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Mattoon Timeline


Eastern Illinois University

Charleston, Illinois


Coles County



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1818:    Illinois entered into the Union

1830:    Charter granted for organizing Coles County Illinois (Named in honor of Governor  
             Edward Coles)

1831:    Lincoln Family settles in Coles County, 3 miles southeast of the site chosen for

1833:    Meteor shower seen by Mattoon residents.

1836:    International Improvement Act leads to railroad construction.

1851:    Illinois Central Railroad is incorporated.

1854:    Mattoon is mapped out as a town site.

1855:    Terra Haute & Alton Line crosses with Illinois Central Line in Mattoon.

1856:    Mattoon's first newspaper, The Weekly Independent Gazette, begins publication.

1857:    Mattoon becomes a village and elects board of trustees.

1861:    Mattoon becomes a city by way of Charter.

1865:    First National Bank of Mattoon is established. Broomcorn is first grown in the      

1866:    Doles Opera House opens as Mattoon's first theater.

1871:    Northern Coal & Mining Company established.

1874:    Mattoon National Bank established.

1878:    Peoria, Decatur, & Evansville Railroad begins service.

1891:    Sidewalks of concrete are laid on Broadway Avenue.

1897:    First street fair is held (the first of its kind in the state).

1903:    Andrew Carnegie library dedication.

1906:    The first motion picture theater, The Bijou, is opened.

1907:    Train wreck between Mattoon and Charleston kills 18 and injures 54.

1917:    Tornado strikes and kills 85 people, injuring hundreds.

1926:    Mattoon produces a movie entitled "Mattoon's Hero".

1930:    Pet Parades and circuses relieved anxieties for children during the

1940s:  Depression and World War II.

1937:    The K Theater is burned down, remodeled, and renamed as the Time Theater.

1940:    Oil is discovered south of the city.