LYCURGUS C. MASON                            

South Kansas Tribune, Wednesday, March 19, 1913, Pg. 5:

Date of Death: 19 March 1913




            Captain L. C. Mason, who recently returned from Panama, has been quite ill, but not considered serious.  He had been uptown twice this week and this morning was at the First National Bank of which he was a vice-president, and talked with our Mr. Connelly.  This afternoon he went out riding in the electric with his daughter Eugenia and her husband Dr. Miner, who was making professional calls.  While the doctor was in the Montgomery County Hospital Captain Mason was taken ill while sitting in the carriage and without warning sank away, before he could be taken into the hospital and died without uttering a word.

            He was aged 72 years and five months, had served his country in the civil war, having served in Company F, Fifty-eighth Indiana Volunteers, served as sergeant and later promoted and transferred to the engineer corps.  He was a company of pontooniers, and aided in bridging most of the streams from Chattanooga to Atlanta, in Sherman’s march from Atlanta to the sea.  He was with the army through the Carolinas and in at the grand review of the Grand Army at Washington D. C.

            He came to Independence in ’72, and has been a farmer on an extensive scale, owning about 700 acres in the Verdigris valley.

            He made a good citizen, a consistent member of the Presbyterian church, a Republican in politics, and public spirited.



Independence Daily Reporter, March 19, 1913, Pg. 1:







            Captain Lycurgus C. Mason, one of Montgomery county’s oldest and most respected citizens dropped dead this afternoon, about 2 o’clock with an attack of the heart.  Mr. Mason, in company with his daughter and her husband, Dr. and Mrs. E. A. Miner, was out riding in their electric coupe and had gone to the Montgomery County Hospital where Dr. Miner had a patient.  As Mr. Mason and his daughter waited outside in the car he was seen to falter and almost instantly the stroke came and he fell over dead.  Dr. Miner was at once summoned and with aid they carried him into the hospital, but the spark of life was found to have gone out when he was taken inside the building.

            Recently Mr. Mason and daughter Mrs. Miner took a trip south for Mr. Mason’s health and upon his return he felt very much improved and was enthusiastic about the Cuban climate.  He rode about town every morning greeting his many friends and enjoying the morning air.  He was seen by many this morning and talked with several friends at the bank and on the street.

            Captain Mason was born in Spencer county, Indiana, October 1, 1840.  He spent his boyhood days on the farm and his industry and hard work won him a place of honor among his neighbors.  He enlisted in Company F, Fifty-eighth Indiana volunteers in 1861 and went to war as sergeant of his company, being discharged in 1865 with a captain’s commission.

            In 1881, Captain Mason was elected as mayor of Independence, in a friendly campaign, defeating Dr. B. F. Masterman, another pioneer who died several years ago.  He held the office for two years.

            In October, 1873, he was united in marriage to Mary V. Britton.  To the union were born two daughters, Mrs. Dr. Miner of this city and an older daughter living in Chicago.

            Mrs. Mason died a few years ago.

            Mr. Mason was a member of the Masonic lodge and was a consistent Christian man, being a member of the Presbyterian church of this city.


From History of Montgomery County, Kansas, By Its Own People, Published by L. Wallace Duncan, Iola, Kansas, 1903, Pg 383-386:


Mason, Capt. Lycurgus C. Bio

             In the following biographical review, posterity is tendered the salient events in the life record of the pioneer, patriotic and honored citizen, of Independence, Capt. L. C. Mason.  The date of his settlement, the period of his residence and the distinguished character of his citizenship, all conspire to render him a person of renown, and it is these attributes which furnish the inspiration for this article, and the honor of the man which justifies its production.

            The oracle of fate decreed his nativity a hallowed spot.  Born where was nurtured the youth of our martyred President, and where conditions and circumstances justified his suggestive but commonplace title of “Rail-splitter,” Lycurgus C. Mason grew up, amid the sacred memories of the President’s youth, and came to manhood, strengthened and animated by the success of his public life.  A native of Indiana, and of Spencer county, Capt. Mason was born October 1, 1840.  His father Christopher J. Mason was born in Ohio county, Kentucky, in 1813 and grew up and married in his native county, Ellen Morgan, and in 1832 crossed the sinuous and watery boundary o the state and settled in Spencer county, Indiana.  There the frontier couple established themselves, in the heavy woodland, and began the process of hewing out a home.  Like many of the Kentucky pioneers the Masons were from Virginia, where J. H. Mason, the grandfather of our subject was born, married Elizabeth Jackson, a cousin of the famous ex-President and expounder of Democratic doctrine, and, about 1800, took his family into the new commonwealth of Kentucky.  Grandfather Mason was born about 1779 and died n Hancock county, Kentucky in 1863.  His children were eight in number, and none, save Christopher J., emigrated from his Kentucky home.  They were: James, Joseph, Henry, Christopher J., Mary, Margaret, Jane and Elvira.

            Christopher J. Mason spent sixty-four years near the scene of his Indiana settlement, contributed no little to the material and internal development of his county and died in October 1896, forty-nine years after the death of his wife.  Their children were: Cordelia J., wife of Dr. J. H. Houghland, of Rockport, Indiana; W. T., a banker of the same city; and Capt. Lycurgus, of this notice.       

            Grubbing, sprouting, rail-making, farming and lastly, attending school constituted the annual routine of L. C. Mason’s early life, with strongly marked emphasis upon the physical occupations.  Getting an education was insignificant in comparison with the physical developer—chopping and grubbing—and if he dug into his books half as much as he dug into the ground, he was sure to become an accomplished scholar.  In October 1861 he enlisted in Company F, Fifty-eighth Indiana Volunteers, Capt. Crow’s company, regiment in command of Col. Carr.  Mr. Mason was mustered in as a sergeant of his company and the regiment was ordered to Louisville from Princeton, Indiana and it became a part of the Army of the Cumberland.  After the battles of Stone river, Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge, our subject was transferred to the engineering corps, with the rank of first lieutenant.  He was a company of pontoniers, and aided in bridging every important stream from Chattanooga to Atlanta from which latter point it went with Sherman’s army to the sea.  The Captain’s company helped bridge all the streams about Savannah, and after the fall of that city, marched north through the Carolinas with the victorious Federal forces.  On to Richmond, building bridges enroute and finally to Washington, D. C., where it participated in he Grand review.  At Savannah, our subject received his captain’s commission and was in command of his company from then to the final muster out and discharge, at Indianapolis in August 1865.

            On resuming civil pursuits, Capt. Mason engaged in the produce and tobacco business, flat-boating on the Ohio river.  He engaged in traffic withy planters along the lower Mississippi river, and occasionally made trips to New Orleans.  For five years—1866-1871—he followed this species of domestic commerce and closed the business with an accumulation of some capital and a roving and wondering habit.  His army life, also, contributed to his spirit of unrest, and he came west in response to this peculiar mental bent.  He came to Cherryvale, by rail, and staged it across to the new town of Independence in Montgomery county, Kansas.  His first home in the county was the Caldwell House then kept by Larimer & Allen, and named in honor of U. S. Senator Caldwell, of Kansas.  At Humboldt, enroute, he met Lyman U. Humphrey, who induced the Captain to become a citizen of southern Kansas.  He spent the first two years as a loan broker and drifted, gradually, into grain, pork and cattle buying, following it till 1876, when he purchased a farm in the Verdigris bottom, just east of the county seat, and entered upon is cultivation and improvement.  His farm now embraces seven hundred acres, as valuable an estate as the county affords.  He owns much valuable property in Independence, and his homestead on the east bluff, overlooking the valley of the Verdigris, is one of the handsome places in the city.  He is a heavy stockholder in the First National Bank and has been vice-president of the institution since 1887.

            Captain Mason is well known as a Republican.  He was honored by his townsmen in 1881 to the chief magistry of the city and was re-elected to the office the following year.  He has declined other political honors, preferring private life to the encumbrances an annoyance of public office.

            After two years spent in Montgomery county, Capt. Mason started, June 1, 1873, on an extended tour of Europe.  He left New York and reached Glasgow, Scotland without important incident.  He visited, respectively, Edinburg, London, Amsterdam, up the Rhine to Vienna, where he attended the “World’s Fair” two weeks, being honorary commissioner to the celebration from Kansas.  He visited next, Trieste, Venice, Rome, Naples, saw Mt. Vesuvius and the leaning tower of Pisa, was on top of St. Peter’s cathedral in Rome, passed through the German Empire and capital, viewed the Swiss mountains and the beautiful city of Geneva, passed through Lyons and spent some time in Paris, France.  While in Germany visited Strasburg, and in Berlin saw the great soldier and Emperor, William 1 of Prussia.  He returned to London from Paris and visited the Parliament House and other noted places, saw the great commercial port of the world, Liverpool, and sailed for America from Glasgow in September, reaching home in October, after an absence of four months.

            October 23, 1873, Capt. Mason married Mary V. Britton, an Indiana lady and a daughter of Thomas P. Britton, whose ancestors were also Virginians.  Thomas P. Britton was married to Miss Evaline Bayless, a native of Tennessee, but of Virginia ancestors, August 21, 1829.  Mrs. Mason is proud of the fact that her great-grandfather, Benjamin Bayless, was a revolutionary soldier.  She had several uncles who served in the Mexican War and also had a brother in the Mexican war, and one, Frank L., served in the Civil war, 1861-65, and was a prominent man in Texas during the reconstruction period.  Gen. Forbes Britton, a graduate of West Point, uncle of Mrs. Mason, was very prominent in the settlement of Texas.  Mrs. Mason was born in Spencer county, Indiana, in 1845 and is the mother of Evaline E. and Eugenia Mason, educated and accomplished daughters and the life of the family circle.  Capt. Mason is a member of the Masonic fraternity in a dual sense, holds a membership in Fortitude Lodge and his daughters belong to the Eastern Star.  Their support in religious matters is given to the Presbyterian church, of which the family are consistent members.