Mason didn't have just one store in the first decades of the 20th century. It had a commercial "block" that included a post office, general, grocery and hardware stores, and even a bank. While Eident said the Mason of his boyhood didn't have nearly that amount of business, he said there was still a couple of grocery stores in town, as well as Jack Warner's Shell station at the north end of town. All are gone, though a number of merchants have tried to make a go of various enterprises at the old gas station site in recent years.
Eident said he derived much satisfaction from researching the book.
"I enjoyed the discovery part of finding things and linking them together," he said. "The most difficult part was the writing."
The book is available through Eident himself. It costs $30 if picked up in person, or $35 if mailed. Five dollars from each sale goes into a fund to benefit the Mason Civic Center.
Eident's address is 2585 N. 1325th St., Mason IL 62443. He may be reached at 618-238-4853.
Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or firstname.lastname@example.org.