History of the
CITY Of MASON

From History of Ingham and Eaton Counties, Michigan
by Samuel W. Durant
Published 1880 by D.W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia


"Memories of Mason"
A vintage photograph album

EARLY SETTLEMENT

The first settler at Mason, or in what is now the township of Vevay, was Lewis LACEY, who came here in February or March, 1836, to build a saw-mill for Noble & Co., of Monroe, and to chop twenty acres on section 8. Upon the completion of the sawmill,

Ephraim B. DANFORTH,
a member of the firm above named, settled at the place and assumed charge of their interests. He located in 1837. The firm owned seven-eighths of the land in the old village plat of Mason. In 1838 they erected the first grist-mill in the county, the saw-mill having also been the first institution of the kind in the county.

Mr. DANFORTH was elected one of the first associate judges for Ingham County in 1838, and was re-elected in 1842. He was twice elected to the State Senate, and in 1848 was appointed by the governor and Senate a commissioner to lay out and construct a State road from the village of Mason to Lansing. In 1850 he was a delegate to the convention which framed the present constitution of the State. While a member of the Senate he, together with Hon. Joseph H. KILBOURNE, of the House, worked with untiring zeal to secure the location of the State capital at Lansing, and is well known, their labors were crowned with success.

In 1850, Mr. DANFORTH sold his interest in the village of Mason and removed to Lansing, where he died, Aug. 17, 1853. He was engaged in the milling business in the latter city, and during his residence in the county was one of its most useful and prominent citizens.

Chauncey A. OSBORN,
a native of Attica, N.Y., settled at Mason, Sept. 18, 1838. He purchased lots the same fall and built a house, the location of the latter being on lot 6, block 14, and the sale being made by E.B. DANFORTH. Mr. OSBORN's wife, who was a native of Madison Co., N.Y., died at Mason in 1872. One son, Andrew, died in Sierra Valley, Cal.

Marcus WHITNEY,
from Naples, Ontario Co., N.Y., settled in the township of Rives, jackson Co., Mich., July 14, 1835. The nearest mill was then at Ann Arbor, and he speaks of having purchased flour in Detroit, during the first years of his residence in the State, paying for the same as high as twenty-five dollars per barrel. Mr. WHITNEY removed to Ingham County in March, 1870, and is now residing at Mason.

Daniel L. CASE
was born at Three Rivers, in the province of Upper Canada (now Ontario), in 1811, his parents being New England people, who had emigrated to Canada a few years previous to the war if 1812, and who returned to the United States upon the breaking out of the war.In October, 1829, Mr. CASE came to the Territory of Michigan, and in July, 1843, settled at Mason.

Oliver GRIFFIN,
who died in August, 1874, in the ninetieth year of his age, was a native of Tewksbury, Mass. He learned the trade of shoemaker in the city of Boston, and afterwards started in business in Washington Co., N.Y. In 1836 he removed to Michigan and settled at Napoleon, Jackson Co., and in 1840 came to Mason. (R.F. GRIFFIN, his son, says winter of 1841-42.)

Amos E. STEELE
The following obituary notice of a former prominent citizen of Mason, and an early settler in the county, is preserved in the records of the Pioneer Society:
(Obituary will be posted at the GenConnect Obituary Board)

William H. CLARK,
a native of Elba, Genesee Co., N.Y., came to Michigan in November, 1835, with his father, Abijah L. CLARK, the family settling at Rollin, Lenawee Co., and removing to Bunker Hill township, Ingham Co., in March, 1843. Abijah L. CLARK is now deceased. His son William commenced learning the printers trade at Mason, in 1845, in the office of the Ingham Herald.  he worked several winters at lansing, and in 1855 went to Illinois, in which State he published a paper until the breaking out of the Rebellion, when he enlisted. He served three years in the army and was twice wounded. In December, 1864, he returned to Mason.

Minos McROBERT
One of the most prominent citizens of Mason, during its entire history, has been Dr. Minos McROBERT, now residing in the place. He came here - a young man - in June, 1837, and continued the practice of medicine, which he had begun in the East. He was formerly a resident of Clinton Co., N.Y. Upon his arrival in Mason he built an office, which was soon recognized as headquarters for nearly all business pertaining to the village or the county. It was used as the county register's office, and from the multiplicity of other uses was almost a court-house. Dr. McROBERT has else-where been mentioned as the second physician who settled in Ingham County. He early engaged in other business, and since he made Mason his home has devoted his energy and capital towards the furtherance of its interests.

George W. SHAFER,
from Colchester, Delaware Co., N.Y., came when unmarried to Michigan, in June, 1839, and settled at Mason. He brought a stock of goods with him, and for two years was engaged in mercantile business. He placed his goods in a small building which had previously been used as a grocery by Zaccheus BARNES, now of Mason. Mr. SHAFER's store was the first of importance in the place.

When Mr. SHAFER came the frame of the hotel was up, on the southeast corner of Ash and B Streets, opposite the court-house square. He purchased it the same year (1839), finished it during the fall and winter, and became its land-lord as soon as it was completed. It was known as the "Mason Exchange," and was the first regular hotel in the place. It was a two-story building, and was kept by Mr. SHAFER about ten years; he built an addition to it in 1847. The second proprietor of the house was Isaac HORTON. H.J. DONNELLY was one of its later proprietors. the building was finally moved to the eastern part of the city, where some one set fire to it and burned it down.

The first man who entertained travelers in the place was James BLAIN, whose log house was an approach to a hotelry. It stood in the middle of the road, about at the southwest corner of what is now R.F. GRIFFIN's place, and was a resort for land-lookers and immigrants generally on their way to other localities. It was torn down in the fall of 1842. James BLAIN and his son David afterwards built and kept as a tavern the house subsequently owned by Amos E. STEELE, and now occupied as a dwelling by the widow of the latter. James BLAIN exchanged his property in Mason for the farm of Mr. STEELE, in the township of Onondaga, to which he removed; he and his wife are both now deceased.

George W. SHAFER married in 1842 to a sister of Wright HORTON, the latter having also married a sister of Mr. SHAFER. The HORTON's had come to the place in the fall of 1838, and settled on a farm in what is now the northern portion of the city. Mrs. SHAFER thinks that there were three frame buildings in Mason, viz.,- Dr. McROBERT's office, and the dwellings of E.B. DANFORTH, and nathaniel BLAIN, - the latter then occupied by Hiram CONVERSE. Mr. BLAIN, who was a brother of James BLAIN, removed subsequently to Jefferson village, in the township of Alaiedon. Wright HORTON, whose wife died here, lived on his farm about thirty years, and is now residing in Kansas. Several of his children also died here.

Rosalvo F. GRIFFIN,
of Mason, came to the village Oct. 2, 1842, with his father, Oliver GRIFFIN, from Washington Co., N.Y. The latter had been here the previous winter. His death occurred in September, 1836. When the family arrived the vicinity of Mason was still covered with the heavy timber which abounded so plentifully in all this region, and the village then, although six years old, had all the characteristics of a pioneer settlement.

Perry HENDERSON,
a native of the town of Tully, Onondaga Co., N.Y., came to Michigan with his wife and three children in 1844, and stopped during one summer in Oakland County. In the fall he removed to Ingham County, and settled in the township of Leroy. In 1854, having been elected sheriff of the county, he removed to Mason, where he has since resided, and where he is at present engaged in the hardware trade.

Peter LINDERMAN and William H. HORTON, who are mentioned at length in the history of Vevay township as having settled respectively in 1836 and 1837, were both within what are now the city limits, having resided on farms north of the then village.

John RAYNER,
from Cayuga Co., N.Y. (a native of Orange County), visited Michigan about 1837-38, and purchased a large amount of land in Ingham County. In the spring of 1840, accompanied by his wife, two sons, and a daughter, he settled at Mason, where several of his children are now living. Mr. RAYNER engaged at once in farming and speculated in land to a considerable extent. At his death, which occurred in the month of May, 1879, he left a large amount of property. Six of his children are living in the State. 

MASON POST-OFFICE

A post-office was established at Mason in the summer of 1838, with E.B. DANFORTH as postmaster. An office had previously (probably in the same year) been established at Leslie, and Mr. DANFORTH employed William H. HORTON to carry the mail from the latter place to Mason, making the trip once a week. Mr. HORTON performed that labor for six months, carrying it at first in a handkerchief, and afterwards in an old coffee-sack, following the trail between the two places. He received one dollar and twenty-four cents for each trip, making the return journey the same day. In six months the mail had increased in amount to half a bushel, and it was then necessary to use a conveyance. The postmasters have been, since Mr. DANFORTH, William HAMMOND, John W. PHELPS, Peter LINDERMAN, D.B. HERRINGTON, Frank SIGFRIED, and F.T. ALBRIGHT, the latter having held the office since 1867. It is possible that Hiram CONVERSE was also an early postmaster here, and that the forgoing list may not mention all in their order; but it is from the best recollection of those who should know.

1844 RESIDENT TAXPAYERS

George W. SHAFER William TWEEDY Oliver GRIFFIN
John RAYNER Hiram CONVERSE Issachar HAMMOND
Hiram H. SMITH James H. WELLS RANEY & WELLS
John COATSWORTH John S. GRIFFIN E.B. DANFORTH
Oliver S. OSBORN John W. PHELPS Jason B. PACKARD
Chauncey A. OSBORN James TURNER James TURNER & Co.
Daniel L. CASE Amos E. STEELE Hiram H. SMITH

VILLAGE and CITY INCORPORATION

The village of Mason was incorporated by act of the Legislature, March 9, 1865, including the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 4; the south half of the southeast quarter of section 5; the east half of the southeast quarter of section 8; the northeast quarter of section 8; the northwest quarter of section 9; and the west half of the southwest quarter of section 9. The charter was amended Feb. 27, 1867, and March 25, 1871.

The first village election was held March 27, 1865, - John DUNSBACK and Perry HENDERSON, Inspectors, and Henry LINDERMAN, Clerk. Thirty-six votes were cast, and the following officers were elected:

President, Minos McROBERT; Trustees (two years), John DUNSBACK, Orlando M. BARNES; Trustees (one year), Peter LOWE, Philetus R. PECK; Clerk, Rosevelt H. DAVIS, M.D.; Assessor, Perry HENDERSON; Treasurer, Jesse BEACH; marshal, Joseph L. HUNTINGTON.

The officers of the village from 1866 to 1875, inclusive, were as follows:

PRESIDENT TRUSTEE CLERK ASSESSOR TREASURER MARSHAL
1866 Peter LOWE P.R. PECK
H.L. HENDERSON
G.M. HUNTINGTON William H. VanVRANKEN Jesse BEACH Chauncey A. OSBORN
1867 George M. HUNTINGTON Charles S. LOWE Horatio PRATT,
George PEASE
John ROGERS John H. SAYERS Levi C. PARKER
1868 Amos E. STEELE Henry L. HENDERSON R.F. GRIFFIN,
I.B. WOODHOUSE
Peter LOWE Henry L. HENDERSON William H. CLARK
1869 Joseph L. HUNTINGTON Kendall KITTREDGE H.L. HENDERSON,
William F. NEAR
John L. ISHERWOOD Archibald O. MILLSPAUGH George G. WHIPPLE
1870 John A. BARNES George W. BRISTOL John E. SPENCER,
Collins D. HUNTINGTON
Lucian REED Andrew D. KINGSBURY George W. SACKRIDER
1871 Minos McROBERT William H. FRANCIS P.R. PECK,
A. BUSH,
G.D. PEASE
,
Horatio PRATT
George A. SACKRIDER Benjamin LEEK Josiah J. TYLER
1872 Mason D. CHATTERTON William H. CARD E.A. BARNES,
H.L. HENDERSON,
C.H. SACKRIDER
John A. BARNES Samuel W. HAMMOND Washington S. SHERMAN
1873 Samuel J.P. SMEAD John C. SQUIERS John H. SAYERS,
Lewis C. WEBB,
Henry H. PARKER
Daniel J. DARROW S.W. HAMMOND Daniel L. CADY
1874 Rosalvo F. GRIFFIN John C. SQUIERS William SPEARS,
Loren W. LINCOLN,
Ira I. BARBER
David W. HALSTEAD Edwin TERWILLIGER Ellzey FLORA
1875 William WOODHOUSE N.R. VanVRANKEN Daniel CAMPBELL,
William W. MERRITT,
William M. VanVRANKEN,
Andrew J. BARTLETT
William W. ROOT Samuel P. STROUD Andrew FARREN

1875 Misc. Officials:
Street Commissioner: Philip NICE
Constable: Chauncey A. OSBORN

In 1875 the city of Mason was incorporated with two wards, including sections 4, 5,, 8, and 9, in the township of Vevay. The first city election was held April 5, 1875, when the following officers were chosen:

1875 1876 1877
Mayor Rosalvo F. GRIFFIN Daniel J. DARROW William WOODHOUSE
Marshal Charles G. HUNTINGTON William GUTCHESS Harry O. CALL
Clerk N.R. VanVRANKEN N.R. VanVRANKEN Selah H. WORDEN
Treasurer &
Collector
William W. MERRITT William W. MERRITT Landon B. RICE
Street Commissioner Philip NICE Dighton WAIT Philip NICE
School Inspectors D.J. DARROW
H.H. TERWILLIGER
O.F. BURNHAM
William W. CAMPBELL Theron VanOSTRAND
Justices of the Peace Peter LOWE
S.W. HAMMOND
Harry O. CALL
W.A. TEEL
Whitfield A. TEEL Milton RYAN
Aldermen at Large Charles E. EATON
Nelson A. DUNNING
Thaddeus DENSMORE Benjamin F. RIX
First Ward
Officers
Supervisor John H. SAYERS John H. SAYERS John H. SAYERS
Aldermen Loren W. LINCOLN
Henry M. WILLIAMS
Martin W. TANNER Spencer H. BEECHER
Constable Francis M. LYON S.D. NEELY F.M. LYON
Second Ward
Officers
Supervisor Amos E. STEELE Henry L. HENDERSON Seth A. PADDOCK
Aldermen Daniel CAMPBELL
Jesse BEACH
Jesse BEACH Aaron V. PECK
Constable Alanson K. POTTER Andrew FARREN Andrew FARREN

1878 1879 1880
Mayor Elias G. HUNT John H. SAYERS John H. SAYERS
Marshal John T. MOSHER Harry O. CALL Harry O. CALL
Clerk William H. VanVRANKEN William W. VanVRANKEN Joseph P. PRESLEY
Treasurer &
Collector
Lansing E. LINCOLN Philetus R. PECK Augustus A. HOWARD
Street Commissioner Philander CHRISTIAN Philip NICE John A. BARNES
School Inspectors Verner J. TEFFT Alexander McLAIN James L. FULLER
Justices of the Peace John W. DAY Samuel W. HAMMOND John W. ROYSTON
Aldermen at Large Asa I. BARBER Edwin C. RUSSELL Andrew W. MEHAN
First Ward
Officers
Supervisor Nelson A. DUNNING N.A. DUNNING N.A. DUNNING
Aldermen George W. SHAFER Micajah VAUGHN Harper REED
Constable Solon D. NEELY Marcus D. TRUE Seneca R. CURRY
Second Ward
Officers
Supervisor S.A. PADDOCK George G. MEAD Lewis C. WEBB
Aldermen A.J. BARTLETT Aaron V. PECK
H.J. WILSON
Smith WILLIAMS
Constable L.J. SMITH John FLORA John FLORA

1880 Appointed Officers
City Attorney: V.J. TEFFT
City Surveyor: A.P. DRAKE
City Engineer Fire Department: W.W. ROOT
City Fire Wardens: William RAYNER - First Ward;
John A. BARNES - Second Ward
Health Officer: W.W. ROOT
Cemetery Trustee: John C. SQUIERS
Poundmaster: J.A. MONROE
Assessors: J.C. SQUIERS - First Ward;
E. TERWILLIGER - Second Ward

BAND

The present Mason City band was organized in 1878, and in 1879 was incorporated under the State law. The instruments, of the style known as "helicon," are those in use at the organization, and number fifteen. The band is very neatly uniformed, in military style. For a considerable number of years a band has existed in Mason, but none so complete in its workings as the present one. The officers of the association are:
James VanCAMP, President
Charles SANDERSON, Vice-President
Albert ROSE, Secretary
A. MEHAN, Treasurer
E.F. MEECH, Leader

MASON LIGHT GUARDS

A meeting for the purpose of organizing a military company was held at the court-house in Mason, May 13, 1876, when the following resolution, offered by John C. SQUIERS, was unanimously adopted:

"Resolved, That we hereby organize ourselves into a Independent Military Company, to be mustered into the State service as soon as the Governor will accept the same."

The names signed to the roll numbered forty-eight, and the organization was perfected the same evening. May 20 the following civil officers were elected:

John H. SAYERS President George STORY Fifth Sergeant
Lewis C. WEBB Treasurer Theodore STRATTON First Corporal
John C. SQUIERS Secretary Andrew MEHAN Second Corporal
Alonzo CHENEY Captain George DePEW Third Corporal
Andrew J. BARTLETT First Lieutenant Jacob P. FAURAT Fourth Corporal
Lewis A. HOLDEN Second Lieutenant Frank GARDNER Fifth Corporal
Charles A. PERRY First Sergeant Julius CRITTENDEN Sixth Corporal
Andrew FARREN Second Sergeant William SHAW Seventh Corporal
James A. TEMPLER Third Sergeant Joel E. RIX Eighth Corporal
Solon D. NEELY Fourth Sergeant

The company was disbanded as an independent company Jan. 20, 1877, but on the 8th of May, in the same year, pursuant to an act of the Legislature authorizing the raising of a company in its place, it was reorganized, and enlisted in the State service May 15, 1877. Alonzo CHENEY was elected Captain; J.C. SQUIERS, First Lieutenant; and L.A. HOLDEN, Second Lieutenant. The company received the letter "K," and was assigned to the First Regiment, Michigan State Troops, of which organization it is now a part. It is fully equipped, and armed with the State weapon, the Sharps military rifle. The armory for some time has been in the hall over M.W. TANNER's store, but will be transferred to the new opera-house upon its completion. The present membership is seventy-eight, and the officers are:

Alonzo CHENEY Captain Jay MORRILL First Corporal
A.W. MEHAN First Lieutenant George SWIGGETT Second Corporal
M.J. CHRISTIAN Second Lieutenant Frank GARDNER Third Corporal
Charles A. PERRY First Sergeant C. STROUD Fourth Corporal
H. McNEIL Second Sergeant James MOREY Fifth Corporal
F. STANTON Third Sergeant E.P. ROWE Sixth Corporal
F.S. STROUD Fourth Sergeant H. WHITELEY Seventh Corporal
C. SHAFER Fifth Sergeant Frank HEACOCK Eighth Corporal
J.C. SQUIERS Quartermaster Sergeant

The company is well drilled, and is one of the largest in the State service. Several of its members saw actual service during the war of the Rebellion.

MANUFACTURES

Phoenix Mill
Perry HENDERSON, who came to Mason in 1854, afterwards purchased the old grist-mill, which stood on the opposite side of the road from the present structure, and was originally operated by water-power. The dam caused so much adjacent territory to be flooded, and so much sickness was consequent, that it was finally removed and a steam-engine out in the mill. About a year after Mr. HENDERSON purchased the mill, it was destroyed by fire, together with 1500 bushels of wheat. The mill had been built by NOBLE, SKINNER & PAGE, the first grist-mill in the place having been a primitive affair, consisting of one run of stone set up in one corner of the old DANFORTH saw-mill in 1840. After the old mill was destroyed, Mr. HENDERSON, in 1858, built the present "Phoenix Mill." It is now the property of George G. MEAD, and contains three runs of stone. Two only were at first put in. Steam-power is used. The mill machinery, which was purchased in Buffalo, was brought to Detroit by boat, and from there to Mason by teams.

The Mason City Mills
were moved here in the fall of 1869, from DeWitt, Clinton Co., by NEAR & WADE. The building, which is frame, contains two runs of stone, the machinery being operated by steam-power. The capital invested is about $8000. Three hands are employed by the present proprietor, O. CRANE. The mill has passed through many different hands. Feed and flour are manufactured, the mill having a capacity of about 300 bushels daily.

Stone-Boat Factory,
for making GREGG's patent stone boats, was built in 1879, by William GREGG & Co. About $2500 capital is invested in the business, and six men are given employment, the factory still belonging to the same firm.

S.A. PADDOCK & CO.,
architects and builders, manufacturers of sash, doors, blinds, and building material, are the proprietors of a business established in 1872, by JESSUP, STANTON & Co., who built the planing-mill.In 1876 the present firm was organized, and has enlarged the buildings and largely increased the business. The establishment had previously changed hands several times. About $12,000 of capital are invested, and the annual business reaches from $10,000 to $20,000. From five to fifteen persons are employed. The firm has erected nearly all the brick buildings in Mason, aside from its work elsewhere. The shops are located in the north part of the city, near the railroad.

The Stave-Factory
of A.J. BAILEY & Co. was built in 1872, and at present gives employment to ten or fifteen men and boys. About $10,000 are invested in the business, the capital being principally furnished by Dr. McROBERT, of Mason. The business amounts to $20,000 or $25,000 annually. The firm has its headquarters at Leslie, where it has also a large establishment of the same kind.

Patent Gear-and Carriage-Factory
was started in the place in 1872 by B.F. RIX & Co., and is now the property of GRIFFIN & ROGERS, who have owned it since 1878.The capital invested, including that in the buildings, etc., is about $15,000. Fifteen to twenty hands are employed. The factory is built of brick. The bent gear which is manufactured is for use in platform-wagons, and was patented by B.F. RIX, for whom it is named. The establishment finds sale for its products in nearly every State in the Union. R.F. GRIFFIN, one of its proprietors, is mentioned elsewhere as one of the early settlers of the place.

Cheese-Factory
This institution, although not within the corporate limits of the city, is properly one of its enterprises. A frame building was erected in 1871 by a stock company, of which R.F. GRIFFIN was President, Frank WHITE, Treasurer, and Horatio PRATT, Secretary. The building, etc., cost $3200, although but $2500 was ever paid in, the balance coming out of the earnings of the factory. The company was broken up in two or three years after its organization, and most of the stock was purchased by Mr. WHITE, who is the present owner and manager. The business for the first two or three years was good, the daily receipts of milk reaching from 4300 to 5000 pounds. There has since been a large falling off. This industry, if rightly handled, might be made to return large profits. Factories in certain regions of the West - notably in Northeastern Illinois - receive as high as 35,000 pounds of milk daily during a part of the season, and make the business a decidedly profitable one.

Robe-Factory
An establishment for the manufacture of buffalo- and other robes was opened in 1876 by MARSHALL, HUNTINGTON & Co., and continued until April 13, 1880, when D.C. HUNTINGTON, one of the firm, sold his interest. The present firm is MARSHALL, RUMSEY & Co., who manufacture buffalo-robes principally. The hides are procured in Montana Territory, formerly coming from Kansas and Colorado. As many as 5000 have been prepared for market in a season. From twenty to twenty-five men are employed, the capital invested being about $12,000. A frame building for the use of the company is located in the southern part of the city.

Saw-Mill
A steam saw-mill was built on the south part of the corporation, in the fall of 1865, by J.L. & C.D. HUNTINGTON, which was burned April 1, 1871. A second one was erected by the same parties on nearly the same ground, and, on the 27th of May, 1876, it shared the fate of its predecessor. Joseph L. HUNTINGTON's death occurred in 1874, and the second mill, when burned, was the property of C.D. HUNTINGTON and Riley P. DUNHAM. After this fire Mr. HUNTINGTON sold his interest to Alonzo ELLSWORTH, one of the present owners. ELLSWORTH & DUNHAM built a third mill, which was also burned, and the present one, owned by ELLSWORTH & Co., is the fourth one on the site. The firm commenced business May 1, 1879, Mr. HERRINGTON purchasing the interest of Mr. DUNHAM. Six men are employed, and about 300,000 feet of hardwood lumber are manufactured annually. Steam-power is used exclusively.

Foundry and Machine-Shop
About 1850 a small foundry was established in Mason by TURNER & COATSWORTH, and in February, 1856, it was purchased by Jesse BEECH, who has been its proprietor most of the time since, having had several partners. He is at present the sole owner, and, aside from general work,- agricultural tools, repairs, etc.,- is manufacturing the Cowdery wind-mill. Four or five men is the average number employed. The capital invested is about $5000. This is the only institution of the kind ever put into operation in the place. Mr. BEECH was from Monroe Co., N.Y.

Carriage-, Wagon-, and Blacksmith-Shop
L.F. CLARK, proprietor of the principal establishment of this kind in Mason, employs six or eight men, and transacts an annual business of about $10,000. The capital invested is about $5000. General blacksmithing  and repairing are done, aside from the regular manufactures. This is the oldest shop of the kind in the place, and has been run, by different parties, for nearly thirty years.

Olin Chuck-Manufacturing Company
Charles J. OLIN, of Mason, an experienced watchmaker and jeweler, is the patentee of a self-centring combination chuck, for the use of those belonging to his class of workmen. It does away entirely with wax, which had been the latest improvement in the line, and is destined to revolutionize the whole business of chuck-manufacturing. It was patented in July, 1880, and a company with the above caption has been formed for its manufacture at Mason, consisting of the patentee, C.J. OLIN, Wells W. HENDRICKS, of Leslie, and Collins D. HUNTINGTON, of Mason, the latter being treasurer. Automatic machinery, made at Hartford, Conn., will be used, and four or more workmen given employment, besides a number of salesmen. The machinery alone will cost $3000. Until the spring of 1881 the company will rent, but in the season named a building for their express use will be erected.

From article in the Ingham County News, 1875:
"Boot and Shoe-makers.-
The first representative of this industry who put in an appearance in Mason was a queer genius, named Barney MOON. In 1840 he took up his quarters in a little wooden building, fourteen by eighteen feet, which stood just east of Mr. DAY's store. He is described by those who knew him as rough, uncouth, dirty and heathenish. When talking, his sentences teemed with idiomatic blasphemy. He cooked, ate, slept, swore, got drunk, made boots and shoes, and tanned deer-skins in that one small shop, and his ability to mingle and make synchronous these several occupations was sometimes wonderful to behold. He remained in Mason but a short time. The last seen of him was when Chauncey OSBORN found him, one bitter cold night, lying across the track, in a state of beastly intoxication, on the road between Williamston and Howell. By this time he has doubtless gone in search of his fathers.

"In the fall of 1841, O. GRIFFIN came to Mason with fourty dollars' worth of leather, for which he had run in debt, and began work as a shoemaker. At the first, Judge DANFORTH and H.H. SMITH used to go close to his shop and peep in to see whether he was civilized or not, but they did not dare to enter, fearing that he was another barney MOON. But his good qualities must soon have become apparent, for by the first day of January, 1842, by borrowing three dollars of John RAYNER, he succeeded in doubling his money. In the following year, R.F. GRIFFIN, son of O. GRIFFIN, came to Mason and assisted his father in his work. After them, GRIFFIN & Son continued in the business fourteen years. In 1850 came J.L. HUNTINGTON and sons, and again, in 1858, G.W. POLAR."

FIRE DEPARTMENT

An ordinance providing for organizing a fire department was passed by the village council, July 29, 1867, and a hook-and-ladder company was organized, and wagons and buckets procured. The ordinance was repealed march 21, 1870, after which the company was disbanded, and the implements and appurtenances were ordered into the care of the marshal, to be used in case of fire. The city is now without a regular department.

MINERAL WELL

Having secured the consent of the county, the village caused an artesian well to be sunk in the court-house yard, near the west entrance, in 1870-71. This well, which is 676 feet deep, was bored by James A. STEVENS, and cost $1200. From it flows a constant stream, which is conducted (the waste) into Sycamore Creek through a tile-drain laid in the summer of 1880. The waters from this well are strongly impregnated with iron and other mineral substances, and are beneficial in numerous disorders of the human system.

OPERA - HOUSE

A fine brick opera-house is being erected the present season (fall of 1880) by the Messrs. RAYNER, and when completed will add one more to the already large number of fine structures in the place. Its location is central, and the public spirit of the builders will cause, in its erection, another thrill of pleasure in the hearts of the inhabitants of the place. Its cost will be about $10,000.

Return to Ingham County
MIGenWeb