Anna’s Cookbook

Anna Mae (Casbon) (Kitchel) (Fleming) was the second of four daughters born to Jesse and Emily (Price) Casbon. She was born at Porter County, Indiana, 22 December 1876 and died at Orlando, Florida, 16 December 1957.

Thanks to Anna’s great-granddaughter, Jan Hoffman, I have some new material to share with my readers.

Jan has been going through her mother’s (daughter of Anna’s son, Jesse II) papers and other possessions and has found several items that were passed down from Anna. One of those items is this cookbook.

Cover and title page of The National Cookbook, by Marion Harland and Christine Terhune Herrick, 1896; courtesy of Jan Hoffman (Click on image to enlarge)

We know this was Anna’s because of what is written inside.

Inscription of Anna’s cookbook; courtesy of Jan Hoffman (Click on image to enlarge)

Anna Mea [sic]Casbon
   Valparaiso,
      Porter Co.,
         Indiana
            Box 924
               Age 20 years 3 days
               Dec 25 1896
                       to
               Dec 25 1955 =
                    59 years old

The book must have been given to Anna as a Christmas, or perhaps a combined birthday and Christmas, present. She was still unmarried at the time. (She married Newton Kitchel in July 1898.) It’s interesting that she added the age of the book in 1955. I wonder if she presented it to her granddaughter as a Christmas present at that time.

I haven’t been able to find out much about the history of The National Cookbook (although the entire book can be found online at Google Books), but there is quite a bit written about its authors.

Marion Harland is the penname of Mary Virginia Terhune (1830–1922). She was a prolific author of both fiction and non-fiction. She achieved success with a genre known as “plantation fiction.” She later expanded her writing to include domestic matters, such as household management and cookbooks. Those interested in learning more can read a Wikipedia article about her here.

Christing Terhune Herrick (1859–1944) was Marion’s eldest daughter. She followed in her mother’s footsteps as the successful author of many cookbooks and other domestic guides. You can read more about her here.

Anna’s cookbook contained additional surprises. One was this handwritten recipe for “Chilli Sauce.”

Anna’s recipe for “Chilli Sauce’; courtesy of Jan Hoffman (Click on image to enlarge)

Jan says she is going to give the recipe a try. I’m looking forward to her report.

As you can see in the recipe, spelling was not Anna’s strong point. I’ve noted poor spelling in several things written by her. She even misspelled her middle name in the inscription. I don’t know if this reflects an interrupted education or some form of learning disability. I’m glad it did not stop her from writing.

Another item found inside the cookbook was this list of expenses.

A list of expenses found in Anna’s cookbook; courtesy of Jan Hoffman (Click on image to enlarge)

This appears to be a list of expenses for rent, food, supplies, and other services rendered to an unknown party. It references “carring [sic] them around,” “trip West Point,” “hauling their goods from Clay Bank,” “Rig to get there [sic] company at Hartleys Warf [sic].” I’ve identified some of these places as being in the Tidewater Region of Virginia. Because of this, I suspect that the list was written when Anna and her family were living at Newport News, Virginia (under the surname “Fleming”—Anna’s second husband), in the late nineteen-teens to early 1920s.

Family items such as Anna’s cookbook and the handwritten notes inside it help to connect us to the lives of our deceased ancestors. Thanks again to Jan for sharing these. I’m looking forward to more goodies from her!

Jesse Casbon in the News

Of Thomas Casbon’s (1803–1888) three sons, I know the least about Jesse. He was born at Meldreth, or possibly Melbourn, Cambridgeshire, in 1843.[1] He came to the United States (via Quebec) aboard the ship Parkfield in 1846. Jesse served in Company D, 148th Ohio Regiment, during the American Civil War and afterwards joined his family in Porter County, Indiana.[2] He married Emily Price, almost twelve years his junior, in 1872,[3] and had five children—a son who died in infancy and four daughters. Most of his adult years were spent farming in Porter County, Indiana. He died at the age of 90 in 1934.[4]

I have recently received some interesting newspaper articles about Jesse. They fill in a few blanks about his life, although they raise questions as well.

“Caution!”

The Porter County (Indiana) Vidette, 30 December 1875, p. 2, col. 6; courtesy of Steve Shook (Click on image to enlarge)

                                                               Caution!
Whereas my wife Emily has left my bed and board without just cause or provocation, I warn all persons not to harbor or trust her on my account, as I shall pay no debts of her contracting after this date.                                                                   JESSE CASBON.
    December 15th, 1875

I received this item from Steve Shook a few weeks ago. Steve is the unofficial Porter County historian as well as administrator of the excellent Porter County, Indiana, genealogy and history website. He also writes a blog titled Porter County’s Past: An Amateur Historian’s Perspective. I highly recommend both of these sites to anyone with family links in Porter County.

What does this brief newspaper item tell us? To put it in simple terms, Jesse and Emily’s marriage must have been going through a “rough patch.” We know nothing about the circumstances or who, if anyone, was at fault. We only know that Emily left Jesse and he was notifying the public that he would not be responsible for her continuing support.

The couple had been married two and a half years at this point. Their oldest daughter, Maude, was about 18 months old. Did Emily take Maude with her or leave her behind?
(It’s also possible also that a son, Ivan, had been born, but we don’t have birth or death dates for him.)

Apparently, advertisements such as this were quite common well into the twentieth century. It was usually husbands, but occasionally wives, who posted the ads. The intent of the ad might have been to shame and embarrass the spouse as well as to serve as a legal notice. I suspect that in this case, it was also an attempt to force Emily to return to Jesse’s “bed and board.” She apparently did so in short order because the next event I know of in their married life is the birth of their daughter Anna in December 1876, just a year after the ad was placed.

Was it a happy marriage? I can’t say. However, they remained married for 21 years until Emily’s death in 1893. I have written of Emily before, regarding her hobby of beekeeping and her deathbed testimony of Christian faith. It seems that their separation in 1875 was a temporary blip in their married life, whether it was happy or not.

“Public Sale, March 16th

Steve Shook also sent me this advertisement. It was placed about three months after the “Caution!” item.

The Porter County Vidette, 9 March 1876, p. 2, col. 4; courtesy of Steve Shook (Click on image to enlarge)

                                                     Public Sale, March 16th
I will offer for sale, three miles south of Gates’ corners, on
     Thursday, March 16th, 1876,
the following property: 3 work horses, 1 two-year-old colt, 6 head milch cows, 15 head of stock hogs, 4 brood sows, 200 bushels of corn, 6 or 8 tons of hay, 1 two-horse wagon, 1 set of double harness, 1 Furst & Bradley corn plow, 1 laporte corn sheller, Plows, Drags, and Household Furniture, consisting of Stove, Chairs, Bedstead, Cupboard, Table, Bureau, etc. …

I wonder what was going on in Jesse’s life at this time. It looks like he might have been liquidating as many of his possessions as possible. Perhaps he was just raising cash to buy land, since he purchased 40 acres of land at Gates Corner two months later.[5] (Per Steve Shook, “Gates’ Corners is located where present days Indiana state Road 2 and county roads 100 South and 300 West intersect one another … named after Moses Gates, who owned 160 acres directly north of this intersection.”) If Jesse was short on cash, it was only a temporary condition since he was described later in life as “a prominent farmer”[6] and “a wealthy widower.”[7]

“Animals Cremated”

The Porter County Vidette, 7 December 1900, p. 2, col. 1; microfilm image, Porter County Public Library (Click on image to enlarge)

     Valparaiso, Ind. Dec. 5.—Jesse Casbon’s barn, together with the contents, 14 cattle, three horses, the entire grain crop and farming implements, was destroyed by fire. Loss, $3,500; partially insured.

I’ve had this article for quite some time and posted it at an earlier date, but decided to re-post, since it fits in with today’s theme.

By this time (1900), Jesse was living in Center Township, just outside of Valparaiso, on about 160 acres of land adjacent to what was known as the Porter County Poor Farm. I don’t have any other information about the fire or its aftermath.

“A Birthday Party”

One day after Steve Shook sent me the “Public Sale” advertisement, I received the text of this article from Ilaine Church, a distant cousin-in-law and frequent genealogy correspondent. It describes a much happier episode in Jesse’s life.

The (Valparaiso) Evening Messenger, 25 Nov 1912; courtesy of Ilaine Church (Click on image to enlarge)

     Jesse Casbon, residing on the Laporte road, east of town, was the victim of a clever surprise Sunday, the occasion being his 69th birthday anniversary. The affair was secretly planned and carried out by his two daughters, the Misses Edna and Lily Casbon. Quite a number of relatives repaired to the home, but the disagreeable weather during the day kept many away who otherwise would have been in attendance. As a remembrance of the event Mr. Casbon received many valuable presents. At noon the guests were served with a dinner that made the tables groan and creak with its weight. Those present were S. V. Casbon and wife, Thos. Casbon and family, Lawrence Casbon and family, Charles P. Casbon, Jr. and family, and the Misses Iva and Mabel Priest. The afternoon was pleasantly spent in social intercourse and all departed with the wish that the Misses Lily and Edna would get on many more such happy affairs.

One thing I like about old newspapers is how much detail they go into describing local events. I also like this story because it names so many people. Of Jesse’s four daughters, only the two youngest, Lillian and Edna, were unmarried and living in Porter County in 1912. Of the guests mentioned, S.V. Casbon was Jesse’s oldest brother, Sylvester, and Thomas, Lawrence, and Charles P. (incorrectly referred to as “Jr.”) were Sylvester’s sons. Iva and Mabel Priest were the surviving grandchildren of Jesse’s oldest sister, Mary Ann (Casbon) Priest, deceased. By this time, Jesse’s sister Emma was also deceased.

Notably absent was the remaining brother, Charles Thomas Casbon. Was this because of the “disagreeable weather” or was their perhaps some bad blood between Jesse and Charles? I’ll describe the reason this might have been the case in my next post.

Of note is the fact that Jesse was now living east of Valparaiso on the “Laporte road.” LaPorte was the county seat of LaPorte County, directly east of Porter County. A 1911 directory tells us that Jesse lived on rural route 6, which included portions of the LaPorte road (now Indiana route 2).[8]

I have left out a series of news articles that were written between 1909 and early 1912. These will be the subject of my next post.


[1] Meldreth Parish (Cambridgeshire, England), register of baptisms [1813–67],” p. 59, no. 469; accessed as “Parish registers for Meldreth, 1681–1877,” browsable images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/search/film/007567609?cat=210742 : accessed 28 April 2017), image 226; citing FHL microfilm 1,040,542, item 5.
[2] Ohio, Roster Commission, Official roster of the soldiers of the state of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861–1866 (Cincinnati: The Ohio Valley Press, 1889), vol. 9, p. 583; image copy, Hathi Trust Digital Library (https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000454243 : accessed 10 February 2019).
[3] “Indiana Marriages, 1811–2007,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1410397 : accessed 11 September 2018) >Porter > 1871–1875 Volume 4 > image 79 of 246.
[4] Indiana, State Board of Health, Certificate of Death, no. 2487; “Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899–2011,” Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60716 : accessed 13 December 2016), >Certificate >1934 >01>image 2493 of 3006.
[5] Indiana, Porter County, Deed index 6, Grantee, Mar 1876–Dec 83, Jesse Casbon from Stephen William,
13 May 1876; imaged as “Indiana, Porter, Deed records, 1836–1901,” browsable images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/film/008035253?cat=609009 : accessed 12 Jan 17); citing FHL Film 1,703,896, Item 5.
[6] “Church Makes Sensational Charge,” The (Valparaiso, Indiana) Evening Messenger, 30 Jun 1909, p. 1, col. 4; Porter County Public Library, unnumbered microfilm.
[7] “Escaped Bullets; Valparaiso Farmer was Victim of an Attempt at Assassination,” Bedford (Indiana) Daily Mail,
1 Jul 1909, p. 4; imaged at Newspaper Archive (accessed through participating libraries: 12 Apr 2016).
[8] Bumstead’s Valparaiso City and Porter County Business Directory Including Rural Routes (Chicago: Bumstead & Co., 1911), p. 378; imaged as “U.S. City Directories, 1822–1995,” Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/2469/ : accessed 31 Mar 20) >Indiana >Valparaiso >1911 >Valparaiso, Indiana, City Directory, 1911 >image 184 of 204.

The Casbon Family Reunion, October 1901, Valparaiso, Indiana

Casbon family reunion 24 October 1901; author’s collection (Please! Click on image to enlarge and see names)

I’ve had this photograph for so long that I don’t remember where or who it came from. I believe I was given a copy sometime in the 1990s when I was just starting my genealogy research. Many of today’s Casbons have seen a version of the photo because it serves as the cover image for the “Casbon Family” Facebook group. Although I’ve used it in a previous post and in my book, I have never written about the photograph in detail or given it the attention that it deserves.

The picture is a treasure. A lot of old photos don’t have names of the subjects written in. I was very lucky that my version of the photo came with a separate “key” that provided all the names. I used the key to add labels to the original photograph. It’s always nice to be able to put a face to a name, but how often can you put 36 faces to 36 names?

This is the only photograph I know of that shows all of Thomas Casbon’s (1803–1888) living children—Sylvester, Charles, Jesse, and Emma—together. Mary Ann, the oldest daughter, passed away in 1890. All of them, except for Emma, were born in England. Likewise, Amos, the son of Thomas’s brother James (~1813–1884), was born in England.

The picture gives us a glimpse into how people lived at the turn of the twentieth century. We can see how they dressed and what a typical house in the Midwest looked like. We can even see that bicycles haven’t changed that much in 120 years! (Woodie Marrell looks pretty proud of his bicycle!)

I’m especially lucky because the event captured in the photograph was reported in the local newspaper.

Photocopy of an article from The (Valparaiso, Indiana) Messenger, 31 October 1901; courtesy of Ilaine Church
(I think)

The Casbon family had a reunion at the home of Hida Church in this city Thursday. A sumptuous dinner and a pleasant social time marked the affair. The guests were: Sylvester Casbon and family; Charles Casbon and family; Jesse Casbon and family; Mrs. M. [Emma] Rigg, of Iowa; Lawrence Casbon and family, of South Bend; John Sands [Sams] and family, of Boone Grove; Lawrence Casbon and family, of Boone Grove; John [Thomas] Casbon, of Deep River; Charles Casbon, Jr. [son of Sylvester, therefore not Charles junior], of Valparaiso; Myron Dayton and wife; Mrs. Mary Casbon [widow of James] and John Merrill and family.

The attendees of the reunion included most of the living descendants of Thomas and James Casbon, who emigrated to the United States with their families in 1846 and 1870, respectively. To me, the photograph is a testimony to the brothers’ determination and a visual confirmation of the family’s growth and prosperity since coming to America.

I’ve created a diagram showing how most of the attendees were related. It is color coded by generation. Attendees are indicated by bold-face type. Several deceased individuals, including Thomas and James, as well as former wives, are listed in the diagram in order to make the lines of descent clear. Their names are printed in italics.

A diagram showing those descendants of Thomas and James Casbon who attended the October 1901 reunion (Click on image to enlarge)

Also included in the photograph but not the descendants of Thomas or James Casbon are Woodie (or Woody) and Susie Marrell, the children of John Marrell, who is mentioned in the news article, the brother of Mary Marrell Casbon.

There are also several notable absences from the photograph. George W. Casbon, Sylvester’s youngest son, who was raised by his aunt Emma (Casbon) and uncle Robert N. Rigg, was living in Iowa. Note that Emma was present at the reunion. Charles Parkfield Casbon’s wife, Julia (Bidwell), is not in the photo, even though the news article says that Charles “Jr.” was there with his family. Julia would have been almost eight months pregnant with their first child, Herman, at the time. Three of Jesse Casbon’s daughters—Anna, Edna, and Lillian—were not there. Anna was married and living in Wisconsin; I don’t know why the other two were absent. Finally, Amos Casbon’s two sisters, Margaret (“Maggie”) and Alice, were not there. Maggie was married and living nearby but was possibly estranged from the others. Alice was also married and living nearby.

The reunion was held at the home of “Hida”—Thomas Hiram Church, Jr.—and his wife, Lodema (Casbon). The 1900 census tells us that Hida and Lodema lived at 5 East Elm Street in Valparaiso.[1] The streets were later renumbered, and this house can now be seen at 105 Elm Street.

The house at 105 Elm Street, Valparaiso, Indiana; courtesy of Ilaine Church (Click on image to enlarge)

Aside from no longer having a covered front porch, the facade of the house has changed little since 1901.

As separate branches of the family grew and dispersed, the tradition of reunions dwindled. However, since both Sylvester and Amos married Aylesworth girls, their descendants continued to attend the annual Aylesworth reunions in Porter County, Indiana. My father remembers attending these. These reunions still occur the first weekend in August every year (except this one, thanks to COVID-19). In recent years, Casbon reunions were started up again, hosted by the late Michael J. Casbon. I was fortunate to attend the most recent one of these in 2017.


[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Porter County, Indiana, ED 81, sheet 9A; imaged as “”United States Census, 1900,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6QNS-WRP?i=16 : accessed 12 Apr 2017) >Indiana >Porter >ED 81 Center Township Valparaiso city Ward 1 >image 17 of 31; citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 398.

A Letter from Jesse Casbon

(Updated 1 Apr 2020 based on comments made by Carol Cook—see below)

Personal letters can occasionally be a good source of genealogical information, but more often, they simply give us insights into the lives of the people who wrote and received them. If nothing else, they can help us to understand the everyday concerns of those who lived in a different era.

I’m indebted to John N. Casbon, who found this letter in the personal papers of his deceased grandmother, Anna Mae (Casbon) (Kitchel) Fleming.

Letter from Jesse Casbon to Anna; courtesy of John N. Casbon (Click on image to enlarge)

Here is a transcription (I have marked where I believe sentences end):
(updated based on Carol Cook’s comments, below)

march 27
anna this is a good nice
moring no clouds | we had
a bout 6 inches of snow
last week | we are all
well | i think the banks
2 of them are geten beter
and times times will
get work | will be more
wen we ge beer more
work | I am like you i
don’t like it but lots do
so let them have it | thay
get my money | lill don’t
get not much money out
of her store building
and taxes high | if it
was not for me and
that wont last long so
we cant tell | Edna is
doen good | she as a big
teritory to draw from |
so good by Jesse Casbon

This letter was written by Jesse Casbon (1843–1934) to his daughter Anna (1876–1957). It also mentions his daughters Lillian (“lill,” 1880–1967) and Edna (1885–1957). Although we’re given the date of March 27, we don’t know the year. My best guess is that it was written sometime between 1911, when Anna, who was divorced and living with Jesse, remarried and moved to Michigan, and 1934, the year of Jesse’s death (possibly 1933 – see Carol Cook comments, below). Lillian and Edna, who never married, were apparently living nearby. Jesse was living with them during much of this interval. A fourth daughter, Maude, was married and living in Michigan. Jesse’s wife, Emily (Price) had died in 1893 (see “Last Words”—a very touching letter from her).

The fact that Jesse uses no punctuation and makes numerous spelling errors tells us that his education was rudimentary. In the 1850 census of Wayne County, Ohio, we are told that six-year-old Jesse “attended school within the year.”[1] However, by 1860 his education was complete and he was listed as a farmhand.[2] Jesse’s older brothers, Sylvester and Charles, probably had more years of education; Sylvester even worked as a teacher for a few years. Their younger sister, Emma, probably had about the same education as Jesse.

Jesse’s spelling is so bad that it is difficult to make out the meaning of everything he says. Other than the weather, his main concern seems to be the family’s finances. He has apparently been helping Lillian cover expenses for her unnamed business. Edna is doing better financially.

I wish I knew what Lillian and Edna were doing to support themselves when the letter was written. The descriptions in the letter don’t match the information I have about them from various points in time. In 1908 and 1910, they were both working as nurses in Kansas City, Kansas.[3] In the early 1920s, they operated a grocery and delicatessen in Valparaiso, Indiana, together.[4] In the 1930 census, Lillian was living in Valparaiso with Jesse, and Edna was working as a hotel housekeeper in Chicago.[5] They ran a floral business together after 1934, but that was after Jesse’s death.

Why did Anna keep this letter decades after it was written? Did it have special meaning to her or was it casually set aside and then forgotten? (See Carol Cook’s comments, below)

In these days of email, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (and now, Zoom!), it’s easy to forget that people used to keep in touch by writing letters. Getting a letter in the mail was an emotional experience because it brought news of loved ones. That’s probably the most important thing about this letter. It doesn’t really help to fill in any blanks in what we know about Jesse and his family; it simply tells us that staying connected was important to them.

[1] 1850 U.S. census, Wayne County, Ohio, Clinton Township, dwelling & family 8 (FamilySearch).
[2] 1860 U.S. census, Holmes County, Ohio, Washington Township, dwelling 1534, family 1556 (FamilySearch).
[3] Gould’s Kansas City, Kansas Directory (St. Louis, Missouri: Gould Direcotory Co., 1908), p. 378; and 1910 Kansas City Directory (Kansas City: Gate City Directory Co., 1910), p. 81 of Kansas City, Kansas section; “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995,” (Ancestry).
[4] Bumstead’s Valparaiso City and Porter County Business Directory Including Rural Routes (Evanston, Ill.: Bumstead & Co., 1921), p. 71 (Ancestry).
[5] 1930 U.S. census, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana, enumeration district (ED) 4, sheet 4A, dwelling 89, family 94; and 1930 U.S. census, Chicago, Illinois, ED 1802, sheet 5A, dwelling 22, family 89, line 46 (FamilySearch).

Last Words

In my previous post I described the enjoyment Emily (Price) Casbon derived from keeping bees and extracting their honey. Today’s post looks at what might have been Emily’s defining characteristic: her Christian faith.

Emily was the wife of Jesse Casbon (1843–1934), who with his father Thomas, mother Emma, two brothers and one sister (born after their arrival in America), emigrated in 1846 from Meldreth, Cambridgeshire, England, first to Wayne County, Ohio, and then in the 1860s to Porter County, Indiana. Jesse and Emily had four daughters: Maud Elma, Anna Mae, Lillian, and Edna.

On April 25, 1893, Emily wrote a letter to her sister Catherine “Kate” (Price) Winslow, who was possibly living in Kansas at the time. John Casbon found a handwritten copy of the letter when he recently sorted through mementos belonging to Anna Mae (Casbon) Fleming, Emily’s daughter and John’s grandmother.

The copied letter has two explanatory notes at the top. One says, “Copy of Ma’s last letter, written the day before she died.” The other says “She made a mistake in her date. It was Apr. 25, as May 1st her body was at rest in the cemetery.”[1] I’m not sure who made the copy – I can’t tell if it’s Anna’s handwriting.

Photograph of handwritten copy of letter written by Emily Casbon, 25 Apr 1893 (Click on image to enlarge)

Here is my transcription of the letter.

Dear Sister Kate,-

You think I have forgotten you, but I have not. I just got around from another attack of Grippe, the Dr. called it Am very weak yet.

O! How hard it is to give up to die, and then be compelled to come back to the old life and gather up the broken and tangled mass of thread which our nerveliss hand so gladly let fall. I do not know how you feel, but I welcome death with a joyous heart and gladly lay all cares aside to welcome it. After all it is but a passing from darkness into light The transition may be blinding for our tired eyes for a time, but we shall rest, have sweet peace. What a blessed thought. Then shall we receive the new sight which failith not. Our tired eyes shall be bright, for shall we not see the great white throne and gather with the redeemed to sing the praise of the Lamb, and last, but not least, we shall

[p. 2] see the dear Redeemer of this wicked world and realize the depth of his love for us.

These are beautiful and restful thoughts, but how to intermingle them with every day life, every little trial which beset our sensitive hearts, for the human heart when compared with the golden harps we often hear played very much resemble each other when touched by the master hand, produces sweetest harmony. But let a rude or careless hand attempt to produce the simplest cords, and discord is the result.

Further more, the human heart will shut its self up so closely when a thoughtless or cruel hand may pierce its tender membranes that one would never dream of the beauties within.

But sister mine, I am not writing on this subject exclusively. So we will leave room for others and abler pens than mine.

Maud graduates next month. Annie is having the work to do, while I am sick. Maud, Jesse and Annie are going over to (line cut off) …

[p. 3] Maud will get her graduating dress and will feel so relieved when the whole thing is over.

I have not seen Mary for a long time. Netta was here to see me not long ago. And now, dear sister, how are you getting along. Has John sent Daisy to you yet. I have tried every avenue to help you. So far have failed. Do you hear from Uncle Henry? I have tried to interest him in your behalf.

Well, good night and God bless you.

Your loving sister

Emily Casbon
Valparaiso, Ind
Box 924

Besides her sister Kate, the addressee of the letter, Emily mentions several people. They are:

  • Maud – Emily’s eldest daughter, age 20, preparing to graduate from Valparaiso
    High School
  • Annie – Emily’s second daughter, age 16
  • Jesse – Emily’s husband
  • Mary – Emily and Kate’s sister, Mary Jane, married to Godfrey Nimon
  • Netta – Emily and Kate’s sister, Annette, married to John Arnold
  • John – unknown, unless this refers to John Arnold
  • Daisy – Kate’s daughter, apparently not living with her at the time
  • Uncle Henry – unknown

Emily’s letter tells us that she has been ill with Grippe – a lay term for influenza.[2] She seems to be recovering but is still very weak. She must have suffered a serious relapse – perhaps pneumonia – to have died suddenly the next day.

Apparently, she had come close to death in the days preceding the letter, since she talks about giving up to die and then coming “back to the old life.”

Her letter is a testimonial of a deep and abiding faith. She has clearly accepted and even welcomes death “with a joyous heart” as a passage to a new life. Her language is filled with biblical metaphor. This tells us much about Emily and how she approached life. Although many might have shared her faith, I doubt that many could have expressed it with as much confidence.

After giving witness to her faith, she writes a little bit about her immediate family, and then inquires about Kate’s well-being. It’s apparent that Kate has been going through some kind of personal difficulty. The letter does not say what the difficulty is, but I suspect it is related to Kate’s marriage. Kate married Harrison Winslow when she was 16 years old.[3] Shortly afterwards, they moved to Kansas, where they had (at least) three children, one of whom was Daisy, mentioned in the letter. Sometime between 1885 and 1900, Kate and Harrison were divorced and living in different states.[4]

It’s amazing to me that Emily could have written such a profound and lengthy letter one day before her death. It must have been important to her to keep in touch with her distant sister. Having already been close to the brink, I don’t think she realized that her life would end so quickly.

We are lucky to have so much information about Emily. Clearly, she was a woman who loved life, but because of her faith did not fear death. This is also reflected in her obituary.[5]

Click on image to enlarge

With that we’ll say farewell to Emily. It has been nice making her acquaintance!

[1] Emily Casbon (Valparaiso, Indiana), to “Dear Sister Kate,” photograph of handcopied letter, 1 May 1893 (with note stating correct date was 25 Apr 1893); privately held by Jon Casbon. Given to Jon by John N. Casbon, 2018.
[2] George M. Gould, B.A., M.D., A New Medical Dictionary: Including All the Words and Phrases Used in Medicine, with their Proper Pronunciation and Definitions (Philadephia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co., 1890), p. 211, “Influenza”; online image, Hathi Trust Digital Library (https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100140156 : accessed 13 September 2018).
[3] “Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NQWF-V93 : 15 May 2018), Harrison Winslow & Catharine Price, 30 Dec 1868, New Buffalo, Berrien County; citing Secretary of State. Department of Vital Records, Lansing.
[4] 1900 U.S. Census, Woods County, Oklahoma Territory, population schedule, Waynocka Twp., enumeration district 242, sheet 3A, p. 136 (stamped), dwelling 56, family 58, Harrison Winslow; imaged as “United States Census, 1900,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DTKQ-VLX?i=4&cc=1325221 : accessed 13 September 2018), Oklahoma Territory > Woods > ED 242 Waynoka Township (east half) > image 5 of 14; citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1344.
[5] “Death of Mrs. Jesse Casbon,” The (Valparaiso, Indiana) Porter County Vidette, 4 May 1893, page no. unknown; photocopy, privately held by Jon Casbon, 2018. Handwritten note gives publication and date.

What’s the Buzz?

It’s often difficult to learn more about our ancestors than the basic facts of their lives: when they were born and died, who they married, where they lived, and who were their children. I’m always happy when I find something that tells me more about what someone did with their life. Such is the case with Emily (Price) Casbon. Her story gives us insight into an activity that brought her joy and fulfillment.

Emily Price was born about 1855 in Benton County, Minnesota, the daughter of William and Mary (Rose) Price.[1] In the 1860 census, she was living with her mother and siblings in her maternal grandparents’ home in Pleasant Township, Porter County, Indiana.[2] Her father died in 1863.[3] The date of her mother’s death is unknown, but it appears that Emily was an orphan by 1870, when she and two younger sisters were living with another family.[4]

Emily’s life took a positive turn when she married Civil War veteran Jesse Casbon on April 23, 1872.[5] Every indication is that their marriage was a happy one, blessed with the birth of four daughters: Maude, Anna, Lillian, and Edna. They lived on a farm of 160 acres, about one mile southwest of Valparaiso. She was active in her church and community.

Emily had a somewhat unusual hobby—beekeeping! I learned of her interest in bees when I found articles that she had written for The American Bee Journal. In the first article, she describes her early experiences with, and enjoyment of, beekeeping.

Source: The American Bee Journal, vol. 24, no. 47 (21 Nov 1888), pp. 762-3; MyHeritage (https://records.myheritagelibraryedition.com/research/record-90100-32622591/american-bee-journal-vol-24-january : accessed 10 September 2018), image 590 of 660 (Click on image to enlarge)

In her next report, written a little more than one year after the first, she writes with confidence about her success with the bees.

American Bee Journal, Vol. 26, January 1890, page 44 (Hamilton, Illinois: Dadant Sons); imaged at My Heritage (https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-90100/american-bee-journal-vol-26-january-1890?itemId=32615041&action=showRecord : accessed 12 Aug 2016)

Besides being a contributor, it’s clear that Emily was an avid reader of the Journal. She must have eagerly awaited each week’s edition in the mail, and then savored the articles, with their expert advice, reports on new developments, letters from other readers, and advertisements for beekeeping supplies.

It’s refreshing to see that beekeeping was an acceptable avocation for women in Emily’s day. Although not as frequent as men, several women wrote articles and correspondence for the Journal. Miss Marcia A Douglass, speaking at a beekeepers’ convention held at Burlington, Vermont in January 1888, read an essay on the question: “Should Women Keep Bees and Join the Bee-Keepers’ Association?” A summary of the convention proceedings reported that:

She could speak from experience, that while there was much hard labor in connection with the business, she saw no reason why a woman could not keep bees, to a greater or less extent, as successfully as the sterner sex, provided that she was adapted to the calling, and in love with it. If men were benefited by associations and interchanging of ideas and methods of work, why not women?[6]

Emily was obviously “adapted to the calling, and in love with” beekeeping. She sounds like a delightful person to me. Unfortunately, death took her at the age of thirty-eight, in April 1893.[7] It’s too bad that her obituary makes no mention of her interest in bees, since it obviously made her life more fulfilling. I wonder what happened to the bees after she was gone?

I found this entertaining about bees and honey on YouTube: enjoy!

Title page of The American Bee Journal, vol. 24, no. 1. (https://records.myheritagelibraryedition.com/research/record-90100-32622541/american-bee-journal-vol-24-january : accessed 11 September 2018), image 7 of 660

[1] Minnesota Territorial Census, 1857, Benton County, population schedule, township 38, range 31, p. 27 (stamped), dwelling & family 20, William Price: online image, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939Z-YG9X-6F?cc=1503055 : accessed 14 Jun 2017), Benton > Township 38, Range 31 > image 1 of 1; citing NARA microfilm publication T1175, roll 1.
[2] 1860 U.S. Census, Porter County, Indiana, population schedule, Pleasant Township, p. 110, dwelling 838, family 818, Henry M Rose; imaged as “United States Census, 1860,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GB9J-S8M2?i=7&cc=1473181 : accessed 24 March 2017), Indiana > Porter > Pleasant Township > image 8 of 12; citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 289.
[3] Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=70625904 : accessed 17 June 2017), memorial page for William W. Price (1822–1863), no. 70625904, created by “Jackie & Ralph”; citing Spencer Cemetery, Kouts, Porter, Indiana.
[4] 1870 U.S. Census, Porter County, Indiana, population schedule, Pleasant Township, p. 14, dwelling 103, family 102, Emely Price in household of William Carr; imaged as “United States Census, 1870,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D5GG-RL?i=13&cc=1438024 : accessed 11 September 2018), Indiana > Porter > Pleasant > image 14 of 16; citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 351.
[5] Porter County, Indiana, Marriage Record no. 4 (Sep 1871-Jan 1875), p. 88, no. 173, 23 Apr 1872, Jesse Casbon & Emma Price; imaged as “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9TM4-RD8?i=78&cc=1410397 : accessed 11 September 2018), Porter > 1871-1875 Volume 4 > image 79 of 246; citing Porter County Clerk.
[6] The American Bee Journal, vol. 24, no. 6 (8 Feb 1888), p. 91; online image, MyHeritage (https://records.myheritagelibraryedition.com/research/record-90100-32622541/american-bee-journal-vol-24-january : accessed 10 September 2018), image 79 of 660.
[7] “Death of Mrs. Jesse Casbon,” photocopy of clipping from The (Valparaiso, Indiana) Porter County Vidette, 4 May 1893; privately held by Jon Casbon, 2018. (Handwritten note gives publication and date).

Anna Mae (Casbon) Fleming – Widow?

As I researched my previous post about Jesse and Steven Casbon, I uncovered additional bits of information about this branch of the family, and I received a welcome flood of new materials from some of Jesse’s descendants. I’ll be writing about some of the new information in this and subsequent posts.

Sometimes records can be deceiving and lead one to make incorrect conclusions. Such was the case with Anna Mae (Casbon) Fleming, the mother of Jesse and Steven. Specifically, based on census and other records, I made incorrect assumptions about Anna’s marital status and the fate of her husband James H Fleming.

As background, Anna Mae was the second daughter of Jesse (1843–1934) and Emily (Price, 1856–1893) Casbon. Born in Porter County, Indiana, in December 1876, she married John Newton Kitchel there in 1898.[1] They moved to Wisconsin, where Jesse was born in 1898 and Steven in 1890. A daughter, Emma, was born in 1902, but died of pneumonia when she was two months old.[2] Anna and her husband were divorced sometime before 1905. In 1911, she married a Michigan farmer and widower named James Fleming.[3] For reasons unknown, James, Anna, and the two boys moved to Newport News, Virginia, where they appear in the 1920 census.[4]

This is the point where I allowed the records to lead me astray. Specifically, when I found Anna in the 1930 census, she was now living in Baltimore, Maryland, and listed as a
widow.[5]

Detail/composite image from 1930 Census, Baltimore; Anna’s marital status is “Wd” for widowed; she is the proprieties of a boarding house (Click on image to enlarge)

Based on this census, I had assumed that Anna’s husband, James, died sometime between the 1920 and 1930 censuses. This belief was reinforced by an entry I later found for Anna in the 1922 Baltimore City Directory.[6]

Detail from Polk’s Baltimore City Directory of 1922; Anna is listed as “wid J H”

This allowed me to narrow the date of James’ death to sometime between 1920 and 1922. However, I was unable to find a death record for James in either Virginia or Maryland within this time frame. This did not trouble me greatly, since not all records can be found online and he was not the focus of my research efforts.

I don’t remember what prompted me, but I decided to try once again to find James’ death record. This time I did not specify a location or narrow time frame in my online search. The search turned up a surprising result: a death certificate for James Harvey Fleming, who was born March 3, 1863 and died November 12, 1934 in Alma, Gratiot County, Michigan.[7] This was at least twelve years later than expected, based on Anna’s status in the Baltimore directory.

Death certificate of James Harvey Fleming (Click on image to enlarge)

Was this the right James? As I compared what I knew about Anna’s husband and the man named in the death certificate, many of the facts lined up. I knew from an earlier census that Anna’s husband was born in March 1863 and that he had lived in Gratiot County, Michigan.[8] His first wife’s name was Myrtie (Newcomb).[9] He had two sons from his first marriage: Norman W and Marley.[10] Note that Norman was listed as the informant for the death certificate. To confirm my suspicions, I compared two marriage records: James Fleming to Myrtie Newcomb, and James Fleming to Anna Casbon. Both records gave the names of James’ parents as Robert F Fleming and Eliza Rice. There was no doubt: Anna’s husband was the man who died in 1934.

There are minor discrepancies on the death certificate. His marital status is listed as “Widowed” and his wife’s name is given as Myrtie Fleming. While technically correct – he had been previously widowed – it does not reflect the fact that he had been more recently married to Anna. James’ father’s name is incorrectly given as “Jessie” instead of Robert F Fleming. Robert died before the informant, Norman, was born, so it’s possible that Norman conflated the name of his grandfather with that of Jesse Casbon, Anna’s father. These are minor discrepancies and don’t alter my conclusions about James Fleming’s identity.

The death certificate proves that my earlier assumptions about James’ death were wrong, but it doesn’t explain what happened to the marriage or why Anna was listed as a widow while James was still living. Since James was still alive in 1930, I decided to look for him in the U.S. census of that year. He was easily found, listed as an employee (“servant”) at the Gratiot County (Michigan) Infirmary.[11]

Detail from 1930 Census, Gratiot County, Michigan (Click on image to enlarge)

James marital status is listed as “D” for divorced. So, Anna’s status on the 1930 census and 1922 Baltimore directory was clearly incorrect. This false information was presumably given by her. Why would she do that?

It turns out that this was probably a fairly common occurrence. In the early twentieth century, being divorced was less socially acceptable that it is today. The death of a spouse would have been considered a much more acceptable way for a marriage to end. By stating that she was a widow (while conveniently moving to a new city – Baltimore – where people didn’t know her), Anna could avoid the stigma of divorce and the questions of nosy neighbors.

Another possibility is that she was neither widowed nor divorced. James and Anna might have separated without a formal divorce, or James might have abandoned her. Without a divorce record, we can’t know for sure. I’ve looked for a record online but haven’t found one. Many such records have not been digitized and are only available in local court houses.

At any rate, we now have a more accurate picture of what happened. Sometime between 1920, when James and Anna were recorded together on the U.S. Census, and 1922, when Anna was listed as a widow in the Baltimore directory, their marriage ended. Whether this occurred before or after Anna moved to Baltimore is unknown. At some point, James moved back to his home county in Michigan, where he died in 1934.

Finally, Anna really was a widow, and remained so until her death in 1957.

[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Forest County, Wisconsin, population schedule, Cavour Town, enumeration district 39, sheet 5B, dwelling 87, family 90, Anna Kitchel in household of Newton Kitchel; imaged as “United States Census, 1900,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X19-MYQ?i=9&cc=1325221 : accessed 25 July 2017), Wisconsin > Forest > ED 39 Cavour town > image 10 of 16; citing NARA microfilm publication T62, roll 1789. Porter County, Indiana, Marriage Record Book 11, Sept 1895–Jan 1899, p. 430 (stamped), Newton Kitchel and Anna Casbon, 9 Jul 1898; imaged as “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9R15-4M4?i=253&cc=1410397 : accessed 18 June 2017), Porter > 1895-1899 Volume 11 > image 254 of 286; citing Porter County Clerk, Valparaiso.
[2] Indiana, State Board of Health, Certificate of Death, Center Township, Porter County, no. 118, Emma E Margreete Kitchel, 6 Apr 1902 (age 2 mo, 7 d); imaged as “Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011,” Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60716 : accessed 10 July 2018), Certificate >1902 >10 >image 1020 of 2753; citing Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis.
[3] Oceana County, Michigan, Marriage Register, vol. 4, 1911, p. 205 (penned), record 3515, James H Fleming & Anna Casbon Kitchel, 16 Jun 1911, imaged as “Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952,” Ancestry  (https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=9093 : accessed 25 June 2018), Registers, 1887 – 1925 >1911 – 1915 >1911 Manistee – Washtenaw >image 294 of 703; citing Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics.
[4] 1920 U.S. Census, Warwick County, Virginia, population schedule, Newport News, enumeration district 86, sheet 5A, p. 5 (stamped), family 74, James H Flemming; imaged as “United States Census, 1920,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GRN2-CNJ?cc=1488411 : accessed 25 July 2017), Virginia > Newport News (Independent City) > Newport News Ward 1 > ED 86 > image 18 of 21; citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1899. FHL microfilm 1,821,899.
[5] 1930 U.S. Census, Baltimore City, Maryland, population schedule, enumeration district 4-583, sheet 5A, p. 173 (stamped), 602 North Ave., dwelling 85, family 104, Anna Fleming; imaged as “United States Census, 1930,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9R4J-W2C?i=8&cc=1810731 : accessed 26 July 2017), Maryland > Baltimore (Independent City) > Baltimore (Districts 501-673) > ED 583 > image 9 of 18; citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 856.
[6] Polk’s Baltimore City Directory 1922 (Baltimore: R.L. Polk & Co., 1922), p. 743, Fleming, Anna (“wid JH”), imaged as “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995,” Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2469 : accessed 28 June 2018), Maryland >Baltimore >1922 >Baltimore, Maryland, City Directory, 1922 >image 380 of 1156.
[7] Death certificate, Alma, Gratiot County, Michigan, register no. 118, state office no. 129 1397, James Harvey Fleming, 12 Nov 1934; imaged as “Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1950,” Ancestry (https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60872 : accessed 5 July 2018), Certificates 1921-1942 >103: Gratiot-Alma, 1921-1935 >image1413 of 1516; citing Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing.
[8] 1900 U.S. Census, Gratiot County, Michigan, population schedule, Seville Township, enumeration district 59, sheet 1B, dwelling & family 19, James H Flenny; imaged as “United States Census, 1900,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DTBS-FYV?i=1&cc=1325221 : accessed 5 July 2018), Michigan > Gratiot > ED 59 Seville township > image 2 of 29; citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 713.
[9] Marriage register, Missaukee County, MIchigan, no. 188, 2 Dec 1891, James H Fleming & Myrtie Newcomb; imaged as “Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D8QQ-7Z?i=281&cc=1452395 : accessed 5 July 2018), 004208240 > image 282 of 646; citing Department of Vital Records, Lansing.
[10] 1910 U.S. Census, Oceana County, Michigan, population schedule, enumeration district 127, sheet 2A, p. 94 (stamped), James H Fleming; imaged as “United States Census, 1910,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GRVJ-1J6?i=2&cc=1727033 : accessed 5 Jul 2018), Michigan > Oceana > Greenwood > ED 127 > image 3 of 16; citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 669.
[11] 1930 U.S. Census, Gratiot County, Michigan, population schedule, Newark Township, Gratiot County Infirmary, enumeration district 29-18, sheet 11A, p. 193 (stamped), line 6, James Fleming in household of Lee Raycraft; imaged as “United States Census, 1930,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9RHS-9SQ?i=20&cc=1810731 : accessed 5 July 2018), Michigan > Gratiot > Newark > ED 18 > image 21 of 24; citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 989.

Children of Thomas Casbon (1803–1888): Jesse

Jesse Casbon was the fourth surviving child of Thomas and Emma (Scruby, 1811–1870) Casbon, and the last one born before their departure for America. Jesse was born November 23, 1843 and baptized May 26, 1844 in Meldreth.[1],[2]

Detail of Meldreth Parish register, baptisms, 1844 (Click on image to enlarge)

Jesse would have been less than 3 years old when the family boarded the Parkfield, bound for America, so he probably remembered little, if any, of the voyage. His earliest memories would be of the family homes in adjacent Wayne and Holmes counties, Ohio. The 1850 census shows 7-year old Jesse along with the rest of the family in Clinton Township, Wayne County.[3]

Detail from 1850 U.S. Census, Clinton Township, Wayne County, Ohio (Click on image to enlarge)

This small section of the census is a great example of how valuable information can be gleaned, and connections made, from limited census data. We see from the marks in column 11 that Jesse and his two older brothers attended school within the past year. Had they remained in England this might not have been possible. On line 2 of the census form we see the name Rachel Paine, age 20, living in the household of Emmett Eddy (he is listed on the previous page of the census). We met Rachel in “From England to Indiana, Part 8,” where we learned that she was Emma (Scruby) Casbon’s niece, who traveled from England to Ohio with Thomas Casbon and his family. Her story is interesting, and worth reading in the earlier post.

The name Eddy is also significant. The History of Porter County, Indiana tells us that Thomas Casbon, after arriving in Wayne County, “bought eighty acres of land near Wooster on the Columbus road at the village of Eddyville, where the stages between Cleveland and Columbus then changed horses.”[4] Eddyville cannot be found on maps today, but it may well be the site of “Eddy’s Inn,” established by Emmett Eddy’s father in 1830 along the Cincinnati to Cleveland stagecoach line.[5]

One final note about this page of the 1850 census: the last name shown is that of James Wing, misspelled as “Ying,” age 26. I used this same census entry in “From Labourer to Landowner” and explained how Thomas Casbon and James Wing jointly bought their first parcel of Ohio land in 1850. Who sold them the land? Emmett Eddy![6]

I’ve gotten off track from the subject of today’s post, so it’s time to get back to Jesse. After his older brothers Sylvester and Charles moved to Porter County, Indiana, Jesse remained at home with his parents and sister Emma. He was 17 years old when the American Civil War broke out in April 1861. Jesse enlisted for one year of service in September 1864.[7] He was assigned to the Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 178th Regiment, Company D.

Detail of roster, Ohio Infantry, 178th Regiment, Company D; the roster gives Jesse’s age as 19; he would have really been 20 in September 1864 (Click on image to enlarge)

The 178th Regiment was sent to Tennessee, going first to Nashville, then Tullahoma, and then Murfreesboro.[8] They helped defend the town during the siege of Murfreesboro, and during that time participated in the Battle of Wilkerson’s Pike.[9] In March 1865, the regiment fought in the Battle of Wyse Fork.[10] Afterwards, they joined General Sherman’s advance towards Raleigh, N.C..[11] Following the surrender, the unit was assigned to garrison duty in Charlotte, N.C. until they mustered out June 29, 1865.[12] The regiment’s losses were relatively light: 2 killed in combat and 63 died of disease.[13]

Jesse’s father Thomas bought his first land in Porter County, Indiana, in January 1865 while Jesse was still serving in the Army.[14] Jesse must have joined him in Indiana shortly after the war. He bought 80 acres adjacent to his father’s farm in 1867.[15] Although a landowner and farmer in his own right, he was still single and living in his parents’ house when the 1870 census was taken.[16]

This situation changed when he married Emily Price in April 1872.[17] Jesse was 28 years old and Emily was 16 or 17. Emily probably became an orphan in her childhood or early teen years; her father died when she was about 8 years old, and I haven’t found any records of her mother after the 1860 census.[18],[19] In the 1870 census, 15-year old Emily was living with her married older sister in Pleasant Township, just east of Porter Township, where Jesse lived.[20]

Jesse and Emily had one son, who died in infancy, and four daughters: Maude Elma (1873–1962), Anna Mae (1876–1957), Lillian E. (1880–1967), and Edna (1885–1957).[21] In 1879, Jesse bought about 160 acres in Center Township, just southwest of Valparaiso, and relocated there with his family.[22]

Detail of 1895 plat map, Center Township, Porter County, Indiana, showing Jesse’s land (Click on image to enlarge)

He was widowed and left with daughters ranging from 8 to 20 years old after Emily died in 1893.[23] Daughter Anna Mae married (John) Newton Kitchel in 1898.[24] Maude married Myron Dayton in 1901.[25] Lillian and Edna remained spinsters and lived with Jesse until his death on January 24, 1934.[26]

Jesse’s obituary reflects his Civil War service and summarizes much of what I have described above.[27]

Jesse’s obituary – from The (Valparaiso) Vidette-Messenger, August 25, 1934; (Click on image to enlarge)

Jesse and Emily are buried in Maplewood Cemetery, Valparaiso.[28] Even though they only had daughters, the Casbon surname lives on today in their branch of the family, owing to the fact that Anna Mae divorced Newton Kitchel, and had her name, and that of her two sons, legally changed to Casbon.

[1] “Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011,” Jessie Casbon, 24 Jan 1934, Valparaiso, Porter, Indiana; image copy, Ancestry Library Edition (accessed through participating libraries : accessed 13 December 2016); citing Indiana State Board of Health. Death Certificates, 1900–201, microfilm, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana.
[2] Parish of Meldreth (Cambridgeshire, England), “Register of Baptisms in the Parish of Meldreth in the County of Cambridge [1813–67],” p. 59, no. 469, Jesse Casbon, 26 May 1844; accessed as “Parish registers for Meldreth, 1681-1877,” browsable images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/search/film/007567609?cat=210742 : accessed 28 April 2017); citing Family History Library (FHL) microfilm 1,040,542, item 5.
[3] 1850 U.S. Census, Wayne County, Ohio, population schedule, Clinton Township, p. 2 (written), dwelling 8, family 8, Thos. Casban; image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-XHRS-K7M?i=1&cc=1401638 : accessed 4 July 2016); citing NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 739.
[4] “Sylvester Casbon,” History of Porter County, Indiana : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people and its principal interests (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1912), 2: p. 483; online image, Hathi Trust Digital Library (https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89067919191;view=1up;seq=139 : accessed 13 June 2017).
[5] Ben Douglass, History of Wayne county, Ohio, from the days of the pioneers and the first settlers to the present time (Indianapolis, Indiana: Robert Douglass, Publisher, 1878), p. 787; online image, Internet Archive (https://archive.org/stream/cu31924028848765#page/n825 : accessed 13 Jun3 2017).
[6] Wayne County, Ohio, “Deed books, v. 34, 36 1850-1852,” v. 34, pp. 293-4, Emmett Eddy to Casbon & Wing entry, 2 November 1850; browsable images of FHL microfilm 420,933, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/search/film/007900918?cat=295246 : accessed 26 November 2016), images 164-5.
[7] Ohio Roster Commission, Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866 (Cincinnati: The Ohio Valley Press, 1889),” 9: 584; image copy, Internet Archive (https://archive.org/stream/ohiowarroster09howerich#page/584 : accessed 28 October 2016).
[8] “178th Ohio Infantry,” Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/178th_Ohio_Infantry : accessed 14 Jun 2017), rev. 24 Sep 16, 19:52.
[9] “178th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry,” Ohio Civil War Central (http://ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=488 : accessed 14 June 2017).
[10] “178th Ohio Infantry,” Wikipedia.
[11] “178th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry,” Ohio Civil War Central.
[12] “178th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.”
[13] “178th Ohio Infantry.”
[14] Porter, Indiana, “Deed records, 1836-1901,” Deed Index Grantee, Casbon Thos from S.O.M Lee, 15 Jan 1865; Family History Library (FHL) microfilm 1,703,895, item 4.
[15] Porter, Indiana, “Deed records, 1836-1901,” Deed Index Grantee, Casbon Jesse from David Jones, 1 Apr 1867; FHL microfilm 1,703,895, item 4.
[16] 1870 U.S. Census, Porter County, Indiana, population schedule, Porter Township, p. 7 (written), dwelling 52, family 52, Jessie Casbin in household of Thomas Casbin; image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D5GG-R5?i=6&cc=1438024 : accessed 14 June 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 351.
[17] “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” Porter, 1871–1875, p. 89 (stamped), no. 173, Jesse Casbon & Emma Price, 23 Apr 1872; online image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KDH3-54P : accessed 20 Jul 2016), image 78; citing Porter County Clerk’s office.
[18] Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=70625904 : accessed 17 June 2017), memorial page for William W. Price (1822–1863), memorial no. 70625904, created by “Jackie & Ralph”; citing Spencer Cemetery, Kouts, Porter, Indiana.
[19] 1860 U.S. Census, Porter County, Indiana, population schedule, Pleasant Township, p. 110 (written), dwelling 838, family 818, Mary Price (age 36) in household of Henry M. Rose; image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GB9J-S8M2?i=7&wc=7QK5-RG3%3A1589426070%2C1589426630%2C1589423641&cc=1473181 : accessed 14 June 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication M653.
[20] 1870 U.S. Census, Porter County, Indiana, population schedule, Pleasant Township, p. 14 (written), dwelling 103, family 102, Emely Price (age 15) in household of William Carr; image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D5GG-RL?i=13&cc=1438024 : accessed 14 June 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 351.
[21] “Jesse Casbon, War Vet, Dies at Age of 90,” The (Valparaiso, Indiana) Vidette-Messenger, 25 Jan 1934, p. 1, col. 3; online archive, Newspaper Archive (accessed through participating libraries : accessed 22 August 2016).
[22] Porter, Indiana, “Deed Index 6, Grantee, Mar 1876—Dec 83,” Casbon Jesse from John T Derrit, 20 Mar 1879; FHL microfilm 1,703,896; citing Recorder’s Office, Porter, Indiana.
[23] Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=109806539 : accessed 14 June 2017), memorial page for Emily Price Casbon (d. 26 Apr 1893), memorial no. 109806539, created by Alana Knochel Bauman; citing Maplewood Cemetery, Valparaiso, Porter, Indiana.
[24] “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” Porter, 1895–1899, vol. 11, p. 430 (stamped), Newton Kitchell & Anna Casbon, 9 Jul 1898; online image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9R15-4M4?i=253&cc=1410397 : accessed 18 June 2017), image 24; citing Porter County Clerk’s office.
[25] “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” Porter, 1898–1901, vol. 12, p. 504 (stamped), Myron R. Dayton & Maud E. Casbon, 23 Oct 1901; online image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9R15-CL4?i=319&wc=Q83F-4HT%3A963055701%2C963108501&cc=1410397 : accessed 18 June 2017), image 320; citing Porter County Clerk’s office.
[26] “Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011,” Jessie Casbon, 24 Jan 1934, Valparaiso, Porter, Indiana; image copy, Ancestry Library Edition (accessed through participating libraries : accessed 13 December 2016); citing Indiana State Board of Health. Death Certificates, 1900–201, microfilm, Indiana Archives and Records Administration, Indianapolis, Indiana.
[27] “Jesse Casbon, War Vet, Dies at Age of 90.
[28] Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=109806484 : accessed 13 Jun 2017), memorial page for Jesse Casbon (1843–1934), memorial # 109806484, created by Alana Knochel Bauman; citing Maplewood Cemetery, Valparaiso, Porter, Indiana