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.


Edward “Eddie” William Mattson [aka Matson] (1898-1977)

Matson Project
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Although not my blood ancestors, I have two half-siblings, three half-nieces, and two half-nephews descended from Eddie Matson’s son, Edgar. This page is dedicated to them. I’ll add, I met Eddie, and his wife Hildur, a few times when I was a child and have fond memories of them. His surname changed from Mattson to Matson and back again over his lifetime[i].


“Gramdpa Matson” Christmas 1970 – Photo by Sylvia Matson

When Edward William Mattson was born on 1 April 1898 in Cokato, Minnesota, his father, Lars, was 38 and his mother, Christine, was 34. He married Hildur Christina Krafve on 25 March 1922 in Hennepin, Minnesota. They had four children during their marriage. He died on 9 October 1977, in Anoka, Minnesota, at the age of 79 and was buried in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Matson Ancestor #MK-4

List of Grandparents

    • Grandfather: Edward “Eddie” William Mattson [aka Matson] (1898-1977)
    • 1st Great-grandfather: Lars Mattson (1859-1926)
    • 2nd Great-grandfather: Lars Mattison (1824-___)

Live Events/Facts


Edward William Mattson was born 1 April 1898 (no fooling) near Cokato, Wright County, Minnesota. He was the 10th child of Lars and Christine (Ericson) Mattson. Later that month, the U.S. declared war against Spain, opening the Spanish-American War.

His older siblings included:

Children of Lars and Christine (Erickson) Mattson



Carl August

Apr 1882

Gertie Caroline

Jun 1883

Emma Christine

May 1885

John Emil

Dec 1886

David Lauretsius

May 1888

Minni Sofia

Jam 1990

Hanna Elizabeth

Mar 1892

Anna Maria Mary

Jul 1894

Louis Oskar

Apr 1896


The 1900 Census found the Matson family living in French Lake Township. The township is north of Cokato and south of Annandale in Wright County, Minnesota. Eddie’s father, Lars, was a farmer who owned his farm, although it was mortgaged.

The 1910 Census provides the sadness that had to have fallen upon the family. Between 1900 and 1910, Christine had three more children. Two of those children died before 1910, leaving Eddie with one younger brother, Rudolph, born about 1903.

On 3 September 1918, Eddie traveled the 10 miles or so to register for the draft in Buffalo. His mailing address was Route 3, Cokato. He was described as tall, medium build, blue eyes, and blond hair.

The 1920 Census finds Eddie still at home with three of his brothers and two of his sisters. He, Louis, and his sister Hannah are working away from the farm, while David, Rudolph, and Minnie are working at the farm.


Eddie Matson and  Hildur Krafve married on 25 March 1922 in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Together they had four children

Children of Eddie and Hildur (Krafve) Matson



Ardis Josephine

Jun 1922

Elizabeth Anne

Jan 1924

Edgar Jerome

Dec 1925


c. 1927

In 1925, when Edgar was born, the couple lived at 4218 Upton No. Eddie was a cement worker.

Family Oral History – The Name Change

I heard a story a couple of times that when Eddie was starting a cement business in Minneapolis, the sign painter misspelled his name, dropping a “t” from his name making Matson out of Mattson. That’s how come his children had the one “t” surname. Certainly, he signed his name Mattson on his 1918 draft registration. Ardis’ obituary noted her maiden name as Mattson. His surname was Matson when his son, Edgar, was born. So, it appears that the surname spelling changed sometime between 1922 and 1925, about the time when Eddie was starting his cement business.

The 1930 Census found Eddie, Hildur, and the four children living in Southside Township, Wright County. Southside is the township directly north of French Lake Township. It is just west of Annandale. Eddie is renting the place they live, and he is a farmer.

The 1940 Census finds the family living in Annandale Village, where Eddie is a wage worker doing cement work at a construction company. The Census indicates he had an 8th-grade education.

In 1942, Eddie again registered for the draft. He and Hilda were again living in Minneapolis, this time at 2024 Girard Ave. No. He was working at O.W. Berg Co, at Lowrey ave, between 1st and 2nd No. He was described as 6’1”, 170 Lbs, blue eyes, brown hair, light complexion. He had a scar across three of the toes on his right foot. He would live at 2024 Girard for at least ten years.

Hildur & Eddie Matson, Christmas 1970

Sometime before 1977, Eddie and Hildur moved to 4201 7th St. NE., Columbia Heights, and moved again to Elk River, Sherburne County, before his death on 9 October 1977. He died in Anoka, Anoka County, MN. His funeral was held at the 1st Lutheran Church in Columbia Heights, and he was buried at Crystal Lake Cemetery.

Events by Location

Edward “Eddie” William Mattson lived his entire life in Minnesota. He spent his youth in Wright County and most of his adult life in Hennepin County. In his senior years, he lived in Anoka and Sherburne counties.

Life locations for Edward “Eddie” Mattson – Map courtesy Ancestry LifeStory
    • Minnesota, Anoka, Anoka                       Death 1977
    • Minnesota, Anoka, Columbia Heights    Before 1976
    • Minnesota, Hennepin, Minneapolis       (Marriage) 1925, 1940-1952
    • Minnesota, Sherburne, Elk River           Before 1977
    • Minnesota, Wright, Annandale              1935
    • Minnesota, Wright, Cokato                     (Birth) 1898-1918
    • Minnesota, Wright, French Lake Twp   1900, 1910, 1920
    • Minnesota, Wright, Southside Twp       1930

Further Actions / Follow-up

    • Eddie had an 8th-grade education; look for school records for him.
    • Eddie Matson & Hildur Krafur were married 3/25/1922. Get a copy of Hennepin County. Certificate Number: 02550466.
    • Get copies of Ardis, Elizabeth, and Kenneth’s birth records to see if they provide additional information regarding the surname change date.
    • Research Minneapolis Directories to see if they provide insight into the surname change from Mattson to Matson, apparently between 1922 and 1925.
    • In 1942, Eddie worked for O.W. Berg Co at Lowry Ave, between 1st and 2nd Determine what type of company that was.
    • Determine dates Eddie and Hildur lived at 2024 Girard from property records.
    • Confirm Eddie’s death and burial and create a memorial for him on Find-a-Grave (Hildur has a memorial).


[i] It is my practice to use the name used in any particular record. Consequently, his first name switches between Edward and Eddie. Likewise, his surname switches between Mattson and Matson.



  • 1900 Census (F.S.), Family Search, 1900 – Lars Matson – French Lake Township, Wright, Minnesota. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9QC-4WP : accessed 8 September 2021), Lars Matson, French Lake Township, Wright, Minnesota, United States; citing enumeration district (E.D.) 226, sheet 8B, family 152, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,798.
  • 1910 Census, 1910 – Lars Matson – French Lake, Wright, Minnesota. “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/ 61903/1:1:M2PY-W95 : accessed 8 September 2021), Lars Matson, French Lake, Wright, Minnesota, United States; citing enumeration district (E.D.) ED 210, sheet 11B, family 185, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 728; FHL microfilm 1,374,741.
  • 1920 Census, Lais Matson (Lars) – French Lake, Wright, Minnesota
    Census, 1920”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ ark:/61903/1:1:M4M3-R2P : 2 February 2021), Lais Mattson, 1920.
  • 1930 Census, Eddie (Edward) Matson – Southside, Wright, Minnesota
    States Census, 1930,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ ark:/61903/1:1:X36Q-7VR : accessed 8 September 2021), Eddie Matson, Southside, Wright, Minnesota, United States; citing enumeration district (E.D.) ED 32, sheet 3A, line 13, family 50, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 1136; FHL microfilm 2,340,871.
  • 1940 Census, FamilySearch (https:// www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KSJY-D84 : 7 January 2021), Eddie W Mattson, Annandale, Wright, Minnesota, United States; citing enumeration district (E.D.) 86-3, sheet 9A, line 15, family 195, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, R.G. 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 1970.
  • 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 November 2013.
  • City Directory (A), Ancestry.Com, Minneapolis, Minnesota – 1952, Page 812 – Matson. Downloaded from Ancestry on 10 November 2013.
  • Grand Rapids Herald-Review – 2010-01-04 – Ardis J. (Mattson) Rohloff. Grand Rapids Herald-Review (Minnesota) 4 January 2010, obit for Ardis J. (Mattson) Rohloff, GenealogyBank.com (https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/ 1406ABF9AEE49BB0 : accessed 8 September 2021)., Grand Rapids Herald-Review, Grand Rapids, Minnesota (GenealogyBank.Com).
  • Minneapolis Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Newspapers.com, 1977-10-11 – Edward Mattson Obituary. Downloaded 8 September 2021.
  • Minnesota Death Index, 1908-2002, Family Search, Edward W. Mattson (Matson) – [No image]. (https:// familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V4W8-XTY : 4 December 2014), Edward W. Mattson (Matson), 9 October 1977; from “Minnesota Death Index, 1908-2002,” database, Ancestry
  • Minnesota Official Marriage System, MOMS.MN.GOV, Eddie Matson & Hildur Krafur – 3/25/1922 – Hennepin County. Certificate Number: 02550466. Accessed 8 September 2021. https://moms.mn.gov/.
  • Minnesota, Hennepin, Minneapolis, Birth Certificate. Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, Edgar Jerome Matson.
  • S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 (National Archives), Ancestry.Com, Eddie William Matson. National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Minnesota, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 148.
  • 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 Social Security Death Index, Family Search, Eddie Mattson (No Images). “United States Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V9VG-ZZG : 10 January 2021), Eddie Mattson, Oct 1977; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  • United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Family Search, Eddie William Mattson (b. 1 April 1898). “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ ark:/61903/1:1:K8W9-3B8 : 23 February 2021), Eddie William Mattson, 1917-1918.