Mason Area Historical Society
Mason Area Historical Society






Mason Mi - Wikipedia



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Library of Congress: 1805 Topographic map of the counties of Ingham & Livingston, MI  Link:

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Mason, MI 48854 - Ingham County 


Named after the first Governor of Michigan - Stevens T Mason





Wikipedia Link:

National Governors Association Link:


©  2018 All rights reserved Article Link:


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1836 - Charles Noble -  Purchased and cleared 20 acres - founded Mason Center

* Mr. Nobles had been in search of a central location to establish a new capital when Michigan would became a state.   


Feb or March 1836: Lewis Lacey - First settler to arrive in the area built a sawmill for Noble & Co. of Monroe, and cut twenty acres (on section).

1837- Judge Ephraim Bushnell Danforth (associate of Noble & Co) settled and assumed the firm's interest.   Noble & Co erected the first grist mill - first of it's kind located in Ingham County. 
Via  "City of Mason - Early Settlement"   




1847Mr. Noble had argued to have Mason named State Capital - Lansing won the state capital title.  After continued discussion and compromise it was decided that Mason would be the County Seat, but Lansing would remain the State Capital. 

Mason is the only city in the U.S. that serves as a county seat ahead of a state capital, with Lansing also in Ingham County. 


1843:  First Court House was built (located 140 E Ash St )

1858 - Courthouse replaced

1905 Courthouse replaced


Courthouse Links: 

Keith Vincent  Postcard collector of county courthouses for over 20 years.  *Ingham County Courthouse inlcuded  Link: | is a website designed to record the basic historical information for the numerous county courthouses in the United States and courthouses in Canada. The basic data includes the architectural style, date when construction was started and completed, architect and contractor (builder). Additional information can be added or corrections made by contacting me via email.   



MLive - By Danielle Duval |   Link:

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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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Jefferson City MI  

Located 3 1/2 miles north of Mason MI - Jefferson City was located 

near the intersection of Hagadorn and Lamb Rd intersection. 


Google map Link:,+Mason,+MI+48854/@42.6257444,-84.4574884,19.25z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x8822c4c2451e5965:0xb937835fce1cb89f!8m2!3d42.6257932!4d-84.4574568


Jefferson City was named after Thomas Jefferson, by Stevens T. Mason. 

1836: MI Governer: Stevens T Mason, George Howe and J Payne together platted on section 22 the village of Jefferson.  This was done with the intent that the county seat would be located in Jefferson. 

1837 - Wm and Nicols Lewis built a saw mill in Jefferson.   First school house was built on section 27.  Teacher: Mary Ann Rolfe (summer of 1837) -  First settler child born: Mary Strickland (July 19 1837).  Mary later married Rev. A Clough.  - First person to die in the township:  wife of James Phillips (died June 1837)

Appointed in 1839:  First Postmaster -  Wm Lewis  


** Visit the Alaiedon Twp History page and other links for

additional details regarding the Jefferson City, MI 

Alaiedon Twp Link:

Alaiedon Twp History Link:  


Michigan Roots:  Alaiedon Township Early Settlement, Ingham County  Link:

Copyright Statement Copyright 2011 Michigan Roots




 All credit to: by:    May 31, 2017    via 99.1WFMK -




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  Franc L. Adams

FindAGrave Link:


" Pioneer history of Ingham County

Compiled and arranged by Mrs. Franc L. Adams, 

Secretary of the Ingham County Pioneer and Historical Society

Adams, Franc L., Mrs. comp.,ICPHS

(May take moment to load) LINK:;view=fulltext



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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. 


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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



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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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