ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
3 1833 01328 8458
Archibald Dale Mason
Born at Snow Hill, Maryland, February 23, 1786. Moved
to Pittsburgh, 1806. Died in that City, November 9, 1859.
From a miniature in possession of H. L. Mason, Jr.
Archibald Dale Mason
His Life, Ancestry and Descendants
Collected and Edited by
HARRISON D. MASON
Edition limited to 200
copies printed from type.
For private distribution.
By Harrison D. Mason
In the year 1892 the descendants of Archibald Dale
Mason published a brief family memorial, with a genealogy
as complete as could then be produced. In the quarter-
century which has elapsed since the publication of that little
book, some additional data has been gathered, and as many
changes have taken place among the descendants during the
interval, we feel warranted in publishing a somewhat more
comprehensive work, that the facts may be preserved. Since
1806, when Archibald Dale Mason came to Pittsburgh from
Snow Hill, Maryland (an eager, impulsive young man of
twenty, seeking his fortune on the wild western frontier),
our family has been closely identified with the city. The
majority of its members have continued to live in Allegheny
County. Between the years 1806 and 1859, Archibald
Mason saw the city grow from a rude frontier post to the
great iron and glass manufacturing center of America. He
saw the Indian canoe, and the keel-boat which succeeded it,
disappear from the Ohio. He worked as a carpenter on the
first steamboat launched west of the Allegheny Mountains —
the New Orleans, in 1811. Associated with the firm of
Mason and Dilworth, he built the Pittsburgh courthouse,
later destroyed by fire. On April 10, 1845, he saw the
business portion of the city burned to the ground, in what
was long known locally as the "Great Fire." In his old
age he saw the streets alight with bonfires, during the cholera
epidemic of 1854. He saw the first canal boat enter Pitts-
burgh, and the first railway train. The period during which
he lived was one of stupendous development, and in every
movement for the advancement of his w^ell-beloved city he
was a factor — an active, true-hearted, representative man.
Our family has done its share in the smelting and shaping
of Pittsburgh's iron and steel, in the building of its high-
ways and bridges, in the operation of its railways, and in
the management of its schools. For sixty years, H. Lee
Mason sold the city most of the books it read, and the name
of his firm (J. R. Weldin & Co.) has grown to be a syn-
onym for good, clean literature. His son, H. Lee Mason,
Jr., still conducts the business near the original location, in
Wood Street. Harrison D. Mason was for many years an
official of the Allegheny Valley Railway Company here, and
one of his sons, Dean K. Mason, was on the corps of engi-
neers that ran the line for the Wabash Railroad bridge and
tunnel, at the Monongahela River crossing into the city.
One of the family has written of the city in verse :
Have you seen my city with its fairy lamps aglow,
The many-storied structures all agleam;
Standing as a glory in the valley far below —
The voiceless, shining city of a dream?
Have you seen my city from the ebon hills afar,
Strange lanes of light aglimmer, silent there?
Aglow beside the rivers where toiling thousands are,
The vision of Aurora — and as fair.
Have you seen my city when the rolling smoke is gone,
The shadows of its forges taken flight?
In the sky a beacon, a flush as of the dawn —
My city stands there smiling in the night.
There are strange suggestions in the lights that wax and wane.
The vision of a thinker and a plan ;
One traces there the working of a mighty heart and brain —
The city of a dream becomes a man.
There is more than beauty in the fairy lamps aglow,
When midnight sky and ebon hills have met;
There is a mighty spirit my love has come to know —
And lo ! the figure there in silhouette !
Often in the darkness when the drifting smoke is gone,
The forges and the furnaces alight,
I see a rugged giant aglow as of the dawn —
My Pittsburgh stands there smiling in the night.
ARCHIBALD DALE MASON
His Life, Ancestry, and Descendants
During the past quarter-century the descendants of Archi-
bald Dale Mason, of Pittsburgh, have been endeavoring to
learn something of their ancestry; but, like many other
Americans, they have found the task difficult. When the
tide of emigration set in toward the great West about a
century ago, the strong, active young men along the seaboard
of our country followed the stream across the Allegheny
Mountains into the wilderness between the Ohio River and
the Great Lakes. Our ancestor whose name heads this
sketch was one of these. Like many others, he became sepa-
rated from all his family connections in the East (communi-
cation across the mountain range being slow and difficult),
and, like many others, he brought with him none of the
family books or belongings that might have thrown light on
his ancestry. Many an ancestral thread was broken in this
great human exodus into the Ohio Valley, and after the
lapse of a century it has become difficult to join the severed
Born in the village of Snow Hill, Maryland, February
23, 1786, Archibald Mason doubtless found little in his
native place to appeal to his adventurous spirit; but he grew
to early manhood there, dreaming often of the great West.
The narrative of the Homeric journey of Lewis and Clark
left a deep impression on his mind. He came of English
ancestry, and from all we can learn his father's Christian
2 ARCHIBALD DALE MASON
name was Arthur. We know his father served in the War
of the Revolution. The canteen he carried as a soldier was
long preserved in the family. Harrison Mason's wife, Caro-
line Denning, often saw it, and described it from memory.
She wrote of it as follows, in a narrative which is now in
the possession of her son:
"I remember having seen the canteen carried by Great-
grandfather Mason during his service as a soldier in the
Revolutionary War. At the time of my marriage, September
11, 1845, Great-grandfather Mason was dead; but the can-
teen was still in the possession of the family, and Archibald
Dale Mason, his son, told me its history. It was preserved
at the family home. West Street, Pittsburgh, for years after
I entered the family, and was finally thrown away as worth-
less, or lost when the family was moving. It was composed
of wood, covered with leather, had long leather straps at-
tached to it, and had the name "A. Mason" in yellow letters
on it. I do not remember of ever hearing Great-grandfather
Mason's Christian name. Have often heard Archibald Dale
Mason speak of his father's Revolutionary War record."
Many times Caroline heard Archibald Mason tell of his
father's experiences in the war, of the poor pay he received,
and the meager rations the commissary gave him. Once the
father saw George Washington among a group of horsemen,
but they were at a distance and he could not be positive as
to which was the great General. Archibald had a Lincoln-
esque appreciation of the ridiculous, and this story so amused
him that he often quizzed his father about the time he
almost saw Washington. The old man was apt to grow
testy when the subject was mentioned.
In June, 1894, the following information was taken from
the pension records at Washington, D. C. :
"Arthur Mason enlisted as a private at Snow Hill, Mary-
ARCHIBALD DALE MASON 3
land, March 25, 1777, in L. Handy 's Company, Fifth Mary-
land Line, and was discharged from service April 25, 1780,
at Elkton, Maryland. He was in the battles of German-
town, Pennsylvania, and Monmouth, New Jersey. He had
formerly been a resident of Christiana Bridge, New Castle
County, Delaware. He applied for a pension in 1818, and
his application was granted May 17, 1819."
We have every reason to believe that this was the father
of Archibald Mason. All the evidence we have is tradi-
tionary, and comes mainly through the medium of the excel-
lent memory of Caroline Denning Mason, who had talked of
such matters with Archibald Mason while she was a member
of his family, becoming thus acquainted with much of the
story of his long and interesting life.
The names of the following soldiers who served in the
War of the Revolution were taken from the Land Office
records at Annapolis, Maryland, in December, 1892:
Arthur Mason, Private.
Thomas Mason, Captain.
Caleb Mason, Ensign.
James Mason, Private.
Isacher Mason, Corporal.
John Mason, Private.
The Arthur Mason here referred to is evidently the same
individual as the one who enlisted at Snow Hill, Maryland,
Our search through the records at Washington and An-
napolis has not been thorough, but the evidence gathered at
the former place confirms with reasonable certainty the tra-
dition that the Christian name of Archibald Mason's father
was Arthur. Of his wife, family, and antecedents we know
4 ARCHIBALD DALE MASON
little. Tradition speaks of a daughter Sarah, or "Sallie,"
of whom Archibald often talked. In an effort to establish
the connection of our family with the Masons of Virginia,
Harrison Denning Mason corresponded with Kate Mason
Rowland of Baltimore, Maryland, who has written a very
complete life of George Mason, author of the Virginia "Bill
of Rights" — the document that really formed the basis for
the Declaration of Independence, Were we able to go back
one generation farther, we could probably trace our ancestry
to England, as there is much in print concerning the geneal-
ogy of the various branches of the Mason family in Virginia
and Maryland. Miss Rowland could not aid us, for the
reason that the data we furnished did not extend back of the
In 1806, being then twenty years of age, Archibald Mason
left his Maryland home at Snow Hill and came to Pitts-
burgh, where he spent the remainder of his life. An inter-
esting journey it must have been, through wild lands that
did not then dream of the canals, railways, and highways
that the future years were to build. It is recorded that he
traveled by stage-coach on the National Pike, the highway
over which many thousands of emigrants passed in the pioneer
days. Years afterward he often recalled his first view of
the Western country from the summit of the Allegheny
Mountains, the land of promise he was seeking. Reaching
Pittsburgh, he found a rude frontier village at the "Forks
of the Ohio," filled with incoming and outgoing emigrants.
The stir and bustle of the place pleased him, and thenceforth
he became identified with its progress.
In these later days it is difficult for us to picture the "Gate-
way of the West" as Archibald Mason saw it during his
active life. The great Conestoga wagons that lumbered
through its narrow streets are now a far-off memory. The
ARCHIBALD DALE MASON 5
long array of river packets that once lined the Monongahela
Levee, the quaint old drays that carried freight to and from
the boats, the crowrds along the river front, belong to an
epoch that seems far removed from us. Archibald once heard
Henry Clay speak from the balcony of the old Monongahela
House, meeting him later and talking w^ith him.
In that early day immense rafts of white pine timber were
floated to Pittsburgh from the Mahoning, Red Bank, Clarion
and upper Allegheny Rivers. Much of this timber was man-
ufactured into lumber in the mills of Allegheny County, and
many steamboats were built here. Up to the time of Archi-
bald Mason's death in 1859, the Ohio River was the great
artery over which commerce passed to the West and South.
The period of railway development began at the close of
West Street, where Archibald Mason spent m.any years of
his life, vv^as close to the Monongahela Levee, along which in
his day the steamboats were ranked in scores. The whistle
of the incoming packets, signalling for a landing; the roar of
escaping steam from passing boats; the cries of the mate,
spurring the roustabouts to action in unloading cargoes; the
singing of the deckhands as boats moved out of the harbor,
were sounds that he loved. Past his home the commerce of
a growing nation ebbed and flowed. Near by. Fort Du
Quesne and its successor, Fort Pitt, had created heroic his-
tory, which he knew by heart. Those were rude, formative
days — times that bred strong men and true women. Archi-
bald emerged from them in later years, a gentle, sweet-
tempered, well-informed man, a believer in human brother-
hood and a lover of his kind.
In politics he was a Whig. He died shortly after the
formation of the Republican Party, but in his last years he
entered heart and soul into the great struggle against Slavery.
6 ARCHIBALD DALE MASON
He recognized in Abraham Lincoln something of the leader-
ship which in later years was to become the glory of our
Republic, comparing him with that other leader, Henry
Clay, whom he knew and loved. He was intensely loyal to
the American Union and to the city in which he had toiled
so long and to such good purpose.
On coming to Pittsburgh, he followed the trade of a
carpenter. About 1811 (the exact date is not known) he
was married to Anna Maria Harrison, by whom he had
two children, Theodore and Washington, the former dying
in infancy. On December 16, 1813, his wife died, and was
buried on the spot where Trinity Church, Sixth Avenue,
Pittsburgh, now stands. The enlarged church building
covers her grave, and all trace of it is lost.
At a time which cannot be definitely fixed, he revisited his
old home at Snow Hill. His mother had died in the interval,
and his father had grown very old. He brought the old
gentleman to Pittsburgh, and made his last days comfortable.
The date of his father's death is not known, but he was
past ninety. He was probably buried in Trinity Church-
yard, but the church records are so incomplete that this
fact cannot be fully established. Until recently there were
aged people in Pittsburgh who could still remember him.
In February, 1818, Archibald married a second time, unit-
ing his fortunes with those of Althea Geer. By her he had
eight children, as follows: Harrison, Abigail Anna, Mary
Anne, Wesley, Cassandra, Caroline P., Melissa, and Isabella.
With the exception of Harrison and Mary Anne, all died
very young. Cassandra was deaf and dumb, an affliction
caused by scarlet fever. Her father took her to Philadelphia
for treatment, and it is said that during the journey he
traveled for the first time in a railway car. Melissa died
at the age of eleven, of lockjaw, caused by the scratch of a
ARCHIBALD DALE MASON 7
rusty nail on the foot. On the 28th of December, 1837,
Althea Geer died, at the age of forty-five, and was interred
beside her children who died in infancy, in the Methodist
burying ground, on the site where the Pennsylvania Station
His first wife is said to have been a brunette, of French
descent; his second, a blonde of German descent. No pic-
tures of either have been preserved, nor have any of their
letters, books or keepsakes descended to us. We have nothing
whereby to judge of their personalitj^ With the exception
of one family Bible, all the records (if any were kept) have
Althea Geer was a Methodist, and a devout woman. Her
name is variously spelled Geer, Gear and Gere by her de-
scendants. The old family Bible of 1812 belonged to her,
but her name is not in it. The flyleaf is gone. The yellow
pages have been well thumbed, and the little paper book-
marks are still in their places. Some of the pages had been
torn, but she had carefully stitched them together again.
We know that she had a sister, and there may have been
other members of the family, but we do not know anything
The old Bible is now in the possession of Harrison Den-
ning Mason. It contains some quaint illustrations. Its
record of marriages, births, and deaths is in the handwriting
of William Dilworth, Junior, who made the entries when
he was a young man, a suitor for the hand of Mary Mason,
whom he married September 16, 1841. In the fragment of
a journal still preserved, Harrison Mason has this to say
on the date shown above:
"My sister Mary was married to-day and started imme-
diately for the Lakes." They went to housekeeping Novem-
ber 11, 1841.
8 ARCHIBALD DALE MASON
Of Archibald Mason's ten children, only three reached
maturity, viz. : Washington, Harrison and Mary Anne. All
three married, and it is with their descendants that this
sketch has to deal.
The old directories of the City of Pittsburgh have been
carefully searched for information concerning the family.
The first record of Archibald occurs in the volume for 1826,
vi^here he is mentioned as a "carpenter." In the directory
for 1837 he is referred to in a number of places as a "steam-
boat carpenter" and a "master carpenter." A list of seventy-
five steamboats finished by his firm is printed, the name of
each boat being given. The list covers the work done by
the firm between the years of 1824 and 1835. Mention is
made of him in the volume for 1839 and 1841. During a
long period of years the family lived in West Street.
It is evident that he was prominently identified with the
boatbuilding industry, which attained great proportions for
that early day. His firm built the cabins on many v/ell-
known boats, among them the Messenger, in which Charles
Dickens journeyed down the Ohio, in 1842. His sons,
Washington and Harrison, were both associated with him in
William Dilworth, Senior, was also his partner for a time.
Under date of February 24, 1840, Harrison Mason says
in his journal, concerning the steamboat Utica, just com-
"It is admitted on all hands that this is one of the snuggest
fresh-water craft that now lies at the wharf."
Archibald never used his middle name. Dale. The omis-
sion was characteristic of the man. The fact that he had
such a name was discovered by accident. His books contain
only the name of "A. Mason," perhaps only "Mason." He
seldom talked of his family affairs, and it is not likely that
ARCHIBALD DALE MASON 9
he kept any records. Harrison Mason's middle name is said
to have been Lambdin, but he always signed himself plain
The Lambdin family is connected with the Masons
through Anna Maria Harrison, Archibald's first wife.
Members of the family now reside in Philadelphia, and it
has produced a number of noted artists. In the Pittsburgh
directory for 1815 occurs the name of Prudence Lambdin,
widow; in the records of the old Methodist Episcopal
Church, corner of Seventh Avenue and Smithfield Street,
the names of William Lambdin, Prudence Lambdin and
Harrison Lambdin are found among the members as far back
as 1829; and the Trinity Church register records the mar-
riage of James A. Lambdin to Mary Cochran, in 1828.
The tombstones of Anna Maria Harrison and Althea
Geer are in the Mason lot (No. 44, Section 29) in Allegheny
Cemetery; but the remains of the former rest under Trinity
Church. Althea Geer's tombstone bears the simple inscrip-
tion, "Althea G. Mason." On May 12, 1854, her body
was removed from the Methodist burying ground, where the
Pennsylvania Station now stands, to Allegheny Cemetery.
Her children, who died in infancy, rest beside her.
For a number of years Archibald was engaged in the
lumber business on Rebecca Street, Allegheny, where he had
a large sawmill and lumber yard. Passing the property and
connecting Reedsdale (formerly Rebecca) Street with the
river is a short thoroughfare named after him, Mason Street.
Manufactories have crowded in upon it, and it is now almost
abandoned as a public highway. The sawmill and property
along the river front eventually fell to the share of Mary
Anne Mason, whose husband, William Dilworth, Jr., oper-
ated the mill for many years. The former Dilworth home
(a large frame building) on Reedsdale Street is still standing.
10 ARCHIBALD DALE MASON
Archibald's children that reached maturity were married
Washington Mason to Sarah Ann Weldin, April
Mary Anne Mason to William Dilworth, Jr.,
September 16, 1841.
Harrison Mason to Caroline Lydia Denning, Sep-
tember 11, 1845.
The descendants of these three couples will be referred
to in the proper place.
Harrison Mason was drowned in the Mississippi River,
off the steamer Dacotah, May 7, 1862. The boat was bound
for Pittsburgh when the accident took place, the time was
midnight, and little is known of the sad occurrence. It is
likely that it happened at the town of Ste, Genevieve, sixty
miles south of St. Louis, on the Missouri shore, where the
boat landed on that fateful night. The body was never
Following is a list of steamboats owned by Harrison
Mason at various periods during his business career:
In a series of papers on old-time Pittsburgh, now being
published by George T. Fleming in the Gazette Times of
ARCHIBALD DALE MASON 11
that city, allusion is made to the prominent part played by
our family in the boatbuilding industry. We quote as
"Any reprint of our steamboat history awakens interest in
many Pittsburgh families whose ancestors were prominent in
many ways in the steamboat era. Likewise interest is evoked in
all towns along the rivers — the same interest, too, and always
referred to with pride. Hence the following letter is in place :
'I have been reading your stories of old-time Pittsburgh with
a great deal of interest. The stories of the Ohio River steam-
boats particularly interest me. In your mention of the firms
doing business here in the early days I have not yet seen any
allusion to my own people. My grandfather, Archibald Mason,
was a builder of steamboat cabins, and most of the older city
directories from 1815 to 1850 make record of him. Associated
with him in the business was my father, Harrison Mason, and
my uncle, Washington Mason, the father of H. Lee Mason, of
J. R. Weldin & Company. Their firm built the cabin of the
steamer Messenger, the boat upon which Charles Dickens "sailed"
down the Ohio.
'Archibald Mason came to Pittsburgh from the eastern shore
of Maryland in 1806, and lived here the remainder of his life.
He was always prominently associated with the boat-building
industry, having worked as an apprentice carpenter on the first
steamboat launched on Western waters in 1811. He died in 1859.
'Very sincerely yours,
'H. D. Mason.'
"Mr. Mason has written correctly. The Masons were noted
builders. Mr. Harris in 1837 enumerates 75 boats finished by A.
Mason from 1824 to 1835 and by A. Mason & Son, from 1835 to
June, 1837, at their yards at Water and West Streets. The
Messenger is on the list. A. Mason resided at Front and West
Streets — Front now First Avenue. Washington Mason was a
ship carpenter, who lived close by. A. Mason was also a lumber
There is a tradition in our family that two of our an-
12 ARCHIBALD DALE MASON
cestors were killed by Indians at Upper Sandusky, Ohio,
nearly a century and a half ago; but we have been unable
to get any reliable data to verify the story, which still per-
Another interesting tradition recites that Great-grand-
father Mason received from the Federal Government title
to a piece of land on the Monongahela River where the
City of Braddock now stands, in recognition of his services
in the Revolution. Doubtless, he considered the land of
little value, for he never took possession of it. Long after-
ward it came into the possession of Andrew Carnegie and his
partners, who erected the Edgar Thomson Steel Works on
the site. Still later it became the property of the United
States Steel Corporation, which has covered the land with
great steel mills.
Among the relics of Archibald Mason still preserved in
the family is a large mallet made of very hard wood, with
the stamp "A Mason" on its face. The mallet was used by
him in his trade as a carpenter, fully a century ago. Very
likely it saw service on the historic steamboat New Orleans,
in 1811, when Archibald worked on it as a carpenter. We
have many of his books, most of them of standard character,
mainly historic and biographic. He was a reader of Shake-
speare and Milton, and he loved the romantic tales of Walter
An iron meat-chopper of quaint design is still exhibited
by Caroline Howard, as a relic of the old Mason home on
West Street, Pittsburgh. It is fully a hundred years old.
Harrison D. Mason has Archibald Mason's bookcase, a
quaint piece of furniture that now serves as a china closet.
It has been in the family since about 1820.
Harrison Mason's key-winding gold watch has also been
ARCHIBALD DALE MASON 13
Until recently an early copy of Cramer's Navigator was
preserved — a crude guidebook, it is true, but filled with inter-
esting information concerning Ohio River towns and the
country traversed by the great stream. A copy of the first
Pittsburgh directory is still in excellent preservation, dating
back to 1815. It is a miniature volume, for Pittsburgh was
then a very small town; but the publisher was optimistic
as to its future. Copies of this book have become very
In the early days, life in Pittsburgh was simple and prim-
itive. It was customary for the head of a household to lay
in a stock of provisions for the winter. On the return trip
of his boat from the South and West, Harrison Mason often
brought home a hogshead of molasses, barrels of sugar, and an
equal quantity of corned beef, flour and pork. Provisions
were cheap and plentiful. Big, old-fashioned drays drew up
at the Mason home with all manner of edibles in those well-
fed times. The food was coarser than we have now, per-
haps, but the quality was good.
Some of the books that stood on the shelves of the Mason
library have become quite rare. Caroline Denning Mason used
to recall certain volumes she had read. There was Craig's
"History of Pittsburgh," which J. R. Weldin Company
later republished because of its historical value. There were
copies of "Western Annals," now long out of print, filled
with stories of the great and growing West, which then
loomed so large in the minds of our American people. There
were ponderous volumes of sermons, for that type of litera-
ture had then many readers. There were books on Spiritual-
ism, that cult having just sprung into being. There were
books on America by foreign writers, setting forth our faults
and crudities, some of the criticisms doubtless true. Feni-
more Cooper and Walter Scott found a place on the shelves,
14 ARCHIBALD DALE MASON
and Byron was the poet most read, for he was then at the
height of his meteoric career.
Many of the books are forgotten, and deservedly so; but
there were some that would be excellent reading now, could
we but have access to them. Literature has its foibles and
fashions that perish soon, but the good stuff (small in quan-
tity) survives. One sometimes feels that it would be a keen
pleasure to con over the old shelves, pick out a quaint volume,
sit down in an easy chair in the library, and dip into the
pages, forgetting the world and its cares.
At a little later time, magazines like Peterson's, Godey's
Ladies' Book and Waverly of Boston found a place in the
Mason library — all now a vague memory.
Archibald Mason and John Denning (Caroline's father)
often met and discussed the heated topic of their day —
Slavery. Both hated it and both had a live interest in the
Underground Railroad. John Denning had kept a station
on that mysterious railroad at Smyrna, Delaware, helping
many fugitive negroes on their way North. The Mason and
Denning families had lived in border states, both had held
slaves in the earlier days, both had liberated them long before
the Civil War.
Henry Lee Mason
Born in Pittsburgh, March 1, 1838. Died in that city,
March 14, 1912.
HENRY LEE MASON
It is a peculiarly difficult thing to write the biography of
a modest man. Praise seems out of place as applied to Henry
Lee Mason, not because he was unworthy of it, but because
he did not like it. Anything that savored of fulsomeness
was distasteful to him. Genuine himself, he loved genuine
things. He saw life through clear eyes, detested the shams,
and had his quiet joke over them.
He had a keen, dry humor that sparkled at times in un-
expected ways — an appreciation of the ludicrous which is
pleasant to recall.
No man was ever more loyal in his friendships; they
stood the test of time and adversity. He was apt to judge
himself more rigidly than he judged his fellow men. Strong
in his own convictions, he was tolerant of the opinions of
In the midst of the business disasters that marked the
career of J. R. Weldin & Company, his courage was ad-
mirable. Weaker men would have been swept off their
feet; but he went manfully forward to repair the losses —
quiet, resourceful, self-reliant, never for a moment acknowl-
We like best to think of him among his books; it was
there he reached the full stature of his manhood. There
Pittsburgh book-lovers grew to know and love him. For
more than half a century he was an abounding source of
information on literary topics. When he passed away a
nameless charm went with him — the charm of a kindly pres-
ence among the books he iDved.
16 ARCHIBALD DALE MASON
Loyal to his family, his friends and to the city he knew
so well; a lover of things which make for righteousness in
human affairs; a man whose ideals found expression in a clean
and useful life — it is not strange that men should honor him.
Now that he is gone, we can say these things of him, not in
the nature of praise, but as the simple truth.
His education began at Veeder's School, at the corner of
Ferry and Liberty Streets, Pittsburgh, a well-known insti-
tution in its day. Later, he attended Travelli's School at
Sewickley, where the Park Place Hotel now stands.
His name is so enwoven with the history of J. R. Weldin
& Company that one cannot dissociate them. Since 1852,
Pittsburgh has gone to Weldin's for its books and two gen-
erations of our people grew familiar with the name and face
of Mr. Mason. In 1912 the firm celebrated the sixtieth
anniversary of its establishment, issuing a modest little pamr
phlet from which we quote.
Extracts from "Sixty Years of Continuous Growth" — a
booklet published by J. R. Weldin & Company, March 2,
"The original store was opened by J. R. Weldin, March 2, 1852,
on the first floor and in the basement of 63 Wood Street, under
Lafayette Hall. It was a small concern with but three employees,
but it grew rapidly, and, about 1860, in order to secure larger
quarters, moved to 101 Wood Street (now 429). In 1866, H.
Lee Mason, a nephew of Mr. Weldin, who had been associated
with his uncle since the opening of the first store, purchased a
half interest in the business. Mr. Weldin died in 1872, and Mr.
Mason bought his interest.
"Under Mr. Mason's management the business increased won-
derfully. Larger quarters again became necessary, and in 1874
the adjoining building, 99 Wood Street, was secured. The history
of the house since then has been one of steady and healthy
"Although J. R. Weldin & Company has had long years of
ARCHIBALD DALE MASON 17
continuous success, the firm has also passed through some severe
trials. On January 9, 1889, a terrific cyclone struck the unfinished
seven-story Willey building in the rear, forcing the walls over
on the Weldin establishment and completely wrecking it, as well
as several adjoining buildings. Sixteen persons were killed, two
of them employees of Weldin's. Weldin S. Mason, oldest son
of H. Lee Mason, was seriously injured in this disaster and died
on Christmas Eve, 1890, from an illness caused indirectly by the
"On March 11, 1891, just two years after the first disaster, the
Weldin store was completely destroyed by fire, but, with un-
daunted courage, the firm immediately opened up near by in
Diamond Street, until its old quarters in Wood Street were rebuilt
and ready for occupancy. By July of the same year the firm was
back at its old stand on Wood Street."
Lafayette Hall, under which Weldin's store was located,
was, in 1856, the birthplace of the Republican Party.
On September 18, 1913, the firm of J. R. Weldin & Com-
pany was incorporated as J. R. Weldin Company, of which'
Henry Lee Mason, Jr., is president.
JOSIAH ROSS WELDIN
JosiAH Ross Weldin was born in Sussex County, Dela-
ware. His parents, Josiah Weldin and Priscilla Taylor,
were married December 29, 1805, in that county, by the
Rev. D. Baker. His father died at Annapolis, Maryland,
October 6, 1818.
Mr. Weldin had the distinction of being the first Knight
Templar in Pittsburgh, having been initiated in the Masonic
Order in August, 1850. He founded the firm of J. R. Wel-
din & Company and had a long and successful business career
in that city. He died of erysipelas on Saturday evening,
March 2, 1872, and was buried from his home, old No. 150
Fourth Avenue, on Tuesday morning, March 5th. The
attending physician was R. Tindale, M.D., and the funeral
was conducted by H. Samson. The interment took place
in Allegheny Cemetery, Section 11, Lx)t 18. Records show
the burial in the same lot of Priscilla Weldin, his mother,
who died August 24, 1861, aged seventy-two, and Shadrack
S. Weldin, a brother, who died March 9, 1858, aged forty
(or forty-four) j'ears.
At the time of his death Mr. Weldin had resided in
Fourth Avenue only four months; prior to that time he had
been living in Federal Street, Pittsburgh.
The certificate of death in the archives of the Pittsburgh
Bureau of Health shows Mr. Weldin's age at the time of
his decease as fifty-eight ; but the Masonic records show that
when he applied for admission to the order May 22, 1850,
he gave his age as thirty-nine. As he was prominent in
Masonic affairs, acting for many years as Treasurer of
Pittsburgh Commandery No. 219, it is more probable that
the record of that order is correct.
JosiAH Ross Weldin
Born in Sussex County, Delaware. Died in Pittsburgh,
March 2, 1872.
At the time of his death Washington Mason was one of
the best known men in Pittsburgh. He had a peculiarly
frank and genial manner that made him many friends. For
years he was associated in business with his father and
Harrison Mason, builders of steamboat cabins. Anecdotes
come down to us of his kindliness and unassuming ways. In
these days he would have been called a good "mixer," for
he loved to mingle among men, learning their views and
opinions. Like Harrison, he dearly loved a good book.
He was born in Pittsburgh December 8, 1813, dying in
that city April 26, 1858. He and his wife rest in Allegheny
Until recent times a daguerreotype of Mr. Mason had
been preserved, but as it has disappeared we are unable to
present his likeness in this volume, much to our regret.
Descendants of Washington Mason and Sarah Ann Wel-
din, married April 26, 1835, in Pittsburgh.
Sarah Ann Weldin, born May 12, 1811 ; died March 28,
Anna Maria, born March 26, 1836; died April 30,
Henry Lee, born March 1, 1838; died March 14, 1912.
Mary Ann, born September 14, 1840; died October 22,
Hiram Read, born April 23, 1843; died July 22, 1844.
Harriet Potter, born April 4, 1849; died April 6, 1899.
20 WASHINGTON MASON
Sarah Priscilla, born July 18, 1852; died February 22,
Virginia Taylor, born February 6, 1855.
Mary Ann Mason was married to Joseph Kiser Smith
April 30, 1861, in Pittsburgh.
Estella, born July 3, 1862; died July 22, 1862.
Edward Albert, born June 15, 1865; died July 10,
Joseph Kiser Smith died December 28, 1872; his wife,
October 22, 1874.
Edward Albert Smith was married to Gertrude Truby
September 22, 1893; they had one daughter, Mary Esther,
born April 8, 1896. Residence, Wilkinsburg. Mr. Smith
was educated at the University of Pittsburgh; he died July
10, 1920, a good man, whose kindly deeds will not soon be
Henry Lee Mason was married to Myra Jane McLaugh-
lin, October 9, 1862, at Pittsburgh.
Her father's name was John Young McLaughlin, who
was born at Eastport, Maine. Her mother was Anna Myra
Hardwick, daughter of William and Sarah Hale Hardwick,
and she was born in London, England. She was married to
John Young McLaughlin, December 31, 1836.
The children of Henry Lee and Myra Jane Mason were:
Weldin Swope, born October 10, 1863; died December
Henry Lee, Jr., born September 16, 1868.
Myra Edith, born March 12, 1872; died July 2, 1872.
Helen Bowman, born September 26, 1875.
ARCHIBALD DALE MASON 21
Weldin Swope Mason was married to Emily Parker, June
30, 1890, in Perth Amboy, N. J.
Mrs. Weldin Swope Mason married Dr. Berwick Bruce
Lanier, of Baltimore, Maryland, January 3, 1895. Dr.
Lanier died January 1, 1911, in Baltimore, Md. Mrs.
Lanier died July 22, 1920.
Henry Lee Mason, Jr., was married to Martha Frew
Lockhart, June 25, 1895, in Pittsburgh, where they still
reside. Her father was Charles Lockhart ; her mother, Jane
Walker, both born in Wigtownshire, near the town of
Whithorn, Scotland. They were married June 24, 1862.
Helen Bowman Mason was married to George Reed,
October 28, 1903, in Pittsburgh. Residence, Pittsburgh.
They have one son, Henry Mason, born August 22, 1904.
Sarah Priscilla Mason was married to George A. Buchan-
an, October 14, 1868, in Pittsburgh. One child, Lewis
Buchanan, died in infancy. Mrs. Buchanan died February
22, 1919, in Pittsburgh; Mr. Buchanan, March 8, 1919,
at Rock Creek, Ohio.
Harriet Potter Mason was married to Theodore Mont-
gomery Black, October 27, 1868, in Pittsburgh. Mr. Black
died June 23, 1870. On August 21, 1879, his widow mar-
ried Theodore Ford McFee, in St. Louis, Missouri. Mr.
McFee died October 22, 1909.
Sarah Ann McFee, born July 12, 1880; died June 30,
Henry Lee McFee, born April 14, 1886.
Henry Lee McFee was married to Aileen Desmond
22 WASHINGTON MASON
Fletcher, September 7, 1913, at Monticello, New York,
(She had been married before to Louis Weslyn Jones).
Residence, Woodstock, Ulster County, New York.
Virginia Taylor Mason was married to Edward Joseph
Doherty, February 10, 1874, in Pittsburgh. Residence,
John Benham, bom November 17, 1874; died January
John Benham Doherty was married to Almira Hervcy,
October 24, 1899, in Pittsburgh.
Eleanor Magee, born May 3, 1901.
John Benham, born September 13, 1903.
Eleanor Magee Doherty was married to Wallace James
Harton, June 18, 1920.
Mrs. John Benham Doherty was married to Samuel
Montgomery Kintner, January 1, 1916.
Born in Pittsburgh, November 6, 1818. Died at Ste. Genevieve,
Missouri, May 7, 1862.
Harrison Mason and Caroline Lydia Denning were
married September 11, 1845, in the city of Allegheny. The
wedding took place at the home of her father, on what was
then known as South Avenue. The house has since been
torn down, the site being now occupied by the Henry Phipps
Public Playground. Mrs. Anna Boss of Allegheny, who
died a few years ago, was the last witness to the ceremony.
For several years after their marriage Harrison Mason
and his wife lived in the old Mason home on West Street,
a two-story brick house, with an old-fashioned hip roof, and
a large porch on the side; it has now disappeared.
In February, 1854, Harrison Mason and his family re-
moved to the property on Ridge Avenue, Allegheny, which
his descendants still occupy. The ground (50x200 feet)
had been purchased from Thomas Morris, of Cincinnati,
Ohio, in December, 1853, and one brick house then stood
there, erected in 1847. The neighborhood was growing,
and many new houses were being erected. The incoming
residents formed what was known in later years as "The
Colony," made up of the families of Robert McCargo,
Walter Glass, Marvin Darling, Frederick Braun, George
Reiter, James H. Lindsay, Frederick Goettmann, the Bar-
nett family, and others. "The Colony" now is only a mem-
ory, owing to death or removal. The Mason family is one
of the very few that still remain. That portion of the city
has undergone a transformation. The greensward and forest
trees which Harrison Mason saw have given place to a built-
24 ARCHIBALD DALE MASON
up district, and the once rural river front is lined with mills
Harrison Mason lacked the geniality of Archibald and
Washington Mason. He was more reserved, talking freely
only among his friends. He was candid, direct in speech,
never mincing words. Early in 1862, while his boat was
passing down the Ohio, Confederate sharpshooters on the
Kentucky shore made a target of the pilot-house, and the
pilot deserted his post. Harrison took the wheel and steered
the boat past the danger. He did not chide the pilot, nor
mention the matter again. This incident comes to us from
one of his associates.
On one occasion his boat was descending the Cumberland
River, a narrow, winding stream. It was midnight, and the
river was in flood. In some unexplained manner the pilot
mistook the landmarks and the boat sheered into a piece of
bottom land thickly overgrown with big timber. Strangely
enough, the craft was not badly damaged, merely grounding
among the timber, where the falling river left her. Some
months later she was again floated and steamed back to
The dominant feature in Harrison Mason's life was his
intense love for good literature. His leisure time was de-
voted to his books. He had a reputation for fairness and
honesty, which is a goodly heritage. A practical man, de-
voted to his business, he cherished high ideals, which found
expression in just dealing with his fellow men.
As seen by Harrison D. Mason, in October, 1900, Ste.
Genevieve, where Harrison Mason lost his life, was a small
place on the Missouri shore of the Mississippi River, pre-
serving some of the quaintness of the olden time. Originally
settled by French people, it is said to be older than St. Louis,
but progress has passed it by. A banker in the place gave
HARRISON MASON 25
the writer a river steamer bill of lading issued in 1852,
bearing the signature of Harrison Mason. The place where
the steamboats landed in 1862 is now two miles from the
old landing, the river having changed its course. Wheat
was then (in 1900) growing where the old boat landing
CAROLINE DENNING MASON
On October 14, 1900, Caroline, widow of Harrison
Mason, passed away at the old home in Allegheny, where
she had lived since 1854. By nature an optimist, with a
cheery word for everybody, she made many friends. It is
pleasant to recall the sweetness of her face and manner. Her
ideals were true and pure, and her life was filled with unself-
ish deeds. In all our family connection there is no gentler
memory than hers.
Her father's name was John Denning, a Quaker of
Smyrna, Delaware. Her mother's maiden name was Sarah
Hudson Hickman. They were married March 11, 1802.
The Dennings were of English descent; the Hickmans of
Welsh origin. John Denning's father was James Denning,
and our knowledge of him ends with the name.
Descendants of Harrison Mason and Caroline Lydia
Denning, married in the old John Denning homestead. South
Avenue, Allegheny, September 11, 1845:
Archibald Denning, born April 7, 1849; died August
Albert Hickman, born July 2, 1851; died August 27,
Harrison Denning, born January 27, 1855.
Caroline Love, born November 6, 1860.
The three children that reached maturity were married
Caroline Denning Mason
Born at Smyrna, Delaware, September 11, 1822.
home in Allegheny, October 14, 1900.
Died at her
ARCHIBALD DALE MASON 27
Mary Althea Mason, to David Claude de Zouche, at the
Mason home, Ridge Avenue, Allegheny, October 2, 1866.
Berthe de Zouche was married to Thomas K. Cory, at
Philadelphia, October 9, 1897. They reside in Boston,
Carrie de Zouche was married to William P. Roddy,
April 3, 1907. They reside in Bellevue, Allegheny County,
Thomas K. Cory is associated with the Fileen Company
of Boston, and has instituted an humanitarian policy in
dealing with his large force of employees, which has excited
wide and favorable comment.
Arthur L. de Zouche has long been in the service of John
Wanamaker, in Philadelphia.
David C. de Zouche died September 11, 1878, at Crafton,
Pa. He had been a soldier in the Civil War, and had a
record for gallantry which was well worthy of perpetuation,
but the details have unfortunately not been preserved. When
mustered out of service he was a First Lieutenant in the
72d New York Regiment, General Sickle's Brigade. He
was severely wounded while in the service.
Harrison Denning Mason was married to Ella M. Mc-
Cargo, at the McCargo home. Ridge Avenue, Allegheny,
September 11, 1878, by the Reverend Joseph King, of the
28 ARCHIBALD DALE MASON
Harrison Denning, Jr., born December 19, 1879.
Dean Kenneth, born November 4, 1881.
Earle Dilworth, born November 11, 1883; died Octo-
ber 29, 1918, at Base Hospital No. 65, at Brest,
France ; First Lieutenant, Pontoon Train, 468th En-
Dale Robert, born October 14, 1886.
Charles McCargo, born August 9, 189.0.
David Malcolm, born June 16, 1893.
Harrison Denning Mason, Jr., vv^as married at Charleroi,
Pa., to Blanche Odell Frye, April 20, 1914. They reside
in Dormont, Allegheny County, Pa.
John Denning, born February 18, 1915.
Mary Jane, born February 17, 1918.
Dean Kenneth Mason vv^as married at Globe, Arizona, to
Mary Josephine Murtagh, December 4, 1912. They reside
in Los Angeles, California.
Mary Elizabeth, born November 1, 1913, at Clifton,
Earle Dilworth, II, born June 7, 1920, at Long Beach,
Earle Dilworth Mason was married to Vera Hoyt Harsh,
at the home of her father, Philip Harvey Harsh, Silver City,
New Mexico, November 14, 1917. His widow now resides
at Tyrone, New Mexico.
Dale Robert Mason was married to Elizabeth Byrd
Ella McCargo Mason
Born in Pittsburgh, July 7, 1852.
Died in that city, April 7, 1916.
HARRISON MASON 29
Worcester at the home of her father, Edward Worcester, in
Pittsburgh, October 12, 1915. They reside in Ben Avon,
a suburb of Pittsburgh.
Katherine Worcester, born January 9, 1917.
Ella McCargo, born April 11, 1918, in the Mason
home. Ridge Avenue, North Side.
Elizabeth Sargent, born May 6, 1921.
Ella McCargo Mason died at the Mason home in Alle-
gheny, April 7, 1916, after a lingering illness. There w^as
something appealing in her personality, certain gentle and
lovable traits which made her friendship a thing to be cher-
ished. Her memory will long endure among her descendants.
She lived to see her six sons educated and equipped for the
battle of life, sacrificing much to attain that goal. She died
just before one of her well-beloved boys laid down his life
in France. She rests in Highwood Cemetery.
Her parents were Robert M. McCargo and Sophia Eliza-
beth Henrici, both born in Pittsburgh, and married there
September 4, 1 85 1 . Robert McCargo's parents were Nathan
McCargo and Isabella Sayle, the former a native of Scot-
land, the latter of the Isle-of-Man. Sophia Henrici's parents
were William Henrici and Mary Upperman. William Hen-
rici's brother, Jacob Henrici, was head of the old Harmony
Society at Economy.
Following is a brief outline of the careers of the six sons
of Harrison Denning and Ella McCargo Mason:
Harrison Denning, Jr., mining engineer, educated at
Pennsylvania State College, member of the Kappa Sigma
college fraternity; entered the service of the U. S. Bureau
of Mines after he left school, having a stirring experience
30 ARCHIBALD DALE MASON
in mine rescue work; now one of the firm of the Mine Safety
Appliances Company, of Pittsburgh.
Dean Kenneth, civil engineer, educated at the University
of Pittsburgh; member of the Sigma Chi college fraternity;
worked on the survey of the extension of the Wabash Rail-
road into Pittsburgh, with George T. Barnsley, engineer;
had some years' experience on the Arizona and New Mexico
Railway, at Clifton, Arizona; now with the Los Angeles &
Salt Lake Railroad Company, at Los Angeles, California.
Earle Dilworth, civil engineer, educated at the University
of West Virginia; member of the Sigma Chi college fra-
ternity; had a long experience with the Arizona Copper
Company in engineering work, at Clifton, and Morenci,
Arizona; later entered the service of the Phelps Dodge Cor-
poration at Tyrone, New Mexico, leaving there to enlist in
the U. S. Army in May, 1918; died at Base Hospital No.
65, at Brest, in France, October 29, 1918; First Lieutenant
of the Ponton Train, 468th Engineers. He had sailed from
Camp Upton, New York, on the steamer Leviathan Septem-
ber 28, 1918, landing at Brest, October 7th; contracted
Spanish influenza on the way over, and was taken directly
to the hospital from the vessel when they landed. He now
rests in the American cemetery at Kerhuon, near Brest,
where he was buried with military honors. He went forth
gladly on that Great Adventure which ended in a green
mound on the heights of Kerhuon.
Dale Robert, mechanical engineer, educated at Pennsyl-
vania State College, member of the Kappa Sigma college
fraternity; in the service of the National Tube Company,
of Pittsburgh; was stationed at Washington, D. C, during
the Great European War, looking after the detail of the
supply of tubing for war vessels; is now Sales Agent, Seam-
HARRISON MASON 31
less Tube Department, National Tube Company, Pitts-
Charles McCargo took the agricultural course at Penn-
sylvania State College; member of the Kappa Sigma college
fraternity; entered the U. S. Army in September, 1917, and
after an experience of fourteen months in various Southern
camps received his commission as Second Lieutenant and was
placed in the Officer's Reserve, at Camp Taylor, Louisville,
Kentucky, November 27, 1918; now in the service of the
Jones & Laughlin Steel Company, Pittsburgh.
David Malcolm took the architectural course at the Car-
negie School of Technology, Pittsburgh; a member of the
X. Sigma Upsilon fraternity; entered the U. S. Army in
June, 1918; after an experience in various American camps,
sailed for France from Newport News, Virginia, in October,
1918; reached France too late to actively participate in the
war, but saw various phases of army life in French camps;
returned to America in May, 1919; confined in the Base
Hospital at Camp Merritt, N, J., for some time by ill-
He was assigned to 6th Field Artillery Replacement Regi-
ment in France. After signing of the Armistice, the organi-
zation was detailed to guard German prisoners, to clean up
artillerj' ranges used by Americans in training in France,
and to repair French camps used by American soldiers. The
6th Field Artillery Replacement Regiment started from
Brest and was moved thence to camps La Cournot, La
Courtine, Chamiers, De Souge, Genecourt and Paulliac.
On a fourteen-day furlough, visited Bordeaux, Tours, Blois,
Orleans, Rennes, Versailles and Paris. Landed in New York
on May 2, and was discharged on May 29, 1919. He was
married to Anna Pride McKelvy at Lordsburg, New Mex-
32 ARCHIBALD DALE MASON
ico, April 15, 1920. The McKelvy family are native Pitts-
burghers, now living in Los Angeles, California.
A son, David Malcolm Mason, Jr., vv^as born at Los
Angeles, January 7, 1921.
Caroline Love Mason was married to Levi Hartley How-
ard, November 6, 1882, at her home in Allegheny, by the
Rev. Edmund Belfour, of the First Evangelical Lutheran
Church, of Pittsburgh.
Althea Louise Howard was married to William Wood-
ward Williams at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Allegheny,
March 29, 1910, by the Rev. Ernest M. Paddock.
Mr. Williams is now assistant to the president of the
Pittsburgh Gage & Supply Company. He is a graduate of
Harvard University; a member of the Theta Delta Chi col-
lege fraternity and of the Duquesne Club, Pittsburgh. After
graduating at Harvard he took a course in metallurgy at the
Carnegie School of Technology.
Caroline and Rebekah both studied illustration in the
School of Design of the same institution.
Caroline took a similar course in the University of
William Dilworth, Jr.
Born February 23, 1818. Died in Pittsburgh, December 25, 1877.
WILLIAM DILWORTH, Jr.
William Dilworth, Jr., was long and prominently
identified with the lumber business in Pittsburgh, having
succeeded Archibald Mason when the latter retired. He
owned large pine timber tracts in Clarion County, and oper-
ated a sawmill on what is now the North Side, Pittsburgh.
When the petroleum industry began he was one of the
pioneers in its development, amassing a considerable fortune.
The spectacular features of the oil business have long since
passed away, but volumes might be written of those stirring
days in the Allegheny River region.
He was a man of affairs, keen-witted, ambitious and eager
to excel — a natural leader of men. It is pleasant to recall
his genial manner and his kindliness of heart. He estab-
lished at "Highwood" one of the brightest, cheeriest homes
in Pittsburgh, noted for its hospitality. A man of fine
presence, he impressed one as forceful and self-reliant.
MARY MASON DILWORTH
Mary Mason Dilworth was a gentle, cultured woman.
She had some of Harrison's reserve and not a little of his
pride; but no woman was ever more genial or more loyal
among her friends. Her views of life were broad and kindly.
Reading much, she was in touch with the best writers of her
time. She loved music and all those better things which
make for true refinement. In every sense of the word, she
was a gentlewoman, devoted to her husband and her family,
looking out upon the world with that tolerant vision which
is not the heritage of many. Her descendants may well be
proud of her.
Just before the family had removed to their beautiful home
at "Highwood," in 1864, Mary Mason died, at the early age
of forty-two. She had given the place its name, and had
shared in the plans for beautifying it. The fine old home
that still stands there on the crest of the hill has well been
called the "Mansion of Sweet Memories." This property
is now a part of Highwood Cemetery, Brighton Road, North
Descendants of Mary Anne Mason and William Dil-
worth, Jr., married in Pittsburgh, September 16, 1841:
Ada, born July 3, 1842; died April 19, 1885.
Althea Rebecca, born June 26, 1844; died January 7,
Josephine Alden, born November 26, 1846.
Clara, born January 12, 1848.
Mary Mason Dilworth
Born in Pittsburgh, May 10, 1822. Died in Allegheny,
August 5, 1864.
ARCHIBALD DALE MASON 35
Frank Mason, born June 1, 1853; died March 26, 1884.
Mary Laura, born August 14, 1855; died December 14,
Ernest, born December 12, 1858; died April 6, 1860.
William, born July 22, 1864; died August 5, 1864.
William Dilworth, Jr., died December 25, 1877; his wife
died August 5, 1864.
Ada Dilworth was married to Andrew Anthony Gutman,
in Allegheny, April 11, 1865.
Ada died April 19, 1885; Andrew A. Gutman, February
19, 1879. Their remains rest in Highwood Cemetery. Ada
was a beautiful and accomplished woman. Her husband was
a linguist and a man of letters. For some years he was
private secretary to William H. Seward, Secretary of State
under Abraham Lincoln, assisting him in the preparation
of data concerning his public life and travels, a task for
which he was eminently fitted.
Marie Elise Gutman was married to James Holmes Blair,
June 7, 1887. They had one child, George Blair, born
September 14, 1888. He is a graduate of Lehigh Univer-
sity, Class of 1911. James Holmes Blair died February 5,
Marie Elise Blair was married to Robert John McKay,
of Pittsburgh, January 20, 1914. They reside in Pittsburgh.
George Blair was married to Elizabeth McCreery Rod-
gers, September 16, 1914.
36 WILLIAM DILWORTH, JR.
Josephine Louise Gutinan was married to William Mey-
erly Faber, Jr., in the First Unitarian Church, Pittsburgh,
October 27, 1904.
William Meyerly, III, born October 26, 1905.
Albert Dilworth, born August 15, 1909.
The family resides in Cleveland, Ohio.
William Dilworth Gutman was married to Marion Isabell
Willison, March 10, 1893.
Anthony Andrew, bom March 17, 1894.
Marion Elizabeth, born April 2, 1896.
The children were both born in Portland, Oregon.
The family now resides at Los Angeles, California.
Josephine Alden Dilworth was married to Harry Clay
Kessler, November 8, 1876.
Josephine Dilworth, born July 10, 1878.
Harry Clayton, born June 20, 1882.
John, died December 4, 1887, aged three months.
Mr. Kessler died September 10, 1907.
The family now resides in Philadelphia, Pa.
Harry Clayton Kessler was married to Althea Dilworth
Hofmann at Bluff Island, Thousand Islands, New York, on
August 9, 1909.
George Robinson, born October 21, 1910.
Althea Dilworth, born January 11, 1912.
ARCHIBALD DALE MASON 37
Catherine, born March 4, 1913.
Josephine Dilworth, born May 18, 1914.
Doris, born February 27, 1917.
Mary Mason, born December 29, 1919.
Harry Clay Kessler was born on March 18, 1844, in
Philadelphia, Pa. In August, 1861, he enlisted as a private
in Company G, 104th Pennsylvania Volunteers, was pro-
moted to Second Lieutenant in September of that year, and
to First Lieutenant, in January, 1863. He served in the
Army of the Potomac, with Naglee's Brigade of the 4th
Army Corps. He was an officer in the First Regiment, Na-
tional Guard of Montana, from 1885 to 1900. In 1892 he
was appointed Colonel and at the beginning of the Spanish-
American War was commissioned Colonel, First Montana
Volunteer Infantry and served through the Philippine Cam-
paign with the 8th Army Corps. After his return in Octo-
ber, 1889, he was brevetted Brigadier General U. S. Volun-
Harry Clayton Kessler, April 9, 1917, received temporary
commission with rank of Ensign U. S. Naval Reserve;
June 11, 1917, reported for active duty; May 7, 1918, quali-
fied for duty with Fleet; June 11, 1918, placed in command
of one Division of Submarine Chasers. September 21st pro-
moted to Lieutenant Junior Grade. April 11, 1919, he was
relieved from active duty.
Althea Rebecca Dilworth was married to George Thomas
Robinson, in Allegheny, November 3, 1863. Residence,
Harry, died in infancy.
38 WILLIAM DILWORTH, JR.
Althea Dilworth Robinson died January 7, 1902. She
was a woman of sweet and kindly nature, and her greatest
pleasure was to make others happy.
George Thomas Robinson was long the senior partner in
the old firm of Robinson, Rea & Company, the leading Pitts-
burgh foundry of its day. He died December 24, 1917, an
upright, unassuming man, whose life was clean and blameless.
William, Stuart and Henry Robinson are all engaged in
business in Pittsburgh or its vicinity. Henry is a graduate
of Yale University, class of 1895. William is president of
the National Metal Molding Company, which operates a
large plant in the Borough of Ambridge-Economy. Henry
is treasurer of the same corporation.
Mary Mason Robinson was married to Charles H. Hof-
mann, M.D., of Pittsburgh, June 13, 1887.
Mary Robinson Hofmann was married to Frank J. Lynch,
of Cleveland, Ohio, at Bluff Island (Clayton) New York,
October 4, 1909. Residence, Cleveland, Ohio.
Althea Dilworth Hofmann was married to Harry Clayton
Kessler, at Bluff Island (Clayton), New York, August 9,
1909. Residence, Philadelphia, Pa.
George Robinson, born October 21, 1910.
Althea Dilworth, born January 11, 1912.
ARCHIBALD DALE MASON 39
Catherine, born March 4, 1913.
Josephine Dilworth, born May 8, 1914.
Doris, born February 27, 1917.
Mary Mason, born December 29, 1919.
George Robinson Hofmann was educated at Cornell Uni-
versity. During the World War he enlisted in the United
States Navy, his service being entirely in American w^aters.
William Christopher Robinson was married to Mary
McMasters Laughlin, daughter of Alexander, Jr., and Mary
F. Jones Laughlin, at Sewickley Heights, Pa., May 21,
1902. Residence, Pittsburgh.
Henry Stuart, died in infancy.
Clara, fourth daughter of William Dilworth, Jr., and
Mary Mason, was married at "Highwood," the family resi-
dence, on November 9, 1871, to Thomas Bakewell Kerr, a
lavi^er practicing in Pittsburgh, son of Rev. John and Anne
Bakewell Kerr. Residence, Englewood, New Jersey.
Mary Mason, born September 24, 1872, in Allegheny,
Pa.; died October 10, 1894, at Englewood, N. J.
John Campbell, born October 9, 1873, in Allegheny, Pa.
Lois, born March 12, 1876, at Fairfield Station, West-
moreland County, Pa.
40 WILLIAM DILWORTH, JR.
Clarence Dilworth, born August 15, 1878, at Fairfield
Station, Westmoreland County, Pa.
John Campbell Kerr graduated from Princeton, 1896;
Columbia Law School, 1899; admitted to New York State
Bar, 1896; at present practicing law in New York as a
member of the firm of Kerr, Page, Cooper & Hayward;
married October 25, 1904, at Scranton, Pa., to Elizabeth
Archbald, daughter of James and Hannah Maria Albright
Archbald. Residence, Englewood, New Jersey.
Thomas Bakewell, II, born May 15, 1906, at Engle-
wood, N. J.
James Archbald, born December 7, 1909, at Engle-
wood, N. J.
Lois Kerr graduated from Barnard College in 1909.
Resides with her parents at Englewood, N. J.
Clarence Dilworth Kerr graduated from Lawrenceville
School, N. J., 1897; Princeton, 1901 ; Columbia Law School,
1904; admitted to New York State Bar, 1903; at present
practicing law in New York as a member of the firm of
Fish, Richardson, Herrick & Neave of Boston and New
York; married April 17, 1906, at Englewood, N. J., to Janet
Brinckerhoff, daughter of Elbert A. and Emily Vermilye
Brinckerhoff. Residence, Englewood, N. J.
John Brinckerhoff, born April 7, 1907.
Harold Brinckerhoff, born August 29, 1909.
Clarence Dilworth, Jr., born October 3, 1913.
ARCHIBALD DALE MASON 41
Mary Mason, born July 23, 1916.
William Dilworth, born January 28, 1920.
All of these children were born at Englewood, N. J.
Thomas Bakewell Kerr, Sr., died at his home in Engle-
wood, N. J., April 1, 1920, having achieved eminence in
his profession of the law, and leaving an unblemished record
as a man. He was the senior partner of the firm of Kerr,
Page, Cooper and Hayward, of New York City. For almost
half a century he had been one of the leading patent lawyers
in this country.
Sarah Scott Dilworth was married to Frederick Hager,
a native of Hagerstown, Maryland, December 7, 1870, at
Pittsburgh. They now reside in Los Angeles, California.
Frederick Dorsey, died September 18, 1871.
Jonathan Henry, died September 3, 1890.
Archibald Mason, died August 14, 1894.
Dorsey Hager married Adelaide Tyler Myer, who died
in 1914. They had one child, Franklin Tyler Hager. Dor-
sey's second wife was Mary Hathaway Taber; they have
one child, Polly Lee.
Dilworth Scott Hager was in training at Camp Taylor,
Kentucky, when the Great European War closed; he is a
graduate of Harvard University, class of 1911.
Dorsey Hager is a graduate of Columbia University, class
42 WILLIAM DILWORTH, JR.
of 1910. He has attained prominence as a geologist, special-
izing in a study of the petroleum measures of the Southwest.
Lee's alma mater is Harvard, 1896. During the Spanish-
American War he served in the First Georgia Regiment.
Alice Brownie Hager married Matthew Y. Gilbert in
1913; they have three children:
Gertrude Dilworth was married at Superior, a suburb of
Allegheny, January 1, 1881, to Jonathan Henry Hager, of
Hagerstown, Maryland, but a resident of Grand Junction,
Iowa, at the time of his marriage. Mr. Hager died August
8, 1908, at Webster's Groves, a suburb of St. Louis, Mis-
souri. He entered the Confederate service in the Civil War
in his seventeenth year, enlisting while at school. He served
for four years in the First Maryland Cavalry, and was in
the last battle of the war.
Gertrude repeats the family tradition that two of our
ancestors were scalped by Indians in Ohio, while on their
way to Upper Sandusky, from Kentucky. The tradition, as
she heard it, comes from the Geer family, and the two vic-
tims were the parents of Althea Geer, Archibald Mason's
We have learned that a family of the name of Geer, of
Cincinnati, Ohio (formerly of Sandusky), have a similar
tradition, which is recorded in a genealogy published by
them some years ago.
In so far as we have been able to learn it, this is the
story of our Mason family and its connections in America,
from the period of the Revolution down to the year 1921.
Some day, we trust, a family historian will arise who will
ARCHIBALD DALE MASON 43
gather the data concerning our people in Colonial times,
and perhaps back to our forbears in Europe. From all the
information we have been able to collect, our people have
been of the middle class, in the main; steady, industrious,
dependable men and women. There is little record of bril-
liant achievement, nor have we developed any great geniuses
or remarkable characters. It would seem that we belong
to the class which Abraham Lincoln called the "plain people,"
and as he was inclined to think the Lord loved such people,
and as he himself belonged to that class, there is no reason
why we should rebel at the verdict of history.
There is a tradition in our family that we were connected
by intermarriage in Colonial times with the Lee family of
Virginia, so prominent in American history; but the story
has never been verified. It is probable that records may
some day be brought to light in Maryland or Virginia that
will develop some interesting Colonial family history. So
far as can now be traced, we have been loyal Americans, and
of the Protestant faith. For more than a century Pittsburgh
has been the center of our activities, but since Archibald
Mason's time some of our people have scattered to the East
and West, still remaining under the American flag. Wher-
ever we have gone, we have been builders of homes and
lovers of the land.
The portrait of Archibald Mason now in possession of
Sarah Dilworth Hager, of Los Angeles, California, was
painted by a German artist named Braun, who came to
Allegheny City in the fifties and did some excellent work in
portraiture. It is fortunate that we have in the family so
good a likeness of one whom we all venerate. From this
canvas he looks down upon us to-daj'^ — a gentle, benevolent
old man, whose long life developed so much that was good.
We of these later times may look upon his kindly face with
44 ARCHIBALD DALE MASON
an honest pride, not that his achievements were so great,
but because of his worth as a man.
In February, 1892, Harrison D. Mason talked with
Captain Matthew Day, a well-known Pittsburgh steamboat
man of advanced age, who said :
"I remember Pittsburgh when it was like a country village.
Those were the days of 'wildcat' money and steamboats —
good days, too, for I was like the country then — peart and
peppery. I remember your Great-grandfather (Arthur
Mason), a little, bent old man, walking slowly down the
street on sunny days. That must have been in the thirties.
Your Mason people lived on West Street then, and Archi-
bald had his carpenter shop there. I did not know your
Great-grandfather's first name. I remember Althea Mason,
and have talked with her; I knew Archibald Mason well.
He had a long pine bench in front of his carpenter shop,
where young men used to sit of summer evenings, whittling,
arguing, and talking politics. Later on, some of those young
fellows became prominent in Pittsburgh; I could pick out
many names you would know. Archibald Mason was
known among them as the 'Judge,' because he generally
acted as arbitrator in disputes. He could look about as
wise as any man I ever saw, and he had a way of reeling
off long words that was great. He could tell a story equal
to any, and laugh — Lord, I can hear him yet. His boys,
Harry and Wash, were always there, but it was 'Judge'
Mason's genial ways that drew us to the long pine bench
about sundown. When I hark back to it I can hear the
steamboats whistle for a landing as they came into the har-
bor, for West Street was close to the Monongahela. Some-
times I feel like stampeding down to the Levee again, to see
the boats come in, as I did in the good old days. I'd rather
see the roustabouts gather around the capstan and sing the
ARCHIBALD DALE MASON 45
old plantation songs than to listen to all the grand opera in
In 1892, Harrison D. Mason visited Snow Hill, Mary-
land, hoping to learn something of family history in the
town where Archibald Mason had spent his youth. A great
fire destroyed a portion of the place in 1835. The court-
house was burned, with the records; but it was said that
duplicate records had been preserved at Annapolis. The
records of All Hallows Episcopal Church were examined,
but nothing of interest to our family was found, either in
the church books or on the gravestones in the old cemetery.
The ancient church (which dates back to 1692) was very
interesting. The bricks in the building are said to have
come from England.
Many old residents of Snow Hill were seen, but no in-
formation concerning our family was obtained from them.
The records in the Presbyterian Church were examined
without result. The home of Stephen E. Mason, near the
town, was visited, but he knew nothing of our family. In
earlier times it was the custom on the eastern shore of Mary-
land to bury the dead on the farms where they had lived.
Wooden markers were often used on the graves and no
public records were kept; hence the search of the genealogist
is made difficult. Only two churches in Snow Hill have
old burying grounds, and no Mason tombstones were found
The town itself, with the lazy Pocomoke River flowing
through it, is as sleepy as the river. The quaint old homes,
with little dormer windows, are pleasant to look upon, and
the white shell roads are fine highways. It is a land of
pine woods, of peaches and strawberries, of fat shad and
other sea food. The name Snow Hill is a misnomer; there
46 ARCHIBALD DALE MASON
is no hill. Very likely the town derives its name from some
old place in England.
While the sojourn in the ancient town was quite fruit-
less of results, it was pleasant to visit the region where
some of our ancestors had lived and died. In imagination
one could picture Archibald Mason sallying forth from this
quiet village in 1806 as a light-hearted boy, with his face
set toward the Great West — one of the pioneers and builders
of that vast empire which has grown and prospered beyond
Perhaps it is fitting to close this family narrative with an
incident which occurred in the morning of an April day,
1865. Caroline Mason stood at the door of her home in
Allegheny, her son Harrison (a boy of ten) beside her. A
neighbor passing by paused at the gate and called to her.
She started toward him, asking him to repeat his words.
When he did so, she burst into tears, and stood there dazed.
The boy clung to her, crying in sympathy.
"Mother! Mother! What is wrong?" he asked, for
the boy had not understood.
"They have killed Abraham Lincoln, my boy — the kindest,
gentlest soul in the world."
Surely, no greater tribute of love and honor was ever
paid to any statesman than that paid to Abraham Lincoln
when he died. The mother and son, standing there with
bowed heads in the early morning of that fateful April day,
typified the grief of a great people, and in all the years since
then his memory has dwelt among us as the highest ideal in