Biography of W. H. Mastin
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W.H. MASTIN. – As a lien upon the gratitude of his fellow-men, one writes a book, another opens a mine, a third builds a house. Each one may do the work for himself, but nevertheless, in recognition of the wants and needs of others, suiting his operations to their tastes and necessities, and finding his chief satisfaction, not so much in the profit that he reaps from his industry, as from the position which he fills in the world of business and society, making himself, his skill and his work, a necessary part of the great whole. It is in this way that businessmen become such great worshipers of the city or region in which they dwell. They have dollars and cents invested there, it is true; but, much more, they find there the real spring of public and fellow feeling which makes civilized life possible. This public interest and love of the community is what makes the difference between enterprise and avarice, between the business man and the miser.
Mr. Mastin has enriched and enlarged Colfax, Washington, by the building of the Thielson House, the fine hotel in the city. He is a native of Knoxville, Illinois, where he was born in 1840. A worker, harness-maker by trade, he was already earning his bread when, at the age of eighteen, he left the old hearthstone for Pike’s Peak, but changed his course so as to arrive at Walla Walla in 1859. Cutting poles in the timber for that mushroom town; making saddles and harnesses for Captain Ingalls, and for his own disposal at Vancouver; merchandising at Walla Walla with Mr. Fisher in 1861; packing to the Powder river mines, and freighting with prairie schooners to Lewiston in 1862; spending a winter in Portland, and in the spring, going to the Boise basin merchandising until 1867; at Steilacoom the next year, where he was married; – this was his checkered life up to 1879. In that year he went to Colfax, engaged in trade, built a store, but was burned out in 1881. He built a brick store to replace the old one, but was burnt out again. He built a third time; and that is the Thielson House, which still stands. Mr. Mastin is its proprietor. It is needless to add that he is a successful man and a good citizen.