Mason Area Historical Society
Mason Area Historical Society



Various noted Mason, MI items





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Copyright Statement
Copyright 2011 Michigan Roots


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                                              By Samuel W. Durant  Published 1880  by D.W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia



The 100 plus year old Ingham County Court House received a place on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
 Ingham County is the only county in the United States in which the State Capital is not located in it's County Seat.  
The Capital is located in Lansing, MI, while its County Seat is located in Mason, MI. 




Mason, MI 48854 - Ingham County 

Named after the first Governor of Michigan - Stevens T Mason





History of the City of Mason 

Enjoy a detailed account of the earliest settlers provided by History of Ingham and Eaton Counties, Michigan
by Samuel W. Durant     Published 1880 by D.W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia


The first settler at Mason, or in what is now the township of Vevay, was Lewis LACEY,

who came here in February or March, 1836, to build a saw-mill for Noble & Co., of Monroe, and to chop twenty acres

on section 8. Upon the completion of the sawmill", 


Follow the Link -->>


                                           Includes: Early Settlement - Post Office - 1844 Resident Taxpayers - Village City Incorporations                                              Band Mason Light Guards - Manufactures - Fire Department - Mineral Well - Opera House





Mason City: Beginnings via

"The City of Mason Multiple Resource Area was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Portions of the text below were selected, transcribed, and/or adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1]"  


  1. Haynes, Robin and Moran Diane, Historic Resources of Mason Michigan,nomination document, 1985, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. • PrivacyCopyright © 1997-2017 • The Gombach Group • • 15971





First Elected Officials:


President: Minos McRobert (Mason's first physician, pictured)

Find a grave Link:

FamilySearch Link - 1880 Census


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Photo Added by: Mike Beard

The photo is of Minos McRobert, from the History of Ingham and Eaton Counties by Samuel Durant

Trustees (two year term):

John Dunsback


Orlando Mack Barnes (later became mayor of Lansing)

Trustees (one year term):

Peter Lowe

 Philetus Peck                                                             


Dr. R. H. Davis



Perry Henderson   ** Leroy Township's First Postmaster

(received his commision from President Martin Vanburen) and Supervisor of LeRoy Twp  --

Ingham County Sherif - Erected the "Phoenix Mills" in 1858  -

Elected 4 times Vevay Supervisor -  Elected Mason Mayer        


Jesse Beech


Joseph Huntington






Essay item  - "The City of Mason - It's Past & Present Life, 1838-1897"


Click the link for essay -->  /upload/files/TheCityofMasonpastpresent18381897.pdf

Compiled by: Roy C Vandercook    Reproduced by Keitha Mills (12-4-1952)     Presented to Mason High School Library 12-1-1952

By Roy W Adams - '02   Ralph S Adams -07  Ethel C Adams - '08


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The History of Newspapers in Mason


By Aaron Emerson |

Composing room – Ingham Democrat – 1900


As the history of Mason stretches far back and features a lot more interesting facts than most towns its size, so too does the history of published newspapers in Mason.Mason was settled in 1836 and in the 19 years leading up to its incorporation as a village, there were at least five different newspapers that were started. Four of them lasted less than two years and the last one still stands today.

A lot of early newspapers relied upon the income they received from contracting with local treasurers to publish tax sales and delinquencies, a process that yielded hefty sums at the time. This brought out a lot of politics within the newspaper business and, in fact, the first three papers in Mason featured mostly political propaganda.

The first newspaper to ever be printed in Ingham County was started in Mason in April of 1842 when two brothers, John and Mark Childs, started the Ingham Telegraph. However, it was out of business just eight months later after the newly elected county treasurer, Jason Packard, refused to let them publish the tax list because of their Whig party views.

Instead, Packard arranged to set up a paper that would support the Democratic Party, called the Peninsular Star. The Star only lasted a year and a half because of disagreements between the two owners.After a new county treasurer was elected in 1844 that supported the Whig party, John Childs came back to Mason and started the Ingham Herald with a man named H.P. Stillman.

Later on that year, however, a Democratic-heavy Michigan Legislature changed tax advertising laws and enabled tax lists to be handled by the Auditor General. This not only contributed to the downfall of the Ingham Herald, but inspired one of the most popular journalists in the state to come to Mason to start a paper that reflected his Democratic views.

Wilbur Storey, who owned the Jackson Citizen Patriot at the time and later owned the Detroit Free Press and then the Chicago Times, started the Ingham Democrat in 1845. Storey was an intense supporter of slavery and his rants criticizing the Union did not go over well with the Mason townsfolk.

Though the exact date is not known, a group of locals got together one night and raided Storey’s office, destroying his printer and dumping all of his ink and supplies all over the courthouse lawn. Storey left town and the Ingham Democrat ceased operations after that, but Storey would go on to be one of the most debated voices in the North for his anti-Lincoln and anti-Civil War views he published. After Storey left town, there was no newspaper for at least a decade until David B. Harrington started one in 1859. That paper, the Ingham County News, is still published today and it got its start because of promises of support from local businessmen.

Harrington, from the east coast, got word that a growing town in Mid-Michigan would be a good prospect for a newspaper so he decided to take a trip to Mason, which was still six years away from being incorporated as a village. Area residents were eager for a paper and pledged to support Harrington and his news business if he moved to Mason.

The Ingham County News printed a special edition paper in 1990 celebrating Mason’s 125th birthday and quoted Harrington saying this after his trip to Mason: “The citizens seemed all awake, and the prospect of a newspaper being printed at their county seat seemed to coincide with their views.”  And so Harrington made it happen. The first Ingham County News was published on June 23, 1859, when Mason had about 70 families living there.  

Harrington sold the News 11 years later, and between then and 1898, there would be six different owners. Later on in 1923, however, Vernon J. Brown bought the News, beginning a Brown family ownership that would span three generations and half a century.  

As Mason continued to grow, the Brown family got the News to flourish. They had some of the most technological advanced printing machinery in the state at Inco Graphics, a printing shop they opened in 1963. Inco was so advanced that they even printed several other newspapers there from around the Midwest.

The Ingham County News was bought by the Milliman family, who also owned the East Lansing Towne Courier and the Williamston Enterprise, in 1987.  

In 1999, the name was changed to the Ingham County Community News and it’s now a subsidiary of the Lansing State Journal’s Lansing Community Newspaper chain, owned by Gannett, one of the most powerful media conglomerates in the United States.

As the city of Mason is now about to celebrate its 150th birthday, we at Mason Today are proud to say that we are the only newspaper in town that features both an online format and a print edition to give readers a wide variety of options to gather their local news.

Mason Today was started last year by Josh and Katy Curtis, two residents of Mason, and just as Harrington said in 1859, Mason citizens are still “awake” and eager for local news

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*** News article - Mason/ County Seat - article via MasonToday - click the below link -->>

/upload/files/MahssectionhistoryPDF1.pdf  -- **Rodney Jewett and Mike Beard did contributed to this article.



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