Usa Postal Service One Hundred Twenty N 15th St Mattoon, Il Post Workplaces

Jennings arrived in March, 1853, and began the survey for the right-of-way south of town. In June of that year he took the contract for bridge work and certain fills. In the meantime, the Terre Haute & Alton Railroad, now the Big Four division of the New York Central Railroad, had been chartered in Springfield. Mattooners probably can thank a famous Charleston lawyer, Usher Linder.

1879 these traces had been consolidated into one railroad — the Peoria, Deca- tur & Evansville, which in 1900 be- came a branch of the Illinois Central. In this identical era, Mattoon had a taste of coal mining. The Mattoon Mining Co., headed by Heagy & Stod- dard, mining contractors of Hampton, 111., in 1880 sunk a shaft to a vein at a depth of 710 feet, and ultimately went 900 ft deep.

Then on September 27, 1856, the Illinois Central line from Mattoon to Branch Junction was opened, thus giving the Illinois Central a through line from Chicago to Cairo. A month later the Terre Haute & Alton completed a line from Alton to Illinoistown, which we now call East St. Louis, thus offering direct connection to St. Louis. Later, the Illinois Central was to ascertain quirky incorporated its first Chicago-St. Louis service, together with the first sleeping vehicles in America, through Mattoon and the tracks of the Terre Haute & Alton.

In February, 1864, William Mattoon made his last visit to town. His was a tragic mission, as he got here from his home in Springfield, Mass., to attend the funeral of Harrison Messer, who had been killed at Shelbyville when a caboose struck him. Mattoon had been right here in the winter of ’61 -’62 on a business trip. He was to die in 1878 — virtually penniless because of the panic of 1877. But Mrs. Mattoon — the second spouse he married in 1859 — visited here in 1898 as a visitor of the Street Fair Committee. The first Mrs. Mattoon died in 1856 in Terre Haute.

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