Biography of Mason Talbutt of Greenfield

Mason Talbutt, born in Greenfield, Missouri, in 1846, was a prominent ex-probate judge and attorney. Son of Columbus Talbutt, a French-descendant tailor and early settler of Dade County, and Amanda Allison, Mason’s career began at a young age in a printing office. He served in the Civil War and later engaged in various professions, including grocery and agriculture. Admitted to the bar in 1879, Talbutt was elected probate judge in 1882. He was married to Clara Kimber in 1879, with whom he had five children. Active in local politics and fraternal organizations, Talbutt was a dedicated community member.

Mason Talbutt, ex-probate judge and attorney-at-law of Greenfield, Mo., is a native of that city, born in 1846, and the son of Columbus Talbutt. The father was born in Bourbon County, Ky., and died in 1872. He was of French descent. While in Kentucky, he followed the tailor’s trade, and in 1840 came to Missouri, and to Dade County in 1840. Later, he settled at Greenfield, where he worked at his trade and was one of the first tailors in the county. He was justice of the peace for a number of years and was judge of the probate court at the close of the war. His wife, Amanda Allison, was a native of Tennessee and is yet living. Her parents, Mathias H. and Mary Ann (Howland) Allison came to this place in 1836 and became the owners of the land on which Greenfield is now standing. Mr. Allison donated the fifty acres for the site of the county seat. He died in 1878, but his wife is yet living at the advanced age of eighty-five years. To Mr. and Mrs. Talbutt were born nine children, Mason being the eldest.

He was born in Greenfield, Mo., in 1846, and remained in school until eleven years of age. When twelve years old, he entered a printing office, and his first work was on the Southwest, at Greenfield. He worked as an apprentice for two years. On September 1, 1863, he enlisted in Company I, Seventh Provisional Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia, and on November 1 of the same year he enlisted in the same company, Fifteenth Missouri Cavalry Volunteers, and was in the service until June 30, 1865, when he received his discharge at Springfield. His service was in Southwest Missouri and Arkansas. In the fall of 1865, Mr. Talbutt resumed work as a printer and continued as such until 1868, when he became a partner with John P. Giggs in the Greenfield Vedette, and edited it until 1869, when he bought his partner’s interest and, in 1870, sold out. In 1871 Mr. Talbutt engaged in the grocery business, which he continued for one year, and in the summer of 1873, he followed agricultural pursuits. During the winter of 1873-74, he published a paper called the Phoenix, and in the last-mentioned year, went to Texas, where he remained during the summer. In the fall, he returned, and on January 1, 1875, he became deputy circuit clerk and recorder, filling this position until June 1877, when he commenced the publication of the Advocate for B. G. Thurman and continued at this for three years. In 1881 Judge D. A. De Armond and Mr. Talbutt bought the paper, and Mr. Talbutt published it until October 1887, when he leased it.

About 1870 he commenced reading law, and in June 1879, was admitted to the bar, and commenced his practice. In 1882 he was elected judge of the probate court and served four years, since which time he has confined his attention to his practice. In October 1884, the firm of Mann & Talbutt was formed. Mr. Talbutt was justice of the peace for six years, was a member of the school board for three years, was mayor of Greenfield for two years, and was a member of the city council for two terms. On December 7, 1879, he married Miss Clara Kimber, a native of Illinois, and the daughter of J. H. and E. A. Kimber. Five children were the fruits of this union: Florence, Mary, Maggie, Henry, and Lucy. In politics, Mr. Talbutt is a Democrat, casting his first presidential vote for Lincoln in 1864. In 1886 he was a delegate to the State Convention. He belongs to Greenfield Lodge No. 446, A. F. and A. M.; Greenfield Chapter No. 37; Constantine Commandery No. 87, and is a member of Greenfield Post No. 75, G. A. R. In 1888 he was commander of the post. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


Goodspeed, History of Hickory, Polk, Cedar, Dade and Barton Counties, Missouri; Chicago, The Goodspeed publishing co., 1889.

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