About Mattoon, Illinois
The town’s name honors William Mattoon, who helped construct the Terre Haute and Alton Railroad. The projected junction of this rail line with the Illinois Central in 1854 convinced local settlers that the land was an ideal site for a community. Swamp grass and prairie would give way to steel rails, homes and businesses.
With the westward movement of the railroads, Mattoon prospered and grew at a surprising rate. The first churches, schools and businesses were established. The town counted more than 100 buildings by 1856. The following year, officials of the growing community started the steps to incorporate. In 1861, the final charter was adopted.
The Lincoln family has long been part of the area’s history. They first settled in Coles County in 1831 on a farm about three miles south of the future site of Mattoon. Although he never lived in Coles County, the future President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, frequently traveled through the area as a circuit-riding lawyer. One of the famous debates with Stephen Douglas took place in Coles County in 1858.
Manufacturing became an important part of the local economy between World War I and World War II. The discovery of oil in 1940 gave Mattoon’s growth yet another boost.
Throughout its development, a key to Mattoon’s prosperity has been its location in the great Midwestern farmbelt. The rich, black farmland around Mattoon is abundantly productive.
Mattoon City Info
Map of the City
Mattoon City Hall
208 North 19th Street
Mattoon, Illinois 61938
Open Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Cunningham Park is located in the north central part of Mattoon at 12th Street and Champaign Avenue.
Lawson Park is located on the southeast part of Mattoon at 800 S 14th St. There are two entrances to this park, one is just off of Marshall Avenue on South 13th Street and the other one is on South 14th Street.
Little Kinzel Park is located in the southwest part of Mattoon at 28th Street and Marion Avenue, Little Kinzel Park has a playground area, basketball court, and an open field for youth soccer and football.
500 Broadway Ave, Mattoon, IL 61938
Located on the northeast side of Mattoon at 500 Broadway Avenue, Peterson Park is just one block north of Illinois Route 16 with two entrances, one at 5th Street and one at 3rd Street. Peterson Park is the City of Mattoon’s largest park.
Vanlaningham Park is nestled in the northwest part of Mattoon at North 30th Street and Garfield Avenue. Turn at north at North 29th Street, follow it to Garfield Avenue, turn left, and in 1.5 blocks you will arrive at the parking lot.
Mattoon Amtrak Depot
1718 Broadway Ave
Mattoon, IL 61938
Lincoln Prairie Grass Trail
12.9 mile trail for biking, horseback riding, mountain biking, walking, cross country skiing. Wheelchair accessible. Trail end points: County Rd. 2/CR 1800 E. (east of Charlestown) and ball fields at N. 10 St. and Richmond Ave. (Mattoon).