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Town Of Mason
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History

Special Thanks to Janet Reed for Her Research
from the book "Mason City by Mildred Chapman Gibbs

Image: Old Mason/Pomeroy Bridge

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1856 to 1977

Unfortunately, records have been destroyed which would have given the activities of the town council, as well as a list of elected town officials. There are no other records, since town governments are considered independent bodies which do not have to report election results to any other governmental body.

In the West Virginia Legislative Handbook, better known as the "Blue Book," town officials can be found. The earliest book I could find was the 1916 book. The 1917 book did not report nor list the municipalities, but the rest did. A few times, no report was made from Mason. I have tried to put together as accurate a list of mayors as I could, using material from family histories and newspapers, as well as the "Blue Book." If no dates were found, I tried to put the Mayor in the proper decade, if possible.

George Patrick is thought to have been the first mayor. 1867-George Patrick.

1875-Jacob Bird, 1877-Coiumbus W. Peden, 1882~-Frederick J. Baur, ?-Jacob Roush, 1889-John Edwards, 1890-Thomas Hutchinson. He was mayor several times. 1894-Henry Clay Turner, 1895-Columbus W. Peden, 1896-J.A. Bailey. This was the year the Republicans nominated Theodore Jackson, a blackman, for council. He lost. 1897-Harry Hart, 1898-H.D. Bailey, 1900-W.D. Bailey 1902-Peter Gress, 1905-Henry Clay Turner, ????-Virgil A. Lewis, S.A. Lewis (Virgil ?), 1911-Henry Clay Turner, 1912-Harvey Bailey 1914-1917-Henry Clay Turner, 1918~G.W. Cooper, 1919-F.R. Carsey, 1920-H. Cotton Turner, 1921-Not reported, 1922-Not reported, 1923-Jas. F. Young, 1924-H. Cotton Turner, 1925-No report in Blue Book,1926-A.D. Wilcoxen, 1927-No report, 1928 to 1929-A.D. Wilcoxen, 1930 to 1931-A.E. Strode, (MR. Strode was killed in an accident). 1932-Mrs. Jennie Strode, (She was appointed in her husband's place and became the first woman mayor in West Virginia) 1933 to 1934-J.W. Natross, 1935 to 1936-F.E. Bletner, 1937 to 1938-John Natross, 1938 to 1940-H. Cotton Turner, 1941 to 1944-E.R. Keig, 1945 to 1946-John Raybould 1947 to 1948-W.A. Proffitt, 1949 to 1950-E.F.Rickard, 1951-Don McFarland, 1952 to 1954-C.L. Ingles, 1955 to 1956-R.E. Workman, 1957 to 1958-C.L. Ingles, 1959-C.O. Pickens, 1960-Olston 0. Wright, 1961-Earl Henry, 1962 to 1963-0lston O. Wright, 1964 to 1970-Dayton C. Raynes, 1971 to 1972-Roy O. Harless, 1973-Ira Atkinson Jr., 1974 to 1977-Fred Taylor.

The following people have been listed at town recorders. There is no effort to put them in any kind of order; just a listing is all that is possible. They are: Ed Bader, John G. Gygax, J.A. Bailey, H.C. Turner, J. Mclntosh, Chris Weiss, Paul Gygax, L.O. Tucker, A.E. Strode, Dallas Yeager, L.C. Furbee, F.R. Carsey, John Young, A.C. Schwartz, W.R. Proffitt, J.A. Diehl, Russell Fields, Dayton Raynes, R.L. Capehart, R.J. Williamson, Donnie McFarland, D.V. Dotson, Harry E. Schwab, Gary Gibbs, Charlotte Jenlts, Kenneth Reynolds, Carl M. Cline.

The town marshall has been listed as police, police chief, or sargeant. The earliest I found was Marion Mumaw. The one who served the most times was John lngels, who served for at least twenty-one terms, possibly more. Others were Thomas Carroll, M.M. Johnson, John Dornick, W.G. Johnson, Edward Winters, J.N. Manley, E.S. Wallace, Clayton Lewis, Edward Turley, Columbus Belcher, John Young, Wilbur Thorne, Sr., William Smith, H.L. Rhodes, Gora Noble, George Zuspan, Fred Taylor, Richard Ohlinger, John Harrah, Billy Harshall Jr., Detner Roush, James E. Hall, and Charles J. Young.

The following have been members of the Mason Town Council: Jacob Mees, Chris Weiss, Ed Bletner, Dor DeWolf, L.J. Ruttencutter, Henry Hennosy, Charles Jividen, Paul Gygar, E.B. Myers, George Matthew, Edward Schwarz, Adam Kuppinger, Jacob Lederer, Thomas Campbell, Harvey Bailey, Athur O'Leary, Oliver Curtis, William Veith, F.M. Mumaw, Henry Klenzing, Henry Williams, Thomas Ryan, Thomas McIntosh, Phillip Gress, Henry Weiss, W.C. Dunlap, Andrew Young, Henry Fruth, George Luikart, Thomas Hart, James Nicholson,J.W. Roberts, Michael Williams, R.J. Williamson, Herman Ross, Charles Barton, Charles Edwards, Frank Roush, Robert Ingles, John Young, Robert Stewart, Lewis Edwards. Hoover Brinker, Carl Schwarz, Bliss Wilson, Howard VanMeter, L.E. Thomas, Forrest Bachtel, Harry F. Gress, John Elias, William Knopp, Emmett Nease, L.O. Tucker, L.M. Lyons, Joe Gress, F.R. Carsey, Henry Mus, F.L. Johnson, Henry Tulley, Lewis Dodson, Rhineholt Schwartz, Edward Perry, Lawrence Roush, Dayton Raynes, Catherine Smith, Charlotte Jenks, Robert Roach, Bernard White, Walt Werry, Russ Capehart, George VanMeter, Russell Barton, Richard Fowler, Joseph Jones, Fred Samsel, John Sisson, James Jarrel Olston Wright, George Carson. Roger Hysell, Donald Johnson, Charles Yeager, Robert K. Wilson, Donald Cook, Woodrow Foreman, Olin Wolf, B.F. Board, Donnie McFarland, Luther Tucker, Ralph Warner, Gordon Creamer, Earl Henry, Ralph Fruith, Ray Roush, Robert Barton, John H. Turner, Harry Walsh, Delpert Richardson, O.G. Blessing, Dr. Cherrington, Gotlieb Krauter.

I am sure many names have been omitted, for which I am sorry. These were the only ones I could find recorded in the sources available to me. If you can think of any I have left out up to 1977 please email me and let me know.

Mason County History

    Mason County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on January 2, 1804, from parts of Kanawha County. The county was named in honor of George Mason (1725-1792). He was born in Virginia in 1725, was the author of the Constitution of Virginia and a member of the Philadelphia constitutional convention that framed the Constitution of the United States during the summer of 1787. Not satisfied with the protections provided state's rights during the deliberations, he refused to sign the document and later opposed its ratification by Virginia.

    Robert Cavelier de La Salle was probably the first European to set foot in present Mason County. He sailed down the Ohio River in 1669. In 1749, Louis Bienville de Celeron sailed down the Ohio River, and buried a lead plate in present day Mason County claiming all of the lands drained by the River for King Louis XV of France. His journals indicate that he buried four lead plates at various locations along the Ohio River, but to date only two have been found. He met several English fur traders on his journey and ordered them off of French soil and wrote strong letters of reprimand to the colonial governors protesting the English's presence on French soil.

    In 1750, Christopher Gist, an agent and surveyor for the Ohio Company, passed through the county. The first European woman to set foot in the county was Mary Ingles. She was taken prisoner by Shawnee Indians on July 8, 1755 at Draper's Meadow (now Blacksburg), Virginia and was forced to accompany the Indians through the county as they returned to Shawnee Village at Chillicothe, Ohio. Her escape four months later and her return through the wilderness to Virginia has a significant place in American folklore.

    George Washington was a frequent visitor to the county as early as 1770. He surveyed the present site of Point Pleasant, the county seat made famous by the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774, and was granted title to some 10,900 acres in the area for his services during the French and Indian Wars (1754-1763).

    The Battle of Point Pleasant was considered a turning point in the war against the Indians and a precursor of the American Revolutionary War. During the battle on October 10, 1774, General Andrew Lewis' army of 1,100 waged what was probably the most fiercely contested battle ever fought with the Indians within the state of Virginia. One-half of General Lewis' commissioned officers, including his brother Charles were killed, as were 75 of his non-commissioned soldiers. Another 140 soldiers were wounded. The actual number of Indians engaged or killed in the battle is not known, but included warriors from the Shawnee, Delaware, Mingo, Wyandotte and Cayuga tribes, lead by their respective chiefs and by Cornstalk, Sachem of the Shawnees and King of the North Confederacy. The remaining Indians fled into Ohio with Lewis' men in pursuit. Now on the defensive, the Indians later agreed to a peace treaty, ending what had become known as Lord Dunmore's War (John Murray, fourth Earl of Dunmore, was Governor of Virginia at the time).

    In 1777, Cornstalk, his son, Elinipsico, Red Hawk and another prominent Indians were murdered while being held hostage at Fort Blair, built at Point Pleasant following Lewis' victory. They were killed in revenge for the murder of a member of the garrison who had left the fort on a hunting trip while the hostages were there. Cornstalk is buried at the corner of the county courthouse in Point Pleasant. Ann Bailey, whose first husband was killed at the Battle of Point Pleasant, and was known as "Mad Ann" (see Braxton County history) is also buried in Point Pleasant, in a public park near the battle monument.

    Mason County was part of the proposed colony of Vandalia, whose capital was to be at the mouth of the Great Kanawha River, (i.e.. near Point Pleasant). The colony was opposed by the Washington family, primarily because they and their business partners had laid claim to much of the county and feared that the proposal, put forth by George Mercer and his business associates in 1773, would void those claims.

    Among the early pioneers who made Mason County their home was Dr. Jesse Bennett. In 1794, he performed the first Cesarean section operation in the United States (on Elizabeth, his wife, saving both her life and the life of their daughter). He settled on 8,000 acres of land, near the home of Andrew Lewis, and served as Surgeon of the Second Virginia Regiment during the War of 1812 and as a member of the jury at Aaron Burr's trial for treason

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