George Mason III
George Mason III
|Died||March 5, 1735 (aged 44–45)|
|Cause of death||drowning|
|Occupation||House of Burgesses member, Stafford County sheriff, Stafford County county lieutenant, Stafford County militia colonel, planter, businessperson|
|Spouse(s)||Ann Stevens Thomson|
|Children||George Mason IV|
Mary Thomson Mason Selden
|Parent(s)||George Mason II|
Planter and politician
At the time of his father's death in 1716, Mason was 27 and already a man of prominence in Stafford County. Like his father, Mason increased the family's property and social standing in Stafford County, and continued a tradition of leadership and public service. Also like his father, Mason served as a colonel in the Stafford County militia and represented Stafford in the House of Burgesses between 1715 and 1726. It was during his tenure as a burgess in Williamsburg that Mason met and married his wife Ann Stevens Thomson. He served as County Lieutenant of Stafford in 1719. Mason also served as sheriff of Stafford County.
Mason amassed enormous land holdings in Stafford, Fauquier, Prince William, and Fairfax counties in Virginia. Mason also increased his land holdings by acquiring large grants south of the Occoquan River, which were later named Woodbridge by his grandson Thomas Mason. Mason leased most of his properties out as smaller farms with their rent paid in tobacco yield. Other sources of Mason's income came from fisheries and a ferry service carrying King's Highway across the Occoquan River. Because Mason owned land on both sides of the Occoquan River, he enjoyed a monopoly on river crossings as well as on the fishing rights in Belmont Bay.
Marriage and children
- George Mason IV (11 December 1725–7 October 1792)
- Mary Thomson Mason Selden (1731–5 January 1758)
- Thomson Mason (14 August 1733–26 February 1785)
A few years after his marriage to Ann, Mason moved his family to Stump Neck plantation in Charles County, Maryland, relegating the Chopawamsic estate in Stafford County, Virginia, to a secondary residence.
Mason died in a ferry accident on 5 March 1735 on the Potomac River. Soon after his death, Mason's widow and children returned to Chopawamsic. At the time of his death, Mason owned 20,875 acres (84.48 km2) in Stafford County alone.
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