Mason Family


This page is dedicated to the ancestors and descendants of Gardner B. Mason and Sarah Potter Mason


Opal Watkins Mason and descendants, 1962 (Click here for names)


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Mason Family Biography and History


The Mason family came into Lenawee County, Michigan from Ontario County, New York, between 1838 and 1840 when this country was being settled.

Ira Mason was born November 5, 1808 to John and Sally Mason in Ontario County, NY, and was married to Saphronia, who was born May 19th, 1808. These dates of birth were ascertained by calculation from their tombstones in Berkey Cemetery at Berkey, Lucas County, Ohio.

Their deaths are recorded on their tombstones as follows:

Ira Mason: died June 28, 1847, age 39 years, 7 months, 21 days (headstone photo)

Saphronia Mason: died Sept 30, 1850, age 42 years, 4 months, 11 days (headstone photo)

Ira and Saphronia came to Lenawee County and purchased land in Michigan just north of Berkey, Ohio. Their first five children, Gardner B., Pauline, Lucius, Austin, and Theodore were born in New York. Their three youngest daughters, Saphronia, Josephine, and Maria were born in Michigan.

Gardner B., a cooper by trade, was born September 26, 1829. He first married Harriet Van Orman, who died in childbirth at the age of 28, leaving a daughter, Harriet, who married Sylvester Smith.

Gardner then married Sarah Potter, who was born in New York state May 7, 1837. She was the daughter of Zion and Abigail Lewis Potter. They had six children. Two daughters, Libbie and Florence, died in early childhood. The others were Charles, Willard, Nora and Frank.

Gardner B. Mason died August 7, 1897 in Riga Township, Michigan, of Bright's Disease at the age of 67 years and 11 months. Sarah Potter Mason died February 20, 1906 in Riga Township at the age of 68 years, 9 months and 13 days. Gardner and Sarah are buried in Berkey Cemetery and their deaths are recorded in Lenawee Courthouse.

Sarah's mother, Abigail Lewis Potter, who was born in 1790 and died October 11, 1875 at the age of 85 years, 1 month and 8 days, is also buried in Berkey Cemetery.

Our generation, the great grandchildren of Sarah and Gardner, do not remember these ancestors, but we do remember the "Gardner B. Mason Family Reunion," held at the hall in Berkey, Ohio. The families of Gardner's children and grandchildren all attended this event.

Charles Elmore Mason was born September 24, 1857, and married Emily Sarah Bell. She was born in Richfield Township, Lucas County, Ohio on March 24, 1858. They were married in Lenawee County, Michigan, on December 16, 1880. Emily was the daughter of George Bell (1830 1913) and Helen (Ellen) Lawrence Bell (1828 1885). Both George and Ellen were born in England, and are buried in Amboy Cemetery, south of Metamora, Ohio. Charles was a farmer and mechanic, and did sheet metal and furnace work for Pegg Hardware.

Emily Bell Mason died May 19, 1921 of injuries caused by a fall into the cellar of their home. She was 63 years of age. Charles died January 4, 1939, aged 81 years, of myocarditis in Fulton County, Ohio. They lived in Metamora most of their lives and are buried in Amboy Cemetery; their deaths are recorded in Fulton County Courthouse.

The children of Charles and Emily were:

Inez (1881 - 1949), married James Sloan, lived in Toledo, had ten children. 

Ellen (1882 - 1921), married Tracy Tuller, had two children. 

Volwin (1883 - 1952), never married. 

George Gardner (1885 - 1929), married Nancy Opal Watkins, lived in Metamora, had six children. 

Roy (1888 - 1952), married Grace Trune, lived in Blissfield, had one son. 

Josephine (1889 - 1956), married Henry Yeager, lived in Sylvania, had eight children. 

Alta (1891 - 1966), married Grover Langley, lived in Toledo, had six children. 

Winona (1893 - 1969), married Lloyd Brown, lived in Swanton, had thirteen children. 

Anna Belle (1895 - 1986), married James McIntyre, lived in Toledo, had four children 

Clair (1897 - 1965), married Esther Stephenson, lived in Toledo, had one daughter. 

Dorothy (1900 - 1985), married Carl Aiken, lived in Sylvania, had two children. 

Ethel (1900 - 2001), married Harry Sharpe, lived in Metamora, had one daughter.

George Gardner Mason, fourth child of Charles and Emily, was born November 11, 1885, in Riga Township, Michigan. On December 24, 1913, he married Nancy Opal Watkins of Delta, Ohio, born March 2, 1888. George died December 9, 1929 in Fulton County, Ohio. Opal died in Adrian, Michigan on July 8, 1976. Both are buried in Fulton Union Cemetery near Delta. 

The children of George and Opal Mason are: 

Charles Kimmel (1916 -1919) 

Hazel Doris (1917 ) married Robert Estel of Ai, Ohio, on April 12, 1938. They left for California one week later. Bob worked in sawmills and gold mines, and later became an electrical contractor in Mariposa. Together they opened an electrical store in Mariposa in 1956, with Bob doing the outside construction work and Hazel doing inside sales and bookkeeping. They retired from this in 1976 and started traveling in their motor home. Until 1998, they returned to Ohio every other summer to renew acquaintances with family and friends. For many years they spent two or three winter months in Mesa, Arizona. At home they took care of a garden, worked on the genealogy of their several family branches, and enjoyed their family. Robert died March 17, 2005; and Hazel on August 1, 2007.

Lnora Mildred (1920 - 2001) married Carl Drefke of Blissfield. They made their home in Adrian. Carl drove a truck delivering new automobiles to dealers. Carl passed away in 1983. Lnora died December 31, 2001.

Vivian Gertrude (1922-  1990) married Herbert Hall of Delta and followed him to San Diego, California, since he was in the Navy. They had three sons and a daughter. When Herb left the Navy he worked at North Island Naval Base for a while. He then purchased a shoe store which he kept until he retired. During retirement he and Vivian bought and sold real estate. They lived on Lake Elsinore where the whole family enjoyed water sports. Vivian fell victim to cancer and died November 14, 1990. Herb died in November, 2005.

Marion Floyd (1923 -1929)

Alice June (1928 - 2003), who went by June as she grew up, went to California in 1944 with her sisters. She finished school there and married George Leary of San Diego. They had three daughters, twins Patti and Mary, and then Katie. June and George divorced and she married Jim Noever. Both Jim and June retired from the real estate field several years ago. June and Jim passed away ten days apart in February 2003.

Prepared by: Hazel Mason, September 1992; updated by Dick Estel August 1997, October 2000, November 2002, February 2003, September 2006, July 2009. 


Genealogical Charts

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Pedigrees Family Group Sheets Descendent Charts


Hazel Doris Mason Lnora Mildred Mason Vivian Gertrude Mason
Alice June Mason   Nancy Opal Watkins
Family Group Sheets
Charles Elmore Mason & Emily Bell George Mason & Nancy Opal Watkins Hazel Doris Mason & Robert William Estel
Vivian Gertrude Mason & Herbert John Hall Lnora Mildred Mason & Carl Drefke Alice June Mason & George Leary
Descendent Charts
Charles Elmore Mason & Emily Bell

George Mason & Nancy Opal Watkins

Gardner B. Mason & Sarah Potter
Gardner B. Mason & Harriet Van Orman Carl Drefke & Lnora Mason George Leary & June Mason
Herb Hall & Vivian Mason   Robert Estel & Hazel Mason
Charles Elmore Mason, husband of Emily Bell, father of George, son of Gardner, grandson of Ira Emily Bell, wife of Charles Mason (probably 1880) Charles Elmore Mason, 1930s
George Mason & Opal Watkins
Wedding Photo, December 1913
The Mason Girls: Lnora, Hazel,
June, Vivian, mid-1930s
Opal Mason, April 1938
Hazel, Vivian & Lnora Mason, Summer 1922 Lnora, Vivian, Hazel, June (front) 1930 Mason Girls, Feb 1987 
Donelda (Yeager) Basler and Nina (Yeager) Henderson, children of Henry Yeager and Josephine Mason; grandchildren of Charles (2002) Opal Watkins Mason, daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren (click here for names Lnora Drefke, Linda Estel, June Noever,
Vivian Hall, Hazel Estel, April 1988
Charles Mason (1916 - 1919) Opal Mason, about 1908 George & Opal Mason Family: Standing Hazel and Lnora; seated Opal holding (probably) Marion, Vivian, George; about 1925
Charles Mason (1916 - 1919) Opal Mason, about 1908 George & Opal Mason Family: Standing Hazel and Lnora; seated Opal holding (probably) Marion,
Vivian, George; about 1925
Opal Mason with grandchildren Linda and Dick Estel, February, 1945 June Noever, Vivian Hall and Hazel Estel with pillows Hazel made from fabric saved by their mother

Opal Mason with grandchildren Linda and Dick Estel, February, 1945

June Noever, Vivian Hall and Hazel Estel with pillows Hazel made from fabric saved by their mother George Mason & Opal Watkins marriage certificate
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Updated March 4, 2023