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

JOHN FRANKLIN MASON. While splendid success has come to John Franklin Mason, he has ever been actuated by the spirit of Lincoln in his sentiment: "There is something better than making a living--making a life." He was formerly one of the enterprising business men of Ash Grove, and is now the efficient recorder of Greene county and makes his home in Springfield. Beginning in a comparatively humble position in life he has made his way to a place of substance and honor entirely through his own efforts and yet he has not considered his private interests only, but rather has given greater consideration to the, public welfare, for which he has ever been ready to make sacrifices.

Mr. Mason was born, November 26, 1868, on a farm near Halltown, Lawrence county, Missouri. He is a son of Reuben B. and Mary E. (Richardson) Mason. The father was born in Lawrence county, this state, on January 13, 1843, and was a son of Abraham and Hulda (Bodenhamer) Mason. Abraham Mason was a native of North Carolina, where he spent his earlier years, and removed to Indiana in 1838. In 1841 he came West and settled in Lawrence county, Missouri, where he entered a large tract of land, which he cleared and on which he carried on general farming until his death, which occurred in 1861. He was one of the influential citizens in that county in pioneer times. Politically, he was a Whig. His wife, who was also a native of North Carolina, died on the home place in Lawrence county, July 25, 1880. Reuben M. Mason grew to manhood on the home farm and he received a common school education; he followed farming all his life, with the exception of the time he spent in the Union army during the Civil war as a member of the Seventy-fourth Missouri Militia, and later as a member of Company A, Sixteenth Missouri Cavalry. He saw considerable active service and made a good record as a soldier, and was honorably discharged and mustered out of the service, June 30, 1865. On January 18, 1866, he married Mary E. Richardson who was born in Lawrence county, Missouri, October 26, 1846. She was a daughter of John W. and Maria L. (Ferris) Richardson. Politically, Reuben B. Mason was a Republican. His death occurred on March 27, 1902, but his widow is still living on the homestead near Halltown.

John F. Mason grew to manhood on the home farm in Lawrence county where he worked when a boy, and he received his education in the common schools. He worked on the farm until 1898, when he went to Spencer, Missouri, where he spent four years in the mercantile business, and in 1902 moved to Halltown, engaging in the same line of endeavor, enjoying an excellent trade in both places. In 1907 he went to Ash Grove, where he conducted a drug store with success until he was elected to the office of county recorder, November 3, 1914. He carried his township by the largest number of votes that any candidate for county recorder ever received. He was elected by a majority of six hundred and ninety-three votes. He is filling the office in a highly creditable manner, being industrious, prompt and courteous in his dealings with the public.

Mr. Mason studied pharmacy and passed the examination required by the state board of pharmacy, November .25, 1911. He had a neat and well stocked store and carried a full line of drugs and drug sundries and he built up a large trade.

Mr. Mason was married, January 23, 1898, to Mina Nickel, a daughter of James A. and Jane (Breeden) Nickel, and to this union one child was born, James B. Mason, whose birth occurred on August 10, 1899. The death of the wife and mother occurred September 8, 1903. Mr. Mason was again married on April 10, 1906, to Daisy Smith, a daughter of Gaither and Melvina (Oldham) Smith. To this last union one child has been born, John M. Mason, whose birth occurred July 24, 1908.

Politically, Mr. Mason is a Republican, and fraternally, he is a member of the Masonic Order, including the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, the Chapter and the Royal Arch, Masons, all of Ash Grove; he also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of the World.


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