Judson P. Mason was a prominent dairy farmer and stock feeder in Dundee Township, Kane County. A leading agriculturist, Mason operated a creamery four miles northwest of Elgin, Ill., and was active in numerous organizations in Illinois, including the State Dairymen's Association, the Milk Shippers' Union, the Alfalfa Growers' Association, the Holstein Association, the Stallion Registration Board, and the Illinois Farmers' Institute.
This collection includes Mason's incoming correspondence and other papers concentrated in the period 1906-12. Many of these letters are from the Farmers' Institute secretaries in Springfield, its directors in about ten Congressional districts around the state, and the leaders of institutes in McHenry, Vermilion, and other counties. The collection also contains letters from dairy and cattle-breeding specialists, milk wholesalers, and state fair officials; programs of three institutes in 1912; Mason's property tax records from 1916 to 1920, and a paper on alfalfa production by A. P. Grout of Winchester, Ill. In addition, the collection documents Mason's involvement with the University of Illinois, as he sold cattle to the College of Agriculture in 1906, supported agricultural experiment work, and was in frequent contact with Dean Eugene Davenport (College of Agriculture), Cyril G. Hopkins (head of the department of agronomy), and Wilbur J. Fraser (chief of the department of dairy husbandry).
Elizabeth Marston of the Elgin Area Historical Society donated the collection to the University in 1998.