Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens

JAMES H. MASON. One of the old and honored families of Greene county is the Masons, and no history of this locality would be complete without mention of the same, one of the best known members of the present generation being James H. Mason, who, in the practice of law, in Springfield, has attained to a laudable position in his profession, while yet a young man; and his reputation for integrity, stability of character, and fidelity to his clients, and trusts committed to him, whether professional or otherwise, is firmly established. His pathways are along the moral levels of the world, and he preserves the symmetry of a true moral life by emphasizing his attachment to it; by defending the truth, the right, and by right acting and living, and especially, by aiming to preserve the perfect proportions of truth.

Mr. Mason was born, February 19, 1874, near Ash Grove, Greene county, Missouri, on a farm. He is a son of Robert T. and Lavina. (Thomas) Mason. The father was a native of Loudon county, Tennessee, and was a son of Daniel Mason, a native of Massachusetts, who emigrated to Loudon county, Tennessee, in 1800, and there established his home on a farm, and he enlisted in a Tennessee regiment during the War of 1812 and saw considerable service. His family consisted of nine children. His death occurred in Loudon county in the thirties, and in 1841, when Robert T. Mason was ten years old, the widow of Daniel Mason removed with her family to Greene county, Missouri, and took up a farm from the government, and this they improved and established their home on it, Robert T. Mason continuing to work the home place until he was twenty-two years of age, when he came to Springfield and began learning the saddlery business, which he continued until the breaking out of the Civil war, when he and three of his brothers enlisted in the Union army. The father of our subject was a private in the Eighth Missouri Volunteer Infantry, one of the most efficient, bravest and most feared of the regiments from this state, and he served four years in a faithful and gallant manner, seeing much hard service and taking part in many engagements, being mustered out a lieutenant. He was in the battles of Pea Ridge and all the important ones of the West. He was honorably discharged, and after returning home he taught school in Greene county and in Arkansas for a number of years, and was a successful teacher for those days. He had received his education in the district schools and by home study. The latter part of his life was devoted to general farming near Ash Grove, where he was esteemed as a good citizen in every respect, and there his death occurred, August 4 1893. Lavina Thomas, mother of our subject, was born in Roane county, Tennessee. She is the oldest daughter of George and Sarah Thomas, who emigrated from Tennessee to Greene county in 1854 and located on a large farm near Cave Spring. George Thomas and two of his sons, James and Caswell, were soldiers in the Union army during the Civil war. Caswell was wounded and died during the service. The mother of our subject is still living at the age of seventy-three years, and she is beloved by her friends for her kindness and Christian sentiment. Of her brothers and sisters, of whom there were ten, all still survive, except two, Caswell, mentioned above, and a sister, who died in 1913.

Six children, three sons and three daughters, were born to Robert T. Mason and wife, namely: George, a farmer of near Claremore, Oklahoma, married Margaret Christian, and they have nine children; Daniel C. died in 1905; James H., of this review; Lillie married Thomas Toombs, a farmer and stock dealer of Dallas county, Missouri, and her death occurred in 1897, leaving two children; Martha, wife of John Christian, a farmer of Dallas county, has eight children; Mary, who married Lon Wheelis, who is in the employ of the United States Express Company, of St. Louis, has three daughters.

James H. Mason grew to manhood on the home farm there and did his full share of the work when a boy. He received his early education in the public schools of Greene and Dallas counties and at the Marionville Collegiate Institute, then took the course in the law department of the University of Missouri at Columbia, where he made a splendid record. Soon thereafter he came to Springfield and opened an office for the practice of his profession and has been very successful, having built up a large and constantly growing clientage and is regarded as one of the most promising of our younger members of the Greene county bar.

Mr. Mason was married, August 31, 1899, to Susie O. Alexander, a daughter of Dr. William O. and Mary E. Crumley) Alexander, of Pulaski, county, Missouri, a highly respected family there. She received a good education in the common schools. She has four brothers and two sisters.

To Mr. and Mrs. Mason three sons have been born, named as follows: Robert Oliver, born August 29, 1900; James Floyd, born January 7, 1903, and William Chauncey, born March 26, 1905.

Politically, Mr. Mason is a Republican. Fraternally, he is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Religiously, he is a member of the Christian church. He has been active in public affairs for a number of years. He was postmaster at Phillipsburg, Missouri, from 1898 to 1903. In 1908 he was elected city attorney of Springfield, and in 1910 he was elected prosecuting attorney of Greene county. As a public servant he has ever discharged his duties in an able, conscientious and commendable manner, and to the satisfaction of all concerned. It can not be denied that his abilities are equal to the attainment of still greater ends than he has accomplished. Such talents as he has shown lie upon the borders of many provinces of thought, but in the exclusive province of the law, there would be no border land, but an entire realm, without limit to the ecstasies and activities of the intellect.


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