Edward William Mattson (1898-1977) – WOTTK

Matson Project
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.In my ancestor research process, my third step is to review what others think they know (WOTTK). Invariably, I learn something new from others. But occasionally, I find a real treasure. In my research of Edward “Eddie” William Matson, I took a look at the “hints” that Ancestry offered to see what others think they know. Ancestry suggested 13 hints, and several of them were absolute treasures.

Ancestry Hints

    1. 1900 – Census – Ignored – I already had.
    2. 1910 – Census – Ignored – I already had.
    3. 1920 – Census – Ignored – I already had.
    4. 1922 – Marriages from the MOMS system – Ignored – I already had.
    5. 1930 – Census – Ignored – I already had.
    6. 1940 – Census – Ignored – I already had.
    7. 1940 Minneapolis City Directory. Interesting. I had found Eddie and Hildur in the 1940 Census living in Annandale. To see them in the 1940 Minneapolis City directory surprised me. It makes me want to carefully follow the real property records to see precisely when they relocated to Minneapolis.
    8. 1942 – World War II Draft Card – I already had.
    9. 1977 – Obituary – Ignored – I already had.
    10. Matson Siblings, c. 1960, Photo courtesy “ryan2106 via Anceestry.Com

      Member Photo – “Grandpa Matson and siblings.” The Matson (Mattson) Siblings: Top Row: Louis, Edward, Rudolph, Mary, John (Grandpa) Front Row: David, Minnie, Emma, Lena, and Carl Augus Initially added by Ryan2106 on 6/19/2011. A treasure. Eddie is clearly identified, and the image looks very much like him. The photo provided images of nine of his siblings that I’d never seen before. I don’t recall ever meeting any of them, but I remember hearing when several of them died between 1962 and 1963. I definitely can incorporate this photo into my work (with proper credit).

    11. Photo showing Eddie Mattson, Elmer Opsahl, Nels Johnson, Louis Mattson, & Carl Johnson
      Eddie Mattson, front row left. Photo courtesy “ryan2106 via Anceestry.Com

      Member Photo – “Louis and Eddie Mattson.” Front Row: Eddie Mattson, Elmer Opsahl; Back Row: Nels Johnson, Louis Mattson, Carl Johnson. Another photo was originally added by ryan2106, this time dated 26 Sep 2017. This is a particularly great photo because it showed Eddie when he was much younger, blonder, and heavier.  Based on it, I confirmed another image I’ve seen on the “Terri’s Tales” website.

    12. Eddie and Hildur Mattson – Dec 1955. Photo courtesy “ryan2106 via Anceestry.Com

      Member Photo – Eddie and Hildur Mattson. This photo, printed in Dec 1955, is clearly of Hildur and Eddie. It shows Eddie in his typical wear, a plaid lumberjack shirt and light khaki pants. Again, the photo was submitted by ryan2106 to Ancestry on 5/30/2009.

    13. Ancestry Member Trees and what I learned:
      • Merklin Hayes Matson Utterberg Family Tree – owned by ryan2106. – No new fact, however wonderful photos.
      • Stephen – Family Tree – owned by Elizabeth Brown – Nothing new.
      • Eva-Elle – owned by Elle Hamilton.
        • Elle indicated that Ardis (Mattson) and Richard Rohloff had a child, David Peter Rohloff, born and died in 1943. I hadn’t heard of him before.
        • She also indicated that Kenneth Mattson’s wife, Mary Barna’s middle name was Ann. I didn’t have that before.

My thanks to all people who share their research and family trees publicly. It is their work that provides the hints Ancestry uses.

Terri’s Tales

I corresponded with ryan2106 through Ancestry Messaging and learned of a blog, “Terri’s Tales: Views to the Past.” The blog has two entries for the Matson surname, one for John Matson and one for his wife, Annie Theresia Utterberg.  John was an older brother of Eddie. (John was the 4th child of Lars and Christine and Eddie was their 10th child.)

#5 – John Emil Matson (1886-1962).

Photo of the Mattson Family House in Cokato.
Mattson Family Farm House in Cokato, David, Lars, Stina, Hannah, and Rudolph [The link takes you to the Terri Tales website.]
Terri’s blog has lots of photos. Notably, a “Mattson family farm in Cokato.” Great photo. My sister lives in Wright County, not too far from the old homestead, and she knows where it is. I asked her if she’d take a new photo of the old Matson homestead. It will be interesting to see what it looks like now.

Mattson Family,circa 1902: Standing: Hannah, Mary, Carl, Emma, David, Lena, John, Lewis, Minnie. Sitting: Lars, Eddie, Stina with Edith [Link takes you to the Terri Tales website.]
There is a great “Mattson Family circa 1902” photo which includes little four-year-old Edward. The caption indicates Christina as “Stina,” a nickname I hadn’t known she used. Eddie is the boy standing between Lars and Stina.

Image of Banknote of John Matson, 1915Terri includes a fascinating bit of ephemera in her post. There is a copy of a 1915 banknote that John Matson took out to start his cement block business. In it, he signed his name with one t. However, his father, Lars, and uncle, Andrew, both signed their name with two t’s. The address for John was 3107 Upton Ave. North, Minneapolis. For some reason, I had always heard that the name change was due to a sign mistake. I also assumed it was Eddie’s business; however, this document suggests the name change occurred with John before 1915 and before starting his cement block business.

Photo of the 1925 Mattson Family Reunion, Cokato, MN
1925 Mattson Family Reunion, Cokato, MN

Of really great interest is a photo from the 1925 Mattson Family Reunion, Cokato, MN. I looked at the picture carefully and am pretty sure I’ve identified Eddie from the group. In 1925, Eddie was 27 years old; he and Hildur were married and had two children, Ardis and Elizabeth (Edgar would be born the following December). A man who looks like Eddie from the “Louis and Eddie Mattson” I mentioned earlier is sitting on the far right. On his lap is a child who appears to be about a year and a half, the age Elizabeth would be. Next to him is a woman with a child, about three, about the age Ardis was in 1925. The young woman does appear to be Hildur, although I’ve only seen photos of her when she was much older. Anyway, I’m pretty sure it is them sitting in chairs on the far right of the photo.

"Thank You" written. Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/geralt-9301/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=226358">Gerd Altmann</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=226358">Pixabay</a>

The article about John Emil Matson (1886-1962) is a lovely tribute to Terri’s grandfather, John Matson. My thanks to Terri for sharing John’s story and the wonderful photos. Her work has provided new insights into the Eddie Matson story as well.

 

My Farmers in Sullivan County, Indiana

One of my favorite blogs is Genealogy à la carte. One of their regular features is “This week’s Crème de la Crème.” In it, Gail Dever provides a listing of what she thinks are the best genealogical blogs and articles of the past week. It focuses on Canadian genealogy and, although I have no known Canadians among my ancestors, I invariably find something that is of interest to me. This week’s edition included a notice of Miriam Robbins blog posting “New Page: Farm and Farmers Directories.”

I perused the entries in the blog post and saw that a new directory for Sullivan County, Indiana was listed. That link brought me to “Art Souvenir of Leading citizens and farmers’ directory of Sullivan County, Indiana” published by the Sullivan Times Co in 1896. I have ancestors who lived in Sullivan County, so I wondered if I could find any of my ancestors listed.

Map of Indiana showing location of Sullivan County
Sullivan County, Indiana

Using Family Tree Maker 2017, (My preferred genealogy software.) I went to the places tab and selected Sullivan County, Indiana, USA and discovered I have 88 individuals associated with Sullivan County. I started entering surnames in the search function and found six individuals that were ancestors of mine and were in the directory.

The following are entries I discovered. Facts new to me are Green bolded.

Beard, J. N. born in Crawford County, Ills., 1859. Came to Sullivan county 1894. Farming 120 acres, situated 7½ miles northwest of Sullivan, Turman township. Owner, A. Hopewell.
[A. Hopewell rented 120 acres to J. N. Beard.]

Hopewell, A., born in Sullivan County, 1847. Owns 336 acres, situated in Turman Tp, 6 Miles N.W. of Sullivan. Mr. Hopewell served the last six months in the Civil war, 53rd Ind. Vol Inf.

Nash, S. W., Assessor of Truman Tp., born in Sullivan county, 1853. Farming 40 acres situated 7 miles northwest of Graysville. Owners, Barnes Heirs. P.O. Hutsonville, Ills. There are several Barnes families that could have owned this property. [I would need to do a title/deed search to determine for certain.]

Taft, Alonzo, born in Sullivan County, 1870. Farming 65 acres, situated 2 miles southwest of Sullivan. P.O. Same.

Taft, William., Born in N.Y., 1842. Came to Sullivan county, 1849. Owns 20 acres, situated in Curry tp., ¾ mile east of Shelburn.

Thompson, Albert, born in Sullivan county, 1823. Owns 260 acres situated in Fairbanks Tp., 12 miles northwest of Sullivan. P.O. Fairbanks.

None of these individuals were direct ancestors, but several were uncles and aunts.

Future research:

Worth further investigation is the “Barnes Heirs” owning 40 acres. My 2nd great-grandfather, Nelson Barnes, died in 1884. Could this 40 acres be remnants of his estate? If so, why hadn’t the estate been settled in the ensuing 12 years? If not, whose estate was it that was owned by the “Barnes heirs.”

Sources:

  • Art souvenir of leading citizens and farmers’ directory of Sullivan County, Indiana – 1896 : Sullivan Times Co. Cn : Free Download, Borrow, And Streaming : Internet Archive.” Internet Archive. Accessed July 28 2019. https://archive.org/details/artsouveniroflea00sull/page/n7.