Mr. Wason was born in the retired New England village of New Boston, Hillsboro Co., New Hampshire, Dec.18, 1814. His parents were of that rugged puritanical stock who gave to their children the priceless inheritance of sturdy bodies and vigorous minds well instructed in Christian truths. It was but natural that one reared in such a home should consecrate his services to the Master in early life and at the age of sixteen Mr. Wason accepted Christ as Teacher, Friend, and Savior and made public profession of his choices.
He cheerfully bore his share of the home through youth and early manhood and in addition fitted himself for college. At the age of twenty he entered Amherst and graduated in the class of '88. After graduation he taught school for two years at new Ipswich, near Amherst. Subsequently, the mental and bodily labors of college life and of teaching having been severe, it became necessary to seek the milder climate of Georgia for a year. After this season of recuperation Mr. Wason returned to New England and attended Andover theological seminary for a year. He continued and completed his course in New Haven in 1843. In the fall of that year he came west and after a period at Lane theological seminary he located in Vevay, Switzerland Co., Ind. After a year of preaching and teaching he returned to New England to claim for his bride Miss Betsey R. Abbot, of Wilton, N.H., and together they prosecuted the labors already begun in the then, distant west. For seven years Mr. Wason preached and taught in Vevay and surrounding regions. While there [he] prepared many young men for College, among whom was Mr. Edward Eggleston, the now famous author of the "Hoosier Schoolmaster." In this work, Mr. Eggleston honored his former tutor by selecting him as the model for "The Young Minister."
In the spring of 1857 Mr. and Mrs. Wason with their children, T.A., Nannie and Mai came to Lake Co. Mr. Wason entered heartily into the conditions of pioneer life, preaching in log school houses, organizing Sunday Schools and actively engaging in all movements tending toward the uplifting and betterment of the entire community. He assisted in organizing the Presbyterian Church on Lake Prairie and served as its pastor for some years. In addition to his pastoral work he superintended the cultivation and development of his Lake Prairie farm on which he lived.
Mr. Wason was elected to the state legislature during the trying times of the Civil War. He was true to the best interests of his country and state as well as to those of his immediate home. When the period of public service was over he returned to the work of the farm and continued a careful study of agriculture. He was a student of the best agricultural literature and was foremost in putting into operation the newer methods of scientific farming; always open to new truth and never loath to lend his support of the good and true in business as well as in Christian teaching. The value of such an influence can not be estimated for it is the main spring of all advancement, whether business, social, religious or intellectual. The younger generation who knew him not in the strength and vigor of his manhood cannot appreciate all they owe to one who worked so earnestly and efficiently to bring about the enjoyable conditions characterizing the times and community in which we live.
The funeral services consisted of prayer, song, and scripture reading at the house, followed by more extended services at the church. Rev. Mr. Bruce assisted Rev. Mr. Thomas in the memorial services. A large company paid tribute to the memory and character of one who had served them all in countless ways and often had ministered to their sorrow when some dear one was taken to that cemetery whither went his own funeral train.
Thus has one gone from us to his eternal home. His life here is ended yet his good works shall live in the lives of those who come after him, while his own spirit rests with his God.
Mrs. Wason, T. Abbott Wason and the younger daughter, Mrs. Burhans, remain to mourn the loss of the departed husband and father. The elder daughter, Mrs. E.P. Ames, preceded the deceased some years ago.
Go to Hiram Wason, "Pioneer History Index," for further information.
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