JEFFERSON COUNTY ILLINOIS
BIOGRAPHIES

Charles Mason



Biography Charles Mason, son of Wiley and Nancy Beusey Mason, was born
about 1817 in Caswell County, North Carolina. His mother, Nancy Beusey,
died when he was a young lad and Wiley married secondly, Nancy Sims, December
15, 1825, in Caswell County North Carolina. Wiley Mason, born January 31,
1785, in Virginia, the seventh child of David Mason and Anna Harvey, served
in the War of 1812, as a Private with Captain Holder's Company of Infantry,
Fifth Regiment North Carolina Militia, and was mustered out January 9,
1815, in Norfolk, Virginia at the close of the war. He returned to Caswell
County where he followed his father David Mason's line of work as a masonry
contractor. After the death of his first wife, Wiley remarried and moved
with his family across the mountains to Smith County,Tennessee, settling
at Riddleton. It was there that he began work in the saddle making business.
Wiley was known to be well versed in the Bible and in politics, both of
which he engaged with great interest. He lived at Riddleton until his death,
sometime in 1843 or 1844. His will was recorded in Smith County Will Book
#7, page 3, in October 1843, and was probated in March 1844. Children of
Wiley and Nancy Beusey Mason are: 1. David Mason 2. William Mason 3. Noel
Mason b. abt 1812, Caswell Co., NC; fought in Seminole war with Andrew
Jackson. Served as Clerk of the County Court, Shelby Co., AL; d. 29 Sep
1843, Columbiana, Shelby, AL. No record of marriage. 4. George Wiley Mason
b. 1816, Caswell Co., NC; m. Lucinda Post; d. 1885. 5. Charles Mason (Subject
of this biography). 6. John M. Mason b. 22 Oct 1819, Caswell Co., NC; m.
Eliza Smith 30 Mar 1849, d/o Nicholas Smith and Sarah Compton Smith; d.
15 May 1907, Temperance Hall, Dekalb, TN. Eliza died February 17, 1897.
John M. is mentioned in early history as being one of the first merchants
of Temperance Hall, Tennessee. He owned the hotel which was the meeting
place for the "sons of Temperance" which gave the town its name. He also
operated a tannery on his farm in "Mason Hollow", a trade he probably learned
from his father Wiley, a saddle maker. He was a magistrate for nine years
and a trustee of Earl Academy for two years. Eliza was skilled in homemaking
as well as serving the community as a doctor and midwife. Her medical skills
evidently impressed her family, as she had a son Robert Wiley Mason, a
grandson, John Robert Mason, and two great-grandsons, Hubert Odell Mason
and Bernice Wright of Memphis, to become medical doctors. Children of John
M. and Eliza Smith Mason are: (A) Mary Effie Mason b. 1852; m. James Turner;
d. 4 Aug 1876 in childbirth; had three children Wilson, Edna and Charlie.
(B) Doctor Robert Wiley Mason b. 9 Aug 1854; m. Mary Hatton Wilson; d.
26 Jul 1931. (C) Adelia Mason b. 26 Jan 1858; d. Aug 1859. 7. Lucy Mason
b. 17 Sep 1822; married a Wooley. Children of Wiley Mason and Nancy Sims
are: 1. Wiley Alfred Mason - fought in the Mexican War, moved to Texas.
2. Affa Mason 3. Rebecca Mason 4. Elizabeth Mason 5. Hannah Mason 6. Eliza
Mason Charles Mason, the principal subject of this biography, was a restless
soul in his early years, and frequently moved from place to place . His
wandering ways took him many miles in the days when transportation choices
were very limited. The first we find him after adulthood, and after he
left Smith County, Tennnessee is in Shelby County, Alabama, in the late
1830's and early 1840's. It was in this locale, where he was with at least
three and probably four of his brothers. His brother Noel Mason was Clerk
of the County Court in Shelby County from 1839 until his untimely death
at the early age of about 31 years in in 1843. Charles and his brothers
David, George Wiley, and probably William were all there at this time and
later, as they were all frequently involved in land transactions shown
in Shelby County records. Sometime after this Charles left Shelby Co.,
Alabama and purchased land tracts of ninety-nine acres and forty acres
located in Elk Prairie Township, Jefferson Co., Illinois. The signature
date on these purchases were December 1, 1846, and the certified copies
of the documents for these purchases state that Charles Mason was of Jefferson
County, Illinois. Charles Mason was enumerated on the 1850 US Census in
Mount Vernon, Illinois, showing him residing in a boarding house and his
occupation was listed as schoolteacher. With Noel Mason being Clerk of
a County Court and Charles listed as teaching school, one would assume
that they had received more education than most young people of this period.
Charles Mason is next found back in Shelby Co., Alabama, November 28, 1853,
where he married Sarah Ann Williams, who was born January 22, 1828 in Shelby
County, Alabama. Sarah Ann was the daughter of Hugh M. and Rachel Post
Williams. George Wiley Mason, brother to Charles, married Lucinda Post
who was a first cousin to Sarah Ann. It was in Alabama that Charles and
Sarah Ann had a son, John Yancy Mason, who was born October 10, 1854. The
Charles Mason family is next found in the 1860 US Census back in Elk Prairie
Township, Jefferson County, Illinois and they have two additional children,
Mary J. age 3, and Hugh W. age 1. The census data shows that they were
both born in Illinois, so Charles and his family must have located to Ilinois
sometime between 1855, after the birth of John, and before the birth of
Mary in 1857. Charles was engaged in farming and did so in this location
for the rest of his life. Charles is mentioned in the Wall's History of
Jefferson County Illinois, By John Wall, and Published by B. F. Bowen &
Company in 1909, as being one of the early settlers of Elk Prairie. He
is also mentioned in the same publication as being one of the prominent
citizens of Mt. Vernon who put up portions of land in an earnest (but unsuccessful)
effort to get a railroad built between Mt. Vernon and Ashley in Washington
County. The 1870 US Census, Elk Prairie, Jefferson County, shows the addition
of five more children to their family, Alpha (Affa) age 8, Charles age
6, Angelina and Nancy (twins and later called Kate and Ann) age 4, and
Noel age 1 month. Hugh W. Mason, who was shown in the 1850 census is not
listed in this or in later census, and it is assumed that he experienced
death at an early age. Children of Charles and Sarah Ann Williams Mason
are: 1. John Yancy Mason b. 10 Oct 1854, Shelby Co., AL; m. 1 Apr 1880
to Elnora Jane Walker, d/o William and Mary Jane Kirkpatrick Walker; d.
19 Aug 1937, Anna, Union Co., IL; buried in Mason Cemetery, Jefferson Co.,
IL. John Yancy and Elnora Jane Walker Mason had the following children:
(A) Charles Walter Mason b. abt 1881 and died as a young child in Texas.
(B) Oscar Mason b. 23 Feb 1883, Elk Prairie, Jefferson, IL; m. (1) Letitia
Ellen Wray; d. Feb 1915. (2) Eva Roach; Oscar died 4 Jun 1982, Plainview,
Pierce, NE. Children of Oscar and Letitia Ellen Wray Mason are: Juanita
Arnola, Wray Albert, Arletta Ione, and Loyal Oscar. Children of Oscar and
Eva Roach Mason are: Vern Woodrow, Elnora Lewella, John Allen, Barbara
Lavonne, Beverly Ann, William Robert, Charles Arthur, and Mary Ellen. (C)
Mary (Molly) R. Mason b. Aug 1887, Jefferson Co., IL; m. Art Hardnacke.
(D) Albert Mason b. 13 Dec 1889, Spanish Fork, Utah; m. Maybelle Thompson;
d. 10 Feb 1966, Los Gatos, CA. (E) Inez Mason b. 1 Feb 1892, Elk Prairie,
Jefferson, IL; m. Ed McMeen; d. 3 May 1977, San Jose, CA. (F) William Walker
(Jack) Mason b. 10 Feb 1894, Elk Prairie, Jefferson, IL. (G) Florence Mason
b. 29 Feb 1896, Elk Prairie, Jeffrson, IL; m. Ellis Jackson. (H) Edith
Mason b. 6 Feb 1898, Elk Prairie, Jefferson, IL; m. Ed Hulac; d. 1920,
Norfolk, Madison, NE. (I) Ruth Mason b. 17 Jul 1902; m. Carl Caroll. (J)
Zelda Mason b. 6 Dec 1907, Elk Prairie, Jefferson, IL. Never married. 2.
Mary J. Mason b. 1857, Elk Prairie, Jefferson, IL; m. _____ Rogers. 3.
Hugh W. Mason b. 1859, Elk Prairie, Jefferson, IL; never married, died
as child. 4. Alpha (Affie) Mason b. 1862, Elk Prairie, Jefferson, IL; m.
Ernest Dare. 5. Nancy (Kate) Mason b. 1866, Elk Prairie, Jefferson, IL;
m. _____ Quinn. 6. Angelina (Ann) Mason b. 1866, Elk Prairie, Jefferson,
IL; m. Jim or John Davis. 7. Noel Wiley Mason b. Sep 1869, Elk Prairie,
Jefferson, IL; m. May B. Slade d. abt 1922, Dennison, TX. Children: Howard
S., Charles B. Edgar, and Leonora. Sarah Ann Williams Mason, wife of Charles
Mason, died February 12, 1879, Elk Prairie, Jefferson County, Illinois,
of tubercular consumption, complicated by tonsilitis, at the age of 51
years. Physicians report of death states that she was buried at Hickory
Hill Cemetery. Charles Mason died intestate in 1895, Jefferson Co., Illinois,
and is thought to be buried in Mason Cemetery, Jefferson Co., Illinois.
Administrator of his estate was his youngest son, Noel W. Mason. 

Charles Mason and Sarah Ann Williams Mason were the great-great-grandparents of
the writer of this biography, Dean O. Hildreth. 


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