Herman, Floyd, and Harriet, about 1905

I must start this post with an apology. I’m not sure who sent me the photograph of Herman, Floyd and Harriet Casbon. I believe it was one of my Iowa Casbon cousins. I’m sorry for not giving you proper credit!

Left to right: Herman, Harriet, and Floyd Casbon, ca. 1905, probably taken at Valparaiso, Indiana (Click on image to enlarge)

I love old photographs, and this one is especially nice. It is clearly a formal studio portrait. The boys are wearing identical outfits and Harriet has a lovely dress with a bow in her hair. The boys are standing at rigid attention. I especially like that fact that all three seem to have their eyes focused on different points; only Harriet is looking at the camera.

Herman Parkfield Casbon was born near Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana, on
19 November 1900.[1] He was the oldest child of Charles Parkfield and Julia (Bidwell) Casbon. The Parkfield name memorializes the name of the ship taken by Thomas Casbon (1803–1888) and his family from Southampton, England to Quebec, Canada in 1846.

Herman appears in the 1920 census living in his parents’ house with an occupation that appears to be “mail clerk.”[2] In 1929, he married Clara Elizabeth London. Clara’s mother, also named Clara, was the Porter County Clerk and her namesake daughter was the Deputy County Clerk. Clara Casbon’s name appears on many county records and newspaper announcements. By 1930, Herman’s occupation was listed as “milk truck man,” a business he pursued for the rest of his life.[3]

Herman and Clara were divorced in September 1933.[4] This might have been triggered by the death of their first child, Clara Mae Casbon, who was born on 18 July 1931 and died of scarlet fever with meningitis on 8 April 1933.[5] The divorce was short-lived, however, as the couple was remarried in Jasper County, Indiana, less than one month later.[6] They went on to have two more children, Betty Rae and James Parkfield (there’s that name again!), both now deceased.

It must have been a volatile relationship, as Herman and Clara divorced again in 1939, this time for good.[7] Clara was granted custody of the children. By this time, Herman’s health was probably failing, for he died of hepatic cirrhosis due to chronic alcoholism on
17 November 1941.[8] No doubt, his problems with alcohol factored into the failed marriage.

Floyd Sylvester was Charles and Julia’s second child, born 27 January 1902.[9] Floyd married Ethel Dowdell in 1922.[10] The couple had six children—three girls followed by three boys: Erma Jean, Charlotte Louise, Marjorie Ellen, Charles Henry, Dennis Floyd, and Jerry Curtis. In 1930, Floyd’s occupation was given as “chaffeur [sic]—school bus,”[11] and by 1940 his full-time occupation was “farmer—grain.”[12] I believe Floyd took over his father’s house and farm. He died at Valparaiso on 19 February 1987, 85 years old.[13] His widow, Ethel, was 93 when she died on 8 April 2000.[14]

Harriet Lurancy Casbon was born on 26 June 1904.[15] She married Edwin R. Galloway in 1923[16] and divorced him in 1925.[17] She married Harold Edison Martin on 27 September 1939.[18] The couple had no children together, but Charles had a daughter from an earlier marriage and he also adopted a nephew, whom he raised as a son. Harold was an automobile salesman.[19] He died in 1971.[20] Harriet passed away at Valparaiso on 6 July 1983, age 79.[21] Her obituary mentioned that she “was a retired Center Township school bus driver with 29 years of service.”[22]

I have two other photos showing Herman, Floyd, and Harriet as older children. The first is said to be from 1907, but I have my doubts about the date because Harriet would have only been 3 years old in 1907 and she appears older than that in the photo..

Bundy School, Porter County, Indiana, said to be 1907; highlighted, left to right: Harriet, Floyd, and Herman; courtesy of Porter County Museum, https://www.facebook.com/pocomuse (Click on image to enlarge)

The Bundy school was located a little over one mile south of Charles Casbon’s home, on property owned by my great-grandfather, Lawrence L. Casbon. I originally posted this photo here.

Compare to this photo from the 1917–1918 school year

Bundy School, Porter County, Indiana, 1917–1918; highlighted, upper left, Herman; upper right, Floyd; lower right, Harriet; their brother Robert is in the second row, third from left (not highlighted); posted to the Porter County (Indiana) Memories UNLEASHED facebook page by Janet Bell; colorized using MyHeritage in Color™, https://www.myheritage.com/incolor (Click on image to enlarge)

[1] Indiana, State Board of Health, Certificate of Death, no. 35424; imaged as  “Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011,” Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60716 : accessed 9 November 2018), Certificate >1941 >13 >image 931 of 3017; citing Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis.
[2] 1920 U.S. census, Porter County, Indiana, ED 139, sheet A, line 35, family 51; imaged at FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1488411 : accessed 15 August 2017) >Indiana >Porter >Center >ED 139 >image 5 of 20.
[3] 1930 U.S. Census, Porter County, Indiana, ED 64-8, sheet 4A, p. 81 (stamped); imaged as “United States Census, 1930,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9RH7-JS4 : accessed 9 November 2018),  Indiana > Porter > Valparaiso > ED 8 > image 7 of 20; citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 622.
[4] “Clara Casbon Given Decree,” The (Valparaiso, Indiana) Vidette-Messenger, 21 Sep 1933, p. 3, col. 8; online image, Newspaper Archive (accessed through participating libraries: 10 July 2017).
[5] Indiana, State Board of Health, Certificate of Death, no. 12647; imaged as “Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011,” Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60716 : accessed 9 November 2018), Certificate >1933 >05 >image 653 of 3009.
[6] Jasper County, Indiana, Marriage Record, vol. 13, Oct 1933-Oct 1934, p. 175;digitized as “Will County, Illinois marriage records, ca. Apr. 1836 – July 1928,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/film/007857154?cat=1133019 : accessed 13 Nov 2018) >image 22 of 813; citing FHL film 2,449,719, item 1.
[7] “Local Woman Gets Divorce,” The Vidette-Messenger, 15 Feb 1939, p. 3, col. 3; online image, Newspaper Archive (accessed through participating libraries: 12 November 2018).
[8] Indiana, State Board of Health, Certificate of Death, no. 35424.
[9] Indiana, State Board of Health, Certificate of Death, no. 87-006808; imaged as “Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011,” Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60716 : accessed 9 November 2018), Certificate >1987 >24 >image 816 of 2020.
[10] Will County, Marriage Records, ca. July – Nov. 1922, no. 37492; digitized as “Will County, Illinois marriage records, ca. Apr. 1836 – July 1928,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/film/007747223?cat=1184888 : accessed 13 Nov 2018), images 20 & 22 of 889; citing FHL film 2,342,900.
[11] 1930 U.S. census, Porter County, Indiana, ED 10, sheet 12B, line 99; imaged as “United States Census, 1930,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1810731 : accessed 25 Jul 2017) >Indiana >Porter >Valparaiso >ED 10 >images 24-25 of 26.
[12] 1940 U.S. census, Porter County, Indiana, ED 64-10, sheet 11B, household 196; imaged as “United States Census, 1940,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/2000219 : accessed 28 Nov 2017) >Indiana > Porter > Center Township > 64-10 Center Township outside Valparaiso City, Porter County Poor Asylum > image 22 of 67.
[13] Indiana, State Board of Health, Certificate of Death, no. 87-006808.
[14] Indiana, State Board of Health, Certificate of Death, no. 014079; imaged as “Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011,” Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60716 : accessed 25 April 2019) >Certificate >2000 >09 >image 108 of 2602.
[15] Indiana, State Board of Health, Certificate of Death, no. 83-026515; imaged as “Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011,” Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60716 : accessed ), Certificate >1983 >11 >image 1535 of 2529.
[16] Photocopy of Porter County, Indiana, marriage record, Edwin R Galloway & Harriet L Casbon, 15 Feb 1923; author’s collection.
[17] Photocopy of Porter County, Indiana, marriage record, Harold Martin & Harriet Casbon, 27 Sep 1939; author’s collection.
[18] Photocopy of Porter County, Indiana, marriage record, Harold Martin & Harriet Casbon, 27 Sep 1939.
[19] “Obituaries … Harold E Martin,” The Vidette-Messenger, 21 Apr 1971, p. 13, col. 6; online image, Newspaper Archive (accessed through participating libraries: 12 Dec 2016).
[20] “Obituaries … Harold E Martin.”
[21] Indiana, State Board of Health, Certificate of Death, no. 83-026515; imaged as “Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011,” Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60716 : accessed ), Certificate >1983 >11 >image 1535 of 2529.
[22] Photocopy of news clipping, “Obituaries … Harriet L Martin,” The (Valparaiso, Indiana) Vidette-Messenger, 6 Jul 1983; author’s collection.

2 thoughts on “Herman, Floyd, and Harriet, about 1905”

  1. When I enlarge that last photograph, two of the children, a girl in the first row, and a younger boy behind her, have their chins tucked down and are looking up with the exact same baleful expression on their faces.

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