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Some Mason Biographies
C.W. Anderson ......Dr. William Barber ......John Boynton ..... FLAGG families ..... William Newton HARTSHORN
Daniel Hill, Jr .. ...Lewis Hill ... ..Rev. Ebenezer Hill ... ...Dr. Willis Johnson
Elizabeth O. Jones ........ RUSSELL families ....... Virginia "Ginnie" Rafter

Clarence William ANDERSON, 1891-1971, was born in Wahoo, Nebraska. He married poet Madeline Paltenghi, who was born in Mason. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked his way through art school as a school teacher for two years then in 1925 moved to New York to become a freelance artist. Developing an interest in horses, he became a judge of hunters and jumpers by the American Horse Show Association. He continued his art career by authoring and illustrating many books about horses. His works have been displayed in galleries and museums throughout the United States. His pen and ink drawings are reproduced using lithography. He made his home in Mason and used Mason for his settings and the Mason children as his subjects. He also made many works of art of Mason, taught art in the school and was a beloved citizen. Some of his books using Mason as a background are "Billy and Blaze, the Crooked Colt", "The Lost Quarry", and Blaze and the Gypsies". His works hang in the Mason school and the Mason Historical Society. Submitted by E.O. Jones

Charles Emil Ruckstuhl, C.W.'s step-son, wrote a biography about C.W. Anderson: Andy as I Knew Him c 2004
Contact Charles at 496 Boston Rd., PO Box 678, Groton MA 01450

Dr. William BARBER, was born in Worcester, MA. in 1767. His father's dwelling was burned by accidental fire, when he was an infant, by which his life was exposed to imminent danger, from which he was saved by the courage and presence of mind of his elder sister, afterwards the wife of Mr. Josiah Flagg. He pursued his professional studies at Worcester, with Dr. Greene. He came to Mason in November, 1790, and commenced the practice of physic and surgery, which he continued until disabled by the infirmities of age. He married (1) Mary Campbell of Berlin, Conn. She died Nov. 2, 1792. (2) Rachel Cutter, of New Ipswich, who survives him. He died July 11, 1852, aged 85 years. [from John B. Hill's book: History of Mason, 1858, page 266] To see a photo of a page from one of his journals from 1815-1816, see the Mason Vital Records page.

John BOYNTON was born in 1791 in Mason to Jeremiah and Elizabeth Boynton. He attended No. 2 School House where he was taught the basics of reading, writing and ciphering. After spending a number of years helping his father on the farm, he decided to go into business. In 1820-21 he began making tinware in New Ipswich, NH and selling door to door. Everyone wanted the shiny kettles, funnels, graters, dippers, pails and cups. About 1825 he married Abigail MERRIAM of Mason and moved his business to Templeton, MA. He added other wares to his collection of goods and visited town after town. He became a wealthy man. Some of his possessions may be seen in the Templeton Historical Collection, including some of his tinware. Upon retirement he settled in Athol where he became the first president of the Miller's River State Bank. In his quiet, charitable way and with a deep love for his home town, he gave a sum of ten thousand dollars to be invested and applied to the education of Mason children. He also set up a fund to establish an institution of higher learning at Worcester, MA. John Boynton died in 1867 and is buried in Mason beside his wife, Abigail.
Source: Mason Bicentennial, 1968, E.O. Jones, editor

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FLAGG FAMILIES of Mason This link will take you to a page for many early FLAGG families including Ephraim, Gershom, Ebenezer, Eliab, Andrew Jackson, Isaac, Josiah, William Bruce, and others. To see Flagg tombstones click here.

William Newton HARTSHORN, son of George HARTSHORN (1814/18 -1890) and Mary Adeline PUTNAM (1818-22-1882), was born 28 Oct 1843 in Mason, Hillsborough, NH. He died 13 Sep 1920 in Boston, Suffolk, MA (age 76). He was married to Sarah Ella FORD on 28 Oct 1875. Daughter: Bertha Adella HARTSHORN (1889- ).
William, educated in Milford, N.H. schools, spent one year at Appleton Academy in Mont Vernon. He was president of the Priscilla Co. proprietors of "The Modern Priscilla." Civic activities included: chairman of the International Sunday School Assn.; president; V.P. of the World Sunday School Assn. He was president of the Boston Baptist Social Union and belonged to many charitable institutions. Hartshorn was a delegate to the first Federal Council of Churches conference in December, 1908. He was regarded as an eminent publisher and author of many religious articles and books.

Submitted by "Derick S. Hartshorn" <> Contact Derick for sources and more information.

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Daniel HILL, Jr, and Lewis HILL Click on his name to see their genealogies.

Rev. Ebenezer HILL, Little Minister of Mason. Click on his name to see his genealogy.

Dr. Willis JOHNSON was born on Dec. 21, 1786 in Sturbridge, MA. He studied medicine with Dr. Ephraim Carroll, of Woodstock, Conn., two years and with Dr. Ferdinand Lethbridge of South Brimfield, MA, one and half years. He married first Dorothy Flinn of Woodstock on March 30, 1806. She was born Jan. 16, 1785. He first commenced the practice of his profession at Jaffrey, in August, 1807 and moved to Peterborough, NH in Jan. 1808 where he remained until 1814. In July he moved to Mason and took up his practice. Dorothy died Jan. 2nd, 1843. He married secondly to Sarah Ann Robbins, daughter of Mr. Luther Robbins of Mason, on Aug. 4, 1844.

Dr. Johnson was elected town clerk of Mason in 1823 to fill the vacancy by the death of Samuel Merriam, Esq. and he was re-elected to that office between 1823 and 1854 twenty one times. He also served five years as chairman of the board of selectmen. He was appointed a justice of the peace in 1823 and held it until his death, Oct. 2, 1858.

History of Mason, 1858 and Centennial of Mason, 1868.

Elizabeth Orton JONES, a children's book author and illustrator and a long time resident of Mason, was affectionately nicknamed "Twig" by Masonians after one of her books, "Twig." (Many folks did not know her by any other name) Elizabeth was born June 25, 1910 in Highland Park, Ill. Educated at the University of Chicago, Ph. B. in 1932, Ecole des Beaux Arts, Fontainebleau, France, diploma, 1932, she also attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1932. Twig was the winner of the CALDECOTT MEDAL in 1945 for illustrating "Prayer for a Child" written by Rachel Field.

Twig was instrumental in organizing the Mason Historical Society, keeping records, doing research, teaching Mason history in the school, cemetery preservation, writing historical pageants, collecting old stories, taping conversations with old-timers, and assisting in TV programs and films photographing in Mason. This spunky lady was the editor of the "Mason Bicentennial, 1768-1968"

We are sad to announce that "Twig" passed away in Mason in the spring of 2005.
The following books were written and illustrated by E.O. Jones:
Ragman of Paris and His Ragamuffins.... 1937, Minnie the Mermaid...... 1939, (with Thomas Orton Jones), Maminka's Children.... 1940, reprinted, 1968, Twig..... 1942, reprinted, 1966, Big Susan.... 1947, reprinted, 1967, (Reteller) Little Red Riding Hood.... 1948 Dedicated to Mason, NH. (See Mason Photo Album Page), and How Far Is It to Bethlehem?..... 1955. She was also the illustrator of 13 other books.
Submitted by E.O. Jones; edited by R.O.

To view some of Elizabeth's delightful art work see

Virginia "Ginnie" Rafter 1922 - 2012  

Ginnie Rafter
1999 photo

Ginnie was a lovely lady who helped many folks explore their roots in Mason, NH. She helped organize the Mason Historical Room and collected many items for it. She helped me do much of my research there. She loved wildflowers and enjoyed searching for them.

To the right is a 1999 photo of Ginnie and her husband Arthur doing a little jig together in the Historic Room.

Read Ginnie's story here.

Mason Historic Room


Arthur & Ginnie Rafter dancing


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RUSSELL FAMILIES of Mason, NH This link will take you to a page for early RUSSELL families, including brothers Jason, John & Hubbard and their sister, Elizabeth, who settled in Mason in the 1790s. They were four of the nine children of Jason RUSSELL and his wife Elizabeth DICKSON of Menotomy (Arlington) Mass. Jason, the father, was killed by the British on his own doorstep on their retreat from Lexington on the 19th of April 1775. Read their story on this page.

Genealogy: Chasing your own tale!

You may submit a SHORT biography of a Mason Ancestor. Please limit your paragraph to 200 words. Please do NOT submit persons born after 1900. I reserve the right to choose biographies and edit paragraphs as needed.
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Updated June 2013