Mason County is one of the hundred and two counties of Illinois, and is entitled to her place in the local history that makes up that of the State, in its intelligence, enterprise and industrial wealth and prosperity. The patient toil and hardships of its pioneers, living in their rude huts and log cabins, as well as the noble and patriotic deeds of its public men in later years, and the gallantry of its soldiers on the battle-field are a part of the pride and glory of the State and the nation.|
The territory that constitutes the county of Mason has been subjected to many changes since the discovery and settlement of America. Originally, or, rather, as far back as we know, it belonged to Mr.
"Lo, the poor Indian, whose untutored mind,
Who Mr. Lo got it from we may never know; that once the red men lived here in their homes we do know. On the bluff banks of the Illinois River, at Havana and Bath, they occupied their villages, and builded their mounds (providing always that they were not built by some other people who lived here before them) in which they buried their dead and deposited their wares and implements of war, where these trophies of the ages of the past may still be found. Undisturbed in those days by the pale-faced race, beneath the shadows of the rude wigwam,
"The Indian wooed his ducky maid
These mounds, and the relics they contain, are the only historic chapters handed down to us to tell of the people whose moccasined feet once pressed upon the sands that border upon our beautiful river. With those people there were no learned men to chronicle the history they were making, though among them unlettered sages and warriors there may have been.
With us, how different. We know the uses of letters, printing presses, books and telegraphs, and there is no reason why we should die and leave no sign. The history we are making can be handed down to posterity, in the ages that are to come, for thousands of years, when other and higher races of men shall have taken our places in populating and controlling the destinies of the great American continent.
For a long period, the territory constituting the county of Mason and the State f Illinois, was dominated by the French nation, whose brave pioneers were the first of the white race to tread upon its soil and voyage upon its rivers.