The Mason County Historical Commission is proud to honor its two longest-serving members, Jane Hoerster and Julius DeVos, with a book signing on Saturday, November 27, from 10:00 A.M. till noon. The event will take place at Serenity Springs Salon and Spa (the old Hofmann building) on the north side of the courthouse square.
Jane and Julius will be signing copies of the new pictorial history Mason County, which was released earlier this month and is dedicated to them. The public is encouraged to purchase copies of the book prior to the event and bring them for Jane and Julius to sign. It is currently on sale at Benjie’s Books and Gifts, Market Square, Mason Square Museum, Serenity Springs Salon and Spa, The Thing Is, Underwood’s Antique Mall, and Whipper Wheel. In addition, the Historical Commission will have a limited number of copies available for purchase at the book signing.
Mason County is the Historical Commission’s first publication devoted entirely to Mason photographs. The book committee examined nearly 800 photographs before selecting 232. The images are representative of life in Mason County from 1876, when the first photograph of the town was taken, through the county’s centennial in 1958. Readers can revisit fondly-remembered gathering places such as the Mason Drug Store, the Kreme Kup, the Roundup Drive-in Theater, Aunt Hattie’s Café, Hofmann’s Dry Goods, and Dallas Stephens Grocery. Mason County was published by Arcadia Publishing, a major national publisher, as part of its popular "Images of America" series.
The dedication reads: "The Mason County Historical Commission dedicates this book to two of its pillars, Jane Hoerster and Julius DeVos, in appreciation of their inexhaustible patience in answering questions about the county’s past and their decades of painstaking work to rediscover and preserve its stories for the future."
Jane was born and reared on a ranch in Mason County and has a lifelong record of service to the community. She was the Mason County Treasurer for 28 years and was named Texas Outstanding Treasurer of 1993 by the County Treasurer’s Association of Texas. She became a member of the Mason County Historical Commission around 1975 and served as its chair for over 30 years until 2008. For many years, Jane has been the "go-to" person for people researching their families in Mason, and most afternoons she can be found in the library, studying and cataloging Mason’s history. She has received the Mason County Hall of Fame award and is proud to have been named a Yellow Rose of Texas by the State of Texas. Jane presented a paper on the Mason County Hoodoo War at the Texas Historical Commission’s symposium in Corpus Christi and contributed essays to the Mason Writers Group collection Mason County Perspectives.
Julius, a civil engineer by training and a graduate of the Armour Institute of Technology, has conducted extensive research since the 1940s on historical figures of the Texas Hill Country and has compiled a comprehensive database of Mason County residents. His publications include One Hundred Years of the Hilda (Bethel) Methodist Church and Parent Organizations, 1856-1955, the Mason County cemeteries book (with his late wife, Ruby Eckert DeVos), a history of the county’s post offices, and articles on the Mason County Hoo Doo War and pioneer banker Anna Martin. He has contributed articles to the New Handbook of Texas, The Edwards Plateau Historian, and the Mason County Communities Book. Julius and Ruby transcribed the diaries of Lucia Holmes, a principal eyewitness to the events of the Hoo Doo War. In addition, Julius edited and annotated Margaret Bierschwale’s A History of Mason County, Texas, Through 1964. He is a member of the Edwards Plateau Historical Association, the West Texas Historical Association, and the German-Texan Heritage Society.
Please drop by the Hofmann building on Saturday morning and say hello to Jane and Julius, have a cup of coffee, and get your books signed. Then enjoy a rewarding journey down memory lane through Mason County.