THE MATTOON FAMILY is of Scotch origin, and was one of the earliest to settle at Amherst, Massachusetts. The name of Eleazer Mattoon appears among the founders of the Congregational Church at Amherst in 1739. His grandson, General Ebenezer Mattoon was a man of conspicuous ability. He was born at Amherst, August 19th, 1755. At the breaking out of the Revolutionary war, he was a student at Dartmouth College, and in another year would have graduated. The patriotic president gave the embers of the junior class their diplomas, and Ebenezer Mattoon, then twenty years of age, entered the army. He was a lieutenant in Col. Wade's regiment and afterward was promoted to major. He served with distinction under Gen. Gates at Saratoga, and in other battles. He was a delegate to the state convention held at Concord in 1776, though, but twenty-one years old; and to the Constitutional Conventions of 1779 and 1820. He was elected representative in the legislature in 1781 and 1794. He served in the State senate 1796-6; he was presidential elector in 1796, 1821 and 1833, and was representative in Congress 1801-3. For several years he was sheriff of the county of Hampshire, and for a long period Major General of the Massachusetts militia, and Adjutant General of the State, holding the latter positions at the time of Shay's Rebellion. His name was prominently mentioned in connection with the position of Governor of Massachusetts, when at the age of fifty-eight he became blind, a circumstance which terminated his distinguished public career. His other faculties, however, remained unimpaired till his death on the 11th of September, 1843, at the age of eighty-eight years. His portrait painted by the celebrated artist Trumbull, with whom he was on terms of intimate friendship, is now in possession of members of the family at Bunker Hill. Major Ebenezer Mattoon, son of General Mattoon, came to Illinois in 1846, and died at Bunker Hill in 1868. He was born at Amherst, Massachusetts, September 29th, 1781. He was raised in his native town, and on reaching manhood went to farming. He married Lucena Mayo, who was born in Orange, Franklin county, Massachusetts, May 16th 1787. In 1846 he sold his farm in Massachusetts and emigrated to Illinois. He resided one year in Sangamon county, and in 1874 purchased a farm north of Bunker Hill, where he resided till his death on the 28th of July, 1868. He had held the rank of major on his father's staff, in the Massachusetts militia, and by this title he was always known. He held the office of sheriff of Hampshire county, Massachusetts, and several terms represented the town of Amherst, in the Massachusetts legislature. His health after coming to Illinois was not good, and he lived in quiet and retirement. His widow, Lucena Mayo Mattoon, died at Bunker Hill, February 23d, 1879, nearly ninety-two years of age.
Of the ten children of Major Mattoon, five resides in this state. Their names are as follows: Mrs. Fannie Parson, now living in Smith county, Kansas; Mrs. Maria Hutchinson, widow of Dr. Levi Hutchinson, of Bunker Hill; Mrs. Emeline Sandford, widow of Ira Sandford, whose sons S. N. and William M. Sandford, reside at Bunker Hill; Ebenezer Mattoon and John Brooks Mattoon, of Bunker Hill; Mrs. Lucena Cowles, of Unionville, Lake county, Ohio; Benjamin M. Mattoon, of Collinsville, Connecticut; Mrs. Dorothea Vannevar, of Malden, Massachusetts; Mrs. Eliza A. Orme, of Bond county, Illinois and Eleazer Mattoon, of Topeka, Kansas. A remarkable longevity has characterized the family, the representatives of each generation reaching an age considerably in excess of four-score years. Each generation has also been identified with the Congregational church. During the time of the old whig party, the members of the family were among its strong adherents, and since its dissolution the surviving descendants have been republican. The family was honorably identified with the history of Massachusetts, from which state its members have emigrated to the west. From one branch of the family, the town of Mattoon, in this state, received its name.