Highly respected pioneer Champaign banker, Ross R. Mattis, life’s story reads like a storybook of a good old American success saga. He came to Champaign in 1865 to take a job as a clerk at his uncle’s hardware store at $5 monthly.
When he passed away at age 96, he had been president of the Trevett-Mattis Bank for 42 years.
He ran away from home as a youth of 16 to be a drummer boy in the Union Army. As a young man of 26, he traveled about the county making loans to local farmers. At 84 years of age, he still rode horseback visiting his own farms.
Mattis House was constructed in 1883. Its beautiful marble fireplaces were imported from Italy. The interior woodwork was handcrafted in maple and mahogany. The Mattis house was the first home in Champaign County to be heated by steam and was the first home to have an electric elevator.
Mr. Mattis passed away in this home on Thursday, September 13, 1945. His final wishes were to have his funeral services in his home. Both his and his wife’s funeral services were held in this beautiful home.