The Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy are actively involved in the discovery and recording of Confederate graves in cemeteries of Erath, Comanche, Mills and Eastland counties.

These organizations place over 2,000 Confederate graves flags a year on veteran’s graves and in some cases assist descendants of Confederate veterans in acquiring a new stone as well as conducting dedication ceremonies for families that have erected a new stone.

The George B. Erath Chapter of the U.D.C.’s president is Sheran Weible and the commander of the 2nd Texas Frontier District Camp of the S.C.V is Charles Leatherwood.

Master Mason and SCV member, Kenneth Leatherwood, brought the story of murdered sheriff, James Mastin, who was also a Master Mason and belonged to Stephenville’s Lodge 267, to the S.C.V. and U.D.C.’s attention.

They were surprised to learn that Sheriff James Mastin had no gravestone and so many years [140] had passed that it was no longer known exactly where he is buried, except that it is in the West End Cemetery.

Working on the premise that Sheriff Mastin was most likely an ex-Confederate Soldier, the SCV requested the aid of the UDC genealogy research members. The UDC, with the assistance of other researchers such as the Dublin Library, Tarleton State University Library and the Erath Co. Clerk’s office found more than one James Mastin and could not be sure which one of them was Sheriff Mastin.

What was known beyond reasonable doubt was that the sheriff was a Master Mason and a member of the Stephenville Lodge No. 267. Since it was not possible to say definitely that the sheriff was a Confederate, the SCV and UDC decided to pursue the path of erecting the sheriff a stone in the Stephenville West End Cemetery and at least get him a gravestone.

The SCV and UDC approached Lacy funeral home for help on acquiring a stone. They met with fellow Master Mason and past Master of the Stephenville Lodge, Vance Wade and a new plan evolved that had earlier been put forward by Kenneth Leatherwood.

That plan was to contact the Stephenville Lodge and see if a memorial stone could be purchased by the SCV, UDC and Masonic Lodge working as a team and placed on the courthouse lawn.

Vance Wade took a leadership role and used his expertise to acquire a stone at an affordable price.

When approached, the Lodge was very receptive to the proposal and some members immediately made personal donations followed up by a donation of the lodge that equaled the SCV and UDC donation.

County Judge Tab Thompson was approached by Ken Leatherwood and he immediately got behind the project and has been very instrumental in helping to bring it to reality.

All parties involved in this endeavor completely agree absolutely on one thing: It is the right thing to do.

Betty Leatherwood is Chief of Staff of the 2ND Texas Frontier District Camp 1904 SCV. If you wish to contact her for information about the Mastin Memorial Project, she can be reached at 254-485-1269. If you wish to contact Betty Leatherwood for information about the Mastin Memorial project, she can be reached at 254-485-1269.