The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Nov. 20, 1895

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Abner C. Mattoon

Abner C. Mattoon, one of Oswego's oldest and best known citizens died at the family residence in West Second street a few minutes before noon to-day in the eight-first year of his age.

Few men in this country had a more eventful career than Mr. Mattoon. Starting at the bottom round in the ladder when a mere boy in his native city Rochester, he climbed steadily and surely, overcoming obstacles that to many would have appeared insurmountable, reaching the top in th prime of is manhood and winning for himself a seat in the State Senate as a representative of the Oswego district.

Mr. Mattoon was born in Rochester N,.Y. In October 1814. His father died while he was still a child and his mother found it necessary ot provide for her family of children. In those days there were few railroads in the State. The old canal was the usual mode of travel between principal points. All traffic was regarded as sure to continue by canal and the ambition of every boy was to command a packet or canal boat. It was natural therefore, that good sturdy strong-limbed boy, full of health and vigor, should turn his attention to the canal for a livelihood.

In that way A.C. Mattoon started in life and became a driver and the youngest at that time in the line out of Rochester being only thirteen years old. He worked faithfully and became a favorite with his employers. His earnings were carefully saved and with the close of navigation turned over to his mother in Rochester. During the Winger months he attended school in Rochester and the same determination to ge ahead that afterwards characterized his business life was noticeable in his youth and he carefully took advantage of every opportunity to store in his mind with knowledge and useful information. A boy with the tendencies and ambition of Mr. Mattoon could not long remain a driver and in his fifteenth year he was promoted and made a tally-man.

When he was seventeen or eighteen years of age he determined to go South and engage in the transportation business then in the height of its activity upon the Mississippi. On his first trip down the river an opportunity presented itself. The purser was taken sick and there was great confusion in taking and unloading freight at the various landings. *

[*The paper is cut off here]

Board of Education formed in Oswego May 11, 1853, under the free graded School act.

In 1853 Mr. Mattoon was Alderman for the Third ward under Mayor James D. Colver. In 1863-4 he represented Oswego in the Assembly and in 1868-9 in the Senate. In 1862 Mr. Mattoon was a member of the Military Committee for the organization of military companies to help put down the rebellion Elais Rood was chairman and the other members of the board were D.C. Littlejohn Henry Fitrzhugh, Delos De Wolf, Willard Johnson T Kingsford, E. B. Tanbott, D. G. Fort , R. K. Sanford, B. E. Bowen, A.F. Smith, all prominent and influential citizens. Mr. Mattoon was also one of the original incorporators of the Oswego Water Works Company. While in the Assembly he succeeded in getting the first appropriation for the Oswego State Normal and Training School and always afterward while at Albany looked after favorable legislation for that institution.

Mr. Mattoon had the distinction of bing the builder of the first steam tug West of the Hudson river, the Hattie Howard. While working in New York he completed the erection of the first derrick ever seen upon the docks of that famous harbor. It was erected in Coeyman's slip and at the time revolutionized the method of handling freights from vessels barges and canalboats. For years Mr. Mattoon was active in the forwarding business from Oswego and owned many canalboats. He became wealthy and afterwards lost a large amount of money in the shrinkage of values in real estate. In his habits of life Mr. Mattoon ws very temperate, seldom in ever using liquor, tobacco or stimulants in any form.

During his early life he took an active interest , with other young men of his time in the Volunteer Fire Department. He was also prominent in athletics and was a noted referee and umpire in baseball and cricket matches and an official in local boat and yacht races.

In 1894 Mr Mattoon was elected President of the Old Volunteer Firemen's Association of Oswego and took an active part in the State Convention held here that year. He was in delicate health at the time but insisted upon taking an active part in the business arrangements. Shortly afterwards he was taken sick and for the past year nearly confined to the house. For a man of his years he was particularly active and retained all of his faculties in a remarkable degree.

Mr. Mattoon is survived by a widow and thee sons, one brother and a half brother. His sons are Doctor Edward A. Mattoon of Salida Colorado, surgeon for the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad; John Henry and Willard N. Mattoon of this city. His brother is Charles C. Mattoon and his half brother is George L. Munroe. Of this city. Mr Mattoon was for years a prominent member of the First Presbyterian church.

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Nov. 20, 1895
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Richard Palmer
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Nov. 20, 1895