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Mattoon memories : souvenir program, Mattoon Centennial, 1855-1955, Pageant and Celebration, September 4-10 online

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Mattoon Memories :
Souvenir program from Mattoon
Centennial 1855-1955.


Meni-o-rics, Mcm^o-ries.

Q,977. tys.




r r-^ro Ji



1855 — 1955

jTO^ear?/^ anc/ Ce/e6ra/-/orL^

Sepfemher d-^/O


Days of long a - g'o








Russell FreemoQ
Shelbyville, Illipois

A Progressive Bank

K Progressive Community

The Central IVatinnal Bank


1805 Broadway Avenue — Just West of the Subway

The Friendly Bank

with the
Drive-up Window

Member F. D. I. C.

An Expression of Appreciatinn

••^^^^jT^-r^j-r^i- \ -


Seated — (left to right) Urban Raef, Mrs. D. L. Tomlin, William Zur-
heide, Mrs. Horace Champion, Glenn Stevens.

Standing — James L. Warren, Dr. Horace Batchelor, William Whitson, Paul
Morrison, Dr. Eugene Noskin, Craig Van Meter, H. B. Ewing.

Not in picture — Mrs. W. L. Ford.

When a community proudly undertakes to celebrate 100 years of its
existence and to commemorate the deeds of those who have played a part
in its founding and development, nothing is more important than the will-
ingness of public spirited citizens to accept individual responsibility and of-
fer their best in cooperation and sacrifices. Of equal importance is the will-
ingness of organized groups to lend constructive force of combined effort.

Now that the preparation period has come to a close and the celebra-
tion is being enjoyed, the two little words, THANK YOU, sound inade-
quate. However, because it is so justly deserved, and because of no better
way to publicly thank all our people who have helped to make our Centen-
nial a success, we repeat in all sincerity, "Thank You."

Centennial Cnmmittees

steering Conunittee

Wm. Zurheide, Chairman
Urban Raef. Co-Chairman
Craig Van Meter, Secretary
J. Paul Morrison, Treasurer

Members of the Board

Rev. H. Batchelor
H. B. Ewing
Dr. E. A. Noskln
Mrs. D. L. Tomlin
Mrs. W. L. Ford

Mrs. Horace Champion
Wm. Whitson
James Warren
Glenn Stevens

Underwriting Committee

Rex Hovious
Tom Storm
Olin Wirth

Historical Program

Alex Summers
Paul Kizer
Ray Redding
Mrs. H, Champion
Miss E. Oblinger
Joe Sawyer


Ernest Lorenz
Prank Drake
Harry Wendel
FJ-ank Walters
Paul Neal

Official Hat

Henry Conlin
Richard Myers
John Walters
Leonard Lass

Beard Committee

Elks Club

William Ostermeier

Omer Macy


Harry Gaines
Norman Spear
Cy McCurley
Walt Storm
Andy Sullivan

Patrons Ticket Committee

Mrs. H. I. Hannah
Mrs. C. L. Moore
Mrs. Helen Pegelow
Mrs. W. A. Shafer

Costume and Make-Up

Mrs. Pete George
Mrs. John Zike
Mrs. Geo. Davison
Lorraine Blew

Cast Conunittee

Pete George
Dan March
Mrs. K. Green
Mrs. Robt. Leman
W. C. Morse

Queen Contest Committee

Tom Purvis
Don Shook
Herb Williams
Mrs. J. J. Link
D. E. Reiman

Properties Conunittee

Mis. Ostergren
Bill Ostergren
Betty Field
Lowell Field
Raymond Schrader

Gate and Ushers

Lions Club
Burl L. Bower
Bill Chapman
Bill Walters

Press Committee

John Miller
Dr. Podesta
Harris Sacks
Martin Garbe
Warren Moody

Distributive Committee

Robert Alexander
Harry Lange
Doug Werden
Dan Handley

Radio Committee

Robert Guess
Ken Wooddell
Gene Harper
Phyllis Aliens
Andrew Kirk

Speakers Conunittee

Lloyd Harris
Ken Degler
John Oliver
R. G. Lane

Promotional Conunittee

Red Graham
Olie Olson
Harry Gaines
Roscoe Bush

Reserve Seat Conunittee

Paul Sanders
Dean Coleman
Joe Spitz, Jr.
Merle Lowery

Scenario and Title

Alex Summers
Harvey Wright
Mrs. J. H. Glover
Clarence Bell
J. F. Homann

Decorations Conunittee

Raymond Elder
Russ Bailey
Charley Varner

Construction Committees

Urban Raef
H. C. Burke
Duane Hance
Harry Kabbes
Dick Tomlin

Spectacle Music Committee

Ken Jakle
Mrs. Guy Seymour
H. H. Blackwell
Mr. Chambers
Mrs. Chas. Titus

Parade Committee

E. E. Ethington
Arnold Brown
Adolph KuH
Robert Zellers
John Phipps

Historical Window Conunittee

Bill Checkley
Glen Dorgan
Dick Myers
Olen Schwartz

Celebration Bail Conunittee

Frank Ronchetti
Bill Podesta
Bob Thompson
Martin Garbe
Jack Sanders

Fireworks Conunittee

Clyde Kirk
Jack Higgins
Bob Gibson
Harlan Heller
Jack Taylor

Homecoming Committee

Russel! Alfred
Maydine Cone
James L. Warren
Mrs. Mary McGinnis
Mrs. H. B. Ewing

Traffic Safety Committee

Paul Smith
Marion Joseph
Ed Horn
L. C. Buck
LeRoy Boggs

Housing Conunittee

T. M. Nelson
Ray Poore
J. C. Weaver
Mrs. Don Turner
Kenneth Gardner

Transportation Committee

Automobile Dealers Assoc.

Special Days Committee

Bernard DeBuhr

Sunday - Freedom of Religion

Rev. H. Batchelor

Monday - Labor Day

Mattoon Labor

Tuesday - Youth Day

Kiwanis Club

Wednesday - Ladies' Day

Sisters of the Swish

Thursday - Governor's Day

Shrine Club

Friday - Industrial

Assoc, of Commerce

Saturday - Agriculture Day

Auto and Implement Dealers

Kangaroo Kourt

W. F. Ostermeier, Chr.

Phil Joplin
Russell Wisely
Robert Crowder
Keith Carrell
Denzil Gregg
Bert Kessler
Glenn Roth
Gene Holtgrewe
Bob House


Harry Lange

Paddy Wagon furnished by

Phil Joplin

Brothers of Brush Stag

Art Phares, Chr,
Denzil Gregg
Monroe Jenkins
Urban Raef
R. G. Lane
Tom Suerdieck

Part I — THE PIONEERS — "Up From the Prairie"

The Centennial Connnittee ami the editors of
'"Mwttoon Memories" wish to e.rpres.s their deep-
est gratitude to several indiridiidl.s and orijan-
i:atif)ns irhose help has made this jnihlieation
possibh'. Amon</ those deservinf/ special men-
tion arc the followinij: The Xational Hank of
Mattoon, for use of certain cuts from its cen-
tennial history, "Mr. Mattoon's Citi/"; The Rid-
dle^ yearbook of Mattoon High School, for cer-
tain cuts: members of the Mattoon Historical
Soeicl// irliii have written the papers on which
this hislnrif is Ixised. The individ udJ (tiillinrs are
recoi/nized as the rarious chapters are present-
ed. Ale.r Sum mers, editor.

Part I — The Pioneers, is based on material written by
the following: Mrs. W. H. Roney, Clarence W. Bell. Mrs.
Ray Redding, and others in the Mattoon Historical Society.

Cliai'les ISawyer, the first settlei' in western
Coles County, was typical of the thousands of
pioneers from Kentucky and Tennessee who
moved from the south into the then unconquered
wilds of Illinois in the early part of the 19th
century. Charles came here first in 1825 as one
of a hand of <>-overnnH'nt surveyors hired in Ken-
tucky to do land work in the State of Illinois.
Mr. Sawyer liked the prospects he saw in the
rich jirairie land of eastern Illinois, retuiMied to
Kentucky, and made plans to settle permanently
in Coles County.

Before leaving Illinois, Sawyer had bouolit
a tract of land in Section 33. Mattoon township,
and had hired a man named Bates from near
Charleston to build a cabin for $10. James Xash.
a pioneer woodsman, secured Sawyer's permis-
sion to live in the cal)in during that first winter.

In 182(j numerous families, including those of
John Sawyer, the Radleys. Harts, and others,
poured into western Coles County, bought land
and built cabins on the high ground around Wa-
bash Point. The settlers from Kentucky during
the next 10 years produced many of Mattoon's
business leaders. Among these were James T.
Cunningham and John Allison, two of the four
leading developers of Mattoon.

Cunningham and Allison had successful gen-
eral stores in the Paradise village settlement be-
fore the railroad construction program produced
the town of Mattoon in 1855. Both men bought
portions of Section 13 on which the Original
Town of Mattoon was built, helped plan the
city, estalilished several of the early businesses.
and gave land for parks and churches. The other
most influential earlv architects of Mattoon

A (niiesake . . .
\\'illi((m Matl'i'tu

were Stephen Dexter Dole, a siicrcssfiil busi-
ness man from Terre Haute, Ind., and Eben-
ezer Noyes, a i)ioneer fiom Massachusetts who
had settled in the Cays area in the middle 1830"s.
Xoyes did not l)uy land in Section 13 in 1855,
although he did ac(iuire some lots in 1856. He
bought Section 14 — tiie land west of the Illi-
nois Central tracks — on a contract from the
railroad and planned the west part of Mattoon
as we know it today.

Mattoon had a uni(iu(' blending of national
talents and ])hilosojiliy as a i-esult of the i-ailroad
t-onstruction boom. More than half the people
who settled here were from Kentucky and Ten-
nessee, but there was a strong delegation from
Indiana and many people from New England.
The Hoosiers were trained develo])ers of pioneer
land — shrewd in business mattei-s and wise in
the ways of the pioneer farmer. The lOasterners
lacked the practical outlook of the two other
groups, but l)rought to the ])rairie an insistence
on good schools and beautiful churches which
set the city apart from other communities in the
area. Among the Eastern families which helped
shape the destiny of the new town were the
Xoyes, Xeals, Lanes, Riddles, and Jennings. Two
of the oldest brick homes in the city — both on
Western Avenue — stand as reminders of the
deeds of the Xoyes and Lane families. The old
Xoyes home, started in ISO!), stands west of the
Trinity Episcopal Church while the Ray Red-
dings occupy the old Lane home on Western
Avenue Road. The Jennings brothers, Ephraim
and Ichabod, were early business leaders. E.

Jeuniugs was the first railroad builder un the
ground in the Mattoon area, having arrived here
in 1853 to supervise the bridge building work.

The founders of Original Town were Charles
Floyd Jones, Davis Carpenter, Jr.. Usher F.
Liuder. Ebenezer Noyes, James T. Cunningham.
Stephen D. Dole. John Cunningham. John L.
Allison. Eli.sha Linder, H. Q. Sanderson. Har-
rison Messer. Samuel B. Richardson. William B.
Tuell, and Josiah Hunt. The survey was complet-
ed in December, 1854. a plat notarized in April.
1855, and recorded at Charleston in October.
1855. The town was named in honor of William
B. Mattoon at a meeting of the founders in the

Bunnell House in Charleston in May, 1855. The
first engine, jiulling two cars and caboose,
reached the railroad crossing in Mattoon on
June 9. 1855. The wood-burning engine belonged
to the Terre Haute & Alton R. R.. forerunner of
the present Big Four division of the New York
( 'entral R. R.

After the railroads commenced service, busi-
ness houses and dwellings rose rapidly through-
out the new city. The pioneers watched a dream
come true within the first year and saw it ex-
ceed all hopes within five years as the popula-
tion climbed rapidly with the approach of the
Civil War.

The discovery well in Mattoou's prwluctive
oil field was tapped in 1940. but the real devel-
opment did not come until 1946. At the height
of the boom more than 400 wells were produc-
ing. Even now in Centennial Year more than 250
wells still are active.



100th Anniversary

500 Employees of the Mattoon Lamp Plant and Their Families

Be sure and see our Industrial Exhibit
At Peterson Park

Progress Is Our Most Important Product



Your Servant
of the Century

Congratulations . . .

To Mattoon on her Centennial Anniversary!

We're proud to have played a part in the City's
progress, furnishing dependable Low Cost Elec-
tricity and Gas Service for over half of this Cen-


Reddy is ready now — with plenty.
Reddy will keep AHEAD for the future.

Central Illmois
Public Service Company

Low Cost Essential Service to Industry, Business, Farm and Home.

Engine No. 1 of the
Illinois Central Bail-
road, shown at right,
probably pulled hun-
dreds of trains through
the city of Mattoon.
The crossing of the I.
O. and the Terre Haute
Alton, now known as
the Big Pour Division of
the New York Central
R. R., created the town
of Mattoon in 1855.
Much of the city's pros-
perity during the past
century can be traced
to the growth of the


By Raij Reddimj

111 referring to the growth and prosperity of
any community the rather trite expre.ssion, "the
wheels of progress" is almost sure to creep in.

indicating tliat progress is somehow rehited to
wlieels — tlie wheels of the covered wagon, the
stagecoach, the ox-drawn cart, tlie buggy, the
train and the automobile, until now that we
liave become airborne we refer to "the irings of

Pharmacy Established 1865


1621 Broadway


1865 Business established by Kemp

1866 Oblinger and Kemp
1870 Oblinger and Weaver
1878 Weavers Drug Store
1894 Sheppard and Becker
1899 Sheppard Bros.
1902 Ov\/ings and Morton
1907 Owings Drug Company

Serving the Mattoon area for over 90 years.



Home of Railroad & Truck Salvage and
Factory Surplus Merchandise


1908 Western Avenue

Mattoon Medical Association

The Doctors of Mattoon ore proud to be
Port of this Centennial

Raymond A. Dougherty

John D. Hardinger

Jack T. Harper

John F. Hubbard

John Jemsek

Edward A. Kendall

Alfred A. Leffman

Edward X. Link

Joseph F. Mallory

Wayne T. Neal

Eugene A. Noskin
GuyO. Pfeiffer
A. P. Rauwolf
E. E. Richardson
Guy E. Seymour
Lee A. Steward
S. W. Thiel
Anna Weiss
Otto Weiss
Edward N. Zinschlag

The growth of the small comnuinity of "Peg-
town" (so-called because of the lumierous sur-
veyors' stakes) which was to become the City
of Mattoou was due to the advent of better and
swifter methods of transportation, culminating
in the modern railroads.

The first transportation route through this
vicinity was an Indian trail, running southeast
and northwest, the nearest point to Mattoon be-
ing approximately four miles. This trail was
marked with what were known as "Indian
trees". The Indians had twisted young saplings,
pointing the limbs toward the Kaskaskia and the
Embarrass Rivers, thus marking a trail for new-
comers. One of these trees was still standing
until recently on the Old State Road. This trail
was used by a tribe of Indians known as the
Kickapoos. Of course travel was on foot or horse-

The next methods of transportation available
were by ox-team, horseback and stage coach on
what is still known as the "Old State Road," one
and a half miles south of Mattoon. Three miles
southwest of Mattoon there was a town laid out
in 1836, consisting of two streets on Avhich were
located an inn for the accommodation of travel-
lers, a grocery store and post office. Tiiis place

was called Xew Richmond. It was for some time
a stage coach stop, and ratiier ambitious plans
were made for a village at this point but with
the railroads by-passing it. construction stopped,
and Xew Richmond ceased to exist.

In the spring of 1855, two railroads were be-
ing built toward the present site of Mattoon,
one south from (."hicago and the other west from
Paris, 111., the Illinois Central Railroad and the
Terre Haute & Alton, respectively. It was first
intended that the latter road would be built ac-
cording to a survey made three miles north of
Mattoon but this plan was abandoned in favor
of the present location.

There is some di.spute as to wiiich railroad
Avon the race to the crossing in Mattoon, but all
historians agree that the Terre Haute & Alton
bi-ought the first train into the new town. That
event took place on June 9, and 3,000 pioneers
showed their appreciation of the railroads with
a tumultuous celebration.

Mattoon became an exchange point for pas-
sengers and freight by the two roads. Xear the
intersection, west of the Illinois Central and
south of the St. Louis, Alton & Terre Haute.
there was built a three-story combination pas-
.senger station and hotel called the Essex House,

Parking Area




We invite you to visit our Modern Offices


Drive-Up Window


PHONE 5411

Serving This Community for 66 Years



X* /S( »-* V »» *« <L» IlJ -» - '*. fv« iV» *> f«M » XJ*.

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which served both roads. Trains stopped for
meals at the Essex House, the stops in most
cases being about thirty minutes.

Through train service between Chicago and
East St. Louis (then called Illinoistown | with-
out the necessity of changing cars en route was
established for the first time in October, 1856.
Soon afterward the Illinois Central placed in
service two passenger trains each way daily ex-
cept Sunday, providing tlie quickest transit then
available between Chicago and St. Louis. The
route was over the Illinois Central from Chicago
to Mattoon, and by the St. Louis. Alton and
Terre Haute from Mattoon to Illinoistown.

A "luxury train'', the "Lightning Express,"
was put into service, which provided Chicago
and St. Louis with their first sleeping and state-
room cars, years before such equipment was in-
troduced on other railroads. The Lightning Ex-
press really made history. The St. Louis adver-
tising posters informed the public that they
could travel in "magnificent State Room Cars,
enabling the passenger to retire to bed and take
a comfortal)le night's sleep while rapidly pur-
suing his journey." Also that "Omnibuses call
for passengers at the hotels, steamboats, rail-
roads and private residoices, free of charge"
The passenger "rapidly pursued" his journey

from St. Louis to Chicago from 4:00 P. M. until
late the next luoriiing.

In 1872 Mattoon acquired a third railroad
which was first known as the Decatur, Lincoln
\ I'ekin. The l)ranch of this line which was ex-
tended to Mattoon was built liy the Decatur,
Sullivan & Mattoon Railroad, incorporated
March 26, 186!), and opened for operation in
1872. Six years later the Grayville & Mattoon
Railroad Company, incorporated in 1S76, com-
pleted its line from Mattoon to I'arkersburg,
which point remained the southern terminal for
several years. In 1880-1881 several companies
operating the route from Pekin to Parkersburg
niei-ged to form the Peoria, Decatur & Evansville
Railroad, the old P. D. & E.

To i-elate the history of this line between Pe-
oria and Evansville, Inc., would retjuire writing
a book. As many as twenty-eight distinct com-
])anies, dating back to 1839, were involved in its
ownership and operation. Finally, in 1900 the
railroad was put up for auction and bid in by
the Illinois Central Railroad, and has since been
a i)art of that .system. Carlton J. Corliss, in his
book, "Main Line of Mid-America'', says:

"Probably no segment of the Illinois Cen-
tral has experienced more vicissitudes or
suffered a closer acquaintance with the









1 ]\U








f 1616


This Area

For A


r Of A Cei







MATTOON on your

1855- 1955


Kull Lumber Cninpany

Our Lumber Business Located
At Same Address Since 1886


FAST Convenient Service
• QUALITY Lumber and Materials
• EFFICIENT Home Planning
• EASY Budget Plans



bankruptcy courts than has this line, known
to old-timers as the Peoria, Decatur & Ev-
ansville, or simply the P. D. & E. * * * *

"Many and lurid are the tales of rail-
roading on these short-lines through the
seventies, when each was operating inde-
pendently. The Grayville and Mattoon, for
instance, owned two wheezy little engines
which had been purchased secoiulliand when
the road was built. Its track was built with
iron rails weighing fifty pounds to the yard.
Weeds flourished in abundance on the road-
way. Cros.s-ties were laid on the ground
without foundation work. ('onse((uent]y. aft-
er a heavy rain or thaw the rails would sink
down nearly out of sight under the weight
of a train. Karely were passengers or
freight schedules maintained. Profits Avere
often non-existent.

"On the Grayville-Mattoon line water for
the engines Avas obtained by the aid of a
'one-horse power pump' of ingenious con-
struction. The capacity of the tank was suf-
ficient only to take care of the wants of one
locomotive. A horse was kept on hand to
operate the pump, and each engine crew had
to replenish the water supply by hitcliing
up Old Dobbin and putting him to work.

Even at such an important terminal point
as Mattoon, where four railroads met, a
team of oxen was driven by the yardmaster
to switch the cars to and from the freight

In 1878 the present roundhouse and shops
were built; also a passenger station at 21st
Street and the tracks. In the earlier years before
the consolidation of the different lines there was
no conuocting link l)etween the south and north
branch but the north branch was connected with
the St. Louis, Alton & Terre Haute at the out-
skirts of Mattoon and used tlieir tracks to the
Essex House or depot. The trains on the south
luaiich arrived via the Illinois Central tracks
1o the depot.

With the opening of the P. D. & E. passenger
station and the necessity for transportation of
passengers and baggage between that station
and Essex House or depot of the two earlier rail-
i-oads, a certain young lad of sixteen heard op-
])ortunity knocking and seeing a chance to help
himself as well as travelers through Mattoon,
started a hack line for such purpose. With a
team of horses, riding astride one and leading
the other, this enterprising young man journ-
eyed to Shelbyville, 111., twenty-four miles from
Mattoon, where he had heard there was a hack

Compliments of



The Massachusetts Mutual Life lusurauce Cd.

H. NOLAN SIMS, General Agent
And Associates

Ralph Brausa
Wm. L. Hood

Helen Rose Pegelow
Norman Zellers



Kuehne . . .


The greatest name in Dinette Furni-
ture is proud to be a part of this cen-
tury old city.

This community has been a good
place to produce our product be-
cause so many good people live here.

With the fine cooperation of all our
employees, Kuehne has grown with
the city and is now the world's largest
manufacturer of tubular steel furni-
ture and also the city's largest pro-
ducer of payroll dollars.

All of the employees of the Kuehne
Mfg. Co. are proud to say — "May
the candles on Mattoon's birthday
cake glow brighter as the years go

"If It's Kuehne It's Better Than The Best'


for sale. He bought it, liitclied the team to it and
drove back to Mattoon. Later this man became
a locomotive engineer on the I. & i^t. L. Rail-
road, and it is from listening to his vivid ac-
counts of early railroading that the writer first
became interested in the subject. Incidentally.
the young hack owner, Charles C. Redding, was
the writer's father.

Returning to the original St. Louis, Alton &
Terre Haute Railroad, which we left at the
crossing when it first met the Illinois Central in
1855. This road, nickimmed the "Sankey" by its
employees, afterward became the Indianapolis &
St. Louis. Then it was purchased by the Big
Four, formerly called the "Bee Line" and consti-
tuted part of the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago
& St. Louis, now part of the New Yoi-k Central

The division point for the St. Louis, Alton &
Terre Haute had been at Litchfield, 111., seventy-
nine miles west of Mattoon. Later, in 1870, the
division point was changed to Mattoon, and
about this time the road became the Indiana-
polis & St. Louis Railroad. Most of the road's

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Online LibraryOmar KhayyámMattoon memories : souvenir program, Mattoon Centennial, 1855-1955, Pageant and Celebration, September 4-10 → online text (page 1 of 7)