By Don Taylor
My stepfather Edgar, known as “Bud,” and I had a difficult past. Our failure to coexist resulted in my living in a foster home for a couple years. However, as Bud aged, he did grow more and more mellow and progressive in his opinions. For example, in his 60s he came to the conclusion that the death penalty was wrong because it was over applied in cases of people of color or the disadvantaged and seldom, if ever, applied to the rich or privileged. During the 1990s Bud and I achieved a time of détente.
The Matson Line – Ancestor #
- 2B – Step-father: Edgar (“Bud” and “Budgar[i]”) Jerome Matson (1925-2003)
- 4B – Step Grandfather: Edward (Eddie) William Mattson (1898-1977)
- 8B – Step Great-grandfather: Lars Mattson (1869-1926)
- 16B – Step Great-Great-grandfather: Lars Mattison (c. 1824-____)
Budgar was born on 29 December 1926 at 8:01 PM in St. Barnabas Hospital, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota. He was the third of four children of Edward William and Hildur Christina (Krafve) Mattson[ii]. He had two older sisters and one younger brother.
The 1930 Census found Eddie Matson & family living in Southside Township, Wright County, Minnesota. Southside is a rural township about 60 miles northwest of Minneapolis. It abuts Annandale and surrounds South Haven. Eddie was 32-year-old farm laborer renting a home for $20/month. With him are his wife, Hildur, and children, Ardis, age 7, attending school; Betty, age 6, attending school, Edgar, age 4, and Kenneth, age 3.
All of Eddie Mattson’s family are living in the same place as in the 1940 Census.
The 1940 Census found Eddie Mattson & family living in Annandale, Wright County, Minnesota. Eddie was a 42-year-old cement working in the building construction industry. Living with him are his wife, Hildur, and their four children, including 14-year-old Edgar. All of the children are attending school.
World War II
It’s not clear why, but the 1942 Minneapolis City Directory finds the 16-year-old Edgar working as a helper and living at 1721 North 3rd in Minneapolis (Not with his parents).
When Edgar turned 18, in 1943, he registered for the draft. He was living with his parents at 2024 Girard Ave, North. He was 5’11”, 140 pounds, blue eyes, blonde hair, light complexion. The 1944 Minneapolis City Directory indicates he was working at the Loose-Wiles Biscuit Company at 7th and Washington, North, Minneapolis and was living with his parent on Girard.
He enlisted on his 20th birthday, 29 December 1945[iii] and was discharged on 2 February 1949 as a Sergeant in the Regular Army.
Bud returned from Europe in 1948 and married a “German war bride,” Frieda Gass on 28 November 1948. Frieda and Bud had two daughters together, Heidi Ann (1950-2002) and “Living Matson.” In 1952, Bud was working as a maintenance man at Minneapolis Moline. Shortly after that he began working at the Ford Motor Assembly Plant in Saint Paul. He worked there for 33 years and eventually retired from Ford.
In April 1959, while Bud was driving to work, he noticed a man laying on the railroad tracks. He thought the man was drunk and passed out. He stopped to help him and found that he was dead. He was living at 181 NE 41st Ave in Columbia Heights at the time.
Bud and Frieda became estranged and were living separately when he met my mother, Sylvia. It is my recollection that my mom and Bud dated while the divorce of Bud and Frieda became final. After the divorce, my mom and Bud went off to Webster, Day County, South Dakota to be married on 8 December 1961.
Bud and Sylvia rented a house at 1502 Fremont Ave, No., Minneapolis shortly after the marriage. About a year later, Bud and Sylvia purchased a house at 2419 Bryant Ave. North, Minneapolis. In September, they had their first child, (a girl, living).
Bud and Sylvia had a new home built in the suburbs at 6741 Douglas Drive North, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. They had their second child (a boy, living) together while living there. It was over 20 miles to the Ford Plant across downtown so Bud typically worked very early in the morning to avoid the traffic.
Bud retired and the couple moved to Brainerd (6450 Donaldson Road) for a few years. Then they moved south, presumably to get away from Minnesota winters, to Prescott Valley, Arizona. They moved back to Minnesota about 1996 and lived at 5 Evans Ave., Elk River, Sherburne County, Minnesota. Finally, they moved to nearby Big Lake.
Bud died on 12 November 2003 at the Buffalo Hospital, Buffalo, Wright County, Minnesota, due to complications resulting from a fall. Internment of his cremains was at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Fort Snelling, Minnesota.
Events by Location
- Arizona – Yavapai County, Prescott Valley – Lived 1995-1996
- Minnesota – Anoka County, Columbia Heights – Lived 1959.
- Minnesota – Crow Wing County, Brainerd – Lived 1983-1995.
- Minnesota – Hennepin County, Brooklyn Park – Lived 1966-1983.
- Minnesota – Hennepin County, Minneapolis – Birth – Lived 1942-1952 & 1962-1965 – Marriage #1.
- Minnesota – Sherburne County, Big Lake – Lived 2002-2003 – Death.
- Minnesota – Sherburne County, Elk River – Lived 2000-2002
- Minnesota – Wright County, Southside Township – Lived 1930.
- Minnesota – Wright County, Annandale – Lived 1935 – 1940.
- South Dakota – Day County, Webster – Marriage #2.
- Europe – Service 1946-1948.
Education – Bud attended one year of high school.[iv] I need to check yearbooks, etc. for photos and interests.
Religion – Edgar Jerome Matson was a Missouri Synod Lutheran during the years I knew him. He encouraged my mother and me to become baptized at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Spring Lake Park in 1961. He also encouraged my becoming confirmed at the Lutheran Church[v] at 26th & Lyndale in Minneapolis. I should research the religious events in his life.
Military – I know that Bud served in Europe after the war. It is my understanding that he was in a unit that “investigated” war crimes and atrocities committed by Allied forces during the war. Learning more about his service could prove interesting.
Divorce – My personal recollection includes the jubilation when the divorce between Bud and Frieda became final. I should research the specific date and details.
Property – I know Bud owned houses in Minneapolis, Brooklyn Park, Brainerd (all MN), and Prescott Valley, AZ. Getting the exact dates would be useful in setting his life’s timeline. He sold the Brooklyn Park house in June 1983.
Children – Heidi – Bud’s oldest daughter, Heidi, died in 2002. I should research her and tell her story.
Will/Probate – I don’t know if Bud had a will or if his estate went to probate. I should research this.
- 1930 Census, 1930 – Eddie (Edward) Matson. Year: 1930; Census Place: Southside, Wright, Minnesota; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0032; FHL microfilm: 2340871. https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/78038650:6224.
- 1940 Census, Eddie (Edward) W Mattson (Matson) – Annandale, Wright, Minnesota. Year: 1940; Census Place: Annandale, Wright, Minnesota; Roll: m-t0627-01970; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 86-3. https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/98279103:2442.
- City Directory (A), Ancestry.Com, Minneapolis, Minnesota – 1942, Page 768 – Matson. Via Ancestry.Com.
- City Directory (A), Ancestry.Com, Minneapolis, Minnesota – 1944, Page 770 – Matson. Ancestry.Com – Downloaded 11/10/2013
- City Directory (A), Ancestry.Com, Minneapolis, Minnesota – 1946, Page 833 – Matson. Ancestry.Com – Downloaded 11/10/2013.
- City Directory (A), Ancestry.Com, Minneapolis, Minnesota – 1948, Page 921 – Matson. Downloaded from Ancestry.com 10 Nov 2013.
- City Directory (A), Ancestry.Com, Minneapolis, Minnesota – 1952, Page 812 – Matson. Downloaded from Ancestry on 10 Nov 2013.
- Funeral Card, Files (Personal), Edgar J. Matson (1925-2003).
- Edgar Matson – 5 Oct 1966, Page 62., Minneapolis Star, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Newspapers.com).
- Minnesota Birth Index, 1900-1934 (cont.)1925. Ancestry.com. Web: Minnesota, Birth Index, 1900-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
- Minnesota Birth Index, 1935-2002, Family Search, Heidi Ann Matson – 20 Mar 1950. “Minnesota Birth Index, 1935-2002,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VCGX-MXH : 4 December 2014), Heidi Ann Matson, 20 Mar 1950; from “Minnesota Birth Index, 1935-2002,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2004); citing Hennepin, Minnesota, United States, Minnesota Department of Health, Minneapolis. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VCGX-MXH.
- Minnesota Official Marriage System, MOMS.MN.GOV, Edgar J Matson & Freida Gass 11/28/1948. https://Moms.mn.gov.
- Minnesota, Death Index, 1908-2017, Ancestry.Com, Edgar Jerome Matson (1925-2003). Minnesota Department of Health; St Paul, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota, Death Index, 1908-2017- Certificate Number: 2003-MN-036549.
- National Cemetery Administration, Internet, Edgar Jerome Matson.
- South Dakota, Marriages, 1905-2018 , Ancestry.Com, Edgar Matson & Sylvia Larson – 18 Dec 1961. South Dakota Department of Health; Pierre, South Dakota; South Dakota Marriage Records, 1905-2016.
- Edgar J. Matson – 30 Jan 1969. Newspapers.Com – Downloaded 15 Nov 2020.., Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Various).
- Edgar J. Matson, 25 Nov 1948. Marriage License Applications. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/63311353/marriage-of-matson-gass/., Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Various).
- Edgar Jerome Matson – 16 Nov 2003, Page B7 ., Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Various).
- Edgar Matson – Sold house at 6741 Douglas Dr. 9 June 1983, Page 85 – Downloaded 15 Nov 2020.., Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Various).
- S. Phone and Address Directories, 1993-2002, Ancestry.Com, Brainerd, Minnesota – 1993-1996 – Edgar J Matson. Source Citation – City: Brainerd; State: Minnesota; Year(s): 1993-1996.
- S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010, Ancestry.Com, Edgar Matson – 29 Dec 1925. Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
- S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014, Ancestry.Com, Edgar J. Matson – 470-20-6784. Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File.
- S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 (National Archives), Ancestry.Com, Edgar Jerome Matson. The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Dra. https://search.ancestry.com/collections/2238/records/16267040/.
- United States Public Records, 1970-2009, Family Search, Edgar J Matson – 1 Jan 1997 to 1 Jun 1997. “United States Public Records, 1970-2009”, database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QJ69-42QQ : 31 May 2020), Edgar J Matson, 1997-1997.
- United States Public Records, 1970-2009, Family Search, Edgar J Matson – 1 Jan 1998-1 Jun 1998 . “United States Public Records, 1970-2009”, database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QJ69-4592 : 31 May 2020), Edgar J Matson, 1998-1998.
- United States Public Records, 1970-2009, Family Search, Edgar J Matson – 1 Jun 1994 to 1 Jan 1999. “United States Public Records, 1970-2009”, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KB1T-CVW : 29 January 2020), Edgar J Matson, 1994-1999. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KB1T-CVW.
- United States Public Records, 1970-2009, Family Search, Edgar J Matson – 1 June 1996. “United States Public Records, 1970-2009”, database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QJXH-9FPH : 3 June 2020), Edgar J Matson, 1996.
- United States Social Security Death Index, Family Search, Edgar J Matson. “United States Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V361-F3V : 22 August 2020), Edgar J Matson, 12 Nov 2003; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing). https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V361-F3V.
- United States World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, Family Search, Edgar J Matson – 11 Jan 1946. “United States World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8LP-CLH : 5 December 2014), Edgar J Matson, enlisted 11 Jan 1946, ; citing “Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938-1946,” database, The National Archives: Access to Archival Databases (AAD) (http://aad.archives.gov : National Archives and Records Administration, 2002); NARA NAID 1263923, National Archives at College Park, Maryland. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8LP-CLH.
- US Army Honorable Discharge; Files (Personal); Honorable Discharge – Edgar J. Matson – 2 February 1949.
[i] “Budgar” is a combination of “Bud” and “Edgar.” He was called that by his family later in his life.
[ii] Note: The surname simplified since coming to the United States. Originally Mattison, the name morphed to Mattson, then lost the second “t” to become Matson. I tend to use the surname as it was used in any particular record.
[iii] Although V-J Day was August 14th, 1945 the period beginning December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946, are the dates considered as World War II Service. Edgar’s enlistment in 1945 is considered “World War II Service.”
[iv] See the 1940 Census and his Draft Registration.
[v] I forget if this was a ALC or LCA church at the time. I know it wasn’t Missouri Synod. Bud thought it better for me to go to a church locally, where I could walk to, rather than going to a Missouri Synod Church that I needed to be driven to.