Sylvester Casbon, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Sylvester Casbon

SYLVESTER CASBON. Now a retired resident of Valparaiso and a citizen who has been prospered in a long career, Sylvester Casbon came to Porter county over a half century ago in the character of schoolmaster, and for several years taught in the schools of Boone township. From this useful vocation, by which he was able to instruct many of the boys and girls of the next generaion, he turned his attention to farming, and until his retirement some years ago was counted among the ablest of Porter county's agriculturists.

Mr. Casbon is a native of old England, and was born in the little village of Maldreth, ten miles from the university town of Cambridge, on June 6, 1837, a son of Thomas and Emma (Scruby) Casbon. His father, who was an English farmer, in 1847 determined to share in the remarkable opportunities of the new world, and in that year embarked his family at Southampton on board the Canadian lumber boat Parkfield. The children at that time were Mary Ann, Sylvester, Charles and Jessie, ,while Emma was born after their arrival in this country. At that date one of the few passenger railroads in England was the line from London to Southampton, and many other remarkable changes have occurred in England since then. The streets of London which they passed over were paved with cobblestones, and the modern pavements and subways were undreamed of. The boat on which they took passage had a long and tedious voyage, leaving England in February, first sighting land at the Banks and thence sailing up the St. Lawrence river. Sylvester was then eight years old and retains many vivid recollections of the eventful journey. At Niagara the family made the transfer in the horse cars then in use, and all had time to enjoy the spectacle of the mighty falls. From Buffalo they took another boat to Cleveland, where they arrived in the month of May. Thomas Casbon, the father, moved to Wayne county, Ohio, and bought eighty acres of land near Wooster on the Columbus road at the village of Eddyville, where the stages between Cleveland and Columhus then changed horses.

The Casbon children obtained their education in an old stone schoolhouse near Nashville, Ohio, and by diligent study Sylvester fitted himself for teaching, and taught one term at Mt. Ollie, Ohio. Then acting under the persuasion of a friend Mr. Ellsworth, who had settled in Porter county, Indiana, and also from his own wish to locate further west, Mr. Casbon came to this county in 1859 and began teaching in what was then known as the Ellsworth school, which he conducted successfully for three terms. He also taught one term in Boone Grove and one term in the House school, as it was called then, but later known as Boone Grove school.

In 1860 Mr. Casbon established his own home by his marriage to Miss Mary A. Ellsworth, a daughter of Giles Ellsworth, of Boone township. Their wedded life was begun on a farm of eighty acres in Boone township, which he had purchased. There was a small house, but few other improvements, and on this place their youthful enthusiasm and industry soon were rewarded with substantial prosperity. The three children born of their marriage were Cora A., Bertha (deceased) and Lawrence A. In 1868 Mr. Casbon lost his wife by death, she being only twenty-six years of age at the time. He later married Miss Harriet Perry, a daughter of E. Perry. There were three sons by this marriage, Thomas S., Charles P. and George W., who were still in childhood and infancy when deprived of the care of their mother, whose lamented death occurred in 1874. After this loss Mr. Casbon kept his home and children and was both father and mother to them for several years. In the meantime he traded farms with his brother-in-law, Porter Ellsworth, and moved to Deep River, where by his thrifty industry he became the owner of a fine estate of two hundred and sixty acres. On this he erected a brick house which at the time was considered one of the finest country homes in this region. On December 13, 1877, Mr. Casbon was married to Miss Mary M. Mereness. She was born in Schoharie county, New York, a daughter of John I. and Eve (Zea) Mereness, who were native's of New York, and emigrated to Indiana when their daughter Mary was six years old, becoming farmers in this county. The other children in the family were Abram, Harrison, Peter, Catherine, Ann and Margaret. Their schooling was obtained in New York and Indiana, and some attended the school at Blachley's Corners and others at the Deep River school. Mrs. Casbon became a loyal mother to her husband's children, and to her they owe much of the training which helped them attain worthy positions in life.

Mr. Casbon gave his children good educational advantages and Charles and Lawrence finishing schooling in the university at Valparaiso. Cora A. is the wife of John Sam, a progressive farmer of Boone township, and their children are May, Goldie and Lester. Lawrence, who is a successful farmer in Morgan township, married Miss Katie Marquart, and their children are Leslie, Loring and Lennet. Thomas S., also a farmer and a resident of Center township, married Ella Downs, and they are the parents of three children, Ruth, Hugh and George. Charles, engaged in farming in Center township, married Miss Julia Bidwell, and their children are Herman P., Floyd S., Harriet L., Robert E., and Ludella M. George, who was married in Iowa to Miss Maude Carpenter, has four children, Sylvester, Ira, Emma and Newell.

In 1892 Mr. and Mrs. Casbon removed from their country estate to Valparaiso, and have since enjoyed the comforts of a pleasant city home on Academy street. Mr. Casbon is one of the fortunate men upon whom age sits lightly, and he lives with the interests and activities of a man much younger. Daily his genial figure is seen on the streets, and from nothing does he derive more pleasure than his associations with old friends. He has been known and esteemed in this county for more than half a century, and he has a large circle of firm friends. Politically he has for many years given his support to Democratic principles. He and his wife are members and liberal supporters of the Christian church, with Rev. Hill as their pastor.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 482-484

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


CSS Template by Rambling Soul