Chester A. Mason

Image of Prohibition Agent Chester Arthur Mason
Date of Birth: 
Date of Death: 
November 12, 1932
Location of Death: 
Beatrice, NE
Image of the Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms badge

Circumstances of Death

Prohibition Agent Chester Arthur Mason, accompanied by a confidential informant (CI), purchased illicit liquor from a known bootlegger, Ted Wells, in Beatrice, NE.  When Agent Mason attempted to place Wells under arrest, there was a scuffle and Wells drew a gun and killed Agent Mason and also seriously wounded the CI.  Wells escaped, but was later captured by agents and local officers.  He was sentenced to eight years imprisonment for manslaughter.


Agent Mason joined the Bureau of Prohibition on April 13, 1931, with an annual salary of $2,300.  He carried badge #347.  Previously, he was a school principal in Grand, ND.  Agent Mason had served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and was a graduate of the University of North Dakota.


Agent Mason was born in Carpio, ND.  He was survived by his wife, Gladys and their three children, Beverly, Jean and Duane.

Associated Artifacts: 
Image of newspaper article in Ironwood Daily Globe, with headline: Bootlegger Kills 2 Dry Law Agents
Image of newspaper article in Modesto News-Herald with headline: Federal Dry Agent Slain in Nebraska
Image of newspaper article in Oakland Tribune, dated November 13, 1931, with headline: Nebraska Dry Agent is Shot to Death
Image of newspaper article in The Ogden Standard Examiner, with headline: Agent Killed by Bootlegger
Image of newspaper article in The Bismarck Tribune, with headline Former N.D. Prohibition Agent Slain
Image of newspaper article in The Portsmouth Hearld and Times, with headline: Nebraska Dry Agent Killed
Image of newspaper article from The Bismarck Tribune titled, Slain Dry Agent to Be Buried Saturday
Image of telegraph regarding the apprehension of Ted Wells, slayer of Investigator Mason
Image of telegram regarding the death of Investigator Chester Mason
Last Reviewed September 23, 2016