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Matteson Family

Morris, IL 
1836-2013+

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Janée Matteson owner of KAYAKMORRIS.com, was born and raised in Morris, IL. She has been a lifelong outdoor sportswoman, from her early days of fur trapping on the Illinois river in the 80's, to duck hunting with her father annually on those same shores.  Janée graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with one Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training and a second in Kinesiotherapy.  While at UIC she competed as a member of the Division 1 softball team. 
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Business History:  Entrepreneurship runs deep in Matteson’s roots.  Her relatives were some of the first in the Morris area.  Her great-great-great grandfather, Peter Griggs, was one of the first settlers in Morris.   He built a log cabin near what is now the aquaduct(over Nettle Creek in Gebhard Woods) in 1837 and that land is still owned by her father Don, today, some 176 years later!  Peter Griggs’ son, Jacob went on to be instrumental in the growth and development of Grundy County from the wild frontier into what it is known as today.  The street that leads down to Stratton Park from Calhoun street is named Griggs Drive to commemorate them.

 Her Great Grandfather, Melvin Matteson was known to locals as the “Ice” man.  He operated a vital business to the area known as, Matteson Ice Company.  He started the business in 1900 when he was just 20 years old.  He would cut 50 pound blocks of ice out of the Mazon River and store them in the “icehouse”, which was located on the south bank of the Illinois River just west of the river bridge.  He would then deliver the blocks to area businesses and residents.  In 1905, Melvin, built his home at 503 E. Illinois Ave, and operated his business out of that location which is still standing today.  Melvin operated the Ice business until around 1930 when a great flood on the Illinois River destroyed the Icehouse. 

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Melvin’s son, Harry Matteson(Janee’s grandfather), then built a home at 110 Pine St. and reopened the Ice business in 1934.  He remained in business as Matteson Refrigeration Sales and Service for over 50 years, until he retired in 1980.  Her maternal grandfather, Les Johnson, was also a  business owner in Morris, forming Johnson Glass & Lock on Liberty St.  and also served as a City Councilman.  Janee's father is currently serving as an Alderman for the City Council.



KayakMorris.com
William G. Stratton State Park
Griggs Drive
Morris, IL 60450
630-567-4653
KayakMorris@aol.com
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