Hidden in Plain Sight:
The Material World of Early Springfield


Joel Matteson Mansion

511 South Fourth Street

Photo courtesy of Richard E. Hart

Governor Joel Matteson built this private residence in 1856 directly across the street from the newly-finished Governor’s Mansion with the intention of putting the official residence to shame. He succeeded; his Italianate mansion was unquestionably the finest in town. In 1857 Mary Lincoln wrote to her half-sister: “almost palaces of homes, have been reared since you were lasthere...Gov Matteson’s house is just being completed the whole place has cost him he says $100,000.”