The specific and distinctive office of biography is not to give voice to a man's modest estimate of himself and his accomplishments, but rather to leave the perpetual record establishing his character by the consensus of opinion on the part of his fellowmen. Throughout Ford county Evan Mattinson is spoken of in terms of admiration and respect. His life has been varied in its activity, honorable in its purposes and far-reaching and beneficial in its effects and has thus income an integral part of the history of the city and has left an impress upon the commercial and financial development of this part of the state. He is a son of Matthew and Margaret (Evans) Mattinson, and was born in Clark county, Ohio, September 30, 1857. His father, a native of Westmoreland county, England, was born October 15, 1810, and when a young man of twenty-four years came to the United States in 1834, making his home in Clark county, Ohio, where he was married on the 20th of December, 1841, to Miss Margaret Evans, a daughter of Edward Evans, a merchant of England, and of Welsh lineage. Mrs. Mattinson was born in north Wales in 1820, and came to the United States in 1837.
Upon his father's farm Evan Mattinson spent the days of his boyhood and acquired his education in the schools of South Charleston, Clark county, Ohio, passing through successive grades until he became a high-school student. In 1880 he came to Illinois and has since made his home in Gibson City. He entered business circles here as a clerk in the banking house of Burwell, Leffel & Company, which institution constituted the nucleus of the First National Bank, of which Mr. Mattinson is now president. He filled a clerical position for two years and then purchased the interest of E. C. Leffel, of Springfield, Ohio, the business being conducted under the firm style of Burwell, Mattinson & Wilson. After two years the senior partner retired and the firm was reorganized, with Washington Wilson, Matthew Mattinson, father of Evan Mattinson, and William J. Wilson as partners, under the firm style of Mattinson, Wilson & Company. This relation was maintained for twenty-three years, Mr. Mattinson of this review acting as cashier until 1902, on the death of W. J. Wilson. In 1906 the bank was reorganized under the national banking laws and became the First National Bank of Gibson City, with Evan Mattinson as president, in which position he still remains. This is one of the safe and reliable financial institutions of central Illinois, following a conservative, yet progressive method that commends it to the support and trust of the business public.
Mr. Mattinson throughout his business career has made it his purpose to thoroughly acquaint himself with the interests with which he has become connected and in all things has displayed an aptitude for successful management. He studies every question from the standpoint of possibilities, of success and of failure and therefore places a correct value upon the opportunities that are before him. In matters of business judgment his opinions are regarded as sound and are often accepted as conclusive. Aside from his banking interests he has been treasurer and director of the Gibson City Canning Company since 1880, and president of the company since 1904, a leading productive enterprise of the county, employing three hundred operatives. Indeed the company is the largest employers of labor in Gibson City and the business is one that proves directly beneficial to the community not only by reason of the work given to many of the people of the town, but also to the fact that it furnishes a market for many farmers of the locality. At a former date Mr. Mattinson was also treasurer of the Gibson City Building and Loan Association.
On the 5th of March, 1885, was celebrated the marriage of Evan Mattinson and Miss Minnie Belle Wilson, a daughter of William J. and Lydia (Goodfellow) Wilson. They have one son, M. Clarence, who is a graduate of the Culver Military Academy of Indiana and now a student in the University of Chicago. In community affairs Mr. Mattinson is deeply interested and his aid and cooperation can always be counted upon to further any progressive and valuable public measure. Several times he has served as city treasurer and is a member of the Gibson City Business Association, formed to further the commercial interests of the town. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and he has attained high rank in Masonry, belonging to the lodge, chapter and council of Gibson City; Mount Olivet Commandery, K. T., of Paxton, Illinois; Mohamet Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Peoria; and to Oriental Consistory of the Scottish Rite at Chicago, in Which he has attained the thirty-second degree. He is also identified with Gibson camp of the Modern Woodmen of America and with the Lotus Club.
Coming to Ford county in early manhood, he possessed the laudable ambition that prompts close application and earnest effort, and upon these qualities he has builded his success. His connection with any undertaking insures a prosperous outcome of the same, for it is in his nature to carryforward to successful completion whatever he is associated with. He has won for himself an enviable reputation as a careful man of business, and in his dealings is known for his prompt and honorable methods which have won him the deserved confidence of his fellowmen.

Extracted 17 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 704-706.

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