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Henry Mason
Co., E, 21st Regiment Missouri Volunteers


One of County's Oldest Settler's
Entered Land in 1853


Remembered Chicago When It Had Only One House

Henry Mason, age 97, pioneer Knox Countian, who settled in the county in 1853, died here at the home of his son, S.G. Mason at 2 o'clock Sunday morning.  Death resulted from infirmities of age.

Many of Mr. Mason's people were noted for their age, a number living to 85 and 90 years old, and over.  his youngest brother, Phillip Mason of Shelbyville, is living at the age of 81.  Four sons also survive, besides eighteen grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.

The sons living are: W.F. Mason of Pittsburg, Kan., the oldest now living, C. E. Mason of Quincy, Ill., T.L. Mason, Weir, Kan., and S.G. Mason of Edina, the youngest, with whom he had lived for years.  Mr. Mason was the father of nine children, all boys, four of whom died in infancy.  The oldest son, Harvey Mason, died three years ago at Ottawa, Kan.

Burial was at the Harmony Church, south of Edina, at 1 o'clock Tuesday, where funeral services were conducted by Rev. S. E. Botsford.  Short services were also held here at the home at 9 o'clock in the morning.  Mr. Mason became a member of the Christian Church in Illinois at the age of 23.  He was born near Liberty, Casey County, Kentucky, November 6, 1819.

Recalled Chicago of Early Days

Mr. Mason left Kentucky at the age of 19, in 1838, and with his father and a large family settled near Paris, Ill.  Here he went to work driving a team and hauled goods by wagon between Paris and Chicago, Ill. Not a house was to be seen then in places for forty miles.  In 1839, he has said, there was but one brick house in Chicago, and business then was all on one street - Lake Street.  Wages were very low and at this time Mr. Mason worked for eight and one-third dollars a month.  Corn sold for 10 cents a bushel. Mr. Mason cast his first presidential vote for Harrison in 1840, and has not missed a vote since.  He married Miss Rebecca Noblitt October 17, 1844, at Liberty Church in Indiana.  From Paris, he went to Rushville, Ill., in 1848, and lived there six years.

Entered Land in 1853

Mr. Mason came down the Illinois River and then the Mississippi to Quincy by boat, and walked from Quincy to Knox County to enter land.  This was in 1853 and house were scarce.  The first house he came to from Quincy was that of Ira D. Cottey, father of L.F. Cottey of Edina, and here he got dinner.  continuing his journey from the directions given him by Mr. Cottey, he crossed the Fabius River on a walnut log, which remained there for many years afterward and is remembered by his children, finally arriving at the home of Thomas Noblitt, father of the present Thomas Noblitt.  Here he stayed, selected his land, and from this place went to Palymyra, where the land office was located to enter his land.  The letters patent Issued him are now in the possession of his youngest son, S. G. Mason, who yet owns the old home place, located eight miles southeast of Edina.  The father and son lived there together until September, 1913, when they came to Edina.

A Sparsely Settle Country Then

When Mr. Mason settled in Knox County there were three farms between his place and Edina, those of Thomas Noblitt, Sr., Joshua Baker and Dan Black.  While he performed no deeds to get before, yet he was one of the sturdy men who helped clean out the roads and dig fords at the streams to aid in bringing this wilderness to civilization.

Belonged to Edina Militia

Mr. Mason joined the state militia in 1861 and did service until the spring of 1864.  He was stationed here in the old court house square, which was barricaded with logs.  Times were pretty.... (Sorry the rest of the paragraph is unreadable on my copy.)  ... place had been evacuated, driving a wagon there.

February 29, 1864, at the age of 44, he enlisted here in the regular army to go south.  Robert Bledsoe, the 24, a nephew, also enlisted, and Dave Oldfather was another.  Mr. Mason was the first to come forward when volunteers were called for to join the 21st Mo. Vol. Inf., then in the South and needing recruits.  He was mustered in at Hannibal.  when he got to Benton Barricks, St. Louis, he awoke sick and was carried to the hospital by Bledsoe and Oldfather for treatment.  He had a fever and in sex weeks was back home.  The fever, though , caused blindness in after years and he had been blind for twenty-five years up to the time of his death.

Mr. Mason was one of the first subscribers to the Sentinel.


1916  Newspaper copy generously provided by Sandra Browning.

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