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Eugene Mason


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/5/2001 at 22:33:43

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties 1890
Eugene Mason, one of the prominent farmers and stock-raisers, owning one hundred and fifty-six acres, and residing on Section 10 Des Moines Township, Van Buren County, came to this county in 1858, having at that time been a resident of this country for five years. He was born in Alsace, North France, June 26, 1836, and was fourth in a family of six children, of John and Margaret Mason, also natives of France. His father was an extensive contractor in his native city, and was recognized as one of the most prominent of his time. He built some of the largest and most extensive buildings in the district and during the season employed from five to forty men. Up to the time of his death he was one of the prominent men of his locality. He died of asthma in 1852, at the age of fifty-six. His mother dies in 1887, at the age of eighty-seven. Both died in their native land. Our subject and his sister Margaret are the only remaining members of the family.
Eugene Mason was the only representative of the family that came to this country. He was educated in the common schools of his native country, and in the summer learned the trade of masonry and stonecutting and also that of a plasterer. At the age of nineteen years, he left Havre France, on an American bound vessel, and was one hundred and five days making the trip. The vessel was a sailer, and had four hundred and fifty passengers on board. The yellow fever broke out among them and eight-six died before they got to the West Indies, where Eugene landed on the Island of St Thomas. He ascribes his escape from death to the excessive use of cherry brandy on the voyage. In 1855 he landed in New Orleans, where he remained a short time and then went to St Louis Missouri, where he engaged at his trade, cutting stone on the courthouse and other buildings. In the following year he went to St Joseph Missouri, where he remained a short time and then returned to St Louis but in the same year went to St Charles, thence to Jefferson City and returning once more to St Louis. Again leaving the latter place he went up the river, working at his trade in various cities. He was foreman on the contract for the building in Fort Dodge, one of the finest structures in the West. Since his residence in this county he has done considerable work at his trade. He laid the first stonework in Keosauqua, and has put up nearly all the large bridges of this county, and in Appanoose County built a large Court House. He erected his own residence of stone and brick. His farm he improved until it is now one of the best in the county.
Mr. Mason was married in 1866, to Eliza Hohr, a daughter of William Hohr, who was a native of Germany. Mrs. Mason was born in Keosauqua in 1848, her parents being among the early settlers of that place. They have five children living: Carrie, wife of Sam Steinmeyer, a resident of Keosauqua; Lena, wife of John Heim; Edward, Willa, and Amelia. Mr. Mason politically is an Independent. He is a member of Keosauqua Lodge No. 3, I.O.O.F. His family is members of the Christian Church. As a citizen, Mr. Mason is well esteemed by all who know him and is a warm supporter of every enterprise calculated for the public good.
I am not related, and am only copying this for the information of those who might find this person in their family.


Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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