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The position of Centennial Historian of Mason county being offered me by our citizens, and by the recommendation of the meeting of the 27th inst., to prepare for the approaching Anniversary, I hereby tender my thanks to those who have, with such entire unanimity, offered me this work. It will be my ambition to accomplish the work assigned, not only to the best of my ability, but have engaged the criticisms and advice of competent friends, to whom all manuscripts will be referred for examination. I desire that FULLNESS, CORRECTNESS and IMPARTIALITY shall be characteristics of the work. I would be glad to receive from old residents such incidents of the early history. of the county as may be at their command.



We live in an age of light and of knowledge; an age in which the progress of science and of art is unprecedented in the history of the world. Their progress is onward with the step of a Collossus. We abide, too, in a land of civil and religious liberty. The benignant smiles of an overruling Providence have ever beamed upon us in all their glory and their effulgence.

The trump of the warrior, the noise and confusion of battle, and the garments dyed in blood, have passed from our heritage, and we are living in the felicitous enjoyment of those twin boons of freedom and prosperity, purchased by the blood of, and bequeathed to us by, our fathers. Let us emulate their deeds, practice their virtues, and hand down to posterity the rich legacy bequeathed to us, untarnished by them, unimpaired by us. Let us contemplate the edifice they reared, this magnificent temple of CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY!

The permanent fruits of liberty are wisdom, moderation and mercy. Its abuse are crimes, conflicts, errors. It is at this latter crisis that its enemies love to exhibit it. They would pull down the scaffolding from the half-finished edifice, and point to the flying dust, the falling timbers and debris, and then ask in scorn, where is the promised comfort and splendor of the structure to be found?

But there stands this ancient architectural pile, with tokens of a century's age covering it from its corner-stone to its topmost turret. Some of its enemies point to these symbols of age as tokens of decay, while to its friends they indicate the years they have stood; and chronicle a massiveness that can yet defy more centuries than it has stood years. Its foundations are buried in the accumulated mould of an hundred years. Its walls are mantled by ornamental vines of ever green foliage.

Dig away

the mould of a century, and these foundations were laid by no mortal hand. The Temple of Civil Liberty is founded on primitive rock. It strikes its roots to an unfathomable depth. No frost can heave--no convulsions shake it. The Centennial Anniversary of the Temple of Liberty to-day we celebrate. July

4, 1876.


Come forth in all thy maiden charm,

Serenely still, benignly fair,
For greetings true and glad and warm

Are thrilling through the summer air.
Come forth, so dowered with youthful grace,

Columbia, Lady of the West!
And be the welcome in thy face,

The pride of every honored guest.

A hundred years, in shade and light,

Have cast their glory o'er thy brow;
But what are they? A watch by night

To nations vast who seek thee now,
Who heard the overture of morn

Swept grandly by the choiring stars,
Ere yet across the earth was borne

The sound of strife, the clash of wars.

The children of the farthest East

Have brought their tributes to thy shrine.
Though last, fair land, thou art not least,

And cordial hands solicit thine.
Lo! out from all her mystic past

Steps she who reared the Pyramid;
And China opens wide the fast

Barred door which once her empire hid.

With stately courtesy they bring

Their wishes for thy long success;
Their golden censers gently swing

With incense pure as love's caress.
With treasures of an elder art,

Across blue-rounding waves, Japan
Comes mingling in thy thronging mart,

To tell the brotherhood of man.

And other than these Orient ones

Are pilgrams to thy radiant shore; The emphasis of kindred tones

Makes sweet the hail from lips, before, A century back, that, touched with scorn,

In English accents told thy nameThy name! to-day with glory worn

Wherever reaches England's fame.

Italia sends her dreams sublime

In marble wrought. From Spain and France, From German lands, From Russia's clime,

From Greece, with thoughts of old romance Entwined, the votive offerings come;

And syllabled in silvery speech, Beneath the deep cerulean dome,

Flow words of cheer thine ear to reach.

From where the Amazon's deep tide

Full-hearted glides through banks of green, A royal pair have sought thy side,

With simplest grace and courtly mien; And from their broad and ample state,

Where thousands bend to do their will, Comes, fitly crowning freedom's fete,

A wreath of bloom from fair Brazil.

A fading shape, the while it fades,

That gives thee homage, joins to raise, Ere yet it vanish ’mid the shades

Of night and eld, its chant of praise. Its name is on thy rivers writ,

Its music crowns thy mountain peaks, Yet, phantom-like, its children flit

Before the tongue Columbia speaks.

Receive, fair virgin of the West,

The friendly plaudits of the world; Receive the love in flowers expressed,

By flags in gentle peace unfurled! Begin the century to come

In faith unfeigned, in solemn awe, And consecrate thy soil, the home

Of Liberty allied to Law!



However instructive to the student of history to trace the leading events from the creation, the deluge, the calling of Abraham, the exodus of Israel, and the giving of the Law, the foundation of Sparta, the death of Saul, the foundation of Rome, the destruction of Nineveh, the death of Cyrus, the battle of Marathon, the death of Darius, birth of Plato, the death of Socrates, the destruction of Thebes, Alexander invades Asia, completion of the Collossus of Rhodes, Hannibal crosses the Alps, death of Hannibal, birth of Julius Ceasar, death of Marius, Ceasar crosses the Rubicon, and is made Dictator, death of Cicero, of Anthony and Cleopetra, and the great central event of the world's history, the birth of Christ, it is not the province of this work to detail.

From the birth of Christ to the discovery of America, a period of nearly fifteen centuries, events thicken, as time rolls on, with apparently an accellerated velocity. Prominent among them, we note the death of Augustus, and the accession of Tiberius, and the crucifixion of Christ, Nero Emperor of Rome, and Titus of Jerusalem, christianity preached in Britain, siege of Alexandria, Constantine the Great, Emperor of Rome, Anglo-Saxons in Britain, Persia conquered by the Saracens, descent of the Danes on England, Otho, the first King of Germany, America discovered, in 1801, by Biorn and Lief, two Icelanders, accession of William the Conqueror, death of Abelard, the Tartar in Hungary, Palestine lost to the Christians, Turks in Europe, burning of Heretics in England, siege of Orleans, fall of the Byzantine Empire, Gibralter taken by the Moors, birth of Luther and Raphael, the inquisition in Spain, battle of Bosworth, Cape of Good Hope discovered, surrender of Grenada, end of the Moorish Dominion in Spain, expulsion of the Jews from Spain; and the discovery of America.

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