John Edward Casebeer.The death of John Edward Casebeer which occurred March 18, 1914, closed the career of one of the most active and successful business men in Southern Kansas. He was a native of Ohio, born at Canal Dover, June 25, 1841, a son of James and Elizabeth (Lower) Casebeer, the former a native of Ohio, of Pennsylvania parentage, and the latter a native of Virginia, and a cousin of ex-vice-president Stevenson. She was born July 27, 1813, and died in 1907, and her husband passed away in 1910. The Casebeer family were originally from Germany. Their earliest home in this country was near Little York, Pa., where they settled in Colonial days, some time prior to the Revolutionary war, and there James Casebeer's grandfather, John Casebeer was born. He resided at Washington, Pa., during his married life, and there reared a family, of whom a son named John, was the father of James.
In 1811, John Casebeer, Jr., then well advanced in manhood, removed from Washington county, Pennsylvania, to Franklin, Tuscarawas county, Ohio, and there engaged in agricultural pursuits, clearing up a farm, also giving attention to the work of his trade, that of a blacksmith, which he conducted up to the time of his death. He was twice married. His first wife was Miss Nancy Bess, who became the mother of eleven children, and after her death, which occurred after their removal to Ohio, he wedded Mrs. Sarah Smiley, and to this marriage there were three children: James, father of John Edward of this review, Sarah and Lovina.
Mrs. Sarah Smiley's mother, named Boyd, was captured by the Indians in childhood, in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, during the Revolutionary war, and held captive by them for seven years. After the close of the war, she was turned over to her friends, a treaty having been effected that necessitated the return of all captives, and she with others was brought into old Fort Duquesne, where Pittsburg, Pa., now stands. At the time she was captured, seven others of the same family were taken, consisting of the child's mother and grandmother and four other children. Her mother and grandmother were ruthlessly murdered by the Indians at the time they were captured, but all the children, except one, passed seven years in captivity. One of the children, a boy, and the youngest, became accustomed to his red captors and their ways and refused to return to his white friends and relatives. The eldest son was kept a prisoner three years, when he was released and assisted hack to his friends by his Indian captors. About twenty-five women and children were at this time congregated at the Boyd house when these people were captured, and the old and infirm and the infants were murdered, the rest taken into captivity. They were not captured until after a hard resistance was made, and then only after the cabin was burned. James and Elizabeth (Lower) Casebeer were the parents of eleven children, five of whom are now living. John Edward Casebeer was educated in the public schools of Ohio, and in 1860, removed to Defiance, Ohio, with his parents, where the father was a successful lawyer until his death. He was also interested in banking and farming. John Edward remained at home until September 20, 1861 when he enlisted in Company D, Forty-fourth Regiment, Indiana infantry, and served until the close of the war, and won a long and honorable military record. He participated in the battles of Fort Donaldson, Pittsburgh Landing, Corinth, Perryville, Stone River, Missionary Ridge, Nashville, and numerous other minor engagements and skirmishes. At the close of the war he went to Auburn, Ind., where he was engaged in the manufacturing business for a number of years, and in 1872, engaged in the mercantile business at Auburn which he continued until 1876, when he was forced to go out of business and liquidate his affairs on account of the panic from which the business world suffered about that time. He then engaged in the hotel business at La Grange, Ind., in which he was engaged until his hotel was destroyed by fire in 1878. Returning to Defiance, Ohio, he was engaged in the hotel business there, five years, and in 1883, engaged in the hotel business in Toledo. He was very successful in this enterprise which proved profitable. In 1898, he came to Kansas and leased the old Metropole Hotel, now the Hamilton, at Wichita, and after conducting this hotel a year, he removed to Harper and bought the Patterson House which he conducted until 1898, when he sold that and leased the Bennett House at Anthony, Kans., where he did business two years. In 1893, he went to Indian Territory, at the opening of the Cherokee Strip, and secured a homestead near the present town of Cherokee, Okla. In 1899, he bought a large tract of land in Kingman county, Kansas, which he sold at a large profit in 1904, when he invested in a large tract of land one mile east of Harper. He improved this and developed it into one of the finest farms in the State of Kansas. The place is known as "Willow Croft." He interested himself here in raising fine Hereford cattle and high grade swine. In addition to this he owned several other large tracts of land in Kingman and Harper counties at the time of his death. Mr. Casebeer was united in marriage May 22, 1867, at Hicksville, Ohio, to Miss Dorothy E. Miller, who was born at Hicksville, June 27, 1848. She is a daughter of John A. and Margaret (Boone) Miller, the former a native of Holmes county, Ohio, born October 4, 1818, and died in his native State February 26, 1884. He was a successful merchant and manufacturer. The mother was born at Mount Eaton, Ohio, September 7, 1819, and died at Hicksville, Ohio, March 26, 1883. She was a descendant of Daniel Boone. To Mr. and Mrs. Casebeer were born two children: Lenora Margaret, born June 23, 1868. She was a graduate from the Toledo Normal and Art Schools, and maried[sic] E. H. Davis, of Boston, Mass., April 30, 1893. She died May 25, 1910. The younger child of Mr. and Mrs. Casebeer was Catherine Odell, born October 31, 1869, was educated in Toledo and received a musical training. She died at Wichita, Kans., May 30, 1890. Mr. Casebeer was a Republican and a Knights Templar Mason. Mrs. Casebeer now resides at Harper and is prominent in the social affairs of that community. She is a cultured woman of unusual intellectual qualities. She was educated at Christian College, Newville, Ind., graduating in the class of 1866, and is a member of the Presbyterian church and takes an active interest in the work of her congregation.Pages 212-214 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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