Page 125, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




JONATHAN M. MATTOON.—The historic village of Geneva in Allen county is yet rich in the personal presence of pioneers; men whose years had scarcely reached the quarter century mark when they established themselves in that community; men whose forms are now bent with years and awaiting the passing of the spirit to be laid away with the honored dead. When the names of Spicer, Dickey, Esse, Howland and Mattoon have passed into the Great Beyond then will Geneva cease to turn to her first settlers for her "first things" but place her reliance in records instead.

J. M. Mattoon has been one of the characters of Allen county for nearly forty-five years. He came to the county in 1857 when the settlement at Geneva was being founded and cast his lot with the brethren of the east. He had started west eight years before he reached Kansas but spent the intervening years in Michigan where he was employed as a machinist. His place of birth was in Jefferson county, New York, and the date was December 17, 1813. Gershom Mattoon was his father and Nancy Sayer was his mother, natives of Connecticut and New Jersey, respectively. Of the nine children of these parents only two survive, viz: Our subject and a sister, Harriet Williams, of Warsaw, Michigan.

Mr. Mattoon was married to Tracy Hancock and in 1849 went into Michigan. Eight years later he found himself on the frontier of civilization and at the gateway to the great American Desert. Choosing merchandising as his vocation he engaged in it with little delay and many years passed ere he laid aside the liquid measure, the yard stick and the scissors. In 1858 he was appointed assistant post-master at Geneva and two years later he was appointed chief of the office. He held this latter position through several administrations—from Lincoln to McKinley—until he had held the office more than forty years and was one of the oldest post-masters in the United States.

In 1860 Mr. Mattoon suffered the loss of his wife. She was the mother of eight children, two sons, both of whom served in the Civil War, and both of whom have since died. The surviving daughters are: Lucy J.; Matilda, wife of Henry Gray; Josena, wife of Louis Davidson; Cecil Carry; May, wife of Frank Campbell, and Adda, who married William Hyde.

J. M. Mattoon has filled a place in the affairs of men. He brought with him to his new western home character and honor and has maintained them both untarnished and unassailed. Honesty and integrity "blazed" his pathway and whether transacting his private business or representing his constituents in a public office his watchword was the same.

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