Mattoon Family Collection

Information about the Collection

The Mattoon Collection contains materials collected by Mary Venable Cox (1881-1969) and her husband, John Chester Mattoon (1872-1940).  Mary Venable Cox was born at the Cox family homestead eight miles north of Farmville, VA.  At the age of seven, she was sent to live with her Uncle Benjamin Cox who was the business manager of the State Normal School in Farmville.  She attended the training school that was associated with the State Normal School for four years. Upon graduation from the eighth grade, she entered the State Normal School and graduated in June 1900.  From 1900-1901 Mary Venable Cox taught at a private school in Winchester, VA and the following year she and her cousin Mary White Cox (daughter of Benjamin) taught in a two-room schoolhouse in Raphine, VA.  In 1902, she received a scholarship to attend the Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City.  She attended classes there for two years and in 1904 received a Bachelor’s Diploma in Education.  In the fall of that same year, she began teaching algebra at the State Normal School at Farmville and acted as assistant to her future husband John Chester Mattoon who had begun teaching there in 1902.  The two were eventually married in June of 1907 at Benjamin Cox’s home in Farmville.  John Mattoon continued to teach at the State Normal School until the end of the spring term in 1912 at which point he accepted a position at the University of Indiana in Bloomington, Ind.  In 1915, after the University of Indiana discontinued the practical vocational program, the Mattoons moved to Baltimore, Maryland where J.C. Mattoon found work at Bartlett-Hayward & Company.  From 1918-1919 Mary Venable Mattoon worked in Washington, D.C. with the Quartermaster Corps, commuting each day from Baltimore.  In 1925, they moved to Woodstock, MD.  It was there, that John Mattoon would pass away in 1940, after an eight-year battle with cancer.  Mary Venable Mattoon remained in Woodstock until 1966 when she moved to Lancaster, Ohio to be nearer to her son’s family. She passed away on March 18, 1969.


The Mattoon Collection was donated to the Greenwood Library Archives in fall 2017 by Elizabeth Kaites, the granddaughter of Mary Venable Mattoon and J.C. Mattoon.

Scope and Content

The materials in this collection date from the mid-19th century through the 1960s and consist of photographs, memorabilia, ephemera, and two dresses from the early 20th century.


This collection consists of 5.3 linear feet contained in 2 legal-sized archival boxes and 3 flat boxes.


There are no restrictions to access or use for research purposes.

Digitized content from this collection is available on the Longwood University Digital Commons.

Contents of the Collection

   Box 1 of 5

Mattoon emblem

Book on “The History of Mary Venable Cox Mattoon”

Family Records: marriages, deaths

Handbook on the History of Brunswick Co., VA

Newspaper articles on Prince Edward School closings

Newspaper articles on Founder’s Day

Genealogical notes

Letters to Mrs. J. C. Mattoon

Newspaper article on Charles & Elizabeth Pendery

Daughters of the American Revolution papers (Josiah Chambers)

Letter to Mary V. Cox from J.J. Doster

Letters of Recommendation for Mary V. Cox

Letters to John C. Mattoon Sr. (1863)

Letters to Miss Sallie L. Pendery (1863)

Alumnae Magazine

Sutton Family Tree

Samuel F. Pendery, Certificate of Service

Mattoon-Cox genealogy notes

Minutes of the “Old Timer’s Reunion” (1880)

The Keystone (1899) by J.M. Coleman (Stella Mattoon)

Virginia Cavalcade

Dedication of Mary White Cox dorm

Stella Mattoon’s album

Marriage Invitation of Mary V. Cox and John Mattoon

   Box 2 of 5

The Virginian (1908)

Medical College of Virginia book cover (1913)

Helen Cox Miscellaneious baby items (folder)

Article on pin cushion doll

Letter to Mary Ann

Hosiery advertisement

Copy of 1937 letter to Kate

Notes on Cox Family Genealogy

“A Childhood at Staunton Hill” article

“Francis Makemie, Disturbing Dissenter” article

   Box 3 of 5

Helen Cox miscellaneous baby items

Four (4) small fans

Two (2) baby rattles

Baby cap-made by Hattie

Baby shoes

Helen Cox baby cap and shoe

In wooden and velvet box

   Box 4 of 5

Mary Venable Cox Mattoon wedding dress

   Box 5 of 5

Mary Venable Cox Mattoon purple dress


Located in Binder 8:

157.0001 – Dr. Elmer E. Jones, Carlotta Lewis, Mary Glasgow, & Mary Preston at Appomattox Courthouse.* View Photograph

157.0002 – Benjamin Allen Cox.* View Photograph

157.0003 – Emerson Apartments, New York. 1907.* View Photograph

157.0004 – Manual Training Shop, Illinois.* View Photograph

157.0005 – John C. and Mary V. Mattoon house in Bloomington, Indiana.* View Photograph

157.0006 – Dr. Elmer E. Jones house – Bloomington, Indiana.* View Photograph

157.0007 – Garage at Dan’s house in Bloomington, Indiana.* View Photograph

157.0008 – Soldier’s Home, Hampton, Virginia.* View Photograph

157.0009 – Rotunda, State Female Normal School.* View Photograph

157.0010 – Lancaster home, “Rochelle.”* View Photograph

157.0011 – Branch in woods near “Rochelle.”* View Photograph

157.0012 – Episcopal Church, Farmville, VA.* View Photograph

157.0013 – Farmville flood, 1912.* View Photograph

157.0014 – John Chester Mattoon.

157.0015 – John Chester Mattoon, Truett’s Cave, Indiana, 1914.* View Photograph

157.0016 – John C. Mattoon, Dr. Elmer E. Jones, and Henry Morton hanging from tree branch.* View Photograph

157.0017 – John C. Mattoon, Dr. Elmer E. Jones, and students sitting on tree branch, 1905.* View Photograph

157.0018 – John C. Mattoon and students in woods.* View Photograph

157.0019 – Inscribed on back: “Rochelle Party, 1907.”* View Photograph

157.0020 – Class of 1908 with honorary member, John C. Mattoon.* View Photograph

157.0021 – John C. Mattoon and students sitting underneath a tree (~1906).* View Photograph

157.0022 – Helen Mattoon at 2 years of age.* View Photograph

157.0023 – Helen Mattoon, wedding.

157.0024 – Mary Venable Cox Mattoon and Helen Mattoon (at 8 months old).*

157.0025 – Young girl on hood of Model T (likely Helen Mattoon).*

157.0026 – Helen Mattoon at 2 years of age.*

157.0027 – Helen Mattoon in wedding dress.* View Photograph

157.0028 – Mary Venable Cox (age 6 or 7) (carte de visite), 1879.* View Photograph

157.0029 – Mary Venable Cox Mattoon in Covington, VA, 1913.* View Photograph

157.0030 – Mary Venable Cox Mattoon in front of former home of her uncle, Benjamin Cox on High Street, Farmville, VA, 1966.* View Photograph

157.0031 – Mary Venable Cox, 1904.* View Photograph

157.0032 – Mary Venable Cox, 1907.* View Photograph

157.0033 – Dr. Elmer E. Jones (bottom left), John C. Mattoon (top right), and students on Willis Mountain, 1903.* View Photograph

157.0034 – Class trip to Willis Mountain. John C. Mattoon, bottom row.* View Photograph

157.0035 – Class picnic on Willis Mountain. B.M. Cox standing in back.* View Photograph

157.0036 – Willis Mountain.* View Photograph

157.0037 – Class picnic on Willis Mountain. B.M. Cox (3rd from left). John C. Mattoon (standing, bottom).* View Photograph

157.0038 – Guitar and Mandolin Club, 1907. John C. Mattoon (back row, middle). Dr. Elmer Jones (far right).* View Photograph

157.0039 – Guitar and Mandolin Club, 1908. Dr. Elmer Jones (back row, left). John C. Mattoon (back row, right).* View Photograph

157.0040 – Archery Club, 1905. John C. Mattoon (2nd row, left). Dr. Elmer Jones (2nd row, right).* View Photograph

157.0041 – Archery Club, 1905. John C. Mattoon (2nd row, left). Dr. Elmer Jones (2nd row, 2nd from right).* View Photograph

157.0042 – Archery Club, 1905. John C. Mattoon (kneeling, far left). Dr. Elmer E. Jones (2nd row, in front of target).* View Photograph

157.0043 – Dr. Elmer E. Jones, Miss Hill, and Miss London with bows & arrows on road through woods.* View Photograph

157.0044 – John C. Mattoon (in front of target), Dr. Elmer E. Jones, and unknown with archery target.* View Photograph

157.0045 – unknown woman, John C. Mattoon (left of target), unknown man, and Dr. Elmer E. Jones (far right) with archery target.* View Photograph

157.0046 – Mary White Cox (daughter of B.M. Cox, cousin of Mary Venable Cox Mattoon).* View Photograph

157.0047 – Benjamin Ashley Cox.* View Photograph

157.0048 – Benjamin Ashley Cox.* View Photograph

157.0049 – Benjamin Ashley Cox.* View Photograph

157.0050 – Mary Rebecca Allen Cox, 1876.* View Photograph

157.0051 – “Grandpapa” Pendery (John C. Mattoon’s grandfather)(~1870s).* View Photograph

157.0052 – Clarence Calfee (Mary Venable Cox Mattoon’s cousin).* View Photograph

157.0053 – John Henry Cox, 1896.* View Photograph

157.0054 – Louise Wyman (Mary Venable Cox’s roommate at S.N.S., 1904.* View Photograph

157.0055 – Sarah Hayes.* View Photograph

157.0056 – Sarah Hayes.* View Photograph

157.0057 – Zoula La Boyteaux (left), John C. Mattoon, unknown, and Steptoe Campbell, 1906.* View Photograph

157.0058 – Zoula La Boyteaux.* View Photograph

157.0059 – Zoula La Boyteaux (left) and John C. Mattoon (holding gun), 1905.* View Photograph

157.0060 – Zoula La Boyteaux.* View Photograph

157.0061 – Maude Adams (husband taught physics at Ohio State), roommate of Mary Venable Cox at Columbia, 1906.* View Photograph

157.0062 – Dr. Elmer E. Jones and Elmer Jr. in Bloomington, Indiana.* View Photograph

157.0063 – Falls at Cataract, Indiana.* View Photograph

157.0064 – Harbor at Norfolk, VA (~1905).* View Photograph

157.0065 – Icehouse on Rappahannock River.* View Photograph

157.0066 – Rappahannock River.* View Photograph

157.0067 – Rappahannock River.* View Photograph

157.0068-157.0112 – Appomattox River (from various/multiple viewpoints/locations).* View Photograph

157.0113-157.0128 – Buffalo Creek (from various/multiple viewpoints/locations).* View Photograph

157.0129-157.0131 – Paulett’s Pond.* View Photograph

157.0132 – Lithia Springs.* View Photograph

157.0133-157.0134 – John C. Mattoon standing on shore holding gun.* View Photograph

157.0135 – John C. Mattoon’s boat on pond.* View Photograph

157.0136 – John C. Mattoon’s boat on small river.* View Photograph

157.0137 – John C. Mattoon’s boat at river landing.* View Photograph

157.0138 – Path by cliffs above Jackson’s dam.* View Photograph

157.0139 – Above Jackson’s Dam near Farmville, VA.* View Photograph

157.0140-157.0155 – Unidentified river.* View Photograph

157.0156 – Two unidentified children wading in creek.* View Photograph

157.0157 – Four unidentified people on creek bank.* View Photograph

157.0158 – Five unidentified people on creek bank.* View Photograph

157.0159 – Unidentified man.* View Photograph

157.0160 – Ben Lewis Cox Nesbitt.* View Photograph


* Denotes photograph has been digitized.

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Archives and Records Specialist

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Jamie Krogh
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