“My grandparents were homesteaders,” says Bill Mason. “They moved into G-3 and my granddad was the night watchman handling the
furnaces and checking the equipment.”
Bill recently honored John “Daddy” and Izura Mason by setting up a family legacy to support Arthurdale Heritage. Bill’s wife Connie also comes from an Arthurdale family, the Drakes, who moved here in 1943. The two later met in 1949.
He and Connie had long careers in the educational field and have retired to North Carolina. They have four children and four grandchildren.
The elder Mr. and Mrs. Mason were featured in an April 1938 issue of a Woman’s Day magazine article written by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. They had six children and also raised their grandson Jack.
Mrs. Roosevelt mentioned that Daddy told her how proud he was to be able to feed his family and others and to be on his feet financially.
Bill’s grandmother marked the chairs Mrs. Roosevelt had sat on during her visits to the family. She wanted others to feel that special connection too.
Growing up, Bill often stayed overnight at his grandparents’ house. “My grandmother needed a lot of care in her last few years after a fall. I just walked down over the hill to go to school each day.”
“I remember my newspaper route and selling papers to the factory workers in Reedsville. I would be there when the shift changed. Everyone wanted a copy after the Pearl Harbor attack,” Bill says.