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Chester in Randolph County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Thomas Mather

1795-1853

 
 
Thomas Mather Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, November 30, 2020
1. Thomas Mather Marker
Inscription.  Thomas Mather was born in Simsbury, Connecticut, in 1795. His father, William Mather, fought in the Revolutionary War and was a direct descendant of Cotton Mather. The New England minister associated with the Salem Witch Trials. Thomas Mather migrated to the village of Kaskaskia in 1818 and quickly became a business and political leader, advocating for the building of a steamboat landing at the confluence of the Kaskaskia and Mississippi Rivers. Smith's Landing, later renamed Chester, grew and thrived. Mather served 4 terms in the Illinois House of Representatives, two terms in the Illinois Senate, and one term as Speaker of the House. A strident abolitionist, Mather participated in public debates over Illinois' "free-state" constitution, and helped keep slavery out of Illinois.

Mather's many commercial ventures included building a warehouse on this site in 1830, the first-floor walls of which are still intact. Mather moved to Springfield in 1835 and built a home on what became known as "Mather Hill." Here he entertained dignitaries such as Dorothea Dix, the mental health reformer who lobbied for a state asylum in the 1840s, and Cassius
Thomas Mather Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, November 30, 2020
2. Thomas Mather Marker
Marker is in front of St. Nicholas Brewing Company.
M. Clay, the Kentucky abolitionist who spoke on Mather's lawn and was heard by a young Abraham Lincoln. When Lincoln died in 1865, Springfield leaders picked Mather Hill as the site for the proposed Lincoln tomb. Mary Lincoln overruled them and chose pastoral Oak Ridge Cemetery instead. Two years later the Mather Hill site was chosen for the new Illinois State Capitol.
 
Erected 2019 by The St. Nicholas Brewing Company and the Illinois State Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Illinois State Historical Society series lists.
 
Location. 37° 54.05′ N, 89° 49.737′ W. Marker is in Chester, Illinois, in Randolph County. Marker is on East Kaskaskia Street west of Ferry Street, on the left when traveling south. Marker is in front of St. Nicholas Brewing Company. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 111 Ferry St, Chester IL 62233, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Toar (within shouting distance of this marker); The Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); The River Boats (within shouting distance of this
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marker); Port of Chester, Illinois Welcoming Mississippi River Travelers since 1829 (within shouting distance of this marker); Statehood of Illinois (approx. ¼ mile away); Weistar House (approx. ¼ mile away); Flood of 1993 (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Chester Bridge (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chester.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 30, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 64 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 30, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.
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Mar. 6, 2021