Mason C. Darling

Mason Cook Darling (May 18, 1801 – March 12, 1866) was an American medical doctor, politician, and Wisconsin pioneer. He was a member of Wisconsin's first delegation to the United States House of Representatives after statehood (1848-1849), and was the first Mayor of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.[1]

Mason Cook Darling
Mason C. Darling, painted by Samuel M. Brookes and Thomas H. Stevenson, 1856
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 2nd district
In office
June 9, 1848 – March 3, 1849
Preceded byPosition Established
Succeeded byOrsamus Cole
1st Mayor of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
In office
April 6, 1852 – April 1853
Preceded byPosition Established
Succeeded byGeorge McWilliams
11th Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Wisconsin Territory
In office
January 5, 1846 – January 4, 1847
Preceded byGeorge H. Walker
Succeeded byWilliam Shew
Member of the Council of the Wisconsin Territory from Brown, Manitowoc, Calumet, Winnebago, Fond du Lac, Marquette, Columbia, and Portage counties
In office
January 4, 1847 – June 5, 1848
Preceded byGeorge H. Walker
Succeeded byWilliam Shew
Representative to the Legislative Assembly of the Wisconsin Territory from Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Brown, Fond du Lac, Marquette, Portage, Calumet, and Winnebago counties
In office
December 7, 1840 – January 4, 1847
Serving with Albert Gallatin Ellis (1840-1845), David Giddings (1840-1842), David Agry (1842-1845), Abraham Brawley (1845-1847), William Fowler (1845-1846), Elisha Morrow (1846-1847)
Preceded byEbenezer Childs, Barlow Shackleford, Charles C. Sholes, and Jacob W. Conroe (Brown County district)
Succeeded byHugh McFarlane and Elisha Morrow
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
from the Greenwich district
In office
Personal details
Born(1801-05-18)May 18, 1801
Amherst, Massachusetts
DiedMarch 12, 1866(1866-03-12) (aged 64)
Chicago, Illinois
Resting placeRienzi Cemetery
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Political partyDemocratic


Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, Darling attended the public schools. He taught school in the State of New York. He studied medicine. He was graduated from the Berkshire Medical College in 1824 and practiced medicine for thirteen years. He moved to Wisconsin Territory in 1837[2] and was one of the original settlers at Fond du Lac in 1838.[3]

Public officeEdit

Mason served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from the town of Greenwich in Hampshire County, Massachusetts in 1834 prior to moving to Wisconsin Territory.[4] He served as member of the Territorial legislative assembly 1840–1846, and as member of the Territorial Council in 1847 and 1848. Upon the admission of Wisconsin as a State into the Union, Darling was elected as a Democrat to the Thirtieth Congress. He represented Wisconsin's newly created 2nd congressional district and served from June 9, 1848, to March 3, 1849. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1848 to the Thirty-first Congress, and was succeeded by Orasmus Cole, a Whig. He was elected the first mayor of Fond du Lac in 1852.

Private lifeEdit

In 1848, his daughter Helen married John A. Eastman. Darling founded Fond du Lac Lodge 26 Freemasons in 1849, and served as its First Master.[5] He resumed the practice of medicine and was a dealer in real estate at Fond du Lac until 1864, when he moved to Chicago, at the same time as the Eastmans.

He died in Chicago on March 12, 1866,[2][3] and was interred in Rienzi Cemetery, Fond du Lac.

Electoral historyEdit

United States House of Representatives (1848)Edit

Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District Special Election, 1848[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Special Election, May 8, 1848
Democratic Mason C. Darling 9,683 58.62%
Whig Alexander L. Collins 6,836 41.38%
Plurality 2,847 17.23%
Total votes 16,519 100.0%
Democratic win (new seat)


  1. ^ Wisconsin Historical Society-Mason C. Darling
  2. ^ a b "Death of Dr. M. C. Darling". Green Bay Weekly Gazette. March 24, 1866. p. 2. Retrieved August 15, 2016 – via  
  3. ^ a b "Died (Mason C. Darling)". The Daily Milwaukee News. March 15, 1866. p. 2. Retrieved August 15, 2016 – via  
  4. ^ 'Acts and Resolves Passed by the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,' Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 1834, pg. 557
  5. ^ Masonic Lodge 26-Fond du Lac, Wisconsin Archived 2012-09-03 at
  6. ^ "Wisconsin Official Canvass". The Weekly Wisconsin. Milwaukee. June 21, 1848. p. 2. Retrieved May 23, 2020 – via

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
State established Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district

June 9, 1848 – March 3, 1849
Succeeded by
Political offices
City incorporated Mayor of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
1852 – 1853
Succeeded by
George McWilliams