1879 History of Menard & Mason Counties
Published by: O.L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers
186 Dearborn Street

Mason County

Non Est Inventus
Page 587

Among the early villages laid out in what is now Mason County, were those of Matanzas and Moscow. But they have paid nature's great debt, and no trace of them remains at the present day to mark their site. Matanzas was laid out April 10, 1839, by V. B. Holmes and a man named Watkins Powell, and was located on portions of Sections 28 and 33, of Bath Townships, near the northern part. When laid out, it was in Tazewell County, Mason not being created until two years later. J. H. Schulte, an early settler of Havana Township, had the first store in Matanzas, and was followed later by one or two others. Shops were established, a steam saw-mill was built, which did a large business for several years. It became quite a point for grain-shipping, and, being located on the river, it was confidently believed that its situation would be a means of making a town of it. We believe, too, that it once entered into competition for the county seat, after the formation of Mason County. But Havana on the one side and Bath on the other, soon blasted its hopes in that direction, and, literally speaking, swallowed it up. Its streets, public parks and pleasure gardens are now corn-fields, and the passing stranger would be struck with wonder, that a lively town had once flourished there.

The fate of Matanzas will also apply to Moscow. It is another of the villages of Bath Township that was and is not. It was laid our May 30, 1836, on Section 24, by Erastus Wright, for Ossian M. Ross, and was, at one time, an enterprising little village. Joseph A. Phelps had a store here, perhaps the first one in the place. Situated on the river, it, too, was a grain point of considerable note, Maj. Gatton being one of the most extensive operators here. But in the zenith of its glory and prosperity, it never equaled in magnificence its namesake-the ancient capital of Russia. Since the day of railroads in Mason County, Moscow has disappeared, and, like Matanzas, the site whereon it stood is now a productive farm. Thus two lively villages of Bath Township have been totally eclipsed by more fortunate rivals, and the places that once knew them will know them no more.

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