1: State you full name plese?
2: Mr Mason where do you live?
I live about five and a half or six miles west of here, – out here on this old road. –
3: What road is that called?-
Well it was called the Westport road. That is what some people call it yet.
4: Mr Mason you may state how long you have lived there?
Well sir that has been my home ever since there if my memory serves me right in August ’33.
5: What road did you travel from home, and have you travelled all the rime since you came there first, when coming to and returning from town here?
This road I speak of.
6: What road is that?
The Independence and Westport road.
7: Is that the same road that in town here is called the “Lexington road”?
It is this road here that runs out here, – this street out here that runs off down west from here.
8: Do you mean the strret that runs out here by the Temple lot?
9: It runs out here by the present Mormon church, as you call it?
10: On which side of the road is that?
On the right hand side going out.
11: On the right hand side going west?
12: On which side of the road is the Temple lot?
Well the church as I said is on the right hand side as you go west from here and the temple lot as it is called, is on the left hand side of the road. The church is on one side of the road, and right across the road from the church is what I call the Temple lot.
13: Where is the Missouri Pacific bridge?
What is that?
14: Where from that is the Missouri Pacific bridge, the bridge across the Missouri Pacific tracks?
It is further west from that yet.
15: Is it out west yet further than the temple lot?
16: It is west of both these lots, – the temple lot and the lot that the stone church now stands on?
Yes sir. Well it is sort of south west from them to the bridge.
17: Then the road or street there runs in a kind of a south westerly direction?
Yes sir. It runs west from here, and as you get down to the church and the temple lot and beyond that it kind of turns to the south.
18: Well now beginning at or near the Pacific bridge, and coming this way, did you ever, – did you know at any time of a fence being along there on the south side of the Westport road?
Yes sir it runs in my had that there was a fence there, but it is so long ago that I can’t remember distinctly.
19: Well did you know of any such a fence being there prior to the war?
Before the war did you say?
20: Yes sir?
Yes sir, that is what I say that it such a fence there, and that was before the war.
21: That was before the war?
Yes sir, that is what I say. I think it was before the war.
22: On which side of the Westport road was that fence?
On the south side. It was on the left hand side going west from here.
23: Well do you think that that fence extended south west to in the neighborhood of where that bridge is at the present time?
Well I think it did. I would not be sure, but I think it did go down to pretty near it. Maybe it did not go as far as that, – I would not be certain as to that.
24: About how far was it from that point going east to where the temple lot now is? That is where the temple lot that is not fenced is?
Well I suppose it is about three hundred and fifty yards to the lot from where the bridge over the railroad now is. I think it was about that far from there to the bridge that is over the railroad track now.
25: Do you mean that by coming up to the west side of the temple lot as it is fenced now, or coming up on past the temple lot altogether?
Well coming this way from the bridge it is about three hundred and fifty yards I think.
26: Well would that bring you to this side of the Temple lot as it is fence in now?
27: When that distance would not bring you to the east side of it?
28: Well about how much would it take to bring you to the east side of it?
Of the temple lot?
29: Yes sir, as it is now fenced in?
Well I don’t know.
30: Well approximately about how far would it be?
Well I say I don’t know for I never measured it or stepped myself, and so I cannot say exactly. I think it is about three hundred and fifty yards, – maybe a little more or a little less up to the west side of it
31: Well coming on up this way past the temple lot, the distance would be as much greater than the distance you have designated as the temple lot is wide or long, – the distance would be the length of the temple lot greater, coming in this direction to the east fence of the temple lot? It would be that much more than three hundred and fifty yards to the east side of it from the bridge?
32: Well now, Mr Mason, do you know how far that fence extended from that bridge this way, with reference to the temple lot?
Well I don’t know exactly, but I think the fence run plum up this way past the temple lot as it is there now, and then down that way, and fenced in a part of the town there, but I would not be certain about it, for I don’t remember distinctly how is was.
33: But you think the fence came up to this side of the temple lot where it is now?
34: Well I am only making it clear what the witness means in putting the question that way?
Yes sir. I think it did. I could not be positively certain, but I think it did.
35: Now tell me if you can how far this way, the fence you have spoken of on the south side of the Westport road, extended, with reference to the temple lot as now fenced?
How far it extended this way?
36: Yes sir?
I do not understand that question.
37: How is your hearing, – can you hear well?
No sir, not very well you will have to speak loud if you want me to hear you.
38: Well I asked you how far this way with reference to the temple lot as now fenced, that fence on the south side of the Westport road extended?
Well I cannot answer that question because I don’t know how far it extended.
39: Well did it or did it not extend along the side of the road, and along the side of the lot, as it is now fenced?
Yes sir I believe there was a fence there.
40: You think there was a fence there?
41: Well are you sure there was a fence along the south side of any part of that road?
Am I sure?
42: Yes sir, beginning at the bridge there over the Missouri Pacific and coming this way along the road, are you sure there was a fence there at any time?
Yes sir I know there was a fence a part of the way.
43: When was that fence there?
Do you want to know the time?
44: Yes sir?
Well sir I could not tell you.
45: Well with reference to its being there before or after the war?
it was before the war that I mean.
46: Can you state positively about there being a fence along there on the south side of the road?
Yes sir I can for a part of the way.
47: What sort of a fence was it?
A stone fence.
48: Can you state positively with reference as to whether or not that fence extended east this way, so as to extend past the present ground called the temple lot?
No sir, I could not say as to that positively.
49: Well now if it did not, – well now if that fence extends east this way as you suggest, was there not another fence attached to it some where running east and west, and extending up this way further to the east?
There might have been.
Well sir I can’t answer that question for I don’t know how that is.
50: Well did that fence that you speak of inclose a field in there any where?
51: You may answer the question?
What is it?
52: Did that fence or did it not inclose a field any where in there?
53: The fence you speak of?
54: It inclosed a field?
55: Was there a fence there at any time before the war that made an enclosure?
Well of course it did I suppose. I don’t know that I was ever all around it, but they had stuff there growing in it, – Woodson did after they got it.
56: Now was or was not this fence you have testified about a fence on the side of a field?
Yes sir I think it was. It had the appearance of being fenced in like a field.
57: Well now with reference to this stone fence that you speak of, was or was not that a side of a field?
58: Well I mean by a field, – an enclosure?
Yes sir I understand.
59: Well was or was not this stone fence you spoke of a part of the fence around an enclosure?
Well I don’t know. I know that it fenced off the temple lot or a part of it any how, and perhaps the whole of it from the road. I suppose they fenced up as much of it as they could.
60: Well was it a large field or a small field that was there?
Well it was a pretty large field I should think for it was about all of that south of this Westport and Independence road. I don’t know how far down south it extended, but it seemed to me to be a pretty large field that was there. You understand that, don’t you?
61: Yes sir, I think I do.
Well go on and ask me questions and I will answer them. I am getting old, and I am not going to stay here all day.
62: What was that field cultivated in?
Well it was grass sometimes, and it was pasture sometimes.
63: Do you recollect the number of acres there was in that field?
64: Well give us your best recollection as to the size of the field with reference to the number of acres there was in it?
I don’t know anything about the number of acres there was in it at all.
65: Well did that field extend south of where the Missouri Pacific railroad is now, or did it, – was it north of where the Missouri Pacific railroad is not?
Well I don’t know but I think that the present Missouri Pacific railroad is not far from the south side, from where the south side of that field was. That is my idea of it, but I would not be positive.
66: Now where was the north side of that field?
I think the road there made the line.
67: You think the road made the line?
68: You mean the Westport road?
Yes sir. I think that was the north line of that enclosure.
69: Well now can you give me any idea as to where the east line of that field was, – if there was a big filed there can you give me any ideas to where the east line of it was?
No sir I can’t.
70: Well can’t you give an approximate idea as to where the east line was?
No sir, I cannot, and I have passed it thousands of time I might say, – well hundreds of times any way, and yet I can’t tell you.
71: Well can you answer this question, -?
I say I can’t tell you where it was, –
72: Well wait until you hear my question and probably you can answer it, – Was the east line of that field or enclosure, west or east of the present enclosure know as the temple lot?
The east line of the temple lot?
73: Now this is it, – was the east line of that enclosure you have been speaking of, west of the present enclosure known as the temple lot, or was it west of it?
I don’t know. I can’t say whether it came past the west side of that lot as at present enclosed or not. Possibly it did, but that is something I can’t say. You know all that ground down there was called the temple lot once, and is yet called the temple lot or ground by a good many. The whole piece of ground, – the whole enclosure there was always called the temple lot ever since I have been in this country, and a good deal more ground down there as well.
74: Well can you tell me some body that lived in there prior to the war?
Well I don’t know that I can. Let me see, – Poole lived down there some where.
75: What is that?
There was a man named Poole lived down there somewhere, but to save me I do not remember what time that was.
76: Do you know that he lived on that piece of ground that was fenced there?
Well I can’t say as to that I know he lived there north of the railroad, and I believe that he did live on that land.
77: Was he inside the field or enclosure?
Well the fact is I do not know whether he was or not. I can’t say as to that.
78: Well how long ago was that?
I can’t say what year it was.
79: About how long ago was it?
Well I reckon it was forty five or fifty years ago, – maybe more, may be less, but I think it was that long ago any way.
80: That mans name you saw was “Poole”?
81: Did you know any body else that lived in there?
No sir I don’t remember. If there was any one else lived there I have forgotten them now.
82: Do you know to whom that property belonged at the time you speak of, – that is at the time it was fenced as you have stated?
They said that Woodson owned it, but I don’t know that he did.
83: Do you know who built that stone fence there?
Sam Woodson had it done. I know that he got the rock over there where Chrisman’s house was burned, right pretty near south of, the church there
84: Was the quarry – there where Chrismans house was, or was it south of where the house was?
Well I don’t know just where it was, but it was some where in that neighbourhood.
85: And the rock for the fence was taken from that point?
Yes sir. Some where near there.
86: Did you see them when they aere building that fence?
Yes sir I saw them for they did not build it in a week, – they were quite a while building it, – I can’t say how long.
87: Did you see Woodson there in colnection with the building of that fence?
Yes sir. I saw him there occasionally. I saw him there several times.
88: That is you mean to say you saw him there in con- nection with the building o that fence?
89: Now you say this was prior to the war?
90: Well do you know whether any part of that fence was moved prior to the war?
91: Do you know whether or not any part of that fence was moved prior to the war by any body?
92: And it was moved?
93: What part of it was moved prior to the war?
That part of it that was right along the road out here sir
94: Well aint that the fence along the Westport road, – it was a part of that fence that was moved?
95: Well what part of it as near as you can remember, was it that was moved?
I think that part on the north side next to the road.
96: Do you mean to say that the end of the fence this way, that is the north east end of it was moved?
97: That was the end that was moved?
98: That was before the war?
99: By whom was it moved?
Woodson I think.
100: What did he do with it if you know?
I think he put it in store.
101: Do you know where he moved it to?
102: Well where did he move it to?
Well right south, – on the south side of the road running by that black- smith shop.
103: Whose blacksmith shop do you refer to?
I don’t know his name. It is not there now since the dummy took our road away.
104: Well is it Page’s blacksmith shop that you refer to?
I don’t know his name. I can’t say what his name was for I never had any work done there, but it is right opposite the, – it is right beside the depot there.
105: It was moved on the road where the blacksmith shop is situated?
106: That was where the stone fence was put?
Yes sir, – that is where it was moved to.
107: Well how does that lie with reference to the temple lot?
How does it lie?
108: Yes sir, how does it lir with reference to the tem- ple lot?
The present temple lot?
109: Yes sir this lot that is fenced in?
Yes sir I understand now. It lies right south of it. The road divides it.
110: The road divides it?
Yes sir. It was all called the temple lot then but Woodson and Maxwell did some thing about it. I remember hearing that they had some trouble over it, and Woodson took his rock and left Maxwell’s part.
111: Now this was before the war?
Yes sir, I think so
112: now can you tell from what part or point, with reference to the temple lot, the fence was moved south?
Can I tell?
113: Yes sir?
No sir I don’t know anything about that only what a Mormon told me and he told me that he had sold that part of John Maxwell.
114: Well I don’t care about what any one told you. I want simply what you know yourself without reference to what any body told you?
Well I know he told me that and the fence was moved in side of a year after that.
115: Did you see them moving the fence?
Of course I have seen them moving it, only I don’t know ho it was that moved it. I saw them moving it, but I could not tell you any one now that was moving it only Woodson, – I remember seeing him there.
116: How was the fence located when it was moved, with reference to the fence before it was moved?
I do not understand what you mean?
117: Well was it north or south, or east or west?
I told you it was moved south of where it used to be.
118: By whom was it moved?
I could not say, for I did not see Woodson there that I recollect of.
119: le me understand you, – you said a moment ago that Woodson was there, and that you saw him – there, and as I believe you were mistaken I want to give you an opportunity to correct yourself?
I said that I saw him there when they were building it, but I don’t recollect seeing him there when they were removing it.
120: Well the fence was moved down south?
Yes sir, the fence was along this road out here, and it was moved off and down south of where it had been. That is the stone in the fence was moved.
121: Do you know what the road was named that it was moved to?
122: Well was the rock placed on the north or the south side of the road after it was moved?
There is a part of it over here in the hollow, and they have built and used some of it in building, and I don’t know what became of the rest, or whether it was all used that way.
123: Were you along on that road at any time when there was a fight during the war?
Well yes I was around there one night when they had a little fun late one-evening.
124: Did that fence have anything to do with it?
Well the “bush whackers” had to jump that fence to get after Blake’s men.
125: Did any body protect himself with the fence?
126: Who was it?
127: You were there at the time?
No sir not at the time. I went out there to see the fun but it was all over before I got there. They had run off and hid, and I don’t know where they were when I got there, – at any rate the fun was all over.
128: That is all? Cross examination by P.P. Kelley, –
129: Now you know exactly where this piece of ground that is fenced f ow here, that they call the temple lot, is, don’t you?
Do I know where it is?
130: Yes sir?, – do you know exactly where it is?
131: You know just its exact location?
132: And have known it ever since 1833 have you not?
133: Now are you willing to say that you ever saw anybody on there faming?
134: Where that piece of ground is that is now fenced in, and which you say is now and has always been since you came here, called the “temple lot”?
Where the fence is?
135: Where that piece of ground is fenced in?
Well I don’t understand the question, what is it you asked me?
136: I asked you if you were willing to say that you had ever seen anyone on there farming or raising a crop of any kind on that piece of ground down here that is now fenced in and called the “temple lot”?
Well they had stock on it, but I did not say that I ever saw any body ploughing there.
137: I did not ask you if you ever saw anyone ploughing there?
Well I didn’t and I didn’t say I did.
138: Well did you ever see anyone working there?
No sir I don’t think that I did.
139: You never did see anyone working there?
No sir, I don’t know as I did. I saw them building the fence there, and maybe you call that working.
140: Well did that fence that you have spoken of, come up between that temple ground and where the church is now?
It came up there where I said it did.
141: Well where was that?
On the south side of the road.
142: Well did it come that far up the road?
143: As far as to where the temple lot is now that is fenced in at the present time, or up as far as the church?
Well I could not be positive as to where it did come to, but I know it was down there to the west end of that piece that is fenced in there. I am pretty positive it came up to that.
144: That is that the fence that Woodson built came up to the west end of that temple lot that is fenced there now?
Yes sir, I know for certain that it came that far, and I believe that it extended on up this way further than that, but I can’t be positive that it did.
145: You know there is a three cornered piece outside of the fence there?
146: Now did not that rock fence stop there on that three cornered piece of ground and then turn and run down the other way down the street?
I don’t know.
147: It would be on the street right west of where the fencing is now. Is that not the way the stone fence went?
It went right west from that.
148: South wasn’t it?
Yes sir, that is what I thought.
149: I don’t have the directions of the compass here very well myself and some times I get a little mixed up?
Well you should have someone here to ask these questions if you don’t know what you are doing.
150: Well I must confess that I expect that is pretty good advice. Now what is your recollection about that?
151: Is it your best recollection that that is where the fence stopped there, that is that it stopped at the west side of that triangular piece of ground there at the west end of the temple lot is at present fenced?
No sir I don’t recollect that it stopped there. I think it came on further.
152: Well where did it stop?
Well it must have come up pretty near the end of where that Mormon temple is out here, as they call it. I think it must have come up pretty near to that.
153: Well will you swear that the fence did come up to there?
No sir I could not do that.
154: You could not swear that it came up that far?
No-sir, for I don’t remember just where it did come, as it has been so long ago, but I remember that there was a fence there.
155: That ground has always been known as the “temple lot” ever since you have been in the country has it not?
Yes sir, and I heard of it before I came here.
156: It has never been known by any other name since you have been here?
That is the name it had cone by, – as the temple lot or temple ground.
157: Did you ever go to-church there?
No sir, not that I remember.
158: Did they ever hold any meetings there that you know of, – out of doors I mean?
Well I heard that they had meetings there, but I don’t know for I never went to any of them myself.
159: Well when you first came here in 1833 was the ground where this temple lot is, – the ground that is and always has been known as the “temple lot”, – was that timbered land or prairrie land, or both?
Well it had most of it been timbered land I think, but at that time the timber was mostly cut off it. Most of it was any way.
160: Most of the timber had been cut off it?
161: That was when you first came here?
162: Where was that that the timber was cut off it?
Well along this street out here, – the “Westport Road” as it was called, the timber was pretty well cut off it when I came here.
163: How far back from the road was the timber cut off it if you know?
Well I don’t know. I can’t say. There was scattering trees on it of course, but I can’t say how far back the timber had been cut off it.
164: Now in reference to this fence, -is it not a fact that there was just a fence run around a part of this land for the purpose of pasturage, and that it was never farmed in the sense that we mean when we say a piece of land is farmed?
Well I can’t say, I know what farming is, but I don’t know whether that was farmed or not. I said that before, but I know there was grass on it, and I think at some time there was some wheat grown there, but as to that I would not be positive. I remember though that there was grass there, for I recollect seeing them cutting grass there.
165: And they did not turn their cattle in there to graze?
Yes sir, of course they did. I don’t know that I ever remember seeing cattle pasturing in-there but it is reasonable to suppose that if they had it enclosed that they would put their cattle in it and not let the pasture go to waste.
166: They did turn cattle in there to graze?
Yes sir I suppose so for if you had a piece of land that was fenced you would pasture your stock on it or farm it if you saw it was fit for farming.
167: Who was that man, – what was his name, – I mean the man that old you he had sold it to Maxwell?
Well I don’t recollect his name. I can’t remember these things for it has been so long ago you know, – too long ago to remember the names of men who told me a thing like that in which I was not particularly interested. I remember talking to him three hours one day, and I recollect that he talked to me one day about three hours about it. I remember too that he told me that he had sold it to Maxwell, and he said he was a Mormon, and he lived at Salt Lake City.
168: Where did he live?
He told me that he lived in Salt Lake, but I don’t know anything about that only what he told me.
169: Where did you see him?
I saw him out here not far from Washington Park down here. He came there and stayed all night with me and that was how I came to talk with him as I did.
170: When was that?
That was a long time ago.
It was a long, long time ago, not far from forty five years ago I should think. Yes I reckon it was as much as forty five years ago.
172: Was it in 1846 or 1847?
Yes sir. I reckon it was some where along about that time.
173: And you do not recollect what his name was?
No sir. I asked him his name but I don’t remember what it was now. Of course he told me but I have forgotten it.
174: He said that he lived in Salt Lake?
Yes sir, that is what he told me, and that is all that I know about it.
175: Would you recollect his name if you were to hear it again?
Well I don’t know as I would.
176: That is all?
I don’t recollect a Mormons name for my memory is not as good as it used to be, but I recollect that there was one shot old Governor Boogs through a window here in Independence.
177: How do you know it was a Mormon shot him?
Well it was a Mormon I guess. I reckon there is no doubt about that.
178: Well don’t you think you know it because it was said it was a Mormon shot him?
I don’t know how I know it.
179: And don’t you know that Col. Doniphan said it was not a Mormon that shot him?
Well it don’t matter what he said for Col. Doniphan don’t know everything.