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Full text of "Archibald Dale Mason : his life, ancestry and descendants"

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 



Privately Printed 

Pittsburgh, Pa. 
1921 



Edition limited to 200 
copies printed from type. 
For private distribution. 



Copyright, 1921, 
By Harrison D. Mason 



1Q22528 

FOREWORD 

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 



iv FOREWORD 

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. 



FOREWORD 

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 
strands. 

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 

1 



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, 
in 1777. 

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 
Revolutionary War. 

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 
his career. 

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 
now stands. 

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 
been lost. 

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 
concerning them. 

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 
the business. 

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- 
pleted : 

"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 
"Harrison Mason." 

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 
as follows: 

Washington Mason to Sarah Ann Weldin, April 
26, 1835. 

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 
found. 

Following is a list of steamboats owned by Harrison 
Mason at various periods during his business career: 

Lowell. 

Ohio. 

Glenwood. 

Prairie City. 

Commerce. 

James Wood. 

Dacotah. 

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 
follows : 

"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 
dealer.' " 

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- 
sists, nevertheless. 

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 
Scott. 

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 
preserved. 



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 
rare. 

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 
others. 

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- 
edging defeat. 

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. 

15 



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, 
1912: 

"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 
growth. 

"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 
accident. 

"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. 

18 




JosiAH Ross Weldin 

Born in Sussex County, Delaware. Died in Pittsburgh, 

March 2, 1872. 



WASHINGTON MASON 

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 
Cemetery. 

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, 
1884. 

Children 

Anna Maria, born March 26, 1836; died April 30, 

1837. 
Henry Lee, born March 1, 1838; died March 14, 1912. 
Mary Ann, born September 14, 1840; died October 22, 

1874. 
Hiram Read, born April 23, 1843; died July 22, 1844. 
Harriet Potter, born April 4, 1849; died April 6, 1899. 
19 



20 WASHINGTON MASON 

Sarah Priscilla, born July 18, 1852; died February 22, 

1919. 
Virginia Taylor, born February 6, 1855. 

Mary Ann Mason was married to Joseph Kiser Smith 
April 30, 1861, in Pittsburgh. 

Children 

Estella, born July 3, 1862; died July 22, 1862. 
Edward Albert, born June 15, 1865; died July 10, 
1920. 
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 
forgotten. 

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 

24, 1890. 
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. 

Children 

Sarah Ann McFee, born July 12, 1880; died June 30, 

1882. 
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, 
Pittsburgh. 

Children 

John Benham, bom November 17, 1874; died January 
16, 1909. 

John Benham Doherty was married to Almira Hervcy, 
October 24, 1899, in Pittsburgh. 

Children 

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. 




Harrison Mason 

Born in Pittsburgh, November 6, 1818. Died at Ste. Genevieve, 

Missouri, May 7, 1862. 



HARRISON MASON 

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- 

23 



24 ARCHIBALD DALE MASON 

up district, and the once rural river front is lined with mills 
and factories. 

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 
Pittsburgh. 

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 
had been. 



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: 

Mary Althea. 

Archibald Denning, born April 7, 1849; died August 

29, 1850. 
Albert Hickman, born July 2, 1851; died August 27, 

1853. 
Harrison Denning, born January 27, 1855. 
Caroline Love, born November 6, 1860. 

The three children that reached maturity were married 
as foUov/s: 

26 




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. 

Children 

Carrie. 

Arthur Louis. 
Berthe. 

Berthe de Zouche was married to Thomas K. Cory, at 
Philadelphia, October 9, 1897. They reside in Boston, 
Massachusetts. 

Carrie de Zouche was married to William P. Roddy, 
April 3, 1907. They reside in Bellevue, Allegheny County, 
Pennsylvania. 

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 
Disciples Church. 



28 ARCHIBALD DALE MASON 

Children 

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- 
gineers, 

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. 

Children 

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. 

Children 

Mary Elizabeth, born November 1, 1913, at Clifton, 

Arizona. 
Earle Dilworth, II, born June 7, 1920, at Long Beach, 

California. 

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. 

Children 

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- 
burgh, Pa. 

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- 
ness. 

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. 

Children 

Althea Louise. 
Caroline Denning. 
Rebekah Elodie. 

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 
Pittsburgh. 




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. 



33 



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 
Side, Pittsburgh. 

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, 

1902. 
Josephine Alden, born November 26, 1846. 
Clara, born January 12, 1848. 
Sarah Scott. 

34 




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, 

1870. 
Ernest, born December 12, 1858; died April 6, 1860. 
Gertrude. 
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. 

Children 

Marie Elise. 
Josephine Louise. 
William Dilworth. 

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, 
1906. 

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. 

Children 

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. 

Children 

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. 

Children 

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. 

Children 

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- 
teers. 

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, 
Pittsburgh. 

Children 

Mary Mason. 

Harry, died in infancy. 

William Christopher. 



38 WILLIAM DILWORTH, JR. 

Anne Holdship. 
Stuart Holdship. 
Henry Holdship. 

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. 

Children 

Althea Dilworth. 
George Robinson. 

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. 

Children 

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. 

Children 

Alexander Laughlin. 
William Christopher. 
Henry Stuart, died in infancy. 
Mary Franklin. 
Althea Dilworth. 

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. 

Children 

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. 

Children 

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. 

Children 

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. 

Children 

Frederick Dorsey, died September 18, 1871. 

Jonathan Henry, died September 3, 1890. 

Lee. 

William Dilworth. 

Archibald Mason, died August 14, 1894. 

Alice Brownie. 

Dorsey. 

Dilworth Scott. 

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: 

Matthew Y. 
Dilworth Scott. 
Clement. 

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 
second wife. 

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 
the world." 

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 
in them. 

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 
his dream. 

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 
American life.