1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

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 Mason Freeman Cocroft Papers

 Real estate agent, Providence, RI

 Business diary, 1913-1918

 Size: .25 ft.

 Catalog number: MSS 1120

 Processed by: Karen Eberhart

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            Mason Freeman Cocroft was born February 21, 1880 in Crompton, RI to the Rev. Thomas H. and Ellen Freeman. At the age of 5 Mason moved with his family to Providence when his father was chosen as pastor of the Church of the Messiah. Mason began learning the real estate and insurance business working as a clerk for the Henry W. Cooke Company starting when he was 18. He was promoted to Assistant Secretary in 1904 when the company incorporated and then to Secretary in 1906, the position he held until his death. He was active in the formation of the Providence Real Estate Exchange. He was also an active member of the Hope Club, the Agawam Club, the Providence Art Club, and the Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

             Mason married Mary Dockray Watson and they had three children. He died on March 23, 1918 as the result of injuries from a fall out of a window on the third floor of the Rhode Island Hospital Trust Building in downtown Providence.

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Scope and content:

            This collection consists of the business diaries Mason Freeman Cocroft kept while employed with the Henry W. Cooke, Co. The company was in the business of selling real estate and insurance and also took on the administration of estates. The books act as work diaries in which he notes the major transactions and activities of his working day. The books are chronological with each year divided into one section for insurance and another section for real estate.

            The insurance section is a daily listing of the insurance policies he sold. Each entry lists the purchaser, the policy number, the purpose, the cost, the insurance company and the expiration date. They sold insurance to cover items such as workmen's compensation liability, burglary, furniture, cars, houses and a variety of other items.

            The real estate section has notes on meetings he had with prospective clients, newspaper clippings and brochures regarding real estate auctions, plat maps of land for sale, and occasionally copies of correspondence sent regarding individual real estate transactions. He deals with clients and property primarily in Providence but also in towns all over Rhode Island. The clientele ranges from prominent members of the community to less well known working-class individuals. The real estate section also contains a transcription of his testimony at a hearing on January 17, 1913 before the Southern New England Railroad Commissioners in the case of damage to the Joseph J. Cooke Estate.



Volume 1        Business diary, 1913 - 1915

Volume 2        Business diary, 1916 - Feb 4, 1918

Folder 1          Loose papers found in diaries, 1914-1917, n.d.

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Diaries, 1913-1918.

Henry W. Cooke, Co.

Real estate business - Rhode Island.

Insurance - Rhode Island.

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