Joel Aldrich Matteson

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Joel Aldrich Matteson
10th Governor of Illinois
In office
January 10, 1853 – January 12, 1857
LieutenantGustav Koerner
Preceded byAugustus C. French
Succeeded byWilliam Henry Bissell
Personal details
Born(1808-08-08)August 8, 1808
Watertown, New York
DiedJanuary 31, 1873(1873-01-31) (aged 64)
Chicago, Illinois
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseMary Fish
RelativesRoswell Eaton Goodell (son-in-law)[1]
Jennie Goodell Blow (granddaughter)[1]
Mary Goodell Grant (granddaughter)[1]

Joel Aldrich Matteson (August 8, 1808 – January 31, 1873) was the tenth Governor of Illinois, serving from 1853 to 1857.[2]

In 1855, he became the first governor to reside in the Illinois Executive Mansion. In January 1855, during the joint legislative session of the Illinois House and Senate convened to choose a US senator, he became a surprise candidate. On the 9th ballot, he received 47 votes, 3 short of the 50 needed to win. Abraham Lincoln, who was also a contestant, then asked his supporters to vote for Lyman Trumbull, who won on the 10th ballot.[3][4]

After his term as governor ended he was for many years the president of the Chicago and Alton Railroad.[5]

The last years of his life were marred by charges of corruption in the Canal Scrip Fraud case. The village of Matteson, Illinois is named in his honor.[6] Matteson was buried in Joliet, Illinois.


  1. ^ a b c Cannon, Helen (Winter 1964). "First Ladies of Colorado Mary Goodell Grant" (PDF). Colorado Magazine. 4 (1). Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  2. ^ Mardos Rietsch, Pam (2006). "Chapter Twenty-Two of the History of Southern Illinois" [P. 246 Governor Joel A. Matteson]. Mardos Memorial Library. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  3. ^ Journal of the House of Representatives of the Nineteenth Assembly of the State of Illinois. Springfield: Lamphier & Walker. 1855.
  4. ^ Journal of the Senate of the Nineteenth Assembly of the State of Illinois. Springfield: Lamphier & Walker. 1855.
  5. ^ "Illinois governors in trouble, A history of corruption at the top" by Erika Holst, Illinois Times, Thursday, February 26, 2015.
  6. ^ Illinois Central Magazine. Illinois Central Railroad Company. 1922. p. 45.

This article incorporates facts obtained from: Lawrence Kestenbaum, The Political Graveyard

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Governor of Illinois
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Illinois
Succeeded by