Samuel Jefferson Mason
The Greenville Morning Herald
Tuesday, March 8, 1932
“Uncle Jeff” Mason,
Five Times Sheriff
Hunt County, Is Dead
“Uncle Jeff’ Mason, five times sheriff of Hunt County, through out his long career one of its most noted political figures and a pioneer who was born, reared and spent his life within its confines, is dead. Death came to the man who had been a part of the county’s growth from a frontier county to modern civilization at 11:45 o’clock Monday night, following a lingering illness, just a little more than a month since he had observed his 78th birthday.
Samuel Jefferson Mason was born January 16, 1854, on Turkey Creek, Hunt County, the youngest son of John and Elizabeth Mason, themselves hardy pioneers of the frontier country. His father, John Mason, was one of Hunt County’s earliest sheriffs, serving a term beginning in 1866.
Jeff Mason moved to Greenville with his parents while a small child. Here he was married in December, 1873, to Miss Josie Hulse, herself a descendant of a pioneer family. She preceded him in death by less than three years, dying in July, 1929.
Jeff Mason began his career as a peace officer as deputy sheriff under the administration of the late Belmont Rose, under whom he served for four years. In 1886 Jeff Mason was himself elected sheriff and served for three terms. Later he was elected again and this time served two terms a record without parallel in the annals of the county.
Jeff Mason was sheriff in the days of turbulent times in Hunt County, and he earned a state-wide reputation as a peace officer who governed the destinies of a frontier, hard-boiled community without fear or favor. The friends that he gained during his career as a peace officer were legion, and to the day of his death he commanded an impressive following among Hunt County people.
He is survived by one son, Albert F. Mason; five grandchildren, S.J. Mason, Jr., now with the U. S. Navy ni (sic) the Hawaiian Islands; Miss Stella Mar Mason, Oakland, Cal.; Albert Mason, Jr., Morris Mason and Virginia Mason, of Greenville; an orphan girl whom the Masons reared, Mrs. Josie Hill, of Fort Worth: and a number of nephews and nieces, including: George Dennis, Oakland, Cal.; John M. Dennis, Nashville, Tenn.; J. Y. Wagner, Sapulpa, Oklahoma; Uzza Green, Caddo Mills; W. R. Green, Dallas; Robert Green, Ft. Worth; Andrew Green, Quitman; and one great-grandchild Josie Mae Mason, New York City. There also are numerous nephews and nieces on his wife’s side.
Many years ago Jeff Mason joined the Odd Fellow’s Lodge of this city and continued an active member until the day of his death.
When a comparatively young man he embraced the tenets of Christianity and united with the Central Christian Church of this city. He had continued his membership in this church throughout his life and died in the faith, confident of the Glorious Morn of the Resurrection.
Funeral services will be held from the family residence, corner of King and Spencer streets, at 2 o’clock Wednesday afternoon. Rev. Leo Johnson, pastor of the Central Christian Church, will conduct services, which will be under auspices of the Fred Ende Lodge, IOOF.
Submitted by Mary Virginia Mason Jacobs