Ella Barnwell Crow - Notable Women Ancestors
Ella Barnwell Crow

Ella CrowElla Barnwell Crow was born April 15,1874 in Kentucky, probably Daviess County, but maybe Ohio County. She was the daughter of James Wesley Crow and Tabitha J. Henry Crow. The family has told me that James W. Crow was a lawyer, but as of yet I have no proof. Tabitha died on June 6,1884 in Daviess County, leaving Ella, being the oldest to take care of her brothers and sisters. (I only know a couple of the children, sons Ion B. Crow and Samuel W. Crow. There was a daughter, Pearl Crow who was born and died in 1881, but I haven't found the others yet.) Ella raised her siblings and made sure that they got their education, then she went to college and became a teacher.

Ella married Isaac Stanton Mason on June25,1893 in Pleasant Ridge, Daviess County, Kentucky. He was born on April 25,1868 in Oldham County, Kentucky. He was also a prominent County teacher and business man and became a Representative for Ohio County in 1919. He died on July 30,1931 and was buried in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, in Buford, Ohio County, Kentucky, with other Mason Family.

In 1922, the office of county school superintendent was taken from the suffrage of the people and election to the office entrusted to the county board of education, which is elected by popular vote. Mrs. I.S. Mason (Ella), was the first superintendent to be elected by the county board, her term beginning on the first Monday in January 1922 with the expiration of the term of E.S. Howard. (Taken from Fogle's Papers.)

Ella held this position for 3 school years, 1922-25, and as to date has been the only woman Superintendent for their school system. Her picture is placed on the boardroom wall amongst 16 other pictures of previous superintendents. (Taken from a letter of March 8,1996 from Tracy Renfro, Receptionist, Ohio County, Schools.) Isaac and Ella had four children:

  • Ismay Lucille Mason, born March 11,1894; married Julius Murray Cox; she died November 15,1997 at 103 years.

  • Edwin Barnabas Mason, born February 10,1896; married (1) Georgia Pate and (2) Laura Goodall Cooper; he died November 29,1968. Uncle Ed was also a teacher for Ohio County Schools, as well as a blacksmith and an accomplished trombonist. He played in an Army field artillary band in WWI, and always said that he won the war with a slide trombone.

  • Robert Samuel Mason, born July 3,1900; married (1) Sally May (my grandparents) and (2) Edith Belle King; he died on March 17,1955. Robert got a law degree from the University of Kentucky, then served in WWI where he was engaged in 2 battles, 1st, the Battle of the Marne, then was wounded at the Battle Argonne and was honorably released from service where he went to work for Pinkerton Detective Agency, then Cal Crim Detective Bureau as superintendent where he became one of Cincinnati Ohio's best known private detectives. He then went to work for Williams Directory Company and was employed there when he died while on a business trip to Louisville, Kentucky.

  • Mary Ike ("Ikey") Mason was born 1907; married Ralph Barnard who was a jeweler from Richmond, Kentucky and they moved to Indiana. (Not much is known about her.)

Ella rode to and from school every day on horseback. She taught my father to read the funny papers at the age of 3. She was well loved by everyone that knew her. She died of tuberculosis in the home of her son, Edwin Mason, on September 24,1934 and was buried beside her husband, Isaac, at Mt. Carmel, in Buford, Ohio County, Kentucky.

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