Without feeling possessed of any special fitness for the work, the writer has been induced to undertake the task by a desire to preserve the names and the memory of the pioneers of Mason County, and also the names of the brave men and the patriotic deeds of those who risked their lives, and those who lost them, in the great war, inaugurated and carried on to a final victory, to preserve the inestimable blessings of an undivided and unbroken Union.|
The short time allotted for the completion of so much work, and the imperfect record of the events of the county that has been kept, have been very great obstacles in the way of getting up the county history in a way at all creditable or satisfactory to the author.
It is fortunate that the work was begun thus early, for a few more years would have swept away the few remaining early settlers of the county, out of whose memory of dates and events much interesting and reliable history is formulated.
In the military history, much time and effort has been spent to make it reliable; still, there will be errors in names, but it is hoped not in any other material matter.
The time will come when every soldier's name who served in this great war will be a precious heirloom in every family to which they belonged, and hence the importance of a reliable record that may pass down to the remotest generations that are yet to come.
In the hurry of preparation of manuscripts, much has been overlooked that should have appeared in the history, no doubt, but not intentionally.
In the record of events that have transpired in the county, the author has, in some cases, had occasion to refer to himself in a way that is not agreeable; but, in order to vindicate the truth of history, it had to be done. We have been obliged to speak of things of which we knew and of things of which we were a part, making it embarrassing to a modest man. For the jokes told upon ministers and others, we hope no animosities will be treasured up. It takes jokes and anecdotes to enliven the monotony of history, and somebody has to bear them. In justice, it is proper to say, however, that every statement made is in good faith, relying upon the entire truthfulness in all matters where it could be obtained.
For a third of a century, the writer has been a resident of Mason County and more or less identified with its interests. In that time, many things have transpired calculated to endear us to the people of the county. We have seen the county of Mason grow up from a few hundred people without wealth or position into a population of 20,000, many of whom are wealthy, educated, talented and happy. In that time, one full generation of people have passed from the face of the earth, among whom were children, kindred and friends that were dear. Men have arisen from obscurity to high position, and again been relegated to obscurity.
On the other hand, the writer has borne with mishaps, misfortunes and personal wrongs, such as few could or would withstand, trusting with an abiding faith that time brings a recompense to all worthy souls that suffer and can wait. Our work is done.