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
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
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