Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana


July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013: Letters to the editor


In the newly created Howard County the land was flat, so Mose Mast built a 41-by-90-foot basement, then made his own bank by moving dirt up against it to form a ramp. Over the basement he built a 43-by-90-foot main structure, overlapping 2 feet on the ramp side, and across the west front, he built a 7-foot roof shelter that was later extended down the south side.

The main floor consisted of 9-by-17 inch hewed log beams spaced about 2 feet apart and 43 feet long without a splice, an indication of what kind of timber was available at the time. Indeed, the county was covered with forests that had to be cleared, and on the Mast farm they kept adding to a pile that smoldered for three years without ever going out.

The east or back end of the threshing floor was raised slightly so that hay and feed could be pushed through to the stock below. The barn probably had a wood shingle roof, which was replaced years later with slates. A tornado once hit the property, and raked the slate roof off most of the barn. In the farmyard stood a wooden-wheeled wagon, and one of the slates hit a spoke and cut halfway through it before shattering.

Mose Mast also established a burial ground on a corner of his farm, and he was no stranger to tears. He lost his wife, Elizabeth, in 1887, and his daughter, Malissa, born in 1856, lived only one day. Magdalena, born in 1859, lived one year; Sarah, born in 1861, survived for 16 days; and Catherine, born in 1863, lived only for one day.

Moses Mast, born March 2, 1823, acquired his farm in 1854. He died on Jan. 25, 1890, and took his place at the back of his namesake burial ground. His daughter, Mary, married Ananias D. Hensler, son of another pioneer, Lewis Hensler, and thereafter the farm has been in the Hensler name, and the burial ground has been known as the Mast-Hensler cemetery.

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