John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

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John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:33 am

JOHN MASON

246, later, 262, Fifth Avenue, New York

Despite investing a fortune, stocking his shelves with the highest quality goods, and staffing his establishment with fellow ex-Tiffany employees, John Mason's dreams of becoming the highest profile jeweller in the land, and putting one over his old employer at the same time, ended in tatters after just a period of two years in 1892.

Image
John Mason - New York - 1890

Image
John Mason - New York - 1890

The worst failure of the year is probably that of John Mason, whose short business career is a moral to all business men. About a couple of years ago this young gentleman, in his early twenties, became possessed of 100,000 dollars, through the will of his uncle. At this time he was clerk in the palatial stores of Tiffany and Co., and forthwith he started with other borrowed capital to out-Tiffany Tiffany, beginning on lines suitable perhaps for the grand old development on Union Square ; but altogether incongruous with a fledgling! The result was loss from the first, money lavishly wasted, and a gradual sinking, till at last the crash came.

Source: The Watchmaker, Jeweller and Silversmith - 1st August 1892

Trev.

Kit
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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby Kit » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:14 pm

How very sad, and all due to lack of judgment - one assumes - not to a just dessert (desert?). I admit I was waiting for the final advertisement where he solicited clients for tightly sealing glass jars, suitable for vegetable preservation, but it never came. Just as well.

kit

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:49 pm

Hayden W. Wheeler & Co. Obtain a Judgement Against John Mason.

The suit brought by John Mason, who did business at 246 Fifth Ave., New York, against Hayden W. Wheeler & Co., which was tried last April at the Equity Term of the Superior Court, was decided by Judge Gildersleeve last Friday in favor of the defendants.

In 1890 Mason purchased from Hayden W. Wheeler & Co. a quantity of watches and movements amounting to $10,229, among which were chronographs and non-magnetic watches valued at $3,770. The remainder, $6,459, was for watches which the plaintiff claims he purchased between August, 1890, and February, 1891, on the strength of a contract he had made with the defendants, by which all the watches he might purchase from them would have full 14 and 18 karat gold cases of the same grade as those sold by Tiffany & Co.

Mason claimed that in February, 1891, he discovered that the defendants had broken their contract by supplying him with 13 and 17 karat watch cases Instead of 14 and 18 karat cases. He had in the mean time paid $8,743 on the amount due, of which $4,793 was on account of goods delivered under the contract in question. He then brought this action to rescind the contract and compel the defendants to take back these goods and return the amount paid for them. A full account of this trial appeared in The Circular at the time.

In his decision Judge Gildersleeve says "Upon the whole case. I reach the conclusion that the defendants have been guilty of no false representations, and that the evidence fails to establish any fraud on the part of the defendants. The plaintiff's efforts to establish his claim against the defendants have failed to fulfil the fundamental conditions imposed upon him by law.
"I can find nothing in the transactions of the defendants herein that Indicates anything but fair and honorable dealings on their part. Judgment must be entered for defendants, with costs."


Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - Volume 26 - 1st March 1893

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby Kit » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:44 pm

I hope that the judgment of the court filled more than one person with disgust at the suggestion that the "good 'ol boy" network had been at work.

Thanks to the volumes of data on Ancestry. com, we find that John Mason was born Apr 6, 1868, in Manhattan, NY, son of James Mason and Marie Louise Youngs. In an passport application dated 1889, he states his father "was," which suggest he was dead by this time - and it was very tough to find any reference to James prior, except in the 1860 Census for Oyster Bay in which he was 45, a "gentleman," with real estate and personal property of $20,000 each. Also found in the 1889 passport application was John's stated occupation: Jeweler.

When he returned to the US, John married at Trinity Chapel, on May 22, 1890, Bertha Emily Frame, daughter of Charles Patience Frame and Caroline Willets. The couple spent enough time together to produce three children (the second was born in France.) By the 1900 Census, Bertha was maintaining a separate household on 15 Central Street in Winchester, Massachusetts, with her three children. John stayed in NYC for the 1900 Census, gave his age as 31, status married for the last 11 years, and occupation as Artist.

In the 1886 City Directory, Louise M, widow of James - home: 218 East 11th Street

In the 1889 City Directory, Louise M., widow of James - home: 35 west 17th Street
John, jeweler, 15 Union Square - home 35 west 17th Street

On May 2, 1906, John married Effie Afton Clark, daughter of George K. Clark and Isabel Lathrop. John and Effie remained together until his death sometime betwen 1930 and 1940. In 1910, they were in Old Saybrook, CT, and in addition to keeping the first three children by Bertha, they had at least six children of their own. John was still an artist. In the 1920 Census, they are found in Philadelphia, PA, and John is now an inventor. By 1930, Effie is still married, but John in not in the household. By 1940, Effie's marital status is "widowed," and she is living in Philadelphia with her single son George. [Bertha, who stated on one of her passport applications that her husband died in 1902 (making it easier to travel abroad unescorted?), was finally a "widow" in 1940, living in Kings Co, NYC, with her sister.]

John did submit two patents in 1890, one to fill knife handles with aluminum to make them lighter, and a design for spoons and forks. I could not find whether anything came of these, or whether as an inventor, he continued to submit patents for his inventions. But at least now, we know a part of the rest of the story.

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:13 am

Hi Kit,

Many thanks for posting this detailed information, it casts light on a subject where there appears little information is generally to be found.

Regards, Trev.

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:15 am

Judge Lawrence, of the Supreme Court, last week handed down a decision setting aside the assignment made by John Mason, formerly a jeweler at 262 Fifth Ave., to John Oscar Ball, on June 21, 1892. The suit which was brought by Edith M. Faxon was tried before Judge Lawrence last April, at the Special Term of the New York Supreme Court. Mrs. Faxon, who is Mason's sister, was a cash creditor of the defendant for about $75,000. Fraudulent disposition of property was alleged. In setting the assignment aside the Judge says: "I am of the opinion, upon the evidence in this case, that the assignment by Mason to Ball was made with intent to hinder, delay and defraud the former's creditors, and that the plaintiff is entitled to a decree setting it aside."

Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - Volume 26 - 13th December 1893

Trev.

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:44 am

John Mason, the former Fifth Ave. jeweler, who failed nearly eight years ago and who recently filed a petition in bankruptcy, was discharged of his debts by Judge Brown, in the United States District Court, Wednesday. Mason's liabilities, according to the schedules filed with the petition, were $210,257. He had no assets. Mason made his assignment early in 1892 to John Oscar Ball.

Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 20th December 1899

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:12 am

All persons interested in the estate of John Mason, who was adjudicated a bankrupt May 20, are notified that the first meeting of creditors will be held at the office of F. K. Pendleton, referee, 44 Broadway, Nov. 8, at 12 o'clock noon, at which time the creditors may attend, prove their claims, appoint a trustee, examine the bankrupt and transact such other business as may properly come before said meeting.

Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 1st November 1899

Trev.

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:21 pm

The Gorham Mfg. Co. to Purchase the Stock of John Mason

The creditors of John Mason, New York, met Thursday at the office of the assignee J. O. Ball, 58 Wall St., to receive reports from possible purchasers of the assets. Mr. Ball stated that he had been informed that the best newspapers in which to place advertisements asking for bids for the property were The Jewelers’ Circular and several of the daily papers, and that in answer to his advertisement he had received several enquiries and one offer, the latter being from the Gorham Mfg. Co., who agreed to buy the stock at a value to be decided by three expert appraisers, in each of the three branches, silver, watches and jewelry, one expert in each branch to be selected by the Gorham Mfg. Co., one by the assignee and a third, if necessary in each case, by the other two, whose decision is to be final. It was stated that Mr. Ball had full authority to accept this offer without consulting the creditors, but he took this step to secure a harmonious settlement.

The creditors accepted the offer, and the agreement between the assignee and the company will be signed as soon as the signatures of all the creditors have been obtained. The other property, consisting of machinery, fixtures, etc., Mr. Ball will sell as he thinks most advantageous.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 10th August 1892

Trev.

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:42 pm

Continued Reverses Unsettle Charles Magnus’ Mind

The friends of Charles Magnus. 18 John St., New York, will regret to hear that the troubles which he has undergone of late have resulted in the collapse of his mental powers and necessitated his removal to an institution. It is thought that his trouble is caused by the many reverses that he has experienced during the past two years.

He assigned in 1890, but compromised satisfactorily with his creditors and continued business. When John Mason started in business on Fifth ave., Mr. Magnus sold him goods to the amount of $15,000. Mason subsequently refused to pay the amount, claiming that the goods were not what they were represented to be, and Mr. Mason brought suit through another party to whom he assigned his claim, and obtained a judgment. Mason, however, appealed to the higher courts and the matter is still pending.

This litigation preyed considerably on Mr. Magnus’ mind, and resulted in his becoming insane. Mr. Magnus was formerly a partner in the firm of Philip Bissinger & Co.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 10th August 1892

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:33 am

The New York Court of Appeals last week handed down its decision affirming the judgment in the suit of Chas. Magnus against John Mason, which the plaintiff was awarded in the Court of Common Pleas, in November, 1891. The suit was to recover about $15,000 for goods sold and delivered. After the decision in favor of the plaintiff, the defendant appealed to the General Term of the Court of Common Pleas, which affirmed the judgment. From this decision the defendant appealed to the Court of Appeals, and this court last week also affirmed the judgment with costs.

Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 3rd May 1893

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:53 am

John Mason has removed his establishment from 246 Fifth Ave. to 262 Fifth Ave.

Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 4th November 1891

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:33 pm

A Contest for the Duchess of Marlborough’s Thousands

John Mason, 245 Fifth Ave., New York, who is one of the relations of the late Louis C. Hamersley, whose widow is now Duchess of Marlborough, brought suit in the New York Supreme Court last Saturday to annul the settlement made with the relatives by which the contest over the will of Mr. Hamersley was terminated without being presented to the Court of Appeals.

When Mr. Hamersley died in May, 1883, Mr. Mason was one of the eight relatives who contested his will. The document was sustained in the lower courts and taken to the Court of Appeals. In the mean time the widow remarried and negotiations were opened with a view to the settlement of the contest. The Duchess agreed to pay the contestants $101,667. James Kent Mason, one of the latter, did not consent to the agreement, and it is said only consented to do so upon payment of $50,000 cash. John Mason did not discover this until afterward, and he at once gave notice that he would refuse to be bound by any arrangement that had been made, but notwithstanding this the case was withdrawn from the Court of Appeals.

He therefore now asks that the agreement be cancelled and annulled as against himself and any others that maybe brought in ; that he be restored to the same position that he occupied prior to the execution of the paper ; that the notice of appeal to the Court of Appeals from the judgment of the General Term, of the Supreme Court sustaining the will be restored and the appeal argued, and that the Duchess and the other executors be compelled to account for all money of the estate since the compromise was supposed to have been made. Lawyer Franklin Bien appears for Mr. Mason.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 23rd December 1891

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Mon May 22, 2017 5:21 am

The transfer of John Mason’s stock to the Gorham Mfg. Co. has been completed, and John Oscar Ball, the assignee, is advertising for all claims against the debtor to be presented to him at his office, 58 Wall St., before Oct. 31, 1892.

Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 31st August 1892

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Mon May 22, 2017 5:33 am

A Hitch in the Settlement of John Mason’s Affairs

As exclusively published in the last issue of The Circular, the transfer of John Mason’s stock of diamonds, jewelry and silverware to the Gorham Mfg. Co. was completed last week. The appraisers appointed by the creditors of Mr. Mason, and the Gorham Co. worked in harmony and without any necessity of calling upon third parties as provided, and the entire purchase price paid was $28,000. This amount was a great surprise to the creditors, who believed that the stock would bring considerably more. It is explained, however, that the jewelry consisted of patterns that are now out of style and that many of the diamonds had flaws. The machinery, fixtures and lease of the building, 246 Fifth Ave., were sold at private sale by the assignee for $4,000, which makes a total of $32,000 in his hands against liabilities of $159,573.67.

Last week James Byrne, acting as counsel for Mrs. Edith Faxon, a sister of John Mason, to whom he is indebted for $80,000 for borrowed money, brought suit in the Supreme Court to set aside the assignment, on the ground that it was made with intent to defraud the creditors. A representative of Mr. Byrne, when seen by a Circular reporter refused to give any particular allegations that would be produced, but intimated that they might prove that Mason has not turned over all his property to the assignee. This suit will delay any settlement of the matter for some months. It will be remembered that it was Mr. Byrne who was so eager for a settlement at the creditors’ meeting, and who made the motion for the stock to be sold at private sale, claiming that his client had been made penniless by Mason and was willing to take anything she could get from the estate.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 7th September 1892

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:11 pm

John Mason Has Two Large Suits on His Hands

Between June, 1890, and last January, John Mason, 245 Fifth Ave., New York, purchased watches from Hayden W. Wheeler & Co., 2 Maiden Lane, to the value of $10,000. He paid all this amount but $3,000. For $1,500 of this balance he gave a note and paid the rest in cash. When the note came due a few week.s ago, Mr. Mason refused to meet it on the ground that the watches sold him for 18 karat were only 14 karat, and that in consequence they were not fit for his trade. He has begun suit in the Superior Court for the recovery of the money paid by him for the timepieces and $13,000 damages. The defendants deny his allegations on every point. The note above mentioned was negotiated by the Chatham National Bank before its maturity and that institution has begun a suit against Mr. Mason for its face value.

Theseare not the only suits in which Mr. Mason's name appears. A few days ago Charles Magnus, i8 John St., New York, filed papers in a suit against Mr. Mason for $10,000, being the value of jewelry alleged to have been sold to the defendant by the plaintiff and never paid for. When Mr. Mason started in business he is said to have purchased $20,000 worth of diamond jewelry from Mr. Magnus, half of which has been paid for and the remainder is the amount now being sued for. Mr. Mason claims that the jewelry was not what it was represented to be.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 27th May 1891

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:58 am

Image
John Mason - New York - 1890

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:55 pm

Image
John Mason - New York - 1890

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:54 am

Image
John Mason - New York - 1890

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Re: John Mason - New York - A Shattered Dream

Postby dognose » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:22 am

The appeal of John Mason from the decision of the Special Term of the Supreme Court in the suit brought by Edith M. Faxon, which set aside Mason’s assignment as fraudulent and void, was argued before the General Term of the Supreme Court Wednesday. Decision was reserved.

Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 21st February 1894

Trev.


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