Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
MASON, HARRY HOWLAND , publisher of the "Pawnee Herald", one of the leading newspaper men of Sangamon County, has been instrumental in molding public opinion for many years, and is now numbered among the brilliant exponents of his profession in his part of the State. Mr. Mason was born near Saybrook, McLean County, Ill., December 18, 1874, a son of James Alfred and Lovenia Florence (McCollister) Mason. The father was born in Swansea, Mass., in 1836, and the mother in Ohio in 1850. The father was long prominent in the affairs of Tazewell County, having come west as a boy and worked his way up, and eventually became a prosperous grain merchant, but is now living retired in Delavan. He was a leader in the Democratic party for many years, and held many local and some county offices. Mrs. Mason comes of good old Presbyterian stock. She is a woman of rare executive ability and superior intelligence. The Masons figured in New England history from its earliest settlement. The grandfather on the paternal side was an officer in the War of 1812 and his wife won distinction by carrying a message on horseback, through storms and darkness, from the American Commanders, she being part of the time under fire.
Harry Howland Mason was educated in the public schools of Delavan, Ill., and was brought up with his four sisters, being the only son. His childhood was uneventful save as to incidents which occur to any active boy. From childhood he showed pronounced mechanical skill. Being apprenticed in a newspaper office, he worked as printer and reporter until 1903, when he engaged in the publication of the "Pawnee Herald", and is still its publisher.
For fourteen years Mr. Mason served in Company K, Fifth Infantry, Illinois National Guard, passing from rank of private through all the non-commissioned grades, and finally being commissioned First Lieutenant by the late Gove. J. R. Tanner. While with the Fifth he was on active service in many tours of strike duty in the troublous times of the early 'nineties. In politics Mr. Mason is a Democrat. Fraternally he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, and has held various camp offices. As yet he is unmarried.
A conservative man, Mr. Mason is slow to make friends and has few confidants, finding much pleasure in his books and writings. When he does admit anyone to his confidence, he retains such friendship indefinitely. For some years he has been recognized as a successful newspaper writer on daily papers and weeklies, and is particularly strong in his writing of political stores on a non-partisan basis. Through his paper, Mr. Mason has made a name for himself in Sangamon County, where his ability is recognized and appreciated.