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Ellen Hanson Mason, 1897-



  • Existence: 1897-


Ellen Hanson Mason was born in 1897 to Torstein Hanssen Skoien (later changed to Thomas Hanson) and Elizabeth "Eliza" Bumgartner, who emigrated from the Lapland area of Norway. One of seven children, Ellen Hanson was raised and continued to live on her family's farm in rural Fayette County, Iowa. In between tending her chickens and sheep, weekly washings and cleaning, and helping her brothers raise and sell pigs and cattle, she found abundant time to spend with neighbors and relatives playing cards, as a pianist with various local bands playing at barn dances, going to dinners and movies, and hosting nieces and nephews for sleepovers as they helped on the farm. She got to know her husband, Orlin Mason, through many of these social events. After countless visits, narrated throughout her diaries, the two were married in 1938. Although she never had children of her own, Mason was known to carry gum or candy for the children attending her church, the Illyria Community Church in the Highland Township. She started battling hemorrhaging and tumors in the late 1940s, but Mason continued to work on the farm and enjoy company until her death in the 1970s.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Ellen Hanson Mason papers

Identifier: IWA0820

Diaries chronicle Ellen Hanson Mason's life on the family farm in rural northeast Iowa.

Dates: 1929-1994