Genealogy: An Introduction

These pages contain Kasebier/Casebeer genealogy

generation by generation

And concludes with Dad's obituary.


An Introduction 

{From the Preamble of The Constitution of The United States of America, 1787}

“We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”


The greatest thing about being an American is having roots from all over the world, and living in a society that recognizes, promotes, and celebrates that diversity. My ancestors arrived in the Colonies prior to the Revolutionary War. My Casebeer ancestor, Johan Kasebier, arrived from Germany in 1724, and my Camp and Daniels ancestors arrived in the Colonies from England in the 1630s.  My great grandfather, Henry Stancil, was French Canadian, and Scotch Irish roots run deep in my family tree. Each branch of the family sent sons to war to provide the freedoms we Americans enjoy today. Other family members, such as my great grandfather, Calvin Casebeer, fought to preserve the Union during the Civil War, and my father, Leo Don Casebeer served on the Battleship New Jersey during World War II. 

Freedom is every hearts desire and every just governments goal, but prior to our Constitution, liberty was a mighty illusive concept. My ancestors risked all they had in their quests for freedom, because in case after case, their homelands had very little appetite for religious freedoms.  In far too many cases, Kings, Queens, and yes, far too often, powerful religious institutions, dictated religious beliefs. Bigotry, intolerance and bondage were generally the result, and the freedom we enjoy today was little more than a dream.

Our Constitution and America’s other historical documents demonstrate very clearly that America’s collective conscience, as reflected by our chosen leaders, requires constant scrutiny and surveillance.  Even in a democracy of, by, and for the people, justice and equality are only as perfect as the conscience of that people.  Even America’s grand and glorious democracy reflects not only our goodness but also our greed.  Freedom is not a privilege to be taken lightly.  Freedom is a right and a responsibility, a perishable torch to be diligently tended and faithfully passed along.  Freedom burns within our hearts, ignited by the founding fathers, and it falls to us to keep that flame alive. America’s most trusted and time-honored institutions are only as righteous as the hearts of our citizens, our most godly leaders only as just as the collective conscience of their constituents, and the most telling measure of a nations heart is the tolerance of its people.

Even today, in the 21st century, in a country celebrated around the world as the land of liberty, there are people whom, given the opportunity, would deny freedom and forcibly inflict their religious beliefs on their fellow citizens.  They believe this to be their calling. If you feel compelled to spread the good news of your gospel, by all means do so, but even in the gospels, we’re not called to forcibly inflict our religious views on others. We’re called to go out as sheep among the wolves, to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. We’re called to share our good news, and then leave people be.

The following pages include copies of historical documents, letters, and journals that provide a window into my family’s quest for freedom. Among these documents are a translation of The Manumission, which authorized my Kasebier ancestors to leave Germany in 1724, the translation of a letter that Johan Kasebier sent back to Germany thanking the Count for his benevolence, the Reminiscences of my great, great grandfather, Jared Waldo Daniels, chronicling his time spent in the company of, and in intercession for, this country’s Native Americans during the last half of the 19th century, several previously published biographies, and the poignant letter my father received from his father, eight days prior to Tom Casebeer’s passing, in December of 1951. In addition I’ve included excerpts from early, family related publications, and in the photo album, a number of invaluable archival photos of my ancestors around the turn of the 19th century. 

I’m extremely proud of my ancestors and their service to this country, but I want to be very clear that I in no way mean to suggest that their achievements represent my entitlement. While I am appreciative of their accomplishments, I realize fully that I am in no way entitled to special privilege based on their sacrifice.  If anything, my heritage only serves to intensify my responsibility and my dedication to the causes for which they devoted their lives. Thus, it is with admiration, appreciation, and all due humiliation that I share the following family tree.

 Shannon Thomas Casebeer


     We the appointed director, and the Councilors of the Government Chancery to the Highborn Count of the Empire and Lord Agustus Count Zu Sayne, Wittgenstein and Hohenstein, Lord at Hamburg, Vallendar, Neumogen, Lohrau and Clettenberg, etc., make it known to whom it may concern, that the bearer of this: Johann Georg Kasebier of Schwartzenau in this County of Wittgenstein, by a most submissive memorial to our aforementioned Gracious Count and Lord, had notified, that together with his wife and children, he wants to move from this County to the island of Pennsylvania, and to settle down there permanently.  But, since he is aware that his plan cannot be executed without a special permit by the Gracious Government, and without being freed of his bondage to His Grace, he cannot and is not allowed to undertake anything.  Whereupon he most submissively is asking to free him of his bondage and of all other obligations by which he is subject to the present High Government of the Land.


     Thereupon aforementioned Serene Highness and Excellency, by special grace resolved to grant his petition, and release him and his wife and children of the bondage, and of all other obligations at this time being, but with the strong reservation that if he, Johann Georg Kasebier, or his family, before short or long, may come to this County to settle down again, he, or they, will become subjects again, and liable to fulfill all their obligations as before.


     Whereupon it was ordered to us to draw up this letter of release, and according to this gracious order, we make it known that the aforementioned Johann Georg Kasebier and his family are this time freed of bondage and all other obligations by which he and they were bound to our most gracious Count and Lord as soon as they will leave our territory, but not before, and thereafter will be declared as free people, but, as mentioned before, with the strict reservation and condition that if he Johann Georg Kasebier or his family today or tomorrow or at which time ever it might be, would settle down again in the County, they will be subject again to bondage and their obligations as before, and this cannot be altered in any way whatsoever by this present decree which cannot be used as a subterfuge since it will become invalid entirely.


     What furthermore concerns this birth and conduct of Johann Georg Kasebier and of his lawful wife Maria Elisabeth Mathes, he was born of Legitimate wedlock by Christian parents at Kuhnau in the Princedom Anhakt-Dessau 30 years ago, and his father had been Christoph Kasebier, tailor at Kuhnau, and the mother Margretha Kuhn.  He was raised in the French Reformed religion, and with his aforementioned wife he had lived in good Christian matrimony for 9 years, and had resided in this County of Wittgenstein for about six years, and begot two children in this matrimony.  His conduct was such that nobody had any complaint about him; we wanted not to omit it to insert this fine conduct in this birth attestation.


Acted and sealed at Lasphe in the Chancery on June 3rd, 1724

That the above copy which I the undersigned made of the original in my own handwriting entirely conforms with the original which had been delivered to me, I testify by my signature in my own handwriting, thus acted as above.


Johann Georg Kasebier, June 1724



The Journal of

Johann Georg Kasebier


Johann Georg Kasebier (1693 to 1724)

Johann was born in 1693 to Christoph II and Margretha (Kuhn) Kasebier in Kuhnau, a village in the princedom Anhalt Dessau, which is now a suburb of the city of Dessau in the political division of sachsen-Anhalt, East Germany. Johann’s father was a tailor by trade. Johann married Maria Elisabetha Mathes in 1714 or 1715, probably in Schwartzenau, Germany.  Schwartzenau itself is in an isolated small quaint village, with very few (if any) historical buildings now standing.  The village is situated in a grassy pastoral area on the Eder River, which is in the northeast corner of the principality of Sayn-Wittgenstein. One of Johann's brothers, Christian Andreas Kasebier, was an early outlaw of the family, and was an infamous and evidently very successful and reportedly charming thief. Andreas was also an Intelligence Operative for King Frederick II of Prussia prior to his eventual escape and disappearance.

Sayn-Wittgenstein is located east of the Rhine Valley, and northwest of the Grand-Duchy of Hesse.  Today nothing in the village appears to be more than one or two hundred years old.  The old cemetery where Kasebier family members may have been buried has been removed, and now a hospital is situated on the site.  The people of Schwartzenau were very religious during the 1700’s, and many of the villagers – including the Kasebier family – belonged to the Church of the Brethern.  Unfortunately that particular religion was not the “popular” religion during the 1700’s, and the members were persecuted for their beliefs.  The church’s founder, Alexander Mack, gathered together his followers – including the Kasebier family – and took them to America.  Permission to leave Wittgenstein was given to Johann by Count and the original document still survives.  (See manumission)

Johann, along with his wife and their sons Gottfried and Gottlieb, arrived in America at the Port of Philadelphia on October 29th, 1724.  After arriving in America Johann and his family proceeded on to the Village of Roxborough, Pennsylvania.  Unfortunately Johann died less than two months after his arrival.  Even though Johann’s death occurred so soon after his arrival in America his name would not be forgotten. Johann kept a journal of the ship’s passing and sent it to the Count of Sayn-Wittgenstein.  The Count placed the original in the Castle archives, and a translation by Durnbaugh follows.



This is a translation of Johann Kasebier's account of his voyage from Germany to Pennsylvania, in 1724,

As presented to the Count:

Gracious Count and Lord:

 I report herewith to Your Grace that we departed from Rotterdam on August 3rd, left from Helfor Schleis to cross the sea to England on August 14th, at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, and arrived off Dover at about 10 or 11 o’clock on the afternoon of August 15th.  Of the 170 people aboard, only a few were not violently seasick.  We remained off Dover for eight days and had continuously strong winds so that many became sick from the great rocking.  Two small children from the Palatine group and an unmarried man died.  We stayed so long off Dover because they loaded still more provisions, and inspected the commercial goods and put them through customs, though none of the passengers had to take his goods through customs no matter how much commercial goods he might have had.  This has certainly not happened before to any other ship, though there was a great deal of goods among the passengers – at least 100,000 sewing needles, not to mention other things.

From Dover, we went back along the coast to Tihlen because of the heavy winds.  The captain feared that the wind might snap the anchor rope and drive the ship up on a sandbar.  It took a long time in Tihlen and no one was allowed to go ashore as had been the case in Dover because they said that the King had forbidden it.  The Palatines became very indignant at the captain for this and suspected him of having contrived this in the city.  They wanted to make a complaint against him, but it was not done because they could not go ashore.  As he gave them very poor victuals, they suffered considerably.

We departed from Tihlen on September 6th and had a rather favorable wind for sailing.  Soon, however, it shifted so that it came directly against us, and they had to tack continually until toward the evening of the 9th when the northeast wind arose.  Then we sailed very rapidly.  We went past a tower, which is built in the ocean four hours from land on a small, round rock.  A family lives on it who have to make a light in the evenings after sunset so that the sailors see it and do not sail into the rock

At 5 o’clock early Sunday morning, the 10th, we left land behind us with an especially favorable wind.  During the night of Sunday to Monday a young unmarried woman who had had seasickness died.  She had been bled by an English doctor who opened such a large hole in her vein that it burst during the second night. She bled severely and died the following night.  She was wrapped in a cloth, stones were tied to her feet, and she was cast overboard from a plank in the morning.

On the 11th we had a good wind and on the 12th also.  Toward evening we saw entire schools of large fish close to the ship.  We had seen them already at Rotterdam, but not so close to the ship.  When they show themselves, a strong wind is generally to be expected.

On the 13th we had a strong wind and sailed eight English miles in one hour.  Six English miles make one German mile.  From coast to coast there are 1,100 or eleven hundred German hours according to the sailors’ reckoning.  If, however, the distance is reckoned which is traveled along the English coast and the similar distance up the river in Pennsylvania, then there are thirty-four hours in England and fifty hours in Pennsylvania, which makes eleven hundred and eighty-four hours from the first departure in England.

My wife and Sauer were very ill, although at time worse than others.  When she was unable to eat, it so happened that a bird, which was tired from flying over the ocean, landed on the ship.  The Palatines chased it over the ship for a long time.  It ran past me and I seized it by its long legs.  In this way I got a roast fowl for my sick wife.  I cannot describe how sick you get if you are sick at sea.  Although I experienced it but little, it greatly weakened the constitution.

On the 14th we had a mild southeast wind and very pleasant weather along with it.  We sailed three or four English miles per hour.  Toward evening, however, we got a strong south wind, which lasted all night, and we sailed eight and nine E. M. per hour.  During the night two small children of the Palatines died, and were buried as described above.  Toward evening of the 15th the wind shifted to the west and we got a strong contrary wind.  Nevertheless, in these five days at sea, we had sailed more than two hundred hours. 

On the 16th my wife was deathly sick the whole night and thought she would die.  God, however, heard the prayer and, suddenly, her illness subsided.

On the 17th , still a strong west wind.  On the 18th, still strong gales, but it seemed as if it would become better.  We were driven far to the north by it.  On the 19th, the contrary wind still continued with considerable waves on the ocean, until about 3 o’clock in the afternoon.  We met then a ship from the West Indies.  It’s captain spoke with our captain in English.  One minute before they spoke the wind shifted to the north, and we sailed more comfortably. 

On the 20th, the same wind.  Sauer and my wife were still sick.  I cannot describe how difficult it is for both sick and healthy when there are contrary winds at sea.  Even if there is still something to cook and great care is taken, the rocking of the ship can spill it in an instant.  When the most skillful thinks that he is standing on one side of the ship, lo and behold, he fids himself on his behind on the other side of the ship.  I fell myself very little, whether standing, sitting, or lying.


The victuals on board the ship after we put to sea included meat, which had been in barrels for six or seven years and had returned from the East Indies, peas and barley cooked in putrid water, and butter and Dutch cheese, which was best.


On the 21st, considerable wind.  On the 22nd, toward evening we sailed rather fast, but we got a gale wind at midnight, which continued, on the 23rd.  During the night of the 24th, an unmarried woman who had fallen into the ships hold with an iron kettle of soup about four weeks before, died.  She lay sick about fourteen days, then got up again, but several days later she took to her bed once more and died.  She was sent to the bottom with coal tied to her feet.


On the 25th, a north wind and comfortable sailing.  On the 26th, in the evening when it was dark we saw a terribly large fish.  As it sped through the water it looked to us as if it were a leviathan, and it spouted water with its’ nose.


On the 27th we had an east wind, but very mild and good weather.  On the 28th a north wind, but we did not sail fast.  On the 29th we had clear weather and a good wind.  On the 30th clear weather and an east wind.  On October 1st we had clear weather with a south wind and saw a large school of fish which leaped from the water like a heard of swine.  On October 2nd we had a warm day – it hardly gets this warm in your summers _ and the ocean was completely calm.  On the 3rd we had directly contrary winds, but we tacked ahead.  Very far away to the south we saw a ship, which was the third that we had seen so far.  During the night of the 3rd to the 4th we got a strong north wind, which was rather good for us.  A man from among the Palatines, who had severe nose bleeding but had not lain sick very long, died and was buried as the others had been.  On the 4th the wind shifted northeast and we sailed eight E. M. in one hour.  We saw fish, which flew a bit above the water like a swallow.  They had four wings; the front ones were exactly like swallow wings, but the back ones were much shorter. 


On the 5th we had a strong west wind and sailed rapidly, but toward evening came a west wind.  On the 6th we still had a west wind, which was almost like a storm.  On the 7th it continued until toward evening, then it shifted to the southwest.  On the 8th we also had a contrary wind.  On the 9th and 10th, -----? before noon.  In the afternoon we got a north wind and sailed eight E. M. in one hour.  During the night of the 9th to the 10th, an old unmarried Swiss, who had been ill for three or four weeks, died, was placed in an old sack, and sunk.       


On the 11th the weather was fair, and we also had a favorable wind.  We saw a school of medium-sized fish hopping along the water like mice because a fish of prey could be seen chasing them.  On the 12th we had a south wind in the afternoon, but it developed into quite a storm.  In the afternoon, it shifted suddenly to the north.  We also saw a stoop and spoke with it.


On the 13th the same wind, but more favorable.  On the 14th east wind and warm weather, also on the 15th.  On the 16th also warm and gentle east wind.  Toward noon, however, it shifted and came from the south and continued through the night until 4 o’clock in the morning.  On the 17th a storm from the north.  We gathered much rainwater in our great scarcity of water, as it was a heavy rainstorm.


On the 18th a mild west wind.  On the 19th a mild southwest wind, but during the night it shifted to the east and blew so strongly that we sailed 153 E. M. in twenty-four hours on the 20th.  On the 21st, 154 E. M. with the same wind.  On the 22nd, still east wind, favorable for us. 


On the 23rd, a northwest wind, but not strong.  On the 24th still a north wind.  We saw land birds and from this we noticed that we were not far from land.  Also great flocks of wild ducks.  In the evening at 7 o’clock we sounded bottom.  On the 25th toward evening we approached land, which is called south Island (Suder Eyhland).  It was twenty-two hours to the south on our left.  That same evening and night we sailed along its’ coast quite a distance.  On the morning of the 26th we again got a good wind which drove us ahead so strongly that by the evening at dusk we reached the mouth of the river which leads inland to Philadelphia.  However the captain sailed too far from shore, and the terribly large and heavily laden ship ran onto a sandbar.  The ship took a great jolt and then another.  We all thought the ship had burst open.


This lasted for more than a quarter of an hour as if the ship were scraping over sharp rocks.  The earnest prayers and cries to God in the highest, which were uttered in the open air, were indescribable.  We had thought that we had evaded all danger, but God showed us that he could bring ruin to us and our property close to land as well.  Yes, my legs shook so that I could hardly stand, but in my heart I heard a voice saying that there was no danger.  I called upon his mercy that he might spare us, and he heard it and helped.  When we had sailed away from the sandbar a distance, they cast anchor and remained there over night.  If there had been a strong wind, however, the ship would have been smashed to pieces.


On the 27th the sailors began their game, for they had a custom that whoever had not traveled on the river had to donate a quantity of brandy.  All of the crew who had not yet traveled on it gave something except one Scotchman who could not pay.  He was tied, hauled a good twelve feet high with a ship’s pulley, and suddenly released so that he fell head over heels into the water.  This was done three times, and the first time a shot was fired.  When they had finished with the crew, then it was the turn of the Palatines.  They all gave something.  If someone refused they set about tying him until he promised to give something.  About 9 o’clock we took on board two pilots, one from Loisztaun and the other from Philadelphia.  They had to guide the ship in the river.  It was full of sandbars, but they knew the river.  On the 28th we sailed up the river and arrived at Philadelphia safely on the noon of the 29th.  Twenty shots were fired.  It is a beautiful town because all the streets are laid out at right angles.  Many say that there are at least two thousand houses there.  The ship lay for three more days in the river.


We disembarked on November 2nd, but did not receive our things until November 3rd.  On the 4th, one of the Brethern of the congregation (Tauffer Gemeinde) Gumrie by name took us into his home in heartfelt love and evidenced brotherly love to us with plenty to eat and drink, and also a place to sleep to this hour.  He wants to shelter us until we find a place somewhere else.  John Henry Traut from Germantown, another of the Brethern, hauled our things a distance of four hours to this place without taking pay. (This is written about me and Nicholas for Sauer lives in Germantown.) 


As far as this country is concerned, it is a precious land with the finest wheat, as well as unusual corn, fine broom corn, maize, and white beets of such a quality as I never saw in Germany, not to speak of that which I have not yet seen.  There are apples in great quantities from trees which grow wild without being grafted, so delicate to look at that I have not seen the like in Germany.  I saw in Germantown so many spoiled apples in various piles in a garden that a wagon loaded with them could not be budged by four horses.  Many trees are full of hanging apples, which are frozen, because there is a shortage of workers.


A reaper earns a florin a day in the summer plus “wedding meals” along with it, and the work is not nearly so hard as in Germany.  A day laborer earns ordinarily a half florin in the winter, and twenty alben in the summer.  Food is cheap compared to Germany.  The freedom of the inhabitants is indescribable.  They let their sows, cows, and horses run without a keeper.


The man in our house came to this country in 1719 and did not bring much with him.  Now he has property worth at least one thousand florins, three horses, cows and sheep, hens and sows.  (He slaughtered three of the last today, which were as big as donkeys.)  There are more people like him who came here in 1719 and now have properties worth two to three thousand florins, and livestock in quantity.


The trees, which grow in the forest, are cedar, two kinds of nut trees, chestnut, and many young oaks.  They are, however, so easily cleared that it is hard to believe.  Deer, rabbits

(But not so many of these two as the others), pheasants, wild partridge, and pigeons are plentiful, and all can be shot without limit.


One can, to be sure, obtain land in the city, which is more expensive.  Ten or twelve hours distant from the city it is much cheaper.  Whoever is willing to work can become rich in a short time through God’s blessing.  Goods, however, which can be brought from Germany, are expensive.  For example, gunpowder, for one pound, one florin; a thousand sewing needles, nine, ten, or eleven kopfstuck.  Silk and lace are four times as expensive, also shoe nails and other nails. 


Tailors, smiths, and shoemakers, also weavers, are the best-paid artisans.  It costs ten florins in the city for a dress; in the country, six florins and twenty alben.  A pair of men’s shoes costs seven kopfstuck.  It is possible, though, to earn enough, if one just has a will to work.  A day laborer does not like to take on two days work, but rather for a quarter of a year or half a year.  I now close, and commend Your Grace, the Count, to the protection of the Most High, and remain, Your Grace, with warm greetings for all the servants, your dear friend, Johann Georg Kasebier


I ask Your Grace, the Count, to deal paternally in your country, so that God may deal paternally with you.


Ps, I would like to remind Your Grace if someone wishes to come and appeals for a travel subsidy in order to come to this country that you would “open your hand” and share with him according to your ability.  People who are willing to work can thus be helped in truth.  God is indeed a rewarder of all goodness.


Something else remarkable has come to my mind, that the day in summer here is two hours shorter, and in winter two hours longer, and also that it is so safe from thieves here it is not necessary to lock the door at night.  My host told me that they often all went away from the house and had often left it unlocked. 


There are horses here in great numbers.  Some have one hundred, some have sixty, some have thirty.  They are all English riding horses.  The women here ride sidesaddle, unlike a man, and also small boys.


There is so much that could be written that it is impossible to write everything.  Today we saw more than ten wild partridges in the field of our host, but we could not get to them to shoot because they were wary from much shooting.


Closing note from Maria Elisabetha Kasebier


After this letter was written my dear husband became ill.  He still went threshing for a day with Nicholas despite it.  The illness grew worse so that he could not do it the next day.  He had chills and fever and this lasted at least eight days.  After this the fever prevailed and my dear husband became delirious.  He kept on working until the illness became so bad that he could not walk anymore.  He lay in bed for five weeks, having to be lifted and carried, and died on December 19th, 1724.

Children of Johann & Maria (Mathes) Kasebier include

Gottfried Christian Kasebier

Gottlieb Christian Kasebier


 Gottfried (Godfrey) Kasebier

Gottfried Kasebier, a.k.a. Godfrey, was born around 1718 probably in Wittgenstein, Germany.  Godfrey left Germany via Rotterdam on August 3rd, 1724 with his parents and his brother Gottlieb, and arrived at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 29th, 1724.


Godfrey would have been no more than five or six years old when he and his younger brother accompanied their family to America. Within two months of their arrival Godfrey’s father fell ill and passed away.  Finding herself hard pressed to provide for herself and her two young sons, Maria Kasebier married Andreas Bossart, and this union produced three additional children.  


Additional information on Godfrey’s childhood with his stepfather is found in the journal of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, which is contained in “Casebeers in America” By Reba Munger Kemery.  Following is a brief excerpt:


June 10th, 1747


“I set out from New Hanover with the schoolmaster, Jacob Loeser.  Eight miles from New Hannover we stopped in at the home of an old man, one of the sect called newborn, who had married Kasebier’s widow some twenty years ago (who is known to Vogtland and Halle) and begotten with her five children, whom I had instructed and baptized at the mother’s request without the fathers consent.  The old man had been a little awakened many years ago in the Palatinate.  The awakening, however, went no further than that he separated from the church and the Lord’s Supper and refused to give the oath of loyalty to the then ruling elector, for which he was examined by the consistory and imprisoned.  According to his opinion he had been persecuted and expelled for the sake of Christ and the truth, but as a matter of fact he was only confirmed in his stubbornness.  He will listen to no advice, accepts neither reason nor a higher revelation in all it’s parts, since he is weak in understanding’ headstrong, and hot-tempered; and unfortunately he abuses the freedom of Pennsylvania…The woman had imprudently married this man and thereby made a heavy rod for her own back, from which she would gladly have freed herself if she had not feared to sin even more.”


Andreas and Maria Bossart lived in Berks County, Pennsylvania at least until the death of Andreas, which occurred in 1755.  The will of Andreas, as reported in the Genealogy Society of Pennsylvania Publications, states:


Andrew [Andreas] Bossart, dated in Germantown, December 4th, 1751; All estate to wife Marie Elizabeth; son Samuel; two sons of said wife Marie Elizabeth, Gottlieb Kasebier the youngest and Gottfried Kasebier; his two daughters Mary and Elizabeth; witnesses, John Theobald End, George Shryber and Christopher Sauer; administration to Elizabeth Bossart, widow of Andreas Bossart, March 1st, 1755.     


Although Mr. Muhlenberg’s journal indicates that Andreas and Maria begat five children, Mr. Bossart’s will indicates that those five children consisted of the two Kasebier boys in addition to the three children of Maria and Andreas.  


Following what was evidently a difficult childhood, Godfrey married Agnes Corleene, daughter of Peter Corleene, on February 22nd, 1739 at Christ Church in Philadelphia.  Godfrey and Agnes lived in Berks County, Pennsylvania where Godfrey was a blacksmith by trade.  By 1756 Godfrey and his family had moved to Sussex, New Jersey. 


Children Of Godfrey & Agnes Corleene Kasebier include

Samuel b. 1740 d. 1787

Nathan b. 1742 

*** John b. 1744 d. 1813

Rebecca b. 1746


Solomon b. 1750 d. 1800

Jonathan b. 1752 d. 1847

David b. 1756

Esther b. 1754

John Kasebier Sr.


John Kasebier (1744 to 1813)


John was born in 1744 in Bedford County Pennsylvania. According to Reba Kemery’s book, John married Catherine Dibert in 1744, probably in the Lutheran Church. (Catherine was born in 1755)  After their marriage, Catherine and John moved to Washington County, Pennsylvania.  On December 27th, 1785 John bought 334 acres named “Buffaloe” in the northeast portion of Donegal Township in Washington County.  John Kasebier served in the army for the American Colonies.  John was a soldier in the militia during the revolutionary war in the Continental Army, Captain Davidson’s Division out of Bedford, Pennsylvania. Catherine died in Washington County, Pennsylvania between 1799 and 1811.  After Catherine’s death, John and his family moved to Tuscarawas County, Ohio where John died in August of 1813.  Before leaving this life’ however, He had the foresight to leave a will.  A copy follows:


WILL RECORD #1, PG 5, Tuscarawas County Courthouse,

 New Philadelphia, Ohio.  John Kasebier


In the name of God, Amen

I John Kasebier being weak in body but of sound memory and understanding do give this as my last will and testament as follows: First of all I recommend my soul to God that gave it and my body after my decease to the dust from whence it was taken.  I do constitute and appoint Mathias Burtzfield and Conrad Roth Executors of this my last will and testament to divide my property to my children as follows (all my real and personal estate) to be divided (first to pay my daughter Catherine fifty dollars for her services and tender care and affection towards me her father) then the remainder to be divided in equal proportion to my daughters Mary, Agness, Catherine, Hannah, and Elizabeth Riply, and my sons John, David, and Jacob, each to have an equal share except as before excepted, in witness whereof I hereunto fix my hand and seal, this twenty-fourth day of July, AD one thousand eight hundred and thirteen.


Children of John & Catherine Dibert Kasebier include

Mary b. 1776 d. 1836

Agnes b. 1785

Catherine b. 1784

Hannah b. 1787 d. 1839

Elizabeth b. 1782

***John b. 1775 d. 1823

David b. 1779 d. 1846

Jacob b. 1781 d. 1865 ebier 

     John Kasebier / Casebeer Jr.


John Kasebier Jr. (1775 to 1823)


The surname Kasebier underwent “Americanization” during John Junior’s lifetime and became Casebeer.  John Casebeer was born in 1775 near Little York, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.  John lived in at least four different locations during his lifetime, including: Bedford and Washington Counties in Pennsylvania, Ohio County, West Virginia, and Tuscarawas County Ohio.


In 1793 John joined in wedlock with first wife Nancy Best, the daughter of John and Catherine (Miller) Best.  John and Catherine Best hailed from Ohio County, West Virginia.    


John Best died in 1795, and Catherine passed in 1815.  Both are buried in Washington County, Pennsylvania.  Catherine (Miller) Best, the daughter of Conrad and Hannah Miller, was born in 1733.  Conrad Miller was a veteran of the Revolutionary War.


John Casebeer’s first wife Nancy died in 1813.  Around the time of Nancy’s death John moved to Tuscarawas County, Ohio, where he married Sarah Smiley on June 19th, 1817.  Sarah’s mother’s maiden name was Boyd, and Mr. Boyd was an officer in the Continental Army.


The Centennial History and Atlas of Tuscarawas County Ohio, contains the following tidbit of Casebeer family history:


“J. W. Kohr, John Casebeer, and David Casebeer took flour from Zoar to Cleveland market.  Provisions consisting of boiled ham and large loaves of homemade bread, hollowed and filled with butter, and the tops of the loaves tied on for a cover, were, together with food for the horses taken along for economy.  Bedding was carried, and camp was made at night.  Ten barrels of flour was a heavy load for four good horses.  They sold them for two dollars and a half a barrel, and experienced a sense of wealth as they returned home from their eight-day trip with their twenty-five dollars.”


A biographical account of John’s life appeared in the

“Commemorative Biographical Record of Northwestern Ohio’s

Defiance, Henry, Williams, and Fulton Counties (by Beer), which states:


“The Casebeer family were originally from Germany.  Their earliest home in this county was near Little York, Pennsylvania where they settled in colonial days, some time prior to the Revolutionary war, and there John Casebeer was born.  He resided in Washington in that state during his married life, and there reared a family of whom a son 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, and attending 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 Best, who became the mother of eleven children, and after her death, which occurred after their removal to Ohio, he for his second bride wedded Miss Sarah Smiley and to this marriage there were three children, James, Sarah, and Lovina.


Miss Sarah Smiley’s mother, named Boyd, was captured by 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 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 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.  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 back 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 infant’s 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.


The death of John Casebeer and that of his second wife occurred in August of 1823, within one week, both deaths resulting from the same cause- chills and fever.  Mr. Casebeer was a man of strong character, very positive in his views and firm in everything.  He was a very devout member of the Methodist Church, in which at the time of his death, as for a number of years previous, he was a class leader, and, being a man of unswerving devotion to the support of his theories, ruled his conduct carefully and strictly, in accordance with his standard of the higher life.  He lived in the enjoyment of the universal trust and respect of the community.  He was the first pioneer justice of the peace in his township in Ohio, and served in that office continuously from the first election to it, soon after his removal there, to the time of his death.  The sad bereavement of the family in the loss of both parents necessitated the breaking up of the home and separation of the remaining members of the family circle.


Children of John & Nancy Best Casebeer include

Elizabeth b. 1798

John b. 1799 d. 1881

David b. 1802

Pleasant b. 1802Mary b. 1803

Anna b. 1805

Andrew s. b. 1806 d. 1908

Catherine b. 1808

***Adam b. 1809 d. 1899

Children of John and 2nd wife Sarah Smiley include

James b. 1818

Sarah b. 1820

Lovina b. 1821

 Adam Casebeer


  Adam Casebeer (1809 to 1889)


Adam was born on October 4th, 1809 in Tuscarawas County Ohio. Adam’s first wife was Susan Porter, and they lived in Edgerton Ohio for most of their lives. Susan was born on April 1st, 1814, probably in Medina County Ohio.  Her death occurred on November 1st, 1860.  She was buried in the Clarksville Cemetery, Saint Joe Township, near Edgerton, Williams County, Ohio.


Following Susan’s death, Adam married Marie McDaniel on May 8th, 1862 in Williams County Ohio.  Adam died of paralysis at the age of 79, near Edgerton Ohio at the home of his daughter Martha Stevens on April 5th, 1889.  His funeral was held April 7th in the Methodist Episcopal church, at Edgerton Ohio, with a eulogy by Rev. J. R. Colgan.  Adam’s obituary states that he was a highly respected citizen and a devout Christian.


NOTE: For whatever reason, information on Adams travels through the years is a convoluted mess, as is his age at the time of his death.  Reba’s book contains two obituaries for Adam, neither of which agrees entirely with the information provided by Reba’s research.



At Edgerton, April 5th, 1889, of paralysis, Adam Casebeer, aged 85 years.  Mr. Casebeer was born in Tuscarawas County Ohio, October 24th, 1809, and came to northwestern Ohio in 1845, settling in Defiance County.  He was a highly respected citizen, and a devout Christian. The funeral took place on Sunday, April 7th, in the Methodist Episcopal Church at Edgerton, conducted by Rev. J. R. Colgan.  Six sons and four daughters survive.



Died at the residence of his son-in-law, J. H. Stevens, near Edgerton, Ohio, April 5th, 1889, Adam Casebeer; aged 78 years.  He came to this part of Ohio in 1845, and was among our best citizens, and a devout Christian.  The funeral was held in the M. E. Church at Edgerton, on Sunday, April 7 th, conducted by Rev. J. R. Colgan


Children of Adam and Susan (Porter) Casebeer include

John G. b. 1836 d. 1918

***Calvin b. 1838 d. 1907

Luther b. 1842

Susan b. 1850

Theodore b. 1855

Samuel Peter b. 1845 d. 1930

Edward James b. 1847

Nathan d. in infancy

Martha b. 1840

Elizabeth b.1843

Leander b. 1853

James F.

One child of Adam & Marie McDaniel



 Calvin Casebeer


Calvin Casebeer (1838 to 1907) Calvin was born in Defiance County, Ohio, on April 6th, 1838.  Sometime after 1845 Calvin’s family moved to Williams County, Ohio. 


Calvin was only 23 when the Civil War split the nation.  On November 22nd, 1861 he joined the Union Army with Company F of the Forty-fourth Indiana Infantry.  Many thousands of men never lived through the war to return home.  Those that did, most often carried scars and Calvin was no exception.  Calvin saw action during the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, and Stone River, among others, before being shot through the leg on September 19th, 1863 during the battle of Chickamauga, Georgia. Calvin’s brother John was wounded on the same day. Calvin was mustered out of service on November 22nd, 1864.  {See details of Calvin’s travels with the 44th in “Casebeers in the Civil War”}


On December 11th, 1862, evidently during a leave from the service, Calvin married Catherine (Cassie) A. Arrants.  Cassie was born on October 19th, 1840, in saint Claire, Michigan.


Calvin and Cassie were blessed with eleven children, two of which passed from this life as infants.  In 1885 the family, including the nine remaining children, packed up and moved to the Ozark Mountains of south central Missouri.  There Calvin became a circuit rider, serving the needs of Texas County’s widely dispersed inhabitants on horseback.  Calvin continued to keep in touch with his siblings, attending the occasional Casebeer family reunion, and sitting for a photo of himself and several brothers and sisters, late in life and sporting a full, gray beard.


Calvin passed from this life on November 21st, 1907, and Cassie joined him in death on July 11th, 1915, in the home of her son Harry, near the community of Dykes, in Texas County Missouri.  Calvin and Cassie are both buried in the cemetery across the road from the site of the old Dykes church, which was taken by a tornado in the early 1980s. 


Children of Calvin and Cassie (Arrants) Casebeer include

Lewis porter, b. 1863

Virgil Otis (Bird) b. 1865, d. 1925

Eber Noyce, b. 1867 d. 1947

Calvin Morton (Buss) b. 1869 d. 1939

Tillie, b. 1871 d. 1893

Howard Ladel (Dell) b. 1873 d. 1955

Garden Carol, (1875 to 1876)

***Tom Leroy b. 1877 d. 1952

Harry Emmett b. 1879 d. 1940

Joy Arthur, b. 1881 d. 1914

Eva Arzada, (1883 to 1884)



Casebeers in the Civil War

(Excerpts from Reba Kemery’s book, “Casebeers in America”


During the civil war, many of the Casebeer family members served their country as members of The Indiana 44th Infantry.  The 44th saw many heated battles of the civil war, and they earned the nickname, “The Iron Men of the 44th.”


John H. Rerick, MD, a surgeon of the 44th, was farsighted enough to write a book on the service of the men in the 44th.  With his record, and the record contained in the “Iron Men of the 44th” we can piece together the war that our ancestors fought, and relive the terrible experiences that they encountered during the civil war. 


After the war started with the siege at Fort Sumpter, Governor Morton ordered a Camp for volunteers to be set up in Fort Wayne, Indiana in August of 1861.  In October measles ravaged the camp, and many men died.


On November 22nd, 1861 the soldiers were “mustered in”, in a process which consisted of a physical exam and a series of questions.  The soldiers departed the next day.  The regiment marched into the public square in Fort Wayne.  Along the way “many hearts among the throng ached to breaking, and the groans of anguish were not infrequently heard to break forth from the burdened souls of fathers, mothers, and wives.” (Rerick)  There in the square the flag was presented to the regiment by Honorable F. P. Randall, the Mayor, who addressed the regiment.  At the end of the ceremony the men were asked to answer the following questions:


Do you solemnly promise to love this flag?  [Yes]

Do you promise to honor it?  [Yes]   

Do you promise to obey it?  [Yes]

Do you promise to sustain and defend it, even unto death?  [Yes]

I then, in this presence and before these witnesses, solemnly join you to the American Flag; and what we have now joined together let not Jeff Davis or his minions put asunder.  (Rerick)


The regiments’ march to battle was long and arduous, as was the war in front of them.  They traveled that day and the next through a snowstorm to reach Indianapolis.  From there they traveled to Evansville, where the citizens of the town had a hot meal waiting for them.  Their travels were further burdened by sickness.  Many men were ill from the cold and wet weather, and others came down with the measles.  On November 31st, 30 men were in the regimental hospital, and a great many others were sick in their quarters.


On December 11th, 1861, the 44thy marched into Henderson, Kentucky.  “The regiment crossed over [the river] in ferry boats, and then marching through the city with flying colors, went into camp in a beautiful grove in the suburbs…” (Rerick) 


On January 21st, 1862 many of the soldiers in the 44th witnessed the last auction of slaves in Kentucky. 


During the month of January 114 soldiers in the 44th regiment were hospitalized with illness.  There were however, about three times that many who were sick in the camp who were not counted.


The Battle of Fort Donelson


The commander… moved… to Fort Donelson, where they arrived on February 14th.  A snowstorm hit the regiment that night, and in the morning “waking heroes could be seen in all directions, creeping out of the grave like hillocks of snow that covered the ground.” (Rerick)  After the soldiers emerged, they had a miserly breakfast of hard tack and coffee.


The regiment marched on to Fort Donelson, where they engaged in battle.  According to Hugh B. Reed, the Col. Commanding the 44th Regiment, the “regiment advanced to the foot of the hill occupied by the enemy, formed in line of battle in the face of a storm of bullets.  Finding the ground occupied by the eighth Missouri, I advanced my regiment up the hill at a double quick; our men, loudly cheering, advanced rapidly to the summit of the hill, firing at the enemy.  The enemy soon retreated inside his entrenchments, closely followed by our troupes.  A fire was opened on us by their batteries, the shells falling near our lines.  Whilst deliberating upon an attack on the fortifications, we received an order    from General Grant to fall back to the brow of the hill, which was done…”


The cries of the wounded could be heard all night, and many tried to save them.  “Many in their blood-soaked clothes, were frozen to the ground.” (Rerick)  In the morning the enemy surrendered, and the 44th was the first to march into Dover and stack the arms confiscated from the confederate army.  During the battle the 44th had 7 men killed, 34 wounded, and two missing.


The Battle of Shiloh


From Fort Donelson the 44th marched to Fort Henry –Savannah- Pittsburgh Landing.  During the long trek, nearly all of the men became ill with diarrhea, and eight men died from illness. In Tennessee the men fought the battle of Shiloh in April of 1862.  The commanding officers were ordered to keep a report, and Colonel Reed’s report follows:


“Headquarters, 44th Indiana Volunteers

Pittsburgh, Tenn., April 9th, 1862

Brigadier General J. G. Lauman, commanding Third Brigade,

Fourth Division Army, West Line:


Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the 44th Regiment Indiana Volunteers in the actions of the 6th and 7th, near Pittsburgh, Tennessee:  We left our encampment about eight o’clock Sunday morning, with an effective force of 478 men. I sent forward First-Lieutenant Wayne, Co. D. and First-Lieutenant Barton, Co. B, each with a part of their respective companies, as skirmishers, in front of our line.  They were soon driven in, and the whole line of the 44th and 31st Indiana furiously assaulted the enemy, and as gallantly met, our men behaving in the coolest manner possible, loading and firing with the utmost rapidity; and with so much zeal did they enter into it, that the officers had only to watch the fight as a matter of interest, rather than of duty.  The enemy was driven off with tremendous loss.  They again rallied, and charged up to a few rods of our line, and were again repulsed.  You, General, were with us, and have since gone over the ground so gallantly contested, and have witnessed how terribly destructive was our fire, the ground being literally strewn with their dead.  But again they formed in column, and charged over an open field on our left, and in front of the 17th and 25th Kentucky, the gallant Colonel McHenry commanding. 


Who poured into their ranks a most terrible fire.  I immediately wheeled two companies of my left wing to the left, and opened upon his flank.  His ranks were mown down with each fire, but he still pressed forward, and as bravely was received.  His front ranks went down, leaving a line of dead across his front, when he retreated in good order.  This ending the engagement here, we were ordered to the support of the line on our left… We were soon charged upon in force, and here was the most hotly contested fight of the day, being in an open field, with the exception of a few scattering trees; the enemy far outnumbering us, and fighting with desperate courage.


The fire was fearfully severe, but our officers and men behaved with heroic bravery, never for a moment swerving from their position, pouring in their fire with the coolness of veterans, and driving the enemy before them.  But again and again, with fresh troops, they advanced to the charge… our color-bearer and guard were either killed or wounded, at the same moment, and two other brave men in succession being shot down, and our flag riddled with balls, Lieutenant Newman, in command of Company H. bore it aloft, but soon fell mortally wounded.  It was again taken by our brave men and carried to the front, both officers and men rallying with heroic energy to its support.  Captain Murray, Company B., acting Captain George Weamer, and acting Lieutenant Warren Banta, Company E. fell mortally wounded.  Lieutenant Kinmont, in command of Company F. and Captain Cosgove, Company D. were severely wounded… I drew up in line across the road by which the enemy was advancing, and opened fire upon him.  We were here entirely supported; our friends passing on the…  enemy made his attack on our left.  A fierce contest ensued, in which some of our men were engaged.  Night coming on, the enemy withdrew.  We advanced our line 150 paces ij front of the battery, and rested on our arms during the night.


On Monday our men, worn out and drenched to the skin by the pelting storm, and having been twenty-four hours without food or rest, were given a few hours to prepare for the approaching battle.  At about ten o’clock you again called us into line, the forty-fourth on the right wing.  Our brigade [supported] General Sherman’s Division, and opened fire on the enemy.  Our charge took them by surprise.  They immediately retreated to the right and rear.  Colonel McHenry, bringing up the left wing of our brigade, charged forward into the thickest of the fight.  The enemy slowly retreated, returning our fire.  The battery also opened up on us.  We pursued them over half a mile… I called a halt.  At this moment, seeing general Sherman at a short distance, I rode to him and reported for orders; having had your horse shot from under you, I was unable to find you at the moment.  General Sherman ordered me not to advance further, but form a line where we were.  The enemy were attacked with renewed energy, and after a fierce and bloody contest of half or three-quarters of an hour, we were driven off the field.


No men ever fought more bravely; too high praise cannot be given them.   Lieutenant Bennett, Co. K., & Lieutenant Burge Smith were in the thickest of the fight, and no men ever fought more heroically, and justly deserve mention, as do Dr’s Martin and Rerick.  They were with the regiment at all times during the fight, caring for the wounded, and were exposed to the enemy’s shot, and were both hit with balls.  Our loss in these engagements is 34 killed, 177 wounded, and one taken prisoner.


I am, General, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Hugh B. Reed, Col.

Commanding 44th Ind. Vols.”


As noted in the letter, the 44th saw a terrible battle that day, with the dead and wounded strewn across the land.  At least three Casebeer family members were among the casualties: William Casebeer, who was killed, Jacob Casebeer, who was wounded in the hand, and lieutenant B. Smith, who was wounded severely in the breast, and later died in a New York Hospital.


The 44th Indian Volunteers was the main regiment that day.  The 44th earned their nickname when a captain from a Wisconsin unit that retreated during the battle stated that the 44th “fought like iron men; they wouldn’t run.”  The name stuck, and the 44th came to be known as “the iron 44th”, or “the iron men of the 44th.”


The Battle Of Stone River

  Early on Sunday morning, Colonel Reed gave his men an order to “fall and fire!” Simultaneously, the enemy fired, killing and wounding some of the Indianans.  The result of the fire from our side was of the most disastrous nature.  The bushes were discovered to be in a blaze, and the groans of the rebel wounded were distressing, as the fact became known that they were perishing in the fire. 


It is estimated that the last fire from our men, which consumed the bushes, killed twenty men, and seriously wounded a hundred, who were burned to death.  One hundred and twenty of the rebels were buried in one grave in the vicinity.  The bodies of nearly all of them were burned to a crisp.” (Rerick)


After Shiloh, the regiment “played” with the enemy, marching from the right to the left until they reached Corinth, where they made camp.  From there they marched to Florence, Tuscumbia, Athens, Huntsville, Stevenson, and finally to Battle Creek, Tennessee in July.  Fourteen men died during this time from disease.


The “Great Foot Race” then began for the 44th.  They marched steadily from August 20th, 1862, to September 25th when they reached Louisville.  Many times they started the day’s march between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. and they would not quit until late at night.  When they reached Louisville, they were allowed a few days rest.


They again marched from Perryville to Somerset where they were met by a terrible storm.  The men, who had only one blanket a piece, were without shelter, and the snow fell to around four or five inches deep.  From Nashville the men traveled to Murfreesboro, where they fought the battle of Stone River.  “The day was a terrible one.  Many brigades and regiments on the right were broken up and scattered and wandered from place to place, officers in search of their men, and men in search of their officers, until they were gathered up without regard to former organization, and placed in line of action.


There was no place of safety within the Union lines.  The surgeons of the forty-fourth dressed the wounded at times during the day, when balls whizzed about from four points of the compass.  “Rerick”


During the battle, the 44th had eight men killed, 52 men wounded, and 25 men missing.  According to the surgeon’s report, Frederick Swambaugh, a member of the Munger family was “…wounded in the back dangerously.”  The wound made him ill the rest of his life, and ultimately resulted in his death years later.


The Chickamauga Campaign

The Indiana 44th again started another march against General Bragg on June 23rd, 1862.  During the night of June 10th news of the fall of Vicksburg and General Lee’s defeat at Gettysburg reached the encampment of the 44th.  The men awoke from their slumber, rushed from their tents, and gave cheer after cheer; surely, they thought, the war was over.  The victory, however, was only a psychic victory.  The North would fight several more arduous battles before the war was over.


The 44th marched across the Cumberland Mountains on September 3rd, to Sequatcha Valley, Jasper, and Battle Creek, and then march to Bridgeport across the Tennessee River, to Shell Mound, and around the point to Lookout Mountain.  The 44th only took eight days on the march from McMinnville, which was a distance of one hundred and thirty miles. Clouds of dust from the Confederate Army appeared across the Chickamauga to the east and to the north.  Lieutenant-Colonel Aldrich made an official report:


“We had a very severe fight, contesting the ground inch by inch.  The 59th, on our right, gave way, leaving us alone to contend with a powerful force of the enemy without any support on our right.  Again we were driven back to the ravine, again rallied, and again obliged to leave the field. Sunday morning a regiment engaged in the front fell back suddenly in a shattered condition, and caused a panic with most of my men, who rallied and fought the enemy against great odds.  At this point my horse was shot.  Our men nobly rallied and fought like veterans indeed, and assisted in repulsing the enemy three times.  We remained there until after dark, when the firing ceased.  Proceeding to Missionary Ridge, between 11 and 12 o’clock, the enemy advanced again, drove in the pickets and appeared in force.  I reserved my fire until two lines appeared, and then, being completely covered, took them by surprise when I ordered my men to rise and fire.  The distance being short, and the enemy in fair view, we made a terrible havoc among them.  At this juncture they sent a force to our left to try to dislodge us, but we met them with such a shower of bullets, they did not succeed… (Rerick)


The casualties in the Chickamauga Campaign were 3 killed, 59 wounded, and 10 missing.  Two Casebeer family members were among those wounded in the battle of Chickamauga.  Calvin Casebeer was shot through the leg, and his brother, John G. Casebeer suffered a severe back injury when he was run over by a chuck wagon.


Following the battle of Chickamauga, the confederacy took possession of Lookout Mountain, and cut off supplies to the Union Army.  According to Rerick:  “The road to Bridgeport became so lined with dead mules that died of starvation and exhaustion, that it became almost impassable for the stench!  In camp the rations were reduced to one-half, one-third, and then one-fourth, and some days there were none issued at all.” Sergeant Gordon stated that the men in his regiment were “wild with hunger” because they had not eaten for many days, and the only rations that he drew for sixteen men was three and one-half crackers, and three tablespoons of coffee.  In order to be fair Gordon made sixteen very tiny piles of crackers pieces, and he divided the coffee out by the grain.


The 44th, however, had a reputation for having full haversacks.  According to Rerick:  “…the men of the 44th Indiana could pick up a sheep grazing in the fields by the wayside, skin, dress, and divide it up among them without missing a step in the march; and sacks of corn, black with must and rot, were found and then washed, dried, and ground with coffee-mills, and made into bread.


The army was reorganized in April of 1864, and James B. Steedman was placed in command of the 44th.  Many more small battles and skirmishes were encountered by the Indiana 44th; the main battles, however, had been resolved.  The Indiana 44th Volunteers traveled around five thousand miles total, fifteen hundred of which was on foot.


On September 6th, 1865 the 44th boarded a train for Nashville, Tennessee, where the men were mustered out, and from there to Indianapolis, Indiana, and finally home.  In Nashville, the Chattanooga Gazette said, according to Rerick: “The officers and men of the 44th Indiana Volunteer Infantry have, during their stay in this city, won the respect and admiration of the citizens as a brave and well-disciplined regiment.  They will take with them to their homes in Indiana, the hearty wishes of the citizens and residents of Chattanooga.”


This concludes Ms Kemery’s chronicle of the Casebeer family’s participation in the war of the rebellion.  Calvin recovered from his injuries at Chickamauga and returned home to Cassie and son Lewis Porter in November of 1864.  Lewis had been born in October of 1863, suggesting that Calvin enjoyed a brief leave from the 44th in December of 1862, providing time for Calvin and Cassie to exchange vows, and allowing sufficient time together for the newlyweds to consummate their marriage.  Calvin was mustered out of service in November of 1864, and nine months later, in July of 1865, the family celebrated the birth of second son Virgil Otis.


The Casebeers would be blessed with nine additional children over the next twenty years, grieving the loss of infant daughters in 1876 and 1884, before loading up the family in 1885 and wagoning to the Ozark Mountains of south central Missouri, where Calvin would become a circuit rider, and live to the ripe ol’ age of 69, before passing from this life at his home in Texas County in Autumn of 1907.


The following poem is an excerpt from Shannon Casebeer’s book


“Ozark Breezes”


Ol’ Calvin


Ol’ Calvin was a preacher

Though he never had a church,

And he seldom ever faced a crowd to preach.

Great Grandpa combed the Ozarks

On a big ol’ dappled horse,

In search of every soul that he could reach.


Ol’ Calvin kept a bible,

And he read it everyday.

He searched for words of comfort he could give.

He seldom spoke of judgment,

And he seldom spoke of death.

He preached that folks might know the Lord and live.


The folks could hear him coming

When he traveled down their lane.

Great Grandpa always whistled as he rode.

They always came out smiling,

And that made him mighty proud.

They were always glad to see him, and it showed.


He’d share his tales of grandma,

All the kids, and folks back home,

Of what he’d done that week to serve the Lord,

But mostly Calvin listened,

Because Calvin really cared.

He would listen by the hour and not be bored.


Sometimes they’d kill a chicken

When they heard ol’ Calvin come.

He shared a bunch of dinners on the road.

He carried little with him,

But his Bible and the Lord.

He reaped the seeds of kindness that he sewed.


Ol’ Calvin raised a big ol’ beard

To shade him from the sun.

As he grew old his beard grew long and gray.

He’d part it in the middle

When he sat down to a meal,

And it framed his weathered face when he would pray:


“Thank you Lord for these good folks,

And for each gift we share.

Thank you for your son and for his touch.

Thank you for your promise,

And for your tender care.

Thank you that you love us each so much.”


Calvin loved the Ozarks,

All its people, and his Lord.

He never looked for faults; he looked for grace.

His sermon was the life he lived,

His church the Ozark hills.

The love of God beamed brightly from his face.


S. T. Casebeer


See Ozark Breezes, short stories, 

for fictitious interview with Calvin in 1890


Tom Leroy Casebeer


Tom Leroy Casebeer (1877 to 1952) Tom Casebeer was born in defiance County, Ohio, on September 8th, 1877, to parents Calvin and Catherine (Cassie) (Arrants) Casebeer, and in 1885, he and his family made the arduous journey to Texas County, in the Ozark Mountains of south central Missouri.


On April 4th, 1906, Tom married Bessie Irene Rickard, born September 20th, 1888, to Edgar and Emma (Peggy) (Tobias) Rickard, and settled near the community of Dykes, Missouri.  There, Tom and Bessie reared nine children.  Life in the Ozark Mountains was hard, and money difficult to come by.  Tom’s family was of humble means, but blessed with a boundless faith.


While carrying a tenth child, at age forty-one, Bessie succumbed to pneumonia and passed away in 1929.  Tom and the children continued on in the home at Dykes for a time, and then Tom married Eva (Evy) (West) Casebeer, and the family joined Evy at her home on the banks of the Roubidoux.  Eventually the strain of supporting Evy’s three children from two previous marriages, along with a number of Tom’s youngest, lead to irreconcilable differences and separation.  Although separated, Tom and Evy never divorced.  Evy Casebeer lived to a ripe old age at her home on the banks of the Roubidoux, passing away in the early 1980s.


Following the separation, Tom moved children Ned, Pearle, Leo, and Carl, back to Upton Missouri, where the children continued attending Pleasant Ridge School, and Tom assisted by cutting firewood.  Leo arrived early each morning during cold weather, in order to fire up the wood heater and warm up the old schoolhouse for class.


Sometime after the family’s return to Upton, Tom and son-in-law, Floyd Dykes, purchased a small country store in Upton, and Tom and the children joined Tom’s daughter Clara (Clarie) Dykes, and husband Floyd, at their home near Upton.  There, with the exception of one summer spent as caretaker at a mountain lake, which was part of the holdings of Michigan California Lumber Company, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of northern California, Tom spent the remainder of his days, passing quietly in his sleep On December 19th, 1952, at the age of 75. 


Just prior to his death, Tom sent the following correspondence to his son Leo and family in Placerville California:


“From Upton, MO,

Dated December 10th, 1952


Dear Folks,

Will try and pen a few lines.  This leaves us all well.  It is cooler today.  We have not had any real cold weather yet.  I sure dread the cold weather; just can’t take it!  How is every body there?  Leo will remember John Foster; he was buried a few days ago.  Hope this finds you all well, and hope you have a merry and a happy new year.  Not much news to write.  Good bye for this time.


Love to all, Dad.”


Nine days later, my Granddad Casebeer passed quietly in his sleep.


Obituary of Tom (T. R.) Casebeer


Missouri Deaths, Thursday, Tom L. Casebeer, a leading citizen and community leader in the Dykes and Upton communities.  78-year-old Tom L. Casebeer died in his sleep December 19th, 1952 at his home at Upton.  He was born in Defiance, Ohio, and moved to the Dykes community when he was eight and had lived there the remainder of his life.  In 1906, he was married to Bessie Rickard, who died in 1929.  In 1931 he was married to Eva West, who survives him.


Mr. Casebeer is also survived by the following children: Vernie, of Bendavis, Clara Dykes, of Upton, Macie Smart and Leo Casebeer, both of Placerville California, Captain Gayle Casebeer, who is in Korea, Pearl Massey, of Plato, C. E. Casebeer, of Mtn. Grove, and Ned and Carl, both of Houston, and one brother, H. L. Casebeer, Of Heriford, Texas.


Funeral services were conducted Sunday afternoon at Dykes, by Rev. Walter Baker.  Burial was in the Dykes cemetery, under the direction of the Elliot Funeral Home of Houston.


Children of Tom Leroy and Bessie (Rickard) Casebeer include

Vernie Clifford, b. Jan. 4th, 1907 d. Feb. 28th, 1991

Macie Irene, b. Feb. 8th, 1911 d. Aug. 28th, 1991

Gayle b. Oct. 4th, 1915 d. June 27th, 2010

Bessie Pearle b. Aug. 3rd, 1917 d. Aug. 15th, 1980

Carl Eugene b. Mar. 27th, 1927

Clara Mae b. Dec. 2nd, 1908 d. 1976

Calvin Edgar, b. Aug. 6th, 1913

***Leo Don, b. Jun. 4th, 1924 d. Nov. 3rd, 2010

Ned, b. Aug. 15th, 1920



                                                                  Leo Don Casebeer


Leo Don Casebeer was born June 4th, 1924, to Tom and Bessie (Rickard) Casebeer, in Texas County Missouri. Raised in the Ozark Mountains of south central Missouri, where his grandfather, Calvin Casebeer, had brought the family from Ohio in 1885, Leo’s childhood, although financially challenged, was blessed with the simple pleasures and independent living, which exemplified the God fearing families that called the Ozarks home during the early 20th century. Second youngest of nine children, and known to family and friends as “Leo D. stinker”, it’s safe to say that Leo’s childhood exuded the Tom Sawyer-like mischief and tomfoolery that was typical of Ozark Mountain youngsters.


At the tender age of five Leo was deprived of a mother, when Bessie Casebeer, pregnant with child number ten, and with Leo and two year old Carl at her knee, succumbed to pneumonia, and passed from this life in 1929.  At age thirteen Leo was stricken with Typhoid Fever and lay near death for several weeks, rallying at last to the relief of his frantic family. 


Tom managed the family as best he could for some time, and then wed Eva (Evy) West, and moved the family to Evy’s home on the banks of Roubidoux Creek. There the family stayed until the hardships of maintaining the Casebeer children in conjunction with Frank, Dale, and Wilma, the children of Evy’s two previous marriages, resulted in irreconcilable differences and separation.  Although separated, Tom and Evy never divorced.  Evy Casebeer lived to a ripe old age, passing away in the early 1980s.   


Leaving Evy’s farm on the Roubidoux, Tom moved Children Ned, Pearl, Leo, and Carl back to Upton. The children continued attending Pleasant Ridge School, walking several miles through summers sweltering heat and occasionally swollen streams, and winters blowing snow, freezing rain, and subzero temperatures.  Tom cut wood for the schoolhouse, and Leo made the long walk early each morning in order to fire up the wood heater and drive the chill from the classroom before the other children arrived.


Eventually Tom and son-in-law, Floyd Dykes purchased a small country store in Upton, and Tom and the children moved in with Tom’s daughter Clara and her husband Floyd.  Accepted as a member of the family, Leo lived at the Dykes home for the next five years. At age sixteen Leo signed up with the Civilian Conservation Corps, Spending several months at the CCC camp in Winona, Missouri, and additional months at the camp in Deer River, Minnesota, before leaving the CCC and doing a two-year stint in 1941 & 42, as a roofers assistant at Fort Leonard Wood, in Missouri.


Leaving Fort Leonard Wood early in 1942, Leo worked for some time in a sheet metal factory in Kansas City Missouri, and then spent several months supporting the war effort as a riveter at the North American Bomber Plant, before joining the Navy, and shipping out on the Battleship New Jersey, where, as a seaman first class, he was responsible for holystoning the decks, occasional KP duty, and manning the twenty millimeter guns on the main deck.  In this capacity, he cruised the war torn Pacific, seeing duty at Manila and the Philippians, among others, and defending the ship against attack by Japan’s notorious kamikazes. Following his tour of duty in the Pacific, Leo was mustered out at wars end in 1945, and returned home to the Ozarks.


During the year 1945, the country mourned the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, most Missouri homes still utilized an icebox or a springhouse to cool their perishable goods, electricity was just beginning to illuminate the Ozarks in the form of a single glaring bulb hanging conspicuously from the ceiling in the center of many Missouri homes, and Leo D. Casebeer celebrated his twenty-first birthday. 


Returning home after the war, Leo found the Ozarks economically challenged as usual, and his prospects for employment just about as lucrative as the sale of ice cubes to Eskimos! After visiting with his family, he made preparations to follow the wheat harvest west to California, with the expectation of making his way to San Francisco and joining the Merchant Marines. 


Acquiring a 1937 Ford from sister Pearl’s brother-in-law Daryl Massey, Leo gassed up his jitney, packed all his earthly belongings into the glove box, and headed west.  Camping beneath the stars and sleeping in the cramped quarters of the old Ford at night, Leo spent each day shoveling grain, and working elbow to elbow with his fellow migrant farm workers.  Despite the fact that an earlier experience with the wheat harvest, during which Leo had shared the adventure with his benefactor Floyd Dykes, had produced much needed cash and some fond memories, the novelty had quickly worn off of this second enterprise, and Leo soon found the life of an itinerate wheat harvester risky, tedious, and unromantic! Now in the company of an ex-convict of dubious integrity, Leo watched his back and closely scrutinized the movements of his shady comrade, suspicious that he would wake one morning to find his Ford rifled and his belongings ransacked.


The fieldwork arduous and wages minimal, the trip to California required several long, lean months, during which time Leo wore out a pair of boots and added about twenty-five hundred mile to the already well worn Ford.  


Arriving at long last in Placerville, at the home of his sister Macie and her husband Hobart Smart, Leo learned that there was a strike in progress at the Merchant Marines.  Finding a haven with the Smarts, and tentative housing in their drafty outbuilding, Leo settled in at Placerville, and in 1946 his brother-in-law Hobart, who was himself an up and coming employee with the Pacific Gas & Electric Company, arranged employment for Leo on the flumes which channeled water through the Sierra Nevada foothills, into the penstocks which provide power to PG&E’s hydro/electric plants. Applying himself liberally to the job at hand, Leo soon became a lineman, providing exemplary and dedicated service to PG&E from 1946 until freezing his retirement in the summer of 1978.


While working the flumes and the ditch camps that were responsible for their maintenance, Leo made the acquaintance of the Daniels brothers Waldo and Asa, when he inadvertently pitched a claw hammer over the side of the wooden flume, nearly raising a knot on Asa’s head!


{The Daniels family had arrived in Placerville in 1888, when patriarch Asa Wilder Daniels wagoned west from Minnesota and married Meda Eliza (Camp) Daniels, daughter of Asa Steven Camp and Laura Ellen Oldfield. Asa Camp had sojourned to the goldfields with his father Clark Camp in 1850.  Sometime later, possibly in the summer of 1851, having satisfied their appetites for mining, the two returned east where Clark Camp settled in Bradford, Illinois.  Returning west with a wagon train in 1854, Asa met Laura Ellen who, accompanied by her parents John and Mary Eliza Oldfield, was in route to El Dorado County, California, where he and his father had filed several mining claims along the south fork of the American River. Becoming acquainted on the wagon train, Asa, then 25, and Laura Ellen, a youngster of 7, began the very early stages of a relationship, which would lead ultimately to their marriage in 1867.}


Invited by Waldo Daniels to visit the Daniels ranch and do some target shooting, Leo met Waldo’s daughter Meda, romance ensued, and Leo and Meda were married on December 1st, 1950. Waldo, Waldo’s mother Meda Eliza (Camp) Daniels, and Waldo’s wife, Ivy (Stancil) Daniels, presented the newlyweds with five acres of the then 40 acre Daniels ranch, and there Leo, assisted by his father-in-law Waldo, built a comfortable home, and he and Meda raised two children.  During the fifties, sixties, and seventies, Leo raised cattle, planted a twelve acre walnut orchard, developed a rental property, built several barns, and treated his family to weeklong camping trips in the high Sierras, and fishing trips that his son will never forget. 


Following Leo’s retirement from PG&E, Leo, Meda, son Shannon, and daughter Dawn, pulled up stakes and returned to the Ozark Mountains of Leo’s childhood, settling on a 120-acre farm in Howell County, in the Ozark Mountains of south central Missouri.  There, surrounded by Mark Twain National Forest, Leo and Meda raise cattle and cherish their family, amidst the dogwood covered slopes which greeted Leo’s granddad, back in 1885.  

Update: Following a diagnosis of cancer, and several weeks of hospice care at home, Dad passed away peacefully at home on November 3rd, 2010.  I was at his bedside, holding his hand when he drew and released his final breath.  All of us had said our goodbyes and prepared ourselves to the extent that is possible. I can't even begin to express how much I miss him.  Most of you have experienced a similar devastation and understand the excruciating ache that is left following such a loss.  I'd been blessed to spend time with my dad, almost every week, for almost 59 years.  Now those of us who are left have our memories, our faith, and each other.   


Children of Leo and Meda (Daniels) Casebeer include

Shannon Thomas Casebeer b. Dec. 17th, 1951 – living

Dawn Annette (Casebeer) Nelson b. Jun, 14th, 1953 – living

Dad’s Obituary

Leo Don Casebeer, 86, of Willow Springs, Missouri, passed peacefully at his home on November 3, 2010.  A private memorial service will be held at the family home.  Leo, son of Tom and Bessie Rickard Casebeer, was born in Texas County Missouri on June 4th, 1924.  Leo’s ancestors arrived at the port of Philadelphia, from Germany, in 1724, and his granddad, Calvin Casebeer, arrived in Texas County, Missouri with wife Cassie and their children, in 1885. Leo was an honored veteran, having served his country on the Battleship New Jersey during World War II.  At the close of the war Leo went west to California, settling in Placerville where, as an employee of PG&E, he performed 32 years of dedicated service. Soon after arriving in Placerville, Leo met Meda Jane Daniels and the two were wed on December 1st, 1950.  During their years in Placerville the couple was blessed with two children, son, Shannon, and daughter, Dawn, and in the summer of 1978 the entire family returned to the home of Leo’s childhood, settling on 120 acres in Howell County, Missouri.  There Leo raised cattle until retiring from farming at the age of 82.  Leo was a man of tremendous compassion, tireless efforts, and unfaltering faith, admired by his neighbors, adored by his family, and respected for an exemplary life.

Leo is survived by wife, Meda, of the family home and two children, son, Shannon and wife Robin, and daughter, Dawn Nelson, all of Willow Springs; three grandchildren, Jared Casebeer, Willow Springs, Cassie Binkley and husband Joel, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Justin Nelson, Willow Springs. Leo is also survived by his brothers Ned and Carl Casebeer of Houston, MO.

 Shannon Thomas Casebeer


Following his engagement to Robin Christine Garrison, in the summer of 1982, Shannon and his father began construction of a small, timber frame home, on the twenty acres which encompassed the eastern edge of the family’s 120 acres.  There, following their wedding on November 20th, 1982, Shannon and Robin settled in and began establishing a home.  The experience of spending that year constructing a home with the assistance of father, Leo, is retold in the following poem.


The following poem is an excerpt from Shannon Casebeer’s book, “OZARK BREEZES”:


My Ol’ Dad


We built a house in ‘82

Of pine and fir and Elmer’s glue,

And a finer crew I never had.

We built it all, just me & Dad.


I drew the plans the best I could,

Of a country home all made of wood.

I planned it grand as it could be,

And still be built by Dad & me.


Footings and all we dug by hand.

We laid it out just like I planned;

All the foundations, the floor and the rest.

We’d hammer and figure, and hammer & rest.


We did all the plumbing and wiring and such.

My blisters had blisters from working so much!

We built trusses till my fingers were numb!

Dad never once cussed when he hammered his thumb.


We both worked together and when there was doubt,

We got out the books and we figured it out.

We never once fought, disagreed, or got mad.

There’s no better crew than my ol’ dad!


We worked as a team from fall until fall.

We stained all the siding and sheet-rocked each wall.

We shingled the roof and we hung every door.

We worked all we could, and a little bit more!


We worked in the rain and the cold and the heat.

When Mom brought our lunches we’d stop and we’d eat.

She’s brag on our job, and we’d brag a bit too!

We were both pretty proud, and I’m sure Mom knew.


Now I live in that house with two kids and a wife.

We have a nice home and a real good life,

And a mighty fine house that we built out of pine;

Just me and my dad, and we did just fine!


I remember the year that I worked with my dad.

I remember the work, and the fun that we had.

I remember the heat, and the rainy weather.

I remember the time that we shared together.


I thank the Lord God for his help from above,

For all of my blessings, a home full of love,

And the very best crew that a guy ever had.

Thanks a lot Lord, for my ol’ dad!


S. T. Casebeer



  Dad and Mom & me: Spring 2007 

Cancer had already taken quite a toll.