Person:James Mason (13)

Watchers
m. 4 Oct 1885
  1. Archie Cleveland Mason1886 - 1951
  2. Susie Marion Mason1887 - 1972
  3. William Raymond Mason1890 - 1967
  4. Harry Wyman Mason1898 - 1985
  5. James Clayton Mason1906 - 2001
m. 5 Apr 1931
Facts and Events
Name[1][2][3][4] James Clayton Mason
Gender Male
Birth[7] 21 Apr 1906 East Conway, Carroll, New Hampshire, United Statesfamily farm
Residence[3] 1910 Conway, Carroll, New Hampshire, United Statesfamily farm
Education? abt 1912 to 1920 Center Conway, Carroll, New Hampshire, United StatesCenter Conway Grammar School
Residence[2] 1920 Conway, Carroll, New Hampshire, United Statesfamily farm
Residence? 1920 to 1924 Porter, Oxford, Maine, United StatesBoarding residence while in HS
Graduation? 1924 Porter, Oxford, Maine, United StatesOld Porter High School
Employment[7] 1924 Porter, Oxford, Maine, United StatesKezar Falls Woolen Mill
Residence[1] 1930 Conway, Carroll, New Hampshire, United States
Residence? 1930-1985 Redstone, Conway, Carroll, New Hampshire, United States
Marriage 5 Apr 1931 Plaistow, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United Statesto Cora Mabel Leach, R.N.
Death[4] 27 Jan 2001 St. Petersburg, Pinellas, Florida, United States
Burial[5] North Conway Cemetery, North Conway, Caroll, New Hampshire, United StatesMason Lot


James Clayton Mason grew up on the family farm in East Conway. He went to school in the Center Conway Grammar School(now a community center) in Center Conway village, graduating in 1920. Interestingly, he was known commonly by his middle name, Clayton (most people did not even know he had a different first name, let alone that it was James). At the time he was ready to go to high school, transportation from East Conway to the Conway Village school was problematic. In order to attend High School, he boarded with family in Porter, Maine (residence) and went to the high school there, graduating in 1924. His graduating class had only a few dozen members, and he was the last surviving. Clayton began his working life making pants at a mill in the Kezar Falls section of Parsonfield, Maine. He cut large stacks of cloth using some sort of deadly sharp band-saw driven from overhead. Living near the mill, it was his job to go in early to stoke fires for the day. After a time, he came back to Conway, initially working at the granite quarry in Redstone. He found that work extremely tough - especially in winter. He managed to change over to working in the company store for Clifford Craig. There, he learned about the post office business as well as keeping store, since the store also served as the Redstone post office. Even though Craig was the postmaster things apparently ran pretty much fine without him! Clayton recalled that when the Postal Inspector came, he would always check the Conway Village post office first. As soon as he left, the staff there called Redstone and told them to start looking for Craig who, as postmaster, was supposed to be present (but apparently, often was not).

Clayton met Cora Leach in Haverhill, Massachusetts on a double-date organized by his brother Harry. Harry was at that time, seeing his future wife, Ruth Ramsey. Ruth was friends with Cora, who was then a Nurse in private practice (she had done training at the Hale Hospital). Clayton and Cora eventually married in Plaistow, New Hampshire and came to Redstone to live, building their house on the site of the first house in Redstone.

Eventually, Mr Craig "got done". Clayton got the store from Mrs. Craig, presumably after Mr. Craig had passed. Perhaps around the time that the quarry shut down, or went inactive for WWII, James obtained the land across the street from Mr. Craig's house (diagonally down the street from the old store, as well as James' house). Apparently, that land came from Mr. Craig for little or no money. The spot was too tiny for a house, between the road and the railroad tracks (Maine Central Railroad, Mountain Division), but perfect for a post office that needed to move mail on and off trains. To begin with, the building served both as a store and post office, but was a post office only by the time of the 1960s.

Around 1960, Clayton donated a section of the post office property for the construction of a village fire station. The property was given free of charge, with a provision that it could not be resold or used for any other purpose. The building has been expanded at least once, and remains in use as a fire station.

During the 1960s, the Redstone Post Office (zip 03866) was actually a first class post office when no other post office in Conway was. The reason for this status being that Yield House sent all of their parcel post via this office (this was part of the reason that it was no longer a store/post office combination - first class post offices were required to be mail handling facilities only. Clayton would often relate that, when the Postal Inspector came to Redstone for a visit, the Inspector joked that he was visiting the only post office in New Hampshire that made money. During the Christmas rush, so much parcel post went through Redstone that the postal service had to put on a tractor-trailer to carry it all. The mail sacks were stacked so high on the loading dock, that they reached the level of the roof line. All this in a building without central heat or running water (and certainly no rest room facilities!). Eventually, Yield House started using other shippers, and Clayton retired at age 65.

A story that Clayton and Cora liked to tell of this time involved a dog they had - a Norwegian Elkhound named King. King had a fine deep bark, but did not like to use it. He could also see the post office building from the bedroom of Clayton and Cora. If someone were to drive up to the post office and stay there too long, King would walk over to Clayton's side of the bed, take his wrist in his mouth, and lead him to the window to see what was going on at the Post Office building.

Postal service consolidation closed the Redstone Post office a few years after Clayton retired. Redstone became an RFD route. Clayton sold the building to Arthur Desjardins who used it to begin a business in granite monuments (ironically, even with a large closed granite quarry in his back yard, Arthur got unlettered markers from Barre, VT). The shell of the old post office still exists, though it has been expanded and modified for use in the monument business over the years.

Shortly thereafter, Clayton and Cora began the regular habit of going to Clearwater, Florida for the winter. After another fifteen years or so, they gave up the house in Redstone, purchasing a condominium in South Portland, Maine, for use during the summer. Much to this author's surprise and confusion, in Florida Clayton was known as Jim! They maintained this practice until the end of their lives.

Clayton's Grandson, during part of his first grade, and all of second and third grades, lived with Clayton and Cora (paternal grandparents) while attending the John Fuller Elementary School in North Conway. During the Christmas rush (Yield House would send several trucks in the afternoon) He would sometimes "help" (not sure how much help he was, but he tried) in sorting the boxes that came from yield house into the different destination canvas mail bags. The mail bags hung on steel pipe racks, and had pre-typed destination tags that you pulled from the front of the rack and slid into a slot on the mail sack. He remembers being quite proud that he could take boxes and sort them into different destination sacks. An additional post-office memory of his was of epic rubber-band wars with Clayton and another school friend who also lived in Redstone. These sometimes involved a fourth person named Jim who drove the mail route (rail mail was done before this time) down to Portsmouth. These were not ordinary small rubber-bands either, but heavy-duty wide bands used to organize mail.

Clayton lived long enough to see his two great-grandsons learn to ride bicycles. Literally, as he watched them ride up and down Karynel Drive in South Portland. He also enjoyed getting them pumpkin pie at all times of the year - their special treat from Great-Grand-Dad.

For more information on "James Mason (13)", possibly including living descendants, see the WikiTree Profile.

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References
  1. 1.0 1.1 Carroll, New Hampshire, United States. 1930 U.S. Census Population Schedule,

    2-5:5B:52.

    Name: Clayton J Mason
    Birth Date: abt 1907
    Birth Place: New Hampshire
    Residence Date: 1930
    Residence Place: Conway, Carroll, New Hampshire

    [[Transcript:1298, United States. 1930 U.S. Census Population Schedule/555/{{{3}}}|{{{4}}}]], line 52

  2. 2.0 2.1 Carroll, Coos, New Hampshire, United States. 1920 U.S. Census Population Schedule, Year: 1920; Census Place: Conway, Carroll, New Hampshire; Roll: T625_1007; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 20; Image: 90.

    Name: James C Mason
    Birth Date: abt 1907
    Birth Place: New Hampshire
    Residence Date: 1920
    Residence Place: Conway, Carroll, New Hampshire

  3. 3.0 3.1 Carroll, New Hampshire, United States. 1910 U.S. Census Population Schedule, Year: 1910; Census Place: Conway, Carroll, New Hampshire; Roll: T624_860; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 18; Image: 568.

    Name: James C Madon
    Birth Date: abt 1907
    Birth Place: New Hampshire
    Residence Date: 1910
    Residence Place: Conway, Carroll, New Hampshire

  4. 4.0 4.1 Ancestry.com. Social Security Death Index. (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2011.Original data - Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security D), Number: 001-01-3526; Issue State: New Hampshire; Issue Date: Before 1951.

    Name: James C. Mason
    Birth Date: 21 Apr 1906
    Birth Place:
    Death Date: 27 Jan 2001
    Death Place: Saint Petersburg, Pinellas, Florida, United States of America

  5. Conway Public Library. Conway, Carroll, New Hampshire, United States - Cemetary Lookup, Mason, James.

    James Clayton Mason April 21, 1906 Jan. 27, 2001 North Conway

  6.   James Clayton Mason, in Find A Grave.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Mason, James R. Mason, James R. Interview with James C Mason, 1976.
  8.   Hounsell, Janet McAllister. Conway, New Hampshire 1765 - 1997. (Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States: Peter E Randall), 199.

    "Redston's post office relocated in a new small building during Clayton Mason's tenure (around 1941) as postmaster. This erved Redstone and the East Conway area, with three hundred listings at one time. For a while, the railroad and post office were heavily used by the Yield House Gift Shop and the Pepsi Cola Bottling plant, both nearby. Says Esther Potter, who worked there: "Levy, who was getting started with his Yield House, shipped his posters out of there, doing a lot of business." "

  9.   Hounsell, Janet McAllister. Conway, New Hampshire 1765 - 1997. (Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States: Peter E Randall), 395.

    "Redstone:
    Fred W. Hussey, (?) 1888
    Clifford Craig, confirmed as acting postmaster in 1922
    James Clayton Mason, PM on 1941
    Jean A Aspinall, OIC on 1972
    Margaret E. Robinson, OIC in 1972

    The office, last located in a portion of what is now Arthur's Memorials no longer exists, having been closed in the early 1970s."

  10.   United States, New Hampshire, Carroll. 1940 US Census Population Schedule.
  11.   St. Petersburg Times. (St. Petersburg, Florida), 29 Jan 2001.

    "MASON, JAMES CLAYTON, 94, of Clearwater, died Saturday (Jan. 27, 2001) Hospice House Woodside, Pinellas Park. He was born in East Conway, N.H., and came here in 1972 from Redstone, N.H., where he retired as postmaster. Survivors include a son, Robert L., Clearwater; a grandson, James Richard Mason, Chelmsford, Mass.; and two great-grandsons. R. Lee Williams & Son Funeral Home & Crematory, 49th Street North Chapel, St. Petersburg.

    William Semple Co. Funeral Directors, Tarpon Springs."

  12.   Kezar Falls Woolen Mill