of Hugh HcKane (sic -- transcriber's note: name should possibly should be "McKane") and Dudley Louthan. In 1869 the school was moved across the line to the present site in Section 31. In 1898 a large and commodious building took its place. It has a belfry and bell, is nicely papered and the walls are ornamented with pictures.
In 1863 the Antioch School was built in the northeast corner of Section 35. An early Board consisted of John W. Beavers, Samuel W. Orcutt and James Beggs, and among the early teachers were A. G. Chapman, Emma A. Wright and Mary G. Orcutt. The school building is a substantial frame and, with the exception of an eight-foot addition built in 1904, it remains unaltered, serving as an educational center for District No. 67. Ten or fifteen teachers in the township during the winter of 1904-05 were women, the total enrollment numbering 499 pupils, 254 of whom were boys and 245 girls.
Churches.—There are three country churches in the township, only one of which is in Town No. 14. It belongs to the Methodist Episcopal denomination and is known as the Central Church. It is located in the northeast corner of Section 36, near the Seven Hickory line, and was built in 1870. The material was gratuitously hauled from the Ambraw by people interested in the new church, and the brick foundation was built by Jacob Harry. The first pastor was Rev. William Mitchell, a pioneer circuit rider, who, in the winter of 1870-71, held one of the most extensive revivals ever known in that part of the country. It is said of him that he was responsible for the erection of all the Methodist Episcopal churches in that locality.
Four miles south and one mile west, located in the northeast corner of Section 23, Town 13, is the Wesley chapel, another Methodist church. In 1867 the first building was erected at a cost of $2,600, and was dedicated in December of the same year. Among the early officers were J. S. Gideon, Abner Brown and Joel Stevenson. Early pastors were Revs. Mr. Shirley, Mr. Mitchell and Mr. May. In 1890, during the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Osborne, the present church was built on the same site at a cost of $2,300. The present Board is composed of Jacob Ernst, Clem McDougle, Maggie Beals and H. Jenkins. The present pastor is Rev. F. M. Harry. The church also has a flourishing Sunday School, established in 1868. An early Superintendent was Joel Stevenson; the present Superintendent is John Gideon.
October 13, 1880, the St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, was built in Section 15 at a cost of $1,300, and on November 5th of that year it was dedicated. Among the first officers were Christian Schroeder, Wilhelm Mohlenhoff and Gerhard Hofercamp. Early pastors were Revs. F. Schlechte, J. Brockmann, J. Todt and G. Wolter. In 1905 the increasing congregation required a larger building, and there is now in process of erection a $13,000 brick edifice, which is to be the finest rural church in the county, if not in Central Illinois. It is located at the southeast corner of Section 21, Town 13. The church has a membership of 242, and it maintains a Sunday School, the average attendance of which is 175. The pastor, Rev. A. F. Nuendorf, serves as Superintendent. Among the present board are: Herman Zu Hone, Louis Blume, Fred Pardeich, Henry Furste, Mr. H. Niemeyer.
The enterprising spirit of the towns is expressed in the fact that in 1895 a site was offered at the village of Humbolt, and the sum of $40,000 was subscribed, in the hope of securing the Eastern Illinois Normal, now Iocated at Charleston.
Hutton Township bears the distinction of having been the locality first occupied by a permanent settler in Coles County -- the two numerous families of Parkers coming in not far apart in point of time, one locating in the northwestern part, and the other upon its eastern border. It is the southeastern township of the county, abutting Clark and Cumberland counties upon the east and south, respectively, Ashmore Township upon the north, and having on its western border the meandering channel of the Embarras. It contains approximately fifty-four sections of land, which varies in quality from the richest prairie to the broken tracts of clay soil and bluffs, along upon the river upon the west. Its first representative upon the Board of Supervisors was the man for whom the township was named — John Hutton.
The township is excellently watered and drained by Whetstone Creek and its tributaries upon the north, the smaller creeks which flow into the Embarras on the west, and the numerous branches of the Hurricane Creek and others in the central and southern portion. This condition makes it most excellent for stock raising, and to that vocation most of its farmers are devoted.
First Things—Villages, Postoffices, Etc—The first bridge across the Ambraw (Embarras) was a wooden structure built near the point of the first county settlement, and the location of the county's first mill, in Section 25-12-9.
The first Justices of the Peace were Joel Connelly and James Gill.
No railroads pass through Hutton Township and it has no towns or villages of importance as centers of trade.
The most ambitious attempt to build a town there was when Salisbury was laid out in 1837.
A postoffice was instituted there in 1844 by David Weaver, and called Stewart. In 1850 the name of the office was changed to Ashby (after pioneer John Ashby), but as that was so similar to Ashley, the name of another office in the State, it was again changed in 1861 to Hutton.
Salisbury was so named by John Hulen, who owned part of the land, after his native place, which was Salisbury, N. C. William Gilbert built the first house there and together with a man named Bartness, started the first store. The village never grew beyond a dozen or so houses and a store, and the postoffice there has, within the past two or three years, been discontinued, the people receiving their mail over rural route No. 2. from Charleston. In fact, the entire township is at this time without a postoffice. Its people now get mail by means of two rural routes from Charleston, two from Casey and one from Westfield.
A postoffice called Butte was started in 1932 on the road in the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 31-12-10. In 1892 it was abandoned and the postoffice of Dirigo started on the road, about three-fourths of a mile northwest, in the south part of Section 30-12-10. It served its day, and then, like the others, disappeared before the modern improvement of rural free-delivery.
Diona (at first called "Dogtown," from the numerous dogs kept by its early inhabitants), is located at the southeast corner of Section 24-11-9. It was never platted as a village in this county, although it grew to be as populous as Salisbury. It is on the county line, and its population is about equally divided betweenCumberland and Coles. A postoffice was started there in 1869.
An early center of population in Hutton was known as "Stringtown," so called because the inhabitants were rather numerous for about three-fourths of a mile along the Charleston and Westfield road, where it ran through the southwestern part of Section 5, and the northwestern part of Section 8. A saw-mill was located there, a brick yard, and a store which was run at different times by two early ministers of the Christian Church, Thomas Goodman and Samuel Peppers. There was a church there, with a school house and a carpenter and blacksmith shops. Thus it will be seen that Stringtown was at one time about as important a trading point as many pretentious villages. Nothing now remains of this early village but a church and a school house.
Secret Orders.—The only secret order organization existing in the town of Hutton is Hutton Lodge, No. 692, I. O. O. F., which was instituted April 7, 1881, in the Masonic Hall in Salisbury, and L. C. Cottingham was the first N. G. and T. L. Endsley, V. G. In 1895 they built a lodge room above Cox's store on Lot 12 in Salisbury. The building burned on January 12, 1903. The lodge, which owned the lot, rebuilt from the ground up during the same year. The present officers are: W. A. Cox, N. G.; Joseph Goff, V. G.; William Gossett, R. Sec'y; John A. Smith, P. Sec'y; G. W. Abernethey, Treas. The lodge has 111 members.
A Masonic Lodge was instituted in Salisbury about 1871, and continued there until about 1882, when it was moved to Diona, and is now located over the line in Cumberland County. No information about its officers and early members can be obtained from citizens there now.
Churches.—The denomination known as the Christian Church had many adherents in Hutton in an early day, and they organized a church at Stringtown about 1836, and erected a log building. About 1858 a brick building was erected, which was destroyed by a windstorm in 1876, and during the same year a frame building was put up in its stead. Early preachers there were: Rev. Harmon Gregg, Rev. Samuel Peppers, Rev. David Campbell, from Wabash Point, and others. For some years past it has had no regular pastor.
Adams Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1838, and a log building erected the same year, on the northeast part of the southwest quarter of Section 21-11-10, was their place of worship. Rev. Burk was one of the early pastors. The church occupies at present a frame building erected in 1870 in the southwest part of Section 17-11-10. They have no regular pastor at present. The Trustees are John Moore, W. B. Johnson and Elijah Adams.
Whetstone Separate Baptist Church was organized in 1843 at Adam Coon's residence, in the northwest part of Section 33-12-10, by Rev. Matthew Baker, who was its first pastor. Their first house of worship was a frame building put up in 1857 in the northwest part of Section 33-12-10. Rev. Stanley B. Walker was the first preacher of this denomination in the township, and assisted these early congregations. Rev. Whitfield and Rev. William Bridgman were early pastors. Their first building was taken down and a new one erected in its place in 1887.
Hurricane Separate Baptist Church was the outcome of a division in the preceding church, and was organized by Rev. William Bridgman, who became its first pastor. They put up a frame building in 1858 on the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 19-11-10. That lasted until 1889, when it was torn down and the present building erected on the same site. Rev. Berry Webb is the pastor.
Little Flock Regular Baptist Church was organized at the Center School House, in the southwest corner of Section 15-11-10, on November 29, 1862. Among its organizers and early officers were: L. Gilbert, Jeptha Parker, Nathan Austin, John Alexander, Levi Sanger, Jesse Sanger, and T. J. Thornton. Its first pastor was Rev. James B. Walker, who was ordained at that meeting. Their church building was put up in 1865 on the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 22-11-10. Their last pastor was Rev. T. D. Davis. They have none at present.
Liberty Chapel United Brethren in Christ was organized in 1852 in a log school house known as the Liberty Schoolhouse, by Rev. Walton C. Smith. Their first building was a frame, erected in 1857, on the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 34-12-10. Rev. Smith was its first pastor and later ones were Alexander Helton, Samuel Zook and Abraham Bennett. The old house was sold and moved and the present one built on the same site in 1904. The present pastor is H. S. Reese.
Weaver Chapel United Brethren in Christ Church was built in the year 1864 in the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter Section 23-1110. The church was organized in 1864 by P. E. Chittenden and A. J. Nugent. The first pastor was Abraham Bennett. The first church house burned down December 25, 1899, and was rebuilt in 1900. Present pastor is H. S. Reese.
Oak Ridge United Brethren in Christ Church was organized by Rev. James Cogell in the year 1882 in what was known as the Hanley School House, in Section 12-11-9. The church house was erected in 1894 in the southeast corner of Section 1-11-9. James Cogell was its first pastor. Allen Bensley, J. W. Sawyer and A. J. Handley are the Board of Trustees. The present pastor is H. S. Reese.
Salisbury United Brethren in Christ Church was organized in the year 1896 by Rev. Rider, who was the first pastor. The church house was built in the year 1897, on the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 10-11-10. The present pastor is H. S. Reese.
Wiley Chapel Christian Church, situated in the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 1-11-10, was organized by Rev. David Campbell in the year A. D. 1871. The church house is of brick. The trustees were E. Connelly, Solomon Beavers, Adam Cox, William Beavers and Owen Wiley. The first pastor was David Campbell and the present one Rev. Nidy.
Schools.—The first Connelly school house (No. 26) was built in the year 1850. The first teacher was J. C. Wright. A second house of brick was built in the year 1870 in the northeast corner of Section 25-12-10. The present teacher is Miss Mabel Stewart.
Davis School (No. 27) had its first house built in the year 1867. Some of the early teachers were John Ingram, G. B. Davis and John M. Smith. The present school house was built in the year 1900, on the site of the first one in the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 27-12-10. The present teacher is Maude Brown.
Johns School House (Dist. No. 28) is in he northeast corner of the southeast quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 33-12-10. The first teachers were John Ingram and John M. Smith. The present teacher is Jennie Case.
Rennels School House (No. 29) was built in the year 1884 in the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 31-12-10. Some of the early teachers were Murray Stone, John M. Smith and J. A. Tremble. The present teacher is Lucy Gossett.
The first Stringtown School House (No. 30) was built about 1856 or 1857 in the northwest corner of Section 8-11-10. The second school house was built in the year 1884 on the same site, the old one having been torn down. Some early teachers were Franklin Alexander and John M. Smith. The present teacher is Miss May Madding.
The first Salisbury School House (No. 31) was built about 1855-56, in the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 10-11-10. Some of the first teachers were: Andrew Edwards, Valentine McGahan, John Ingram and John Redman. A second house was built later, but was taken down in 1901 and a new building erected the same year, situated in the southwest corner of Section 3-11-10. The present teacher is Miss Helen Gray. Wiley School House (No. 32) was built in the year 1873 in the southwest corner of the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 1-11-10. The first teacher was Nettie Brooks. Belva Kocht is the present teacher.
Goble School House (No. 33) was built in the year 1873 in the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 6-11-11. The first teacher was S. P. Davis. The present teacher is Miss Clara Endsley.
In the Berkley District (No. 34) the first school house was built in the year 1866, and was taken down, and the present one erected in the year 1899, in the southwest corner of Section 18-11-11. Its first teacher was John A. Riggins and the last teacher Della Moore.
Brandenburg School House (No. 35) was first built in the year 1857. The first teacher was Burgess Burkley. Some others were Valentine McGahan, Benjamin Dawson and William Gossett. The second school house was built on the same site in the year 1881 in the southeast corner of Section 14-11-10. The last teacher was Clayborn Rhue.
The first Center School House (No. 36) was built in the year 1856, in the southwest corner of Section 15-11-10. Its first teacher was George Padget. Some early teachers were: W. H. Schoonover, A. Eastin, Cynthia Kellogg, Benjamin Dawson, T. L. Endsley and W. G. Walker. The second house, of brick, was built in 1882 in the northeast corner of Section 21-11-10. It was burned down in the winter of 1884-85 and rebuilt in 1885. The present teacher is Clara Bidle.
The first Hutton School House (No. 37) was built in the year 1858 in the southeast corner of Section 18-11-9. The first teacher was May Nickols. Other teachers were George Padget, Lizzie Balch and Ricard McPherson. The second school house on the same site was built in the year 1883. The present teacher is O. C. Jenkins.
The first Hanley School House (District No. 38) was built about the year 1866. Some of the early teachers were Thomas Balch and Nettie Brooks. The present school house was built in the year 1900 and was last taught by Edgar Leitch. It is located near the center of Section 12-11-9.
Lafayette, the west central township of Coles County, is bounded on the north by Humbolt Township, on the east by Charleston, on the south by Pleasant Grove and on the west by Mattoon Township. It contains thirty-six square miles (an exact Congressional township) and its first Supervisor was William T. Jones.
The township is drained at the north by Riley Creek, which rises in Section 5 and flows east into Charleston Township at Section 1, thence south, emptying into the Kickapoo. The latter stream rises in Mattoon Township, flows east through the south center of Lafayette, draining that portion of the township, and on through Charleston Township to the Embarras River, where it empties. In the days of the pioneer broad belts of woodland lined the two streams, and here the Kickapoo Indians lived and moved and had their being. The increasing cost of living, as well as increasing taxes on lands, has naturally resulted in the clearing of the woodland and today only those who have need for a little pasture or have money sufficient to enable them to maintain idle lands have preserved traces of the native forest and what is left is more picturesque than useful. The Dead Man's Grove once covered a large tract, but is now only a clump of trees on Section 4, abutting the north road between Mattoon and Charleston.
Cutting diagonally through the south middle portion of the township is the old State road, while across the northern end of the township was the line of the "Archer Road." Up to 1855, when the Terre Haute & Alton road pushed its way westward through Lafayette, the pioneers were still clinging to the woodlands and only by degrees did they venture to the prairie lands away from the fuel and timber supplies. The appearance of the first train made hearts rejoice and with it came promises of ease and luxury.
Midway between Charleston and Mattoon a station on the railroad for passengers and a switch were provided at the place now known as Loxa. In 1863 Capt. B. F. Jones platted the original town of two blocks, which was afterward enlarged by the Egbert and the Susan Jones additions. In 1868 a frame building was moved there in which the first general merchandise store was opened by Mr. Jones. The town was first named Stockton, possibly because of so much stock being shipped from that point, as stock raising was and is a chief industry of the township, but there being another Stockton in the State, the postal authorities required a change of name and Loxa was chosen, although it was not adopted by the railroad and general public until years afterward. In 1868 the post office was moved into the Jones building, where it has since remained, the present Postmaster being W. G. Armstrong. Later a blacksmith shop and a barber shop were established in the village. Two grain elevators supply the need for grain storage, that of R. H. Teeple, having been built in 1885, and that of J. O. Linder, in 1897. The capacity of the former is 12,000 and that of the latter 15,000 bushels.
Schools - In 1857 a school house was built in Section 11, which is now known as the North Loxa School, and stands three-quarters of a mile north of the village. The first teacher was A. J. Fryor, now a lawyer of Charleston, and among the early Directors were John Monroe and William Shoemaker.
In 1871 T. J. Lee, a West Point graduate, opened an academy, and for seventeen years it was the pride of Coles County as an educational institution. During that time many were sent forth to take their places in the educational, legal, medical, religious and civic departments of the commonwealth. It furnished several County Superintendents, among whom were: C. T. Feagan, John Sawyer, W. E. Millar, A. J. Funkhouser, John Whisenand, all of Coles County, and Miss Nora Smith, of Douglas County. Mr. Lee also served two terms as County Superintendent of Schools. He died in 1888 and the academy, which passed into the hands of his brother, survived but three years.
In the fall of 1904 the academy building passed into the hands of District No. 79, when it was transformed into the primary department of the district. Miss Dora Gammill was the first teacher.
Telephone, Railroads, Etc. - A telephone system, now known as the Citizens' Mutual, established in 1900 in Loxa, connects that village with different points in its own and surrounding townships. In June, 1904, the electric railroad line was completed through Lafayette, by way of Loxa, connecting Mattoon and Charleston.
In 1878 the Grayville & Mattoon Railroad - now the Peoria branch of the Illinois Central - cut its way through the southwest corner of the township. On the line of the road in Section 29 is Jones' Switch, where, in 1900, W. D. Jones built a grain elevator of 8,000 bushels capacity. The Clover Leaf road passes through the extreme southeastern portion of the township.
On the Benj. D. Turney farm - early known as the Eckles farm - in Section 28, are the Turney Springs,, once a camping ground for the Kickapoo Indians. The springs were opened to the public in 1865 by Mr. Turney, since when they have been a favorite resort for picnic parties.
In Section 18 is Grant Park Place, an unincorporated addition to Mattoon, on the west line of Lafayette Township. It is an historic spot in the county. It was established as the Union Fair Grounds in 1859, and on August 10, 1860, it was the scene of one of the biggest rallies of that campaign. Richard Yates, Owen Lovejoy and R. J. Oglesby spoke and a feast was spread on three tables, one-quarter of a mile long. In 1861 it was made a military camp and barracks, and was named Camp Grant. It was here that the Twenty-first Illinois Regiment was sworn into service by Capt. U. S. Grant, and he later became its Colonel.
On August 1, 1863, in Dumas Van Deren's grove, near the State road, southeast of Mattoon, the Knights of the Gulden Circle held their historic "armed peace meeting."
Township Schools - Outside of Loxa the township has nine schools. The oldest is the Monroe, formerly known as the True School. It was established as a subscription school in 1829, the pioneer teacher being Daniel Barham, who was also a "Hard Shell" Baptist preacher, and on Sundays the school house served as a church. It was of logs and built on the True land. In 1857 a frame school house was built nearby, the first teacher of which was James McCullom and the first School Board consisted of William Leitch, Dumas Van Deren and William R. Jones. It was later moved three-quarters of a mile east to the Monroe farm, in Section 21, where, in 1900, the present building was erected in District No. 83.
In 1838 a log school house was built on Dumas Van Deren's land, in what is now Section 13. It was a subscription school and among the first teachers were Daniel Turney, John J. Peterson and J. A. McCullom. This school was abandoned in 1856. Thomas E. Woods, later editor of the "Mattoon Journal," was the last teacher. In the summer of 1857 a frame building now known as the South Loxa, or Hancock School, was erected in Section 14, where it now stands in District 84. Its earliest teacher was Phil. J. Fisher, now of St. Louis.
The Phipps School, built in 1857, at a cost of $570, stands at the southwest corner of Section 27, near the old James Ashmore place, where, in February, 1831, the first county election was held. The first teacher was J. J. Phelps. The building burned in 1899 and a larger one was erected in what is now District No. 86.
In 1880 the district just mentioned was divided and a new school building was erected in the district now known as No. 85, in Section 36. It is the Harmon School, and two of the early Directors were Samuel Harmon and Killis Mason. It was burned in 1892 and a new building erected in its place.
In 1857 a school house was built in Dead Man's Grove, now known as the Oak Grove School, in District 80, in Section 4. The first teacher was John Latta and the first School Board William Millar and Frederick True. In 1903 the school house was rebuilt.
The Frazier School, sometimes called the Aye School, in District 81, Section 5, was built in 1872 on Henry Frazier's land. Among the early teachers were Ella Aldrich, Alice Berry and Helen Gaw. The members of the first Board were: Henry Frazier, R. B. Aye and J. F. Bush.
In 1873 the Plain View School District was organized, the first Board being Eliza Valletta, S. B. Gray and J. W. Williams. In 1874 the present school in District No. 87 was established and a house built on the W. R. Jones farm in Section 29. The early teachers were Sue Linn, Lillie Boyle and William Phipps.
In the same year the Shinn School, in what is now District 82, was erected on Dumas Van Deren's farm at the Southwest corner of Section 17. Among the early teachers were Capt. W. E. Robinson, William Phipps and Jasper Miller. Early Directors were William Leitch and Benjamin D. Turney.
April 15, 1905, Grant Park Place was set off from the Shinn District as District No. 154, and the following Directors were elected: J. Hornbeck, L. Ballinger and E. Hickey. On May 4 $1,000 in bonds were voted for a frame school building, which was erected during the summer of 1905.
At present there are four women and six men teachers in the township, and the enrollment for 1904-05 was 271 boys and 203 girls.
Rural Churches - The oldest church in the township is Bethel, on the south line of Section 23, adjacent to which is the oldest cemetery. It is a Predestinarian Baptist, organized in 1829, Daniel Barham being the first preacher. In 1836, the first church, a log structure, was built. In 1865 a frame building was erected which later was remodeled. Elder George W. Dalby, now of Mattoon, has been pastor for fifty years.
In 1840 a dissension arose on a question of order, and several prominent members withdrew, organizing another Predestinarian Church, which held its meetings in the same building until 1856, when they built a house of worship at what is now 1421 Wabash Avenue, Mattoon. It was the first church in the new town and a graveyard was established at its rear. The building, erected under the pastorate of Elder Thomas Threlkeld, cost $2,500, and its first Trustees were James Jeffris, F. G. and E. M. True. It was sold in 1869 to the United Brethren and the Predestinarians returned to Lafayette Township and built near what is now the Big Four Railroad at the Monroe crossing. In 1890 the building was moved to where it now stands in Section 31. It is known as the Little Bethel, or "Stick-tight" Church. The latter name was given it because of the congregation once "sticking tight" to the freshly painted seats. Elder J. G. Sawin, of Mattoon, is now and has been for years its pastor. E. P. Ashbrook and I. W. Sawin are the present Board.
The Kickapoo Methodist Episcopal Church, which was moved to Lerna from the southern part of the township in 1882, was built in 1860, and was the outgrowth of an old log church.
In 1887 the Plain View Methodist Episcopal Church was built in Section 29. Among the first pastors were Revs. Richard Tate and E. Gallagher, but in 1904 the church was discontinued.
The Nineveh Missionary Baptist Church, now known as the New Liberty, was built in 1875, in Section 24, its first pastor being Rev. William Barker. The present pastor is Rev. T. F. Hayes, of Mattoon, who holds services there once a month.
The Mount Pleasant Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized in 1844 by Rev. J. W. Woods, later of Mattoon. A. K. Ashmore and Jeremiah Craig were first officers. In 1855 a church building was erected in Section 2, on land donated Rev. R. C. Hill, he being the first pastor. In 1868 a new church was built at Loxa, while Rev. Mr. Hill was still its pastor. G. W. Davies, A. G. Harmon and Albert Brown are the present Board of Trustees. Rev. J. H. Milholland is pastor.
Town Hall - In 1891 a town hall was built in Section 21, where the township elections are held. The young people of the vicinity in 1904 organized a debating society, the "Lagossian," which holds weekly meetings from September to May. It also has a library donated to the society in March, 1905, by Adolf Summerlin, editor and proprietor of the "Mattoon Commercial."
When the townships of Coles County were organized the first representative upon the County Board for the town of Mattoon was James Monroe, afterwards Colonel of the One Hundred and Twenty-third Illinois Volunteers in the Civil War, who took part in the battles of Perryville and Chickamauga, and was killed a few days after the latter at Farmington, Tenn.
Mattoon is in the western central part of the county, abutting Moultrie and Shelby Counties and lying between North Okaw and Paradise, with Lafayette on the east. It is a regular congressional township, containing thirty-six sections. It was originally mostly prairie land, having but a little of two points of timber, Whitley at the west and Little Wabash at the south. The prairie land is high and sheds water to the east and west and south, the streams draining it being the Kickapoo, Little Wabash and Whitley Creeks, with their branches. The native timber left will not exceed about one hundred and fifty acres in extent. The Wabash Point settlement was one of the most important and populous in the county, and the first house built out upon the prairie was by pioneer George M. Hanson, about 1829; and it was in this house (which stood exactly upon the line that later separated Mattoon and Paradise) that Hanson started the county's first post office. There were two very early post offices in Mattoon Township, "Wabash Point," started by Gideon Edwards, probably at or near Richmond, in 1831, and "Republican," started by Charles W. Nabb in 1852 at Richmond, which was doubtless a successor to the Wabash Point Post Office. The Republican Post Office was later moved to Langston's place (later William Clark's), west of the Little Wabash, and was continued perhaps until Mattoon started. In 1893 a post office was started at Magnet, a way station on the Illinois Central Railroad, about three miles south of Mattoon.
John L. Allison built at Richmond, about 1836, the third frame house in the county. It was the largest and handsomest home for miles around. Frame houses were more numerous after 1840. About 1850 the Dole Brothers settled in Sections 7 and 8, and erected handsome homes. Others emulated their example and many dwellings were built in after years which stand today as towers of enterprise and thrift.
Rural Schools - Mattoon Township has five rural schools. The Mooney School was established in a log house about 1840. In 1850 it was enlarged by an additional room. Early teachers were William Littler, David Freeland and Gideon Edwards. In 1862 a frame school house was built on Elisha Linder's farm, Miss Nancy Linder being the first teacher. It was replaced by a larger building in 1902, which now stands in District 102, in Section 33.
The Dixie School, No. 103, was built in 1860, w-here it now stands, in Section 31. An early Board was composed of C. K. Rightsell, Jefferson Curry and E. Alexander. Early teachers were Hannah Moore, John Gregg and William Bales.
The Dole School, No. 98, in Section 8, was the outgrowth of private schools, the first of which was taught in a log house in Section 6. The second was located in Section 7, Miss Lizzie Chamberlain being first teacher. The third, also a log house, stood in Section 9. It was made a public school In 1861. The first School Board consisted of C. M. Dole, Edwin Wright and Mr. Layton. The first teacher was Miss Mattie Ritter. The present school was built in 1866, among the early teachers being Hattie Reeder, Fannie Chamberlain and James G. Wright.
The Linder School, in District 99, was built in Section 20 in 1865. In 1867 it was moved to its present location in Section 21. An early Board embraced the names of Elisha Linder, Ephraim Sparks and E. W. Phillips. Early teachers were Samuel Scott, Lawrence Green Wharton and W. H. Puliston.
The Mound School, District 101, in Section 26, was built in 1897 to take the place of a smaller building erected in 1866, in which James Ley was a teacher. On the Board in 1897 were Charles Redman and Cliff Daniels.
Churches - There are but two rural churches in the township, the Wabash Methodist Episcopal and the Mt. Moriah Cumberland Presbyterian. The former is a $2,400 brick structure, erected in 1875 on the State road, in Section 33. Among the early pastors of this church were Revs. William Mitchell and Uriah Warrington. The present pastor is Rev. E. L. Darley.
The Mt. Moriah Church was started in 1873 by Revs. John W. Woods and T. J. Campbell, the latter being pastor. In 1895 the Cumberland Presbyterian Church suspended, but the Predestinarian Baptists, who held meetings on alternate Sundays since 1875, still occupy the church once a month, but have no regular pastor. It is located on the south side of the State road, in the western part of Section 32.
City of Mattoon
Not until 1850 did any one settle near where the city of Mattoon now stands, a familiar scene during those days being the herding of cattle, the Noyses, Trembles, Messers and Allisons spending days in the saddle with their herds, little dreaming of the future city. Two years later came rumors of railroads, and the aim of every settler was to secure land at or near the crossing. All of Section 13, except about thirty blocks in the southeast portion owned by George Curyca, were secured by Elisha Linder, E. Noyes. James T. Cunningham, Steven D. Dole, John L. Allison and John Cunningham. In December, 1854, it was platted; on May 14. 1855, it was named for Mr. William Mattoon, one of the contractors of the Terre Haute & Alton Railroad, and on the following day the lot sale began. The first house on the site was one brought from the Benjamin D. Turney farm, three miles east, in February, 1855. It was drawn over the snow on hickory poles by sixteen yoke of oxen, eight yoke being driven by Benjamin D. Turney and the other eight by Charles Michael. James and John Michael, sons of the latter, riding within the house to the new town. It was located on the east side of the Illinois Central Railroad, near the present crossing of the Peoria branch. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph A. Thompson, the first occupants, opened a boarding house, wherein Miss Sarah Norvell, sister of Mrs. Thompson, and R. H. McFadden were married September 18, 1855, by Rev. Isaac Hart. It was the first wedding in the prairie town. The Thompson home was also the first place of worship. Rev. Mr. Hart serving as pastor.
So anxious were the people to build that they did not wait for the lot sale. They secured the refusal of selected sites and proceeded to build. On March 28 R. H. McFadden and Benjamin Watson, carpenters, raised the frame of a two-room house for Bluford Sexson, in one room of which a general merchandise stock was installed, the first in the embryo town. The house still stands on the original site, 1717 Charleston Avenue. The second house was built by Michael Tobey at what is now 1300 Charleston Avenue.
A second store was that opened north of the Terre Haute & Alton road, at what is now 1220 Richmond Avenue, by Steven Cartmell. A third general merchandise store was opened by James M. True and James T. and John Cunningham, under the firm name of True, Cunningham & Co., in the lower part of a two-story frame building at about what is now 1212 Richmond Avenue. A real estate office was opened by John L. Allison and a grain warehouse by John Cunningham.
At the lot sale on May 15, 1855, hundreds of people gathered and the result surpassed the most sanguine expectations, some lots selling as high as $300 each.
Meanwhile, work on the railroads was being pushed and, when within a mile of Mattoon, an agreement was made between the contractors which placed the cost of the crossing of the lines upon the company which was last to reach that point. This fell on the Illinois Central, which was a few hours later than the Terre Haute & Alton in reaching the coveted goal, where the spikes were driven sometime about the first of June, 1855.
In October, 1855, the plat of the original town was filed at Charleston, when Mattoon received its legal name. The first brick building was built at what is now 1805 Charleston Avenue in 1855 by E. Noyes, where a general store was conducted by Joseph Withington.
The most rapid growth of the town had been in the northeast part, then known as "Truetown," but the tide soon turned to Broadway, where, near the railroad crossing at what is now No. 1705, the Pennsylvania House was erected in July, 1855. It was the pioneer hotel and was built by Charles and Perry Sanderson. The first sidewalk was from it to the Illinois Central crossing and was made of cobs, presumably from the Cunningham elevator.
The second hotel was the "Union," or "Kentucky House," which was built at what is now 1601 Broadway, and conducted by W. H. K. Pile. The third was the Essex House, begun in 1857 and completed in 1859, where it now stands at the crossing of the Illinois Central and Big Four Railroads. There were other so-called hotels or boarding houses started soon after. The first two-story brick business house was the one now standing at 1523 Broadway, which was completed in 1856. It was built by the Trues and occupied by Cunningham, Allen & Abel, with a stock of dry goods and queensware. In that year the first two children were born in Mattoon, Charles Cartmell in July and Miss Mollie Puff in September.
Austin Perry, the pioneer barber (colored), who is still in Mattoon, and who established his business in 1857, enjoys the distinction of having shaved President Lincoln.
Village Incorporated - Mattoon was incorporated as a village in 1857, the first officers being Michael Tobey, President of the Village Board, and Dr. John Dora, Peter J. Drake, Rufus Houghton, N. W. Chapman, Trustees; F. A. Allison, Attorney; R. H. McFadden, Justice of the Peace, and John Dora, Treasurer. At this time there were four hundred inhabitants, about eighty dwellings, a dozen good stores, two hotels, a newspaper and a number of other business enterprises.
In June, 1857, Section 14 was platted by E. Noyes, the lots being sold privately. The first house in this section was located about what is now 1906 Charleston Avenue. The first brick building was a two-story business house erected by Hiram M. Tremble, where it still stands at 2022 Western Avenue, and where Mr. Tremble conducted a general merchandise store. The historic "jog," at Nineteenth Street, was due to a disagreement between the owners of the two sections - Mr. Noyes declining to allow the streets of his section to join those of Section 13.
During the rainy seasons the streets were quagmires, the single boards then serving as sidewalks oftentimes being submerged in mud. This seems paradoxical, since Mattoon is the highest point between Terre Haute and St. Louis, and is 740 feet above the level of the sea.
In 1858 Lincoln and Douglas made their famous Senatorial campaign, and both were in the city on September 18, Douglas having put up the night before at the Pennsylvania House. Douglas rode in a carriage or wagon from Mattoon to Charleston on the morning of the 18th, followed by a procession of Democrats. Frank A. Allison says he went on the same train with Lincoln to Charleston, while others claim that both Lincoln and Douglas went to the county seat by the State road, each at the head of a delegation. Lincoln was in Mattoon again in February, 1861, when he visited the grave of his father in Pleasant Grove Township, en route to Washington for his first inauguration.
City Charter Granted - In March, 1861, by act of the Legislature, a city charter was granted, fixing the city limits at two miles square, the south half of Sections 11 and 12 being added at the north, and the north half of Sections 23 and 24 being added at the south of Sections 13 and 14. The first city election was held April 1, when James Monroe was elected Major. At this time the population was 1,500, and the city boasted a district library, a telegraph office, several private schools, a public school, six organized churches and about thirty thriving business houses. The Civil War came on, but notwithstanding the fact that many of the city's best men went to the front, Mattoon's prosperity continued.
An exciting time for Mattoon was August 1, 1863, when a large procession of the Knights of the Golden Circle and sympathizers passed through the city en route to the historic "Armed Peace Meeting," in Dumas Van Deren's Grove.
Rapid City Growth - In 1863 the city's population was three thousand, eight hundred being of school age. It was in October of this year that School District No. 1 was divided into Districts No. 1 and No. 7, and in April, 1864, the first Ward Councilmen were elected, Alpheus Hasbrouck being Mayor. This dated the beginning of a substantial building boom and, year after year, two and three-story brick business blocks were erected until in 1870, when no fewer than twenty-five business blocks stamped permanency upon the city's prosperity.
In 1876 the population had grown to 5,000, notwithstanding the panic of 1873. In July, 1877, business was temporarily paralyzed by the great railroad strike, which came so near ending in bloodshed.
On March 24, 1879, the city was redistricted, the two wards being made into five. Thus divided, the city remained until March, 1897, when it was again redistricted and the present seven wards established, C. E. Wilson being at that time Mayor.
In 1880 the city's population was about 6,000; in 1890, about 7,000; in 1900, nearly 10,000, and at present (1905), estimating it from the school census, not less than 13,000. William Byers is now Mayor.
Prior to 1891 the streets were almost impassable during the rainy season, and it was no unusual sight to see teams stalled on Broadway in mud hub-deep to the wagon. Cows roamed at will and dog-fennel grew unmolested.
During 1890, while Joseph Withington was Mayor, a movement for better streets was started and in 1891, while Frank Kern was Mayor, Broadway, from Fifteenth to Nineteenth Street, was paved and in the following year, concrete sidewalks were laid on both sides of the pavement. Pavements of brick and permanent walks of brick and concrete were laid annually and, in 1905, there are about eleven miles of pavement and about fifty miles of permanent walks (brick and concrete) throughout the city, which is underlaid with a net-work of drainage, including three miles of trunk sewerage laid since 1893, which finds an outlet in the big Kickapoo dredge ditch through the south part of the city.
Although Mattoon was located within the prairie, with only a single tree in what now constitutes its corporate limits (the historic lone elm at Thirty-second Street and Western Avenue), it is now truly a forest city, the streets being lined and the parks filled with magnificent trees planted by citizens, their sunrifted shade stretching over beautifully kept lawns, whose velvet surface furnishes a rich setting for pretty homes. This "city beautiful" was made possible when the "town cow" nuisance was abolished in 1892, and the fences removed from the front of lots.
Parks, Hospital and Public Library - Mattoon has three parks. The oldest is the North Park, which was deeded to the city in 1858 by John L. Allison and James T. and John Cunningham. It occupies a block in the northeast part of the city. It is traced with walks and ornamented with a fountain, grass-plats and settees. Central Park lies a block north of the Essex House, between Eighteenth and Nineteenth streets. North of Broadway and just east of the city limits is Peterson Park, which came to the city through the will of the late Judge Abner M. Peterson. It embraces twenty acres, including the Peterson home. It has not yet been improved.
The Mattoon Driving Park, with one of the finest half-mile tracks in Central Illinois, comprises forty acres in the southeast part of the city. It was established in 1880 by a corporation, but is now owned by Harrison Joseph, who is President of a racing association recently organized, Louis Katz being Vice-President, William Johnson Secretary and George H. Rudy Treasurer.
The Odd Fellows' Old Folks' Home is an institution in which the city takes great pride. It was built in 1898 and dedicated in October of that year. To secure it the city gave the site of 136 acres on LaFayette Heights, granted immunity from taxation for fifty years, furnished free fire protection, a mile of paving, street lights and $1,200 in money. The home is a well built three-story brick structure, with basement, and cost about $35,000. It has accommodations for 120 residents. There are also a cottage, a laundry, a dairy and a greenhouse on the premises. D. E. Baldwin, the first Superintendent, was succeeded three years ago by Mrs. Lola L. Rickard, who is still Superintendent.
Another prided institution is the $35,000 Carnegie Library at 1000 Charleston Avenue. It is a two-story and basement stone structure, thoroughly equipped, and was opened September 9, 1903. Miss Blanche Gray is now Librarian. The library contains 6,000 volumes and has a capacity of 20,000. Among the earliest public libraries was one established in 1860, another in 1870 and still another in 1885, all of which were short-lived.
In 1893, while John F. Scott was Mayor, the following named Library Committee was appointed by the Council: Messrs. E. P. Rose, Frank Kern, J. W. Craig, Abram Spitler, J. A. McFall and Mesdames E. Jennings, W. P. Dunlap, George Shaw and Miss Louise Beall. The Council appropriated $300 for books and the library was opened December 17, 1893, in the Holmes building, at 1723 Broadway, with Mrs. William Shaw as Librarian. It was moved to the city building at 114 South Seventeenth Street in 1895, where Mrs. Cynthia Tobey was librarian, and to its present quarters in 1903, L. L. Lehman being President of the Library Board at the time. Mr. Carnegie contributed $25,000 toward the building.
Churches - There are thirteen church organizations in the city, eleven of which are ensconced in their own buildings. In 1856 a Predestinarian Baptist Church was built at what is now 1421 Wabash, the first pastor being Rev. Thomas Threlkeld. In 1869 the building was sold to the United Brethren who, three years later, abandoned it. In 1879 it was leased by the Calvary Baptists and a few years later it was torn down.
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized in 1857 with twenty-eight members, the first two pastors being Revs. Knight and James Ashmore. In 1860, during the pastorate of Rev. John W. Woods, a $4,500 brick church was begun, but not finished until 1865. The present $12,000 brick church was built on the same site, 1321 Broadway, in 1895 during the pastorate of Rev. A. G. Bergen. A Carnegie pipe organ was installed in 1905. The present pastor is Rev. L. W. Madden.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1856 with eight members. Rev. Clemme Goar being first pastor. In 1859 a $10,000 brick church was erected at what is now 1320 Champaign Avenue, during the pastorate of Revs. J. Lane and G. H. Thayer. In 1871 a $12,000 church was built at what is now the northwest corner of Seventeenth Street and Charleston Avenue. O. E. Wilkin was pastor. Other pastors were Revs N. P. Heath and J. H. Noble. It burned June 15, 1905. The present $40,000 stone building at 1601 Charleston Avenue was erected in 1902-03, during the pastorate of Rev. J. B. Horney. This church also has a fine pipe organ. The present pastor is Rev. W. A. Smith, D. D. Dr. D. M. McFall, a Trustee, and his late wife, Mrs. Helen McFall, by their generous gift of 330 acres of land on Western Avenue, in memory of their two sons, Howard and Leslie, started a hospital fund in 1903, which has been increased by a farm from Mrs. Mary T. Morris, and other donations for the endowment of a Methodist Memorial Hospital to be erected in the city.
The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Roman Catholic, at 3018 Richmond Avenue, is the outgrowth of a frame church built a block east in 1857 under the pastorate of Rev. Fr. Mangin. The present church is a $50,000 brick structure, dedicated December 11, 1887, during the pastorate of Rev. Fr. J. W. Crowe. It was in this church in 1901 that the first big pipe organ in the city was installed. Rev. Fr. John J. Higgins is now in charge of the church, with Rev. Fr. E. A. Brodmann assistant. Just east on the same block stands a two-story brick parsonage, built in 1881, during the pastorate of Rev. F'r. Crowe.
The Christian Church was organized in 1857 and a frame house was built in 1860 on lots donated by James Monroe and J. T. Cunningham. The first pastor was Rev. N. S. Bastion. In 1872 the congregation divided and another church was built at what is now 2413 Western Avenue, Tyra Montgomery and James A. Powell being the leading spirits. In 1876 the two churches united. In 1895 and '96 the present $12,000 brick church was built on the original site at 1600 Wabash Avenue. It has a pipe organ and the present pastor is Rev. O. E. Kelley.
The Presbyterian Church was organized May 26, 1860, with twenty members, an early pastor being Rev. J. W. Allison. In 1864 a frame church was built, where it yet stands, at 200 North Twenty-First Street, the pastor at the time being Rev. Dr. A. Hamilton. On November 1, 1903, the present structure at 2201 Western Avenue was dedicated. It has one of the handsomest pipe organs in the city. The building cost about $35,000, and the furnishings and organ about $10,000 more. Rev. Ralsa F. Morley is pastor.
The Central Baptist Church was organized February 17, 1897, by the union of two former Missionary Baptist congregations. The first pastor was Rev. W. H. Thiele. In 1901, during the pastorate of Dr. Charles Boaz, the building formerly occupied by the Presbyterian Church at 200 North Twenty-First Street, was purchased. It was repaired and now is the home of the Central Church. Rev. P. F. Hayes being pastor.
The Unity Church of Liberal Christians was built where it now stands at 2000 Western Avenue in 1873, the congregation having been organized in 1867 and reorganized in 1872 with forty members, among whom were: Joseph C. Dole, Charles Bennett, W. B. Dunlap, C. G. Weymouth, T. P. C. Lane and E. A. Thielens, Revs. George A. Dennison and Jasper L. Doughit being early pastors.
The First Congregational Church is an outgrowth of the new School Presbyterian Church, which united with the Old School in 1872. The New School frame church, at what is now 1520 Charleston Avenue, was purchased, the early pastors being Revs. J. Morrison, A. L. P. Loomis, A. M. Thome and W. McKellar. In 1897, during the pastorate of Rev. R. W. Newlands, the present $14,000 brick church was built on the site of the old. The present pastor is Rev. Naboth Osborne.
The Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church, organized in 1878, purchased the abandoned Missionary Baptist Church, at 216 Twenty-First Street, for a church home, which still serves the congregation. Early pastors were Rev. W. H. Tomlins and Dr. Thrall. The present pastor is Rev. Andrew Gray, D. D.
The German Lutheran Church was organized in 1904. Services are held in a rented room at the corner of Twenty-Third Street and Champaign Avenue, the pastor being Rev. Krueger.
The Zion German Evangelical Church was organized in 1903 and holds services in the Unitarian Church, 2200 Western Avenue. Rev. William Marten is pastor.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in the spring of 1866, under the pastorate of Rev. Smith Nichols. In 1877 a house of worship was completed and in 1903 a larger church took its place at the corner of Twentieth and Moultrie streets. The present pastor is Rev. S. R. Cottrell.
The Second Missionary Baptist Church (colored) was organized in 1870 and the present church at 2001 Shelby Avenue was built. Rev. G. A. Thurner. of Champaign, is pastor.
There are three missions in the city. The Baraca, at 2512 Marshall Avenue, was established by Mrs. F. E. Bell, in 1900, under the supervision of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The Shelby Avenue Mission, 2612 Shelby Avenue, was organized in 1901 by Rev. A. A. Wilson, pastor of the Christian Church. It is in charge of William Brown. The Union Mission, at 1205 Moultrie Avenue, was organized in 1901 by Mrs. J. D. Andrews and Mrs. F. M. Votaw, who still have it in charge. A pastor, Rev. James Ostema of Chicago, has been employed.
Every church in the city supports a Sunday School and a Young People's Society, the total Sunday-school enrollment being more than 1,500.
A prosperous Young Men's Christian Association was established in 1881 through the efforts of D. T. Mclntyre, who was ten years its President. It was made a railroad branch in 1892, when A. C. Bridgman was made General Secretary. While H. L. Markell was Secretary it was moved to its present quarters, at 1409 Broadway. J. C. Starkey is the present Secretary.
Schools - The earliest schools were subscription schools. The first, the Mattoon Academy, was taught by Rev. D. F. McFarland. Another was under the supervision of Miss Ida McNett in the old Baptist Church; another was taught by James Ballou, and still another was by Miss Susan Cleaves (now Mrs. Bennett), in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
The first public school was conducted in the winter of 1855-56 by James A. McCullam, in the upper room of True, Cunningham & Co.'s store, at what is now 1212 Richmond Avenue. In 1856 the first public school building, a two-room brick, was erected at what is now 1307 Champaign avenue. Early teachers were: James Ballou, Principal, and Miss Kate McMunn, teacher.
The school enrollment in 1859 was 186, for whom three teachers were employed - Charles A. Sage, in the unfinished Christian church; Miss Mattie A. Smith, at what is now 1612 Charleston Avenue, and Miss Eliza Voris, in the brick school.
In 1863 there were 800 children of school age in the district and in October of that year the district was divided into Districts No. 1 and No. 7. The following year the Illinois Central was established as the dividing line between the districts.
The West Side School building was erected in 1864-65. O. S. Cook was the first Superintendent, with Miss Jennie McKinstry, Miss Miller and Mrs. Riley assistants. Other early Superintendents were T. H. Smith and T. B. Greenlaw. It was from the grounds of this school that a Government commission took observations of the total eclipse of the sun August 7, 1869. In 1871, during the superintendency of J. H. Thompson, a third story was added to the building. In 1899, during the superintendency of B. F. Armitage, the present $32,000 Hawthorne building was erected on the old site, which is now described as the 2500 block, between Richmond and Champaign Avenues.
The East Side School was begun in 1864, completed in December, 1865, and opened in January, 1866. The first Superintendent was R. M. Bridges, the teachers being Misses Susan M. Cleaves, Mattie Blake and C. P. Deming. Other early Superintendents were N. P. Gates and N. C. Campbell. In 1900 the building was torn down and the present Longfellow School, a counterpart of the Hawthorne, was built at the same cost, on the former site on the 1200 block, between Prairie Avenue and Broadway. The building committee for both the Longfellow and Hawthorne consisted of R. J. Coultas, I. A. Rhue and I. N. Gibbs.
The South School, 1217 Lafayette Avenue, a two-story brick, was completed in 1878 during the superintendency of E. P. Rose. The teachers were: Misses Lovinia Ewing, Carrie Riddle, Helen Patterson and Julia Pulsifer.
The North School, 1206 Shelby Avenue, a two-story brick, was built in 1882 while John Hall was Superintendent. The teachers were: Misses Ella Granger, Lila Wright and Carrie Riddle.
The Columbian School, a two-story brick, was completed in 1893 on the 2100 block between Marshall and Edgar Avenues, while B. F. Armitage was Superintendent. The first teachers were Misses Kate McCarty and Mary Phillips.
The Braden was built in 1893, where it still stands in Section 3, northwest of the city. It is under the jurisdiction of the Mattoon School Board, and was built during the superintendency of B. F. Armitage.
On March 5, 1886, the two school districts were consolidated into District No. 1, now known as District No. 100. The first Board after the consolidation was composed of J. R. Tobey, Dr. C. B. Fry, James W. Craig, G. F. Gould, Charles Bennett and A. R. Candy. B. F. Armitage was first Superintendent and continued in that office for fifteen years. Miss Lola Bridges was the first Principal. At that time there were twenty-one teachers in the grades. Until 1890 the Unitarian church housed the High School. In January of that year a new $20,000 High School building was opened at 2104 Western Avenue, with Miss Lucy B. Taylor as Principal. In 1902 it was enlarged at a cost of about $35,000, during the superintendency of W. W. Wilkinson. G. P. Randle, the present Superintendent, has been at the head of the schools for two years.
The St. Joseph Parochial School and Dominican Convent combined was built where it still stands at 1900 Richmond Avenue in 1903, during the pastorate of Rev. Fr. Murphy of the Church of the Immaculate Conception. It took the place of a frame school building erected in 1872 during the pastorate of Rev. Fr. Stick.
Normal School - The Eastern Illinois Normal School, now located at Charleston, is an abducted child of Mattoon. In 1895 a committee of Mattoon citizens, composed of C. E. Wilson (Chairman), James H. Clark, L. L. Lehman and J, F. Scott, secured the passage of a bill by the Legislature for the establishment of an Eastern Illinois Normal School. Mattoon (as a city) and its citizens subscribed money and concessions to the amount of about $140,000, but, notwithstanding the work of Mattoon and the committee, and the money appropriated, and the understanding by the Governor and supporters of the bill in the Legislature that the school should be located at Mattoon, Charleston, with a bonus of much less, succeeded in landing the prize which had been fathered by Mattoon - had been made possible only by the efforts and labors of Mattoon citizens.
The controversy regarding the location of the school developed much bitter feeling, and charges were freely made at that time that corrupt influences had governed the selection of the location. It is hoped, however, that the institution will fulfill the purposes for which it was founded and that the cardinal principles of honesty, uprightness, truth and fair-dealing may be instilled into the minds and woven into the characters of those who receive instruction within its walls.
Railroads and Shops - The crossing of the Terre Haute & Alton and the Illinois Central in this city in 1855 was the first railroad crossing in the State. In 1862 the name of the Terre Haute & Alton Railroad was changed to the Indianapolis & St. Louis, and in 1868 Mattoon gave $60,000 in cash, thirty acres of ground and built a reservoir for water to secure the principal construction and repair shops, which were built in 1869 on blocks 89 and 90 between Eighth and Tenth streets. In 1870 Mattoon became a division point. The telephone installed between the shops and the dispatcher's office in 1877 was the first in the city. In 1889 the road passed into the hands of the Vanderbilts and the name was again changed to The Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railroad, and still later "Columbus" was changed to "Chicago," and it is now known simply as the "Big Four."
The water question became an urgent one with the railroad during the administration of C. E. Wilson as Mayor in 1895, on account of the failure of the reservoir to maintain a sufficient supply. The matter was taken up with energy by the Mayor and Council, and test wells upon the railroad's right of way, just at the western edge of the city, sunk by the city authorities, developed water, and a contract was made by which the city turned over the wells and machinery and a small tract of ground to the railroad, while the railroad agreed to release the city from all liability to furnish water or to maintain a reservoir.
The Peoria, Decatur & Evansville Road (now owned by the Illinois Central Railroad) was built in the later 'seventies. It was on this, the third independent line of the city, that the Peoria Division shops were located in 1880, when the city paid to the Peoria, Decatur & Evansville Company the sum of $50,000 to secure them. They are located on the north of the right-of-way, between Twenty-eighth and Thirtieth streets.
The Chicago branch of the Illinois Central, which was built through the city in 1855-56, built its double-track through the city in 1901. The lower story of the Essex House, completed in 1859, still serves as the Union Station.
Manufacturing Industries and Enterprises - The Chuse Manufacturing Company, which began on a small scale in 1875 with J. F. Chuse and Richard Heap as proprietors, is now an incorporated institution, capitalized at $65,000. The new plant, built in 1900, is located at 1320 Prairie Avenue, while just across the street west is the old plant built in 1880, which is also operated by the company. The principal article of manufacture is high-speed electric engines, five hundred having been completed to date. The officers are: J. F. Chuse, General Manager; E. C. Craig, President; S. W. Phillips, Vice-President; R A. Bareuther, Treasurer; W. F. Johnson, Secretary.
Thatcher & Sons' construction and repair shops, at 2003 Broadway, were established in 1890 and enlarged in 1893. The company is made up of J. A. Thatcher and sons, and does an extensive business.
The Mattoon Stove and Range Works, at the north end of Twelfth Street, was started in 1903 by the removal from Charleston to this place of the stove-foundry plant, which had been in operation there for many years. A syndicate of the citizens of Mattoon purchased a tract of ground at $100 per acre, platted it and sold the lots at $175 each. A site was retained in the tract for the location of the foundry plant, which was donated to the company, and also the profits upon the sale of lots, amounting to about $18,000. The concern began operations in December, 1903, and now employs about seventy-five men. The manager and principal owner is J. W. Ramsey.
Starbuck, Sons & Co., manufacturers of children's vehicles, was started in 1902 at 1720 Charleston .Avenue, and is now located at 2913 Cottage Avenue. The company is capitalized at $20,000 and is owned by R. B. Starbuck and his three sons, one of whom (Charles) invented the vehicle or "hand-car" which is manufactured.
The Mattoon Gas Company was chartered April 26, 1867, by Ebenezer Noyes, James M. True and Jonathan Richmond. In 1870 J. D. Herkimer and others purchased the charter and a plant was built where it yet stands, at 1321 Richmond Avenue. In 1875 the name was changed to the Mattoon Gas Light & Coke Company. In 1901 E. A. Potter and others, of Chicago, purchased the plant and capitalized it at $75,000, and in 1905 a plant of double capacity was built at 1320 Richmond Avenue. The present officers are E. A. Potter, President; M. E. Sampsell, Treasurer, and Arthur M. Hart, Secretary.
The Mattoon Heat, Light & Power Company was chartered February 16, 1892, as the Somerville & Marks Electric Light Company and the first street lights were installed in April of that year. On August 2, 1898, it became the Mattoon Heat, Light & Power Company, capitalized at $52,000. The first officers were: C. E. Wilson, President; Louis Katz, Vice-President; J. A. McFall, Secretary; J. F. Marks, Manager and Treasurer. The present officers are: P. C. Somerville, President; Louis Katz, Vice-President; K. A. Potter, Treasurer and General Manager; H. W. Tolle, Secretary. The plant is located on the west side of Fourteenth Street, south of the Big Four right of way.
The Mattoon City Railway Company's electric line is described in the general county history. Its power house and car barn is at the west side of Fourteenth Street, between Broadway and the Big Four Railroad. The officers are: E. A. Potter, President; A. W. Underwood, Secretary; L. S. Rose, Treasurer.
The City Electric Light plant was built in 1896, and is under the supervision of the Lights Committee of the City Council. It began with less than 100 lights and has now 180 arc lamps for street lighting.
The Mattoon Clear Water Company, incorporated in 1885, established the present plant at 1201 Marshall Avenue and laid six; miles of mains that year. On November 22, 1890, H. S. Clark assumed control, since when nine miles of mains have been laid and eight public drinking-fountains established. The immense cistern and the 120-foot standpipe are supplied from twenty-one artesian wells. In 1905 the capacity of the plant was doubled at a cost of over $20,000. The officers are: H. S. Clark, President; John F. Scott, Secretary, and H. W. Clark, Treasurer and General Manager.
Newspapers - The city has three newspapers - two daily and one weekly. The "'Journal-Gazette," edited by H. F. Kendall and E. B. Tucker, is the result of the combining, in December, 1904, of the "Mattoon Weekly Gazette," established by R. W. Houghton in 1856, and the "Mattoon Daily Journal," established as a weekly by W. O. Ellis in 1865, and as a daily in 1874 by Thomas E. Woods. Notable editors of "The Gazette" were C. B. Bostwick and C. G. Peck, while Thomas E. Woods, William F. Purtill and M. H. Bassett will be remembered as editors of "The Journal." The consolidated plant is at 111 South Sixteenth Street.
The "Mattoon Commercial," a twelve-page weekly, was established as the "Radical Republican" by E. Noyes in 1867. It was changed to the "Mattoon Commercial" in 1871, and bought by Rufus Summerlin & Sons in 1872. Since 1876 Adolf Summerlin has been sole owner and editor. In connection with the printing office he conducts a book bindery, purchased in 1884 of U. T. S. Rice, who established it in 1874. The combined industry is located at 118 South Seventeenth Street.
The "Mattoon Morning Star," a daily, was established by John Cunningham & Sons May 20, 1888. In 1896 it was purchased by the Star Printing Company, and Wilbur B. Hinds became editor. The present editor is G. H. Mosser. The plant is located at 1616 Charleston Avenue.
Telephone Companies - The Mattoon Telephone Company, capitalized at $25,000, was franchised in 1894, ten years after the passing of the Illinois Telephone Company, which did business in the city from 1881 to 1884, having at one time 100 phones installed. The present officers of the company are: I. A. Lumpkin, President; C. E. Wilson, Vice-President; W. C. Lumpkin, Secretary and Treasurer. The central office is located at 117 South Seventeenth Street, and at present there are installed in the city 1,100 instruments.
The Coles County Telephone Company was inaugurated in May, 1887, with a capital of $12,000, and the toll-lines were established throughout the rural districts. In 1898 the capital was increased to $38,000 and now the lines operate over 200 miles, with twenty-seven stations. W. C. Lumpkin is general manager.
The Mattoon Refrigerating Company, north of the Big Four right-of-way, at Twenty-fourth Street, is the only ice-plant in the city. It was established in 1896 and the annual output is 4,000 tons. George O. Cobb is manager. Another plant was started the same year on La Fayette Avenue, adjoining the Illinois Central Railroad on the west, but sold out to the last named company and was closed up. There are two tile factories. The earliest is owned by J. W. Hogue, and was established by him in 1876. It is located on South Thirteenth Street, between Marshall and Marion Avenues. The Mattoon Tile Works are located north of Piatt Avenue and east of the Illinois Central tracks. They were established in 1883 by Theodore Jonte, present owner and manager. They make both tile and brick.
In the south part of the city Theodore Belting began the making of brick in 1897. He now makes about a million and a half bricks annually.
The artificial stone factory of Harry L. Powell was established in April, 1905. It is located on Cottage Avenue, near Twenty-second Street. The principal products are open and solid concrete blocks for building purposes, made by a machine of Mr. Powells' own invention.
Of the three lumber yards, two are owned by Andrews Brothers. J. D. Andrews is the resident partner. One yard is north of the Essex House and the other is at Nineteenth Street and the Big Four right-of-way. They were purchased in 1888 of Hinkle, Coddington & Co., an early firm. The other is owned by Moore Brothers, successors to their father, the late J. W. Moore, who purchased the yard at Nineteenth Street, between Charleston and Wabash Avenue, in 1869 from Kahn Brothers.
The George N. Buck Manufacturing Company, at 1422 Broadway, was established about 1883, with Charles N. Buck as manager, the "Best-o'-Grip" and "Keystone" hose supporters being the principal articles of manufacture. Night robes and bonnets are also made. Charles A. Shinn is the present manager.
The Kern Supporter factory was established April 1, 1884, for the manufacture of the "Perfect'' hose and skirt supporter, and does a $40,000 annual business. It is located in the Virginia building, 1504 Broadway, and Frank Kern is owner and manager.
There were three early elevators, two belonging to John Cunningham. One, built in 1855, stood on the Terre Haute & Alton Railroad, near where the Big Four shops now stand, and the other, in 1860, on the Illinois Central Railroad, three blocks north of the Essex House. In the latter year E. & I. Jennings built on the cast side of the Illinois Central Railroad tracks and just south of Broadway. Since then elevators have sprung up year after year and many have been destroyed by fire. Today there are three elevators and grain storage houses and five broom corn warehouses to supply the needs of the rich and productive country surrounding.
The first post office was established in 1855, and located in the store of True, Cunningham & Co., J. M. True being first Postmaster. In 1856 the office was moved to about 1611 Broadway, and in 1869 it was moved to 112 South Seventeenth Street, James H. Clark being Postmaster. In 1884 it was moved to the city building, 114 South Seventeenth Street, by Postmaster Clark. In 1895 it was moved to the Kern Annex, 1507 Broadway, and on August 1, 1903. to its present location, 1501 Broadway. John S. Goodyear is now Postmaster. In 1892 the free city delivery was inaugurated with four carriers. At present there are seven. On October 2, 1899, the rural mail-service was established with one carrier. There are now five, each covering about 25 miles daily, the five carriers serving 2.970 people. Since February 1, 1901, the office has been kept open all night for accommodation of those having boxes and for making up the mails for night trains. A substation was established November 2, 1903, at 2022 Western Avenue, and is in charge of Daniel Beals.
The earliest nurseries were those of Tyra Montgomery and Noyes & Kirchgraber. The former was established in 1867 and embraced fifteen acres in the northwest part of town. The first greenhouse was built in 1870 and five others within the next five years. Mr. Montgomery suffered two destructive fires, and in 1885 sold out and the nursery was abandoned.
The Kirchgraber Nursery, located in the east part of the city on Lafayette Heights, is the outgrowth of the Noyes & Kirchgraber Nursery established in 1869, between what is now Thirty-second and Thirty-third Streets on the north side of Western Avenue. In 1874 the partnership was dissolved and John Kirchgraber built a greenhouse on East Broadway. In the same year he bought ten acres on what is now Lafayette Heights and established the present nursery, which covers seventeen acres. In 1877 the Broadway greenhouse was moved to the nursery site. In 1885 Mr. Kirchgraber took his son into partnership, the latter assuming charge of the greenhouses, which are now five in number, with a glass area of 10,000 square feet.
Another greenhouse is that of J. W. Shrader at 212 South Fifteenth Street. It was established in 1890, and is now 100x50 feet in size. Mr. Shrader's business increases year by year.
The earliest cemetery was a burial ground in the south part of the city in what is now the 1500 block between Lafayette and Marshall Avenues. It was here that the early burials were made. In 1863 Dodge Grove Cemetery, comprising ten acres, was opened by the city.
This, one of the most immaculately kept cemeteries in Central Illinois, is located at the north end of Twenty-Second Street and comprises forty acres. It is maintained by the city. John E. Miller is sexton and through his efforts a receiving vault was built in 1903. The cemetery is traced by concrete walks and gravel driveways, and is set with splendid trees.
East of Dodge Grove, between Nineteenth and Sixteenth Streets, is Calvary Cemetery, the property of the Church of the Immaculate Conception. It comprises twelve acres and was platted in 1885. Patrick Kennedy is sexton.
Business Thrift - The business thrift of Mattoon is emphasized in the fact that the express office, established in 1856, is today, perhaps, the most important on the line between Chicago and Cairo.
The earliest amusement hall was Carthell hall, built in 1856 about what is now 1606 Broadway; the second was Union hall, built by Mrs. Mary Darcy Fitzgerald in 1863, at what is now 1900 Western Avenue; the third was the Dole Opera House, built by Dole Brothers about 1864, at what is now 1601 Broadway. It was in Dole's hall that Mc Cullough, Barrett, Ward, Keene, Mary A. Livermore, Emma Abbott, Clara Louise Kellogg and others appeared before the Mattoon public. The opera house was burned about 1899.
The Mattoon Theater, a well-equipped and modern play-house, was built in 1896 at No. 3000 Prairie Avenue, at a cost of about $25,000, and is owned by Mrs. Carrie Kingman, Charles Hogue being manager.
Fire Department - The earliest Fire Department was that organized in 1860. In 1861 the Town Council appropriated $100 for ladders, the merchants donated sixty buckets and the Illinois Central and Terre Haute & Alton Railroads the hooks - the former furnishing the iron and the latter making them.
In 1885 the present fire company was organized as Union No. 1, G. W. Redfern, chief. Its equipment consisted of two hand hose-carts and its quarters were in the city building. In 1898 a team of horses was presented the department by Mrs. Carrie Kingman, and a hook and ladder wagon was purchased. In 1899 J. D. Hill, the present chief, was appointed. In 1904 an additional team and a hose wagon were purchased, and in 1905 a combination chemical engine and ladder wagon were added. The company now consists of Chief Hill and five men, all salaried men.
The Mattoon City Court was established on March 21, 1898, with headquarters in the city building, with J. F. Hughes as Judge. The present Judge is L. C. Henley.
A business college has been maintained since 1895 by D. W. DeLay.
Banks - The first bank in Mattoon - and the second in the County - was started in 1858 or '59 by James T. and John Cunningham, T. A. Marshall and O. B. Ficklin. It was a private bank and occupied a frame building about what is now 1713 Broadway. It discontinued business about the same time as did the Farmers & Traders Bank at Charleston.
In the fall of 1862 Pilkington & Green opened a private bank at the same location. Green later retired, and the name was changed to Pilkington & Co. W. B. Dunlap began his banking career as bookkeeper for this firm and later became a partner.
The firm went out of business upon the establishment of the First National Bank.
About 1866 was the inception of a private bank, which later developed into the Farmers & Merchants Bank, with M. B. Abell President and G. R. Gibson, Cashier, at what is now 1803 Broadway. It failed very soon after it was organized in 1876, and the failure was a disastrous one to the people of Mattoon and vicinity.
The First National, having a capital of $100,000, was established February 21, 1865, with C. M. Dole, President, John W. True, Cashier, and W. B. Dunlap, Teller. In April the fixtures and furniture of the Pilkington Bank were purchased and on May 1, 1865, the bank opened. In 1866 the bank moved into its present quarters at 1613 Broadway. W. P. Dunlap later became its President. L. L. Lehman, the present President, was elected April 15, 1894. The other officers are: G. S. Richmond, Vice-President; R. A. Bareuther, Cashier, and W. T. Osborne and Clinton Hoots, assistant cashiers.
The Mattoon National Bank was chartered May 20, 1874, with W. B. Dunlap, President, and Joseph H. Clark, Cashier. The directors besides the two named were E. B. McClure, Moses Kahn, J. Richmond, Ambrose Kern, G. T. Kilner, T. C. Patrick and Michael Walsh. The bank is located at 1704 Broadway, and has a capital of $60,000, with nearly $100,000 surplus profits. The present officers are: C. E. Wilson, President (who was elected July 21, 1887); Harrison Joseph, Vice-President; H. P. McNair, Cashier; Fred Grant and C. D. Kingman, assistant cashiers.
The State Savings Bank, at 1701 Broadway, was established May 18, 1893, with a capital of $50,000. The first officers were: James H. Clark, President; J. A. Montague, Cashier. The present officers are: J. A. Montague, President; Louis Katz, Vice-President; W. T. Avey, Cashier; C. L. Kern, assistant cashier.
There are four building and loan associations each capitalized at $1,000,000. The Mattoon Building and Loan Association was chartered January 30, 1883. The first officers were: L. L., Lehman, President; J. J. Beall, Vice-President; Joseph Withington. Secretary. The present officers are: R. J. Coultas, President; J. W. Shrader, Vice-President; Joseph Withington, Secretary. It is located at 115 South Seventeenth Street. Mr. Withington has made a splendid record in his twenty odd years of service, and the company should retain him as long as he desires to stay.
The National, at 108 South Seventeenth Street, was chartered in 1888. The first officers were George F. Gould, President; W. A. Phillips, Vice-President; C. T. Feagan, Secretary. The present officers are; W. N. McKamy, President; F. M. Schulhoff, Vice-President; Samuel Owings, Secretary.
The People's Bank, in the Demaree building, was organized March 1, 1890, with B. C. Hinkle, President; J. H. Slover, Vice-President; J. J. Beall, Secretary. Present officers: M. L. O'Connor, President; L B. Craig, Vice-President; F. G. Herman, Secretary.
The Okaw Building and Loan Association was chartered March 9, 1901, with C. C. Robinson, President; K. C. Craig, Vice-President; Frank Barr, Secretary. Present officers: E. Slover, President; E. C. Craig, Vice-President; Howard Lytle, Secretary.
In 1874 a Co-operative, or Mutual Life Insurance Company was started, called the Masonic Benevolent Association. Its first officers were: Joseph H. Clark President, and E. C. Caldwell, Secretary. It developed quite a large business, and for a number of years seemed to be exceedingly prosperous. But a decline came in its affairs and about 1894 it suspended.
Club Organizations - The Ladies' Reading Club, the first literary club in the city, was organized by Mrs. Charles Bennett, May 5, 1877. Its membership is limited to twenty-two. Among early Presidents were Mrs. Skinner, Mrs. Charles Bennett and Mrs. W. B. Dunlap. The present officers are: Mrs. John R. Hamilton, President; Mrs. Charles Bennett, Vice-President; Mrs. W. N. McKamy, Secretary. Meetings are held in the Library building on Fridays during the club year.
The Home Culture Literary Club was organized in March, 1889. The first officers were: Mrs. Martha Boyd, President; Mrs. Leone Miller, Secretary and Treasurer; Mrs. Jennie Thielens, Critic. The present officers are; Mrs. Thomas Donnell, President; Mrs. Ida Morrison, Vice-President; Mrs. Romeo Owings, Secretary. Membership is limited to twenty. Meetings are held on Fridays throughout the club year.
The Study Class was organized January 29, 1889, with Mrs. Geo. W. Shaw, President; Miss Pink Messer, Vice-President; Miss Stella Dunlap, Secretary. The present officers are: Mrs. G. H. Cokendolpher, President; Mrs. John McNutt, Vice-President; Mrs. Laura Trogden, Secretary. Membership is limited to twenty-four and weekly meetings are held in the library.
The Treble Clef, a musical club of forty members, was organized September 10, 1895, with .Mrs. T. W. Gaw, President. The club meets semi-monthly and its present officers are: Mrs. Frank Kern, President; Miss Florence Phelan, Vice-President; Mrs. Frank Cox, Secretary.
The Mattoon Council of Women's Clubs was organized in February, 1897, is composed of the Ladies' Reading Club, Study Class, Home Culture Club and thirty patron members, and has a membership of 100. It works on broad lines, is influential and progressive. The first officers were: Mrs. Charles Bennett, President; Mrs. Ernest Moore, Vice-President; Mrs. Wm. F. Purtill, Secretary. Other Presidents were: Mrs. Frank Barr, 1890 to 1900; Mrs. Lila Sinsabaugh, 1900 to 1901; Mrs. Adolf Summerlin, 1901 to 1905. The present officers are: Mrs. C. C. Rogers, President; Mrs. A. Summerlin, Vice-President; Mrs. G. E. Colson, Secretary. Meetings are held the first Friday of every month during the club year in the assembly room of the library.
The Federation of Charities was organized March 11, 1895. First officers were; Mrs. M. A. Geary, President; Miss Laura Fallin, Vice-President; Mrs. G. F. Gould, Secretary. The present officers are: Mrs. F. E. Bell, President; Mrs. J. V. Fitch, Vice-President; Mrs. Sophia C. Scott, Secretary.
The Woman's Christian Temperance Union was organized June 3, 1878, with Mrs. Mary J. Hinkle President and Mrs. T. R. Clegg Secretary. The present membership is 100, and meetings are held monthly in the Methodist Episcopal church. The present officers are: Mrs. Belle Clark, President; Mrs. Lyman Gould, Vice-President; Mrs. Laura Snapp, Secretary.
The South School Association was organized at the South School building in April, 1904, and meets the second Monday of every month during the school year. It has fifty members and the present officers are: Mrs. Joseph Holaday, President; Mrs. P. N. Kelly, Vice-President; Mrs. F. C. Collins, Secretary. It is a mothers' club.
A similar association is the Hawthorne Club, organized in February, 1905, with seventy members Its officers are: Mrs. Charles Bennett, President; Mrs. Arthur Lamb, Vice-President; Mrs. Martha Robinson, Secretary. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month during the school year.
The Leo, a men's club, was organized September 27, 1903, on strictly temperance lines, by Rev. Fr. E. A. Brodmann, of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, who is still its spiritual director. John Fitzgerald was first President. The present officers are: William Moran, Jr., President; Edward Smith, First Vice-President; Matthew Timmons, Second Vice-President; Robert Raef, Secretary. It has si.xty members, and meets twice a month in the club rooms, 2013 Western avenue.
Mattoon has many other clubs and societies, most of which are purely social.
Fraternal Lodges - Mattoon from infancy has been a fertile field for secret societies. They have flourished through the nourishment of popular approval, smiled upon by public favor and caressed by the warmth of fraternal sentiment.
Coles County Lodge, No. 200, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized July 15, 1858, in Cartmell Hall, W. C. Cunningham, N. G. In 1888 Odd Fellows' Hall, at 1521 Broadway, was purchased, the committee being Henry Dahling, Valentine Schlicher, Louis Katz, Oliver Newcomb and George De Wald. F. M. Phipps is now Noble Grand and J. W. Gavins Secretary. Two outgrowths of this lodge were the German Lodge, No. 144, organized in 1864, George Goldgart, N. G., and Harmony Lodge, No. 551, organized June 15, 1874, F. M. Phipps, N. G. The former consolidated with the mother lodge in 1882 and the latter in 1889. The present membership of Coles County Lodge is nearly 400.
Mattoon Encampment, No. 97, I. O. O. F., was organized March 26, 1869, with John Owens Chief Patriarch. Meetings are held in I. O. O. F. Hall. John McFee is Chief Patriarch and William Knerr Secretary.
The Geneva Rebekah Lodge, No. 274, an auxiliary of No. 260, was organized February 26, 1890, with Mrs. Lottie McKee, N. G. It has 145 members and meetings are held in I. O. O. F. Hall. Miss Mabel Youts is Noble Grand and Miss Floy Knerr Secretary.
Mattoon Lodge, No. 360, A. F. & A. M., was organized October 6, 1858, in Cartmell Hall, with J. C. Dora, W. M. April 13, 1896, it absorbed Circle Lodge, No. 707, instituted January 10, 1873, George Wenlock, W. M. Joseph Withington was first Worthy Master after the consolidation. The present membership is 233. George O. Cobb is Worthy Master and J. E. Binns Secretary.
Mattoon Chapter, No. 85, Royal Arch Masons, was organized October 6, 1865, with James M. True, E. H. P. The present membership is 102. J. E. Binns is E. H. P. and F. M. Beals Scribe.
Council No. 10, R. & S. M., was organized September 27, 1860, with James M. True, T. I. M. Joseph Withington is now T. I. M. and James McFall Recorder.
The Godfrey de Bouillon Commandery, No. 44, Knights Templar, was organized February 22. 1874. with E. A. Thielens, E. C. The present membership is 150. Dr. F. M. Beals is E. C. and W. N. McKamy Recorder.
An auxiliary branch is Elect Lady Chapter, No. 40, O. E. S., organized October 2, 1877, with Mrs. M. A. Lemon, W. M., and Charles Alshuler, W. P. An outgrowth of this Chapter was Adah, No. 62, O. E. S., organized October 3, 1883, by members of the Elect Lady Chapter, with Mrs. Nellie Campbell, W. M., and James L. Scott, W. P. On January 24, 1905, the two consolidated under the name of Elect Lady Chapter, No. 60. The total membership is 204; Mrs. Effie Miller, W. M.; O. F. Hamilton, W. P.; Mrs. Jennie Cunningham, Secretary.
All Masonic lodges in the city meet in the Masonic Temple, which is in the Avey Building, on Sixteenth Street. The building was erected in 1904, and the third story was constructed and equipped by the Masons for a lodge room at a cost of $15,000. It was dedicated February 22, 1905, and is one of the most handsomely furnished lodge rooms in Central Illinois.
Palestine Lodge, No. 46, Knights of Pythias, was organized April 7, 1874, with Dr. S. A. Campbell, P. C. The present membership is 300, with Dr. Charles Boaz, C. C., and E. A. Link, K. of R. & S.
Sunset Lodge, No. 225, K. of P., was organized October 9, 1889, with C. E. Rudy, P. C. The present membership is 157, with Rev. O. E. Kelley. C. C., and Frank Herman, K. of R. & S.
U. S. Grant Company 24, Uniform Rank, K. of P. - the highest Pythian order in the city - was organized October 29, 1888, by Col. S. G. Tiley, of the Second Regiment, instituted October 22, 1884, with headquarters in Mattoon. John S. Goodyear was first Captain. W. A. Flower is present Captain, with Frank Dolan First Lieutenant. The company is under jurisdiction of the Third Battalion, local officers being: George H. Kemper, Major; Leroy Ashmore, Adjutant; Geo. B. Swan, Q. M., and the Second Regiment, the local officers of which are: S. G. Tiley, Colonel; Geo. O. Cobb, Adjutant Captain; S. D. Geary, Signal Officer.
Purity Temple Rathbone Sisters, a K. of P. auxiliary, was organized March 28, 1894, with Mrs. W. E. Hall, M. E. C. The present membership is 75, with Mrs. Cora Schrock, M. E. C.; Miss Mina Howard, M. of R. & C.
All Pythian lodges of the city meet at Castle Hall, which is in the third story of the Harris building, 1422 Broadway, and which has been leased by them for a period of fifteen years. The hall was dedicated April 21, 1904, and is elegantly equipped.
Eureka Lodge No. 598, Knights of Honor, was organized April 20, 1877, with J. F Drish, P. D. Meetings are now held in Castle Hall, with J. F. Drish, P. D., and T. M. Lytle, Reporter. It has two auxiliaries, the Alpha, No. 28, and the Omega, No. 656, Knights and Ladies of Honor. The former was organized April 30, 1878. Mrs. L. D. McKee is Protector; Mrs. L. D. Bennett, Secretary. Meetings are held in Castle Hall. The Omega Lodge was organized April 23, 1883, with John Kelly, P. P. Meetings are held in Castle Hall, Mrs. Hettie Ely, P. P.; John M. Kelly, Secretary.
Mattoon Camp, No. 290, M.W. A., was chartered January 17, 1886, with Curtis Morrison, V. C. The present membership is 250, with W. L. Reams, V. C; V. C. Hill, Clerk. Meetings are held in Castle Hall.
Sunset Camp, M. W. A., was organized in 1900. R. K. Mainwaring is Venerable Counsel; E. G. Rhue, Secretary.
Edward Cole Lodge, No. 30, M. A. F.' O., was first chartered May 22, 1897, and re-chartered September 28, 1899, with Rev. Hill, P. P. The present membership is 212, with B. D. Parrish, P. P., and P. N. Ellis, Secretary. Meetings are held in I. O. O. F. Hall.
The J. C. Hale Court, No. 149, Tribe of Ben Hur, was organized October 30, 1900, with Henry Gochenour, P. C. The present membership is 142, with W. H. Smith, P. C. and Mrs. Dora Gochenour, Scribe. Meetings are held in I. O. O. F. hall.
St. Joseph Branch, No. 178, Catholic Knights of America, was organized June 10, 1881, with John Phelan, President. Meetings are held in Foresters' Hall, 1819 Broadway. J. J. Walsh is President and C. C. Roetker, Secretary.
St. Mary's Court, No. 939, Catholic Order of Foresters, was organized May 28, 1899, with M. L. O'Connor, C. R. Meetings are held in Foresters' Hall. Otto Baur is Chief Ranger and Will J. Rider, Secretary.
Mattoon District, No. 61, Court of Honor, was organized March 30, 1896, with A. C. Bridgman, W. C. The present membership is 245, with George C. Stiles, W. C, and Mrs. Nana Easton, Secretary. Meetings are held in Castle Hall.
Mattoon Council, No. 1137, Royal Arcanum Lodge, was organized April 12, 1904, with E. E. Richardson, Reg. The present membership is forty-six, with Andrew C. Hanson, Reg.; Thomas E. Cross, Sec. Meetings are held in Castle Hall.
Mattoon Aerie, No. 653, Fraternal Order of Eagles, was organized March 28, 1904, with W. B. Hinds, President. The present membership is 150, with I. W. Osborne, President, and C. T. Montague, Secretary and Treasurer. Meetings are in the Aerie, at 1700 Broadway.
Mattoon Post, No. 404, Grand Army of the Republic, was organized February 8, 1884, with T. R. Weaver, Commander. The present membership is ninety-eight, with Joseph Cavins, Commander, and T. J. Morrison, Adjt. Meetings are held in the G. A. R. Hall, City Building. An auxiliary is Mattoon Woman's Relief Corps, No. 250, organized April 19, 1896, with Mrs. Sophia C. Scott, President. The present membership is forty-five, with Mrs. Nettie Dryden, President, and Mrs. Mattie Rose, Secretary. Meetings are held in G. A. R. Hall.
Twenty-Third Regiment, Union Veterans' Union, was organized November 23, 1901, with S. D. Geary, Colonel. The present membership is 150 with G. W. Eldredge, Colonel, and T. J. Morrison, Adjutant. Meetings are held in G. A. R. Hall.
Mattoon Lodge, No. 495, B. P. O. E., was organized May 10, 1899, and is one of the most popular social organizations of the city. It had sixty-five charter members and during the street fairs, from 1897 to 1902, it gave several fantastic parades. Its present membership is about 145, and regular meetings are held on the second and fourth Fridays of each month, at their elegantly furnished rooms at 1900 Western Avenue, which are open every Thursday afternoon to the wives, daughters and sisters of members. The first Exalted Ruler was C. E. Wilson, and the present one is I. A. Lumpkin.
Labor Societies - Mattoon Division, No. 37, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, was organized December 14, 1864, with Anson Gustin, Chief Engineer. The present membership is 105, with O. F. Hamilton, C. E. and A. M. Garner Sec. Meetings are held in Castle Hall.
Meadow Lawn Division, No. 577, B. of L. E., was organized July 25, 1901, the Chief Engineer being John M. Rossiter. The present membership is fifty-one, with J. M. Rossiter and Geo. S. Henderson as principal officers. Meetings are held in Carpenters' Hall.
An auxiliary of the B. of L. E. is New Endeavor Division, No. 57, G. I. A. to B. of L. E., organized October 16, 1891. Mrs. D. Flynn is President and Mrs. James Tremble Secretary. Meetings are held in Castle Hall.
The S. G. Tiley Lodge, No. 116, B. of R. T., organized June 28, 1885, is a flourishing organization. Meetings are held in the B. of R. T. Hall, 1700 Broadway, F. R. Mitchell being Master and J. H. Putnam Secretary. An auxiliary is Sisters of 116, Lodge No. 60, L. A. to B. of R. T., organized February 7, 1898. Meetings are held in Trainmen's Hall. Mrs. Sadie Bellnap is President and Mrs. Lulu Mawbry Secretary.
Union Star Lodge, No. 37, Brotherhood of Railway Carmen, holds its meetings in Castle Hall. C. E. Woodhouse is Chief Carman and William Henderson Secretary.
Beacon Lodge, No. 111, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, organized June 22, 1882, meets in I. O. O. F. Hall. O. E. Van Meter is Master and L. F. Norton Secretary.
Viola Lodge, No. 350, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, was organized February 24, 1901, with W. T. Downs, Master. The present membership is fifty-six. Charles F. Stewart is Master and G. E. Robinson Secretary.
Division No. 101, Order of Railway Conductors, was organized December 3, 1883, with F. B. Helmer as Chief Conductor. Meetings are held in Castle Hall. F. B. Helmer is Chief Conductor and William Byers is Secretary and Treasurer.
Labor Unions - The Musicians' Protective Union, Local No. 234, A. F. of M., was organized September 15, 1902, with H. C. Gibler, President. The present membership is sixty-three, with J. R. Chalk, President, and Edgar Wilson, Secretary. Meetings are held at 1817 Broadway.
Big Four and I. C. Lodge, No. 116, Boilermaker Helpers, was organized August 5, 1903, with E. Seibert President. The membership is twenty-three, with W. E. Mooford, President, and Charles Liscome, Secretary. Meetings are held in Foresters' Hall.
Enterprise Union, No. 89, I. B. of B. & H., was organized May 12, 1901, with William White President. The present membership is twenty-seven, with John McFee President and Henry W. Smith, Secretary. Meetings are held in Foresters' Hall.
Industrial Lodge, No. 96, I. A. M., was organized in 1901, with D. W. Branan, President. The membership is 135, with A. A. Lofgren, President, and A. E. Monteith, Secretary. Meetings are held in Castle Hall.
Subordinate Union, No. 53, B. M. I. U. of A. (Bricklayers' Union), was organized May 5, 1903, with Otis Tucker, President. The membership is twenty-two, with A. F. Adair, President, and F. S. Adair, Secretary. Meetings are held in Foresters' Hall.
Mattoon Typographical Union, No. 520, was chartered July 14, 1902. The first President was E. R. Starkwether. The membership is nineteen, with William Rider, President, and Miss Katherine Wilson, Secretary and Treasurer. Meetings are held at Foresters' Hall.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local No. 745, was organized October 1, 1902, with Jerry Tippy as President. Meetings are held at Carpenters' Hall. Harvey M. Newport is President and James W. Ellis, Secretary.
The Master Horse Shoers' Protective Association, Local No. 341, was organized January 2, 1903, with A. H. Johnson, President. No regular meetings are held. S. C. McDuffie is President and J. L. Winter Secretary.
The Journeymen Barbers' International Union of America, Local No. 326, was organized July 18, 1901, with B. F. Liese, President. Meetings are held in Foresters' Hall. William McKelory is President and J. J. Donner, Secretary.
Mattoon Lodge, No. 224, B. of M. & I. S. B. of A., was organized June 12, 1900, with Earl Barker, President. The membership is thirty-two, with J. A. Fulfer, President, and William Darling, Secretary. Meetings are held in Foresters' Hall.
The Tailors' Union, J. T. U. of A., No. 30, was organized November 11, 1902, with Otto Baur, President. The membership is sixteen, with Henry Ohme, President, and Frank Krick, Secretary. Meetings are held in Foresters' Hall.
The International Protective Association of Retail Clerks, No. 673, was organized August 15, 1902. James Frazier is President and Miss Carrie Robson, Secretary.
The Cigarmakers' International Union of America, No. 127, was organized March 21, 1899. Ernest Ohme is President and Harvey Sparks, Secretary.
The International Association of Metal Mechanics, No. 122, was organized January 28, 1902, 1902. W. A. Philhower is President and Wm. Tivis, Secretary. Meetings are held in B. of R. T. Hall.
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, No. 347, was organized August 25, 1899. J. H. Towell is President and William La Clare Secretary. Meetings are held in Carpenters' Hall.
The Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators and Paper Hangers of America, No. 611, was organized April 1, 1902. Meetings are held in Carpenters' Hall. George Claridge is President.
Other unions include the Hotel and Restaurant Employees' International Alliance and Bartenders' International League of America, No. 129, organized August 12, 1902; the International Union Stationary Engineers, No. 179, organized December 31, 1902; the Women's International Union Label League, No. 109, organized Sept. 3, 1903; The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, No. 383, organized August 16, 1903; Mattoon Association of Letter Carriers, Branch No. 384, organized October 9, 1895; Rural Free Delivery Association, No. 21, organized December 24, 1903, and the International Brotherhood of Stationary Firemen, No. 158, organized December 19, 1902.
The Central Labor Union is a body made up of delegates from subordinate local unions, and was organized June 15, 1902, with Earl Barker President. The membership is fifty, with D. W. Branan, President, and Louis Poliquin, Secretary. Meetings are held in Carpenters' Hall, and through the efforts of this and the subordinate unions, some of the finest industrial parades ever witnessed in this city have been given.
City in Brief
Limitation as to space in this volume has prevented the writer from dwelling upon the extent of Mattoon's mercantile growth, her undeveloped riches and the talented men and women who have figured conspicuously in her own and in county and State affairs.
Seventeen blocks of brick business houses, ranging from two to four stories in height, and filled with activity, make Mattoon not only a city in size but a city in every sense of the word. It is surrounded by farms as rich as any in the country, and underlaid not only with coal but, as I believe, with rivers of oil and gas awaiting development. Many bright men and women have won places of honor in the business and professional world, while in literature, music and art, the city can point with pride to several who stand close in rank to the best talent in the country.
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