MASON FAMILY HISTORY – AND A VIEW OF THE PAST

“It’s not to our credit to think we began today and it’s not to our glory to think we end today. All through time we keep coming in to the shore like waves, like waves. You stick to your blood, son; there’s a fierceness in blood that can bind you up with a long community of life.” – Hugh McGehee, a character from the novel “So Red the Rose” by Stark Young.

Family is the greatest and strongest institution of mankind. That is what Carl Mason was thinking when he said to his family, “Why is it that our family only gets to see each other after a death? Let’s start a family reunion. A happy time to see each other.”

So, from then on, the Mason family has met each year for their family reunion. Their reunion, like many reunions, revolves around a covered dish meal at noon held in July or August. They have never found it necessary to assign who brings what kind of dish; it just always seems to work out okay. It also includes a white elephant sale. Everyone brings an item from home and they sell it to the highest bidder. The monies raised go towards next year’s reunion. They eat and they talk—-mostly about the good ol’ times.

They talked about the time when…the Waynedale Park Fountain was dedicated and Myrtle A. (Branstrator) Mason, Joseph C. Mason’s wife, along with Mrs. Homer Hoke and Mrs. Charles Kennedy headed the project in 1951. They would talk about collecting the donations for the fountain that was sponsored by businesses, organizations and the many people that wanted to see the Women’s Christian Temperance Union succeed. The fountain was purchased and cement work was done on October 20, 1951. It was dedicated and presented to the Waynedale Memorial Park for all to enjoy when they came to visit.

They talked about when…Joseph C. Mason (b-1883), son of George Mason, was a Waynedale pioneer. Joseph farmed, worked in construction and was custodian of Waynedale School. Joseph and Myrtle had 10 children; James Dallas (b-10-09-1906), Clarence Wayne (b-09-10-1908), Velma Belle (b-05-21-1910), Bert, Bill, George, John, Mildred, Doris, and Bernice.

The oldest son of Joseph was James Dallas Mason. He was born in the house at 6502 Old Trail Road. He was married to Catherine (Kate) I. Cotton (b-02-09-11) in June of 1923. They had 3 children; twins Jimmy and Jerry (b-1943), and Betty Catherine (Yoquelet).

James was instrumental in 1940, asking Wayne Township Trustee Walter Hayes to build a fire station in Waynedale. Before the fire station was built the fire truck was delivered. James Mason with the help of other volunteers moved a frame building from Elmhurst High School to the rear of 7001 Old Trail Road for a temporary building to store the truck. On October 31, 1942 the fire station was dedicated. Later, Captain Mason, along with other volunteers, also built a second pumper truck and tanker truck.

His wife Kate was instrumental in organizing the Wayne Township Fire Department Women’s Auxillary, along with Doris (Charlie) Miller. Kate was a past president in 1956 with the American Legion Post 241. She won the Lois Boaz Award for outstanding service to the community and the fire department. Kate volunteered her services and sometimes handled dispatches while the men were battling a fire. Other times she took donuts and coffee to the fire and even helped battle the fire. She buried two sons, two grandchildren and her husband, but she always bounced back due mostly to her love and faith in God.

James Mason died of cerebral hemorrhage on October 30, 1979. Catherine died of lung cancer on March 9, 1999. They are both buried in Prairie Grove Cemetery.

Clarence Wayne Mason was a farmer and married to Amanda Brindle on November 16, 1929. They had two sons; Carl Wayne and Robert.

Velma Belle was also born in the house on Old Trail Road. She was married to Everett A. March. They were married twice and twice divorced. He was an exterminator and Velma worked as a grocery store clerk and later worked at General Electric during the war. She was one of the “Rosie the Riveters.” She raised two children by herself until she married her second husband, James Rorick at which time her youngest child was a teenager. James and Velma had one son, Alan James.

Bill (b-?) was a typical civic-minded Waynedaler. He owned Mason Garage which was an aircraft repair shop located on the west side of Lewisburg Road (now Ideal) near Lower Huntington Road. He also built a calliope, mounted it on his flat bed truck and drove the big circle east on Lower Huntington Road, south on Bluffton Road (now Old Trail Road), west on Indianapolis Road (now McArthur Drive), and north on Lewisburg Road (now Ideal) to his shop. He is also known for carrying on the side of his truck billboards advertising for Waynedale School’s Fall Festival featuring PTA sponsored fun times with a tasty meal, white elephant sale, basketball throw, fish pond, and cake walks.

This year was a special year for the Mason’s. They were invited to visit the current home of Tom Hanchar on Old Trail Road. Tom and his (late) wife Brenda purchased the original Mason home from A. Leonard Scherer in 1972.

To date the Mason family knew little about their early ancestors, other than that some of them were born in this home on Old Trail Road. Then one thing led to another and before you know it 95-year old Velma Mason Rorick, Velma’s daughter Jackie Gay, and Betty Yoquelet, James Mason’s daughter, began their extensive geneaology research which will follow in the next issue of The Waynedale News on August 31, 2005.

The Waynedale News Staff
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Cindy Cornwell

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