Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mayor Roswell B Mason, His Death and Descendants

Mr. Mason died on January 1, 1892, at his residence No. 27 Delaware Place, at the age of 86. He had enjoyed excellent health until four weeks prior to his death. All of his family was present, except for a son who lived in New York City and a married daughter living in Glasgow, Scotland. In 1831, he had married Harriet Lavinia Hopkins and she had died on March 29, 1891.

They had moved to Chicago in 1851, when he was appointed Chef Engineer of the Illinois Central Railroad. He began surveying a line that would run 700 miles from Chicago to Urbana, Jonesboro, Vandalia, Bloomington, LaSalle and Freeport. Congress, after much delay, finally granted 2,600,000 acres to build the railroad which was completed in October 1856.

Mr. Mason was a very religious man and served as an elder in the Fourth Presbyterian Church and, for many years, he was a trustee of the McCormick Theological Seminary. The funeral, attended by more than 200 people, was held at his residence. The Rev. Dr. M. Woolseyh Stryker and the Rev. R. W. Patterson participated. The four sons and four grandsons were pallbearers. Internment was in Rosehill Cemetery.

Seven children survived: Mr. Henry G. Miller; Mrs. James H. Trowbridge; Edward G. Mason; Roswell H. Mason; Mrs. W.F.G. Anderson; Henry B. Mason and Alfred Bishop Mason.

The City Council passed a resolution which said in part: “In life his name was the synonym for firmness, official and private integrity, and in death he leaves a memory honored of all men and a name which is worthily and honorably borne by several sons who have distinguished themselves in their various avocations of life and are numbered among our most esteemed citizens.” City Hall was closed the day of the funeral from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

When his will was filed for probate, it showed personal property worth $28,016 and real estate worth $686,470. It was bequeathed equally among the seven children.

(There must be descendants still living in the Chicago area and I hope someone will contact me in the coming days, weeks or months.)

1 comment:

  1. I'm a descendant, recently tried to post a comment but doesn't look like it took. Trying again.
    Ellen McPherson