Colonel Mason S. Colburn

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From the Manchester Journal:

Col. Mason S. Colburn died in Manchester Centre, February 18, 1895 at the age of 57 years. Col. Colburn was born in Castleton, but came to Manchester when a young man and engaged as a clerk in the store of M. Clark & Son. By his energy and good business sense he made himself indispensable to his employers, and on the retirement of Judge Clark, about 1860, he was made a partner in the firm of A.G. Clark & Co. The firm owned and operated a large tannery, marble mill and grist mill and employed a large number of hands and did very prosperous business. After the death of A.G. Clark Mr. Colburn conducted the business alone for some years but gradually became interested in railroad matters and finally gave up most of the other business.


For some time he has been managing director of the Bennington & Rutland Railroad, and it has been largely through his energy and good management that the road is now in fine condition and doing a prosperous business. Being deterred by his business engagements Col. Colburn did not become a soldier in the war, but he did much by influencing the town to pay liberal bounties and did everything possible to encourage enlistment. Near the close of the war on the organization of the militia he was chosen Captain of Co. A 11th Regiment and was afterwards chosen Colonel of the same regiment.


Col. Colburn would not often accept of town office but was always ready with good counsel and advice to help those in office. He was repeatedly elected a member of the legislature from Manchester and also served as state Senator. He was a politician in the best sense, seldom seeking office for himself, but doing valiant work for the Republican Party, believing thoroughly in its principles and largely aiding in its triumphs in the state and nation. His abilities in this direction were recognized throughout the state and nation.
Col. Colburn was a model presiding officer and was often called to preside at town meetings and conventions, and by his ready wit and business ability not only expedited the business in hand but put everybody in good humor. This town and county and state will long remember him for his good services and bitterly regret the providence that has called him away in the midst of his usefulness.


In private life Col. Colburn was above reproach. Generous to a fault he was always more ready to help others than to help himself and as a natural consequence his friends were legion and were by no means confined to this town and county. All with whom he came in contact were at once impressed with his genial nature and became his friends. In 1863 the deceased married Helen Munson, daughter of the late A.G. Clark. Only one child, a daughter was born to them, who with the widow, grieves his loss.

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