Col. Robert H. McFadden, Pension Attorney and Police Magistrate, Mattoon; was born in Zanesville, Ohio, in 1833; his father was a cabinet-maker by trade, and at the age of 13 years, he began the trade, working five years under instructions; at 18, he began life for himself, following his trade about fifteen years; in 1850, he came to Shelby Co., Ill., and remained three years; in 1853, he came to Coles Co., and located in the village of Paradise; in the summer of 1855, he came to Mattoon; he built the first dwelling in the city limits, on what is now known as Charleston avenue, between East First and Union streets. He was married Sept. 28, 1855, to Sarah A. Norvell, by Elder Isaac Hart; theirs was the first wedding that occurred in Mattoon; at the first election held in Mattoon Tp., in 1857, he was chosen a Justice of the Peace; April 19, 1861, he entered the United States service as Second Lieutenant, in the 7th Regt. I. V . I.; he served as First Lieutenant, Captain and Major in the 418t Regt., and Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel in the 53d; July 22, 1865, he was mustered out of the service, and, on his return, followed his trade some three years; in 1871, he was elected Mayor of the city, having served one term as Alderman; in 1873, he was chosen Police Magistrate, and from reelection, has held the office since. Has four children – May I., John A., Eddie D. and Lizzie A.
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