About This Place
Mason is the seat of Mason County, Texas, United States. The town is an agricultural community on Comanche Creek southwest of Mason Mountain, on the Edwards Plateau and part of the Llano Uplift. The population was 2,134 at the 2000 census.
The first settler is thought to have been William S. Gamel in 1846. The settlement of Mason grew up around Fort Mason which was established by the United States War Department as a front-line defense against Kiowa, Lipan Apache and Comanche, on July 6, 1851. George W. Todd established a Fort Mason post office March 8, 1858, which became consigned to the civilian settlement on June 26, 1858. The protection and commercial possibilities of the fort drew settlers. W. C. Lewis opened a general store that served soldiers and settlers. In 1860, James E. Ranck opened a second store and later became known as "The Father of Mason". He and Ben F. Gooch began leasing 5,000 acres of land to cotton sharecroppers. Mason was elected the county seat in 1861
After the U.S. Civil War, returning Confederate veterans and German ranchers clashed in 1875 over cattle rustling and other crimes. The resulting killings were known as "The HooDoo Wars," In the midst of the war, Loyal Valley home owner Tim Williamson was murdered by a dozen masked vigilantes who accused him of cattle theft. Williamson’s adopted son Texas Ranger Scott Cooley sought revenge. Cooley and his desperadoes, which included Johnny Ringo, created a reign of terror over the area. It was during this episode that Ringo committed his first murder, that of James Cheyney.