Mason Texas

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Historic Mason County Courthouse

Mason Texas is the seat of Mason County, Texas.  The town is an agricultural community on Comanche Creek southwest of Mason Mountain, on the Edwards Plateau.

The first settler is thought to have been William S. Gamel in 1846. The settlement of Mason grew up around Fort Mason which was established by the United States War Department as a front-line defense against Kiowa, Lipan Apache and Comanche, on July 6, 1851. George W. Todd established a Fort Mason post office March 8, 1858, which became consigned to the civilian settlement on June 26, 1858. The protection and commercial possibilities of the fort drew settlers. W. C. Lewis opened a general store that served soldiers and settlers. In 1860, James E. Ranck opened a second store and later became known as “The Father of Mason”. He and Ben F. Gooch began leasing 5,000 acres  of land to cotton sharecroppers. Mason was elected the county seat in 1861.

After the U.S. Civil War, returning Confederate veterans and German ranchers clashed in 1875 over cattle rustling and other crimes. The resulting killings were known as “The HooDoo Wars,” In the midst of the war, Loyal Valley home owner Tim Williamson was murdered by a dozen masked vigilantes who accused him of cattle theft. Williamson’s adopted son Texas Ranger Scott Cooley sought revenge. Cooley and his desperadoes, which included Johnny Ringo, created a reign of terror over the area. It was during this episode that Ringo committed his first murder, that of James Cheyney.

Mason Texas Attractions

Mason County  Courthouse….The first courthouse and jail were built in 1869 of stone walls lined with post oak timbers. After the Hoo Doo War, a new two-story red sandstone jail was built in 1898 by L.T. Noyes of Houston. Noyes was a contractor with Diebold Safe and Lock Company. A new courthouse was built in 1875, which burned down in 1877 destroying all county records. The 1878 courthouse was destroyed in 1900. The current granite courthouse was erected in 1909 by architect E. H. Hosford & Co. in the Classic Revival style.

Eckert James River Bat Cave….One of the largest Mexican free tailed bat colonices.  Located on RM 2389.  Free.

Fort Mason… Located on 204 West Spruce Street five blocks from courthouse square.  This fort includes reconstructed officers quarters,  Foundations show the sites of 23 original  buildings.  Fort Mason was Robert E. Lee command in the U.S. Army before the Civil War.  Briefly activated after the war it was abandoned in 1869. Free.

Mason County M. Beven Eckert Memorial Library…Located at 410 Post Hill this library highlights local celebrities such as Fred Gibson, author of Old Yeller and Savage Sam.  An “Old Yeller” statue is outside.  Exhibits also include information about the Exkert James River Bat Cave and also early Mason families.

Mason County Museum… Located at 300 Moody Street this museum features historical items and the museum is housed in an 1870’s schoolhouse which was built of mater from Fort Mason buildings.

Mason County Veterans Memorial…This granite memorial located on the courthouse square is inscribed with the names of county veterans.

When visiting Mason Texas nearby attractions include Llano and Menard.


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Texas Events

Prairies and Lakes March Events

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Prairie and Lakes Events Arlington March 31…Maverick Speaker Series: Jane Goodall…College Park Center at UT Arlington Belton Through March 12… Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race… March 12…Bell County Museum Great Garage Sale… March 12-18…Spring Break at the Bell County Museum… March 19…Discover Day with Charley Chisholm… March 19-20… Sami Show Marketplace…Bell County Expo Center […]

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