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(journey icon)1843

Mason C. Darling

from Wisconsin Historical Collections   1857

Hon. Mason C. Darling was born in Amherst, Hampshire county, Mass., May 18th, 1801, and resided in that region for thirty-six years. At the age of thirteen, he was left an orphan as poor as poverty could make him. He had no means but his hands and a resolute heart, of obtaining an education, or of establishing himself in the world. But he struggled with poverty hopefully, secured an education, afterwards taught school, earned money, and studied medicine--would have run in debt, if he had had the credit--and at length graduated at the Berkshire Medical Institution, in 1824. He was then, for about twelve years, engaged in the medical profession in the town of Greenwich, in Hampden county. Here he secured a fair country practice, and twice represented the town in the Massachusetts Legislature.

During the year 1836, he became one of the original proprietors of the celebrated water-power and town site of Sheboygan Falls, in this State. There he removed in the spring of 1837, and superintended the completion of the grist, saw, and shingle mills, and the first framed dwelling in that now flourishing town, and was engaged in the lumbering business there during the remainder of the year.

In the month of April, 1838, he removed to Fond du Lac, and himself and family made one of the three which comprised the then entire population of Fond du Lac county. He erected the first framed dwelling in Fond du Lac, and laid out all that part of it now known as Darling's Additions, and which still embrace the most populous and principal business portion of the city. He successively held several of the principal offices of the county, and was the first President of the village corporation, and first Mayor of the city. He was a member of the Territorial Legislature from 1839 to the close of the Territorial Government in 1848; and was Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1845, and President of the Council in 1847--the Documentary History and Wisconsin Almanac, to the contrary notwithstanding. Upon the organization of the State Government, he was chosen one of the two Representatives to Congress to which Wisconsin was then entitled. It may be added here, that Dr. Darling was one of the eight persons comprising the Fox and Wisconsin Improvement Company, who received the grant of that work and land from the State, and was elected the first President of the Company; and he is now one of the stockholders and directors of the Chicago, St. Paul and Fond du Lac Railroad Company.

Few of our Wisconsin pioneers have had their energies directed to better aims and nobler purposes than Dr. Darling and few deserve a richer reward. We has made himself active in opening roads and thorough-fares, establishing rail and stage routes, aiding and encouraging churches and schools, and otherwise building up and developing the settlement growth, and prosperity of his favorite and beautiful city, and indeed the whole region; of North-Eastern Wisconsin. Such services and such efforts demand, as they will receive, the appreciative gratitude of his enlightened fellow citizens.

Carpenter, S. H., F. G. Tibbets and B. F. Hopkins. "Report on the Picture Gallery." Wisconsin Historical Collections 3 (1857). 52-54.
From the collection of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin: F 576 W81.