The History of the H.H. Mason Residence in Niles, Ohio

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Drawing of the H.H. Mason residence taken from the 1874 Everts Trumbull Atlas.

Drawing of the H.H. Mason residence taken from the 1874 Everts Trumbull Atlas. PO1.432

The History of the H.H. Mason Residence.

Ambrose Mason led the line of Masons here in 1835. He started the first mercantile store with Josiah Robbins, who had married Mason’s daughter, Electa, after the death in 1843 of his first wife, Maria Heaton. Maria Heaton was the daughter of James Heaton, founder of Niles, who built the first iron furnace in 1809. Judge Ambrose Mason in 1843 was chosen postmaster of Niles, being the only one considered for the position.

Harry H. Mason, his distinguished son, was born in New York in 1819. In 1842 he opened a store also, which served the Heatons, James Ward, William McKinley Sr. and others. He was also assistant postmaster.

H. H. Mason(Henry) succeeded his father as Postmaster, was the first mayor elected after Niles was incorporated as a village in 1866, a downtown merchant and one of the builders of the Mason block at the southeast corner of Main and State streets(Built prior to 1882).

The residence of H. H. Mason was located on Vienna Avenue in Niles. Mason moved into this homestead in 1859. It was here that he held court and as Mayor of Niles, earned $100. a month. He was also president of the City National Bank which was founded in 1893.


H.H. Mason

H.H. Mason
PO1.1105

City Hall Then Stood Where Mckinley Memorial Is Now.

By the sixties(1860), Niles had become an important village and the need for a more adequate form of government organization was felt. On August 27, 1864, a petition was presented to the county commissioners asking for incorporation.

The petition was granted and the first municipal officers, elected in 1866, were: H.H. Mason, mayor; James Draa, recorder; and as councilmen, James Ward, Jr., William Davis, David Griffiths, Richard Holeton, and Henry Schaffer.

The city hall, a wooden structure, stood on the site of the McKinley Memorial. The first fire department, a voluntary organization, was formed in 1870 and served with a second hand engine brought from Pittsburgh by James Ward. This fire equipment was purchased in 1875 and replaced in 1898.


View of the Town Hall and

View of the Town Hall and
Civil War Monument.

The Town Hall was demolished in 1915 to make room for the McKinley Memorial Building. PO1. 206

1895 photograph of the Niles fire department apparatus with the city building in the background.

1895 photograph of the Niles fire department horsedrawn fire engine with the city building and Civil War Monument in the background. PO1.376

View of a horsedrawn fire engine on State Street

View of a horsedrawn fire engine on State Street.

The building on the right is Guarnieri's Confectionary Store. The building on the left is the old Verbeck (later the Warner) Theatre. PO1.1591 This photo was taken about 1900.


H.H. Mason residence

H.H. Mason residence

Two views of the H.H. Mason residence as it appeared in the Fall of 2018. The left view shows the building with tress and shrubbery.

The right view shows the residence as it is being prepared for demolition in the Fall of 2018.


Mason residence shown as it is being demolished.

Mason residence shown as it is being demolished. The barrel in the attic would have water pumped up into it to supply water for the shower on the second floor.

Much of the interior matrials of the residence were salvaged for sale: fireplace mantel, wood beams, wainscoating, granite steps, old glass.

Mason residence shown as it is being demolished.


A close-up view of the granite steps on the front porch.
A close-up view of the granite steps on the front porch.

These white oak wooden pins were used to lock the two parts of a support beam together
These white oak wooden pins were used to lock the two parts of a support beam together as shown in image on the right.The mortise would be hand-drilled with the tenon being inserted into the mortise opening. A hole would be drilled for the pin which would be pounded through the mortise and tenon, thereby locking the two beams together.

The mortise would be hand-drilled with the tenon being inserted into the mortise opening.

The Mason block or building(built prior to 1882) was located at the southeast corner of Main and Mill(State) Streets. In this early 1900s photograph, Sol Lowendorf’s clothing store occupies the ground level.

The Mason block or building(built prior to 1882) was located at the southeast corner of Main and Mill(State) Streets. In this early 1900s photograph, Sol Lowendorf’s clothing store occupies the ground level.

All the buildings pictured were demolished during urban renewal in 1976.

The Safety-Service Complex, which houses the Fire, Police, and Municipal Court is on this location today(2019) and opened in April 1977.



The early post office on East State Street about 1912.

The early post office on East State Street about 1912. PO1.383

The U.S. Post Office opened in 1842 and was located on Furnace Street(State Street) near the curve.

Until 1834 the settlement was appropriately called “Heaton’s Furnace”, but James Heaton gave it a new name “Nilestown” in honor of Hezekiah Niles, editor of the Niles Register, a Baltimore paper, who’s Whig (early political party) principles Heaton greatly admired.

Nilestown remained the name until 1843 when Postmaster Ambrose Mason for convenience shortened it to “Niles” and that is how Niles got its name.”

Frank Mears, Pete McDonald, and Adam Fischer are shown in the photograph.Adam Fischer built the Bert Street and Third Street Schools in 1905 as well as the City Building on State Street in 1927.


 
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