W.H. Mason Who was recently appointed by the Governor of Michigan as agent of the State Board of Charities, has been a resident of the city of Hancock, Houghton County, since 1866 and has been engaged in various lines of business.
At the present time he is a member of the firm of Mason & Bentley, brokers and promoters and in addition looks after his real estate interests. Mr. Mason was born in 1846 at Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, and is a son of Benjamin Mason. Benjamin Mason was born in Ireland and at an early day came to this country, locating in Wisconsin, where he was a pioneer. He was in the soap and candle business and made the first mining candles manufactured on Lake Superior, for the Quincy mine. His wife was also a native of Ireland and both died in the early 'eighties'. They were parents of three sons and one daughter, as follows: T.D., who died in 1897, was a veteran of the Civil War, serving in the First Reg., Wisconsin Vol. Inf., and spent six months in Libby Prison and six months in Andersonville, and then made his escape, - he located at Hancock a short time before our subject; Archibald, who is retired, lives with his sister at Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin; Mrs. E.G. Trowbridge, of Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, whose husband was at the Quincy mine a period of 36 years as an official; and W.H. W.H. Mason was reared and educated at Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, and was but a boy when he enlisted in 1862, in Company C, 4th Reg., Wisconsin Vol. Cav., of which Albert E. Paine was colonel. They went out at once and in three weeks' time our subject was doing picket duty. He served as scout for a time with Generals Sherman, Banks, Smith and others and was at Fort Spanish, Fort Blakley, on the Red River Expedition, at Port Hudson, at Vicksburg, at Memphis and about Mobile. He served three years in the cavalry, and was commissioned sergeant. In the fall of 1865 he was mustered out at Brownsville, Texas and immediately returned home. Early in 1866 he came to the Northern Peninsula, locating at Hancock, and first engaged in contracting and teaming for a period of five or six years, then with his brother, T.D. Mason, formed a partnership under the firm name of Mason Brothers. They established a store at the lower point of Keweenaw County and made large contracts for furnishing the mines. They continued with success until early in the 'seventies', when they disposed of the business and returned to Hancock, where T.D. Mason followed contracting, while our subject engaged in the mercantile business. Some years later the latter left the store in charge of his son and with his brother went to Newberry, Luce County, Michigan, where they took a large contract to furnish 150 cords of wood per day for a period of three years, the wood being used in making charcoal. When the contract expired, W.H. Mason returned to Hancock and resumed his store business, which he continued to conduct with unvarying success until 1897, when he sold out to his son, C.S. Mason, who has since conducted it. He then engaged in the brokerage business, first representing Sutton & Bowen, of Boston, and also A.B. Turner & Company, of Boston, for two years. He then devoted his attention to caring for his large real estate interests until January 1, 1903, when he opened his present office in partnership with George C. Bentley, as brokers and promoters, handling copper stock and also engaging in the wood and coal business. Mason & Bentley are financial agents for several mining properties, and have promoted several mines in Arizona, among them being the Marquette & Arizona, the Portage Lake & Bisbee, the Calumet & Duluth and the Quincy & Arizona. He still looks after his extensive real estate holdings. He is a thorough business man, and to his own efforts and good judgment is due the wonderful success he has achieved. W.H. Mason was united in marriage with Hattie Chamberlin, a daughter of George Chamberlin, of Plymouth, Wisconsin, who settled in the Badger State at an early day, coming from Rochester, New York. Her mother now lives at Green Bay, Wisconsin. Three sons and two daughters have blessed this union, namely: Clarence G., a graduate of the Michigan College of Mines at Houghton, is now at Escanaba, Michigan, with the United States Steel Corporation; Charles S., of Hancock, Michigan, who is engaged in the real estate business; Ardell, who is in the National Bank of Houghton; and Minnie and Florence who are attending school. Our subject is a Republican in politics and has served as alderman. He is now agent for the State Board of Charities, having been appointed by the Governor late in 1902. He is a member of E.R. Stiles Post, No. 174, G.A.R., and has held numerous offices. He and his family reside in their beautiful home on East Quincy Street, in the finest residence district of Hancock.