David Mason, Co. K, 6th Pennsylvania Reserves

Commemorative biographical record of northeastern Pennsylvania: including the counties of Susquehanna, Wayne, Pike and Monroe, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, and many of the early settled families by J.H. Beers & Co., 1900.

LIEUT. DAVID MASON (deceased), in his lifetime an honored and highly respected citizen of Susquehanna, was born near Belfast, County Down, Ireland, December 14, 1824, a son of David and Elizabeth (Geddis) Mason.

The father, who was a machinist by trade, was born in the highlands of Scotland, in 1788, and in 1799 moved to Ireland, where he was married, his wife being a native of County Down, where their entire married life was passed. There the father died in 1852, his wife a year later. Of the seven children born to them our subject is the only son; Elspa died in Ireland when a young lady; Elizabeth married James Clauders, who was killed near London, England, in 1852, after which she and her only child came to New York, but she is now living in Canada; Mary A. married a Mr. Armstrong and remained in Ireland; Martha married Edward McKinley and died a few years later in Ireland; Ellen and one other daughter died in infancy.

David Mason

In his native land the subject of this sketch grew to manhood and received a common school education. At the age of fourteen years he commenced learning the machinist’s trade and served a seven years’ apprenticeship, being principally employed on stationary engines used in the manufacture of linen. In November, 1851, he sailed for America on the “Constitution,” which was wrecked on the New Jersey coast ninety miles from New York, but all the passengers were saved, being taken off on the lifeboats. After two months spent upon the water Mr. Mason finally landed in NewYork, where he worked at his trade for a short

time. Later he was for three years employed as a machinist in Paterson, N. J., and from there went to Kingston, Canada, where he worked at his trade three or four months, and at Toronto for about the same length of time. In 1855 he came to Susquehanna, Penn., and entered the shops of the New York & Erie railroad, where he was a trusted and faithful employe for over thirty years.

In 1858 Mr. Mason was united in marriage with Miss Honora Malee, of Susquehanna, who was born in County Waterford, Ireland, on December 24, 1836, and came with a sister to this country. Her parents, John and Alice (Powell) Malee, spent their entire lives in Ireland. Of the six children born to our subject and his wife, Frederick F., Frederick A., and George all died in infancy; Lena, born in Susquehanna, in 1865, was educated in the public schools of that place, married William C. Kotz, of Easton, Penn., who is engaged in the butcher business, and now resides in Lanesboro, Penn. (they have one child, Mason W. Kotz, born February 12, 1897) ; David G., born on March 18, 1869, and also attended the public schools and learned the machinist’s trade, now holding the position of car inspector for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, at Pitcairn, near Pittsburg; and Charles V., born December 14, 1874, was a student in the Susquehanna schools, and as a machinist he is now employed in the railroad shops at that place.

When the Civil war broke out Mr. Mason was among the first to offer his services to his adopted country, enlisting April 19, 1861, at the first call for volunteers, becoming a member of Company K, 6th Pennsylvania Reserves, under command of Capt. McCauley, of Susquehanna. At that time he was not a naturalized citizen, but his strong opposition to slavery caused him to take up arms in defense of the Union. At Camp Curtin he was elected first lieutenant of his company, and moved to the front as a commissioned officer, being mustered into the United States service in July, 1861. His first engagement was at Drainsville, December 20, 1861, after which the regiment went into winter quarters at Pierpont, Va. In the spring of 1862 they joined the army of the Potomac under Gen. McClellan and did guard duty at the White House during the Peninsular campaign. They participated in the second battle of Bull Run, in August, 1862, and the battles of South Mountain and Antietam; were under command of Gen. Burnside in the battle of Fredericksburg, in December, 1862, where their losses were very heavy; and were also with Gen. Burnside in his “stick in the mud” campaign. The campaign of 1863 opened with the battle of Chancellorsville, and was followed by the battle of Gettysburg… Here Lieut. Mason was detailed for other duties on account of disabilities, and was taken to Baltimore, where he remained until honorably discharged from the service in March, 1864.

Returning to Susquehanna, he resumed work in the railroad shops, where, as previously stated he remained for thirty years. He held the respect of his fellow workmen and the confidence and esteem of his employers. For the last few years of his life he lived retired, enjoying a well-earned rest. At an early day he purchased property in Susquehanna and lived there until 1870, when he removed to his last residence on Broad street which he greatly improved and beautified. Since becoming- an American citizen he cast his ballot with the Republican party, and as one of the leading and most highly respected citizens of the place, he had been elected to the town council and also to the school board, on which he served most creditably for a number of terms. Socially he belonged to Moody Post, No. 63, G. A. R., of Susquehanna, and religiously, both he and his wife were earnest and consistent members of the M. E. Church. He passed to his last rest April 29, 1899.

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Currently a resident of Burke, Virginia - I'm originally from the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have been a student of the Pennsylvania Reserves since 1997 and thoroughly enjoy telling their story. By trade I'm a former IT Professional but presently working as a Letter Carrier for the United States Postal Service.