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Jasper Mason

Jasper Mason was born November 22, 1853 in Lafette, Tippicanoe County, Indiana.

His parents were James Mason and Lucinda Pennell. He was the third of four children.

His parents died in 1856 in Henderson, Knox County, Illinois.

Around 1874 he was married and living in Pairie City, Jasper County, Iowa.

On the evening of September 26, 1876 he beat and shot a man and then took his span (2) of horses. He was arrested on the 28th.

The Pairie City News wrote on September 29:
"On Monday night of this week a man who had been breaking pairie in the western part of the State, was traveling to his home in the eastern part of the State. He took into his wagon a young man who said he was going to Prairie City. When they camped for the night near DeSoto, the stranger chloroformed the owner of the team, beat him on the head, and supposing he had killed him took the horses and skipped out. On Wednesday night parties came here in quest of the would-be murderer. Oll Webb at whose house the suspected man's wife has been living for some time, went to Mr. Fortune's , on the Des Moines river, and arrested Jasper Mason, and next morning brought him to town. He was taken by Marshal Stalcop to Des Moines, and he was there taken in charge by the sheriff of Dallas county. The man Mason has at intervals resided in this vicity, and worked for Mr. Jas. Trisler for two years, was considered a good hand although a number of thefts and other misdeeds had been laid at his door. He had with him when taken two horses answering the description of those belonging to the man he attempted to murder. The man was at last accounts still alive, with some hopes of his ultimate recover."

The man died on September 29 and at that time they found a bullet in his head and realized that it was not just a beating.

Jasper Mason's deposition:
"Jasper Mason being duly sworn says
I resided in Prairie City Jasper Co. Iowa for the last two years. I have seen the deceased am not much acquainted with him. I travelled with him from Atlantic & I'm pretty certain that this is the body of the person that I travelled with. I left him down this road as near as I can tell. I think this is the road we went. We camped here on Monday evening about 9 or ten o'clock I think. I could not tell what condition he was in when I left here. I expect he was injured. We had a quarrel. We got to talking about politics. We got a pint of whisky back here in Casey. He got the whiskey. I had bought his team in Atlantic. When we had the quarrel he struck me first and then I struck him and took the team and harness and started home. I was mad and had some whiskey in me and hardly knew what was best to do. I did not think I had killed him. I think he did not know anything.
Jasper Mason Subscribed and sworn to before me this 30th day of Sept. 1876. Wesley ? Coroner"

The grand jury indicted Jasper for Murder and a trial followed. The jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to life in prison.

On October 27, 1876 Jasper was admitted to Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, Iowa. His nativity was listed as Indiana, his occupation as laborer, religious as Methodist, his civil condition as married and former imprisonments as none. Miscellanous was listed as: Adult male with a sandy complexion, common mental culture and intemperate habits.

On March 12, 1894 he was transferred to Anamosa State Penitentiary according to records from the Iowa State Penitentiary. However the records from Anamosa State Penitentiary show he was transfered to the Men's Reformatory on April 16, 1893.

On April 19, 1907 Jasper was pardoned by the Governor of Iowa, Albert Cummins.

On September 3, 1909 Jasper married Mary Myrtle Hanson in Columbia County, Oregon. He was 55 years old and she was 16. They had three girls LaVelle (August 18, 1910 to October 6, 2007), Alta Violet (January 29, 1913 to March 21, 1985), and Grace Alvessa (January 26, 1915 to March 24, 1998).

Jasper Mason died on January 30, 1936 in Columbia County at age 82 years, 2 months, 8 days. He is buried in Union Cemetery in Yankton, Oregon.

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Jasper Mason                 Jasper and Mary

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