Biography of Phineas P. Mast
Springfield, Clark County, OH Biographies





PHINEAS P. MAST, agricultural implement manufacturer, Springfield. To do justice to P. P. Mast's position in this city and his relation to its people and interests, would require more space than we can devote to one person. The events of his life, briefly stated in their chronological order, are as follows: He was born Jan. 3, 1825, in Lancaster Co., Penn., and came to Ohio in 1830. He had four brothers and three sisters; of the brothers, Joseph K., John E. and Ephraim M. are living near Urbana on the old family homestead; Isaac N. died Nov. 1, 1871, of an illness, the origin of which is attributable to esposure while in the army during the civil war. In 1850, on the anniversary of his birthday, Mr. Mast married Miss Anna M. Kirkpatrick, and after the death of his brother Isaac, he adopted his three daughters, Belle, Lizzie N. and Florence. Mr. Mast remained with his father on the farm until he attained his majority, escept when absent at school. He taught school one winter and then entered the Ohio Wesleyan University, graduating in 1849, having in the meantime given especial attention to the scientific and Biblical courses. The year after graduating, he married, as has been stated. The sis years prior to his coming to Springfield, in 1856, were spent partly on the farm and partly trading in grain and various sorts of produce. After locating in Springfield, he formed a copartnership with John H. Thomas in the winter of 1856 and 1857, for the manufacture of agricultural implements, which continued until the fall of 1871, when he bought Mr. Thomas' interest, and organized the joint stock company of P. P. Mast & Co., now grown to be a power among similar institutions; a detailed description of which will be found in the historical part of this work. Five years ago, he founded another branch for the manufacture of wind engines, pumps, lawn mowers and plows, under the name of Mast, Foos & Co. On June 1, 1879, he, in connection with J. S. Crowell and T. J. Kirkpatrick (his nephew), bought out the Farnz and Fireside interest, subscription list and good will from his manufacturing firm, and thus inaugurated under the name of P. P. Mast & Co. (P. P. M., capitalist; J. S. Crowell, manager; T. J. K., editor), a semi monthly agricultural journal, that under Mr. Crowell's peculiar and energetic management, has grown to be the most extensively read and circulated agricultural journal in the United States, a detailed description of which will be found in its proper place. Two years since, he visited California, and while West made several mining investments, some in new, undeveloped mines, and others in mines that had been worked but imperfectly. In three of the latter, the "Bandarita," "Martin & Walling's," and "Bower Cave," he is putting a great deal of dead work for the purpose of much more thorough development; for example, in one he is making a tunnel of 1,550 feet. These mines are in the Colterville District, Mariposa Co., Cal., and promise rich yields. Mr. M. is and has been for years thoroughly identified and intimately associated with all of Springfield's best interests. The history of Clark County without adequate mention of him would be like the play of "Hamlet" with "Hamlet" omitted. When we say Springfield's best interests, "best' is meant in its fullest sense, its manufacturing, banking and church interests; its Government improvement and general progress; and is a member of the City Council from his ward. He has always practiced and advocated temperance, and been the mainstay of Methodism in the city. He recently started a subscription for a new (Fourth) Methodist Church (St. Paul's). with $10,000. The edifice is nearly completed, and will far esceed any other of the twenty five churches of Springfield in its appearance, capacity, finish, style, architectural beauty and appointments, and in this enterprise he is the father and controlling spirit. Mr. Mast is also the originator and supporter of another most laudable Christian enterprise, that has doubtless accomplished more real good in a direction greatly out of the reach of the church proper, than any other similar institution in Springfield. We allude to Grace Chapel, on the West Side, established eight years ago, somewhat under the auspices of the Central Church, but not at all sectarian in the distribution of its benefits. Mr. Mast's father died on the old farm, in February, 1881, at the ripe age of 87. His mother died in February, 1880; and the subject of this sketch, although 55, shows few signs of advancing years, save gray hair and beard, and with a frank open, pleasing countenance and clear eye, is a living illustration of a temperate, well ordered life.

From:
History of Clark County, Ohio
W. H. Beers & Co.
Chicago 1881


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