Mason C. Varnier, a retired farmer living in Ursa, is a native of Illinois, his birth having occurred in Gallatin county on the 22nd of June, 1828, his parents being Adin and Jane M. (Crawford) Varnier. The father was born in Virginia, while the mother was a native of Mercer county, Kentucky. His death occurred in Gallatin county, Illinois, in 1832, and Mrs. Varnier came to Adams county with her family of small children, the same year. In 1837 she married David Dunlap and they purchased a farm on section 7, Ursa township, making it their home from 1851 until 1855. They then removed to Clayton, Illinois, where they resided for about five years, after which they settled in Cass county, Missouri, where they spent their remaining days.
Mason C. Varnier remained with his mother and step-father until he was twenty years of age and during that time he obtained a good common-school education and also received practical training in farm work. Between the age of twenty and twenty-three, he was employed as a farm hand and at the time of his marriage he purchased forty acres of land on section 12, Ursa township, to which he afterward added from time to time, as his financial resources increased, until he was the owner of one hundred and eighty acres of rich arable land. He continued to cultivate his farm, raising good crops, until August, 1895, when he sold his place and removed to Ursa, where he built a beautiful home. He has since sold all of his land and has invested in property in Ursa and also owns two residences in Boulder, Colorado.
In 1851 Mr. Varnier was married to Achsah S. Robertson, a daughter of Cyrus Robertson, of Indiana, who was killed by the explosion of a thresher a short time before the marriage of his daughter. Mrs. Varnier was born May 14, 1833, and became the mother of two children. David E., the elder, was born August 22, 1852, married Miss Elizabeth McLaughlin, and they reside in Ursa with their family of five children, four sons and one daughter. The second child died in infancy on the 26th of September, 1854, and Mr. Varnier lost his wife on the same day. He was married again to Miss Emily Taylor, a daughter of Adam and Barbara Taylor, who, at the time of her marriage, were living on section 7, Ursa township. Mrs. Emily Varnier was born July 5, 1838, and by this marriage there were four children, namely: Martina, who was born July 21, 1859, and is the widow of John S. Warfield, residing with her children in Ursa; Cyrus E., of Louisiana, Missouri, who was born November 14, 1863, and married Miss Paulina Campbell, of Pike county, Missouri; Vinnie, who was born September 30, 1870, and died April 12, 1895; and James B., who was born November 14, 1876, and is living at home.
Mr. Varnier is a republican in his political views and has always been deeply interested in the success of the party, but he has never sought or desired office. He is a valued member of Marcelline lodge, No. 127, I. O. O. F., and belongs to the Golden Leaf lodge, Daughters of Rebekah. He likewise holds membership with Ursa camp, No. 995, M. W. A.; and Rosewood camp, No. 582, Royal Neighbors. He and his wife enjoy the unqualified respect and esteem of all who know them. He has now reached the seventy-seventh milestone on life’s journey and his has been an honorable and upright career, characterized by activity in business, fidelity in citizenship and trustworthiness in his social relations.
Source: Past and present of the city of Quincy and Adams County, Illinois, p. 476; by William H. Collins, Cicero F. Perry, joint author; John Tillson. History of the city of Quincy, Illinois. [from old catalog]. Chicago, S. J. Clarke Pub. Co. 1905.