Between the ages of 13 and 15, Mason traveled with Audubon down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers painting the floral backgrounds on over 50 of Audubon`s "Birds."
In July of 1822, Mason left Audubon and returned to Cincinnati to assist his newly widowed mother. Mason built a career as a successful portrait painter working out of a studio located at Fourth and Main Streets. He died in the Queen City in 1842.
Ruthven was very excited about this discovery, and set out to find Mason's final resting place. This proved to be very difficult. Decades passed as Ruthven pursued one lead after another. After twenty years, it appeared to Ruthven that Joseph Mason's mortal remains had vanished completely. Then his luck changed!
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