Lat/Long: 39.4667, -88.3667
Mattoon, Illinois is a city in Coles County, Illinois. Situated forty miles southeast of Decatur, Mattoon had its origins in early railroad construction in East Central Illinois. Established as a village around 1854, it received its name after William B. Mattoon, partner in the firm of Barnes, Phelps and Mattoon, which held the contract for grading this section of what would become the Alton and Terre Haute Railroad. Mattoon reputedly won the right to name the village in a card game. The U.S. Post Office Department established a post office in the village in July 1855. The Illinois General Assembly incorporated Mattoon as a town in February 1859.
Edward Callary, Place Names of Illinois (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2009), 218; James N. Adams, Illinois Place Names (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Society, 1968), 433; “An Act to Incorporate the Town of Mattoon,” 22 February 1859, Private Laws of Illinois (1859), 638-46; Webster’s New Geographical Dictionary (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1988), 741.