Biography - John Cass

JOHN J. CASS, one of the honored pioneers of Montgomery County, and a prominent retired farmer, now residing in the thriving town of Raymond, is a native of the Buckeye State. He was born in Warren County, September 15, 1825, and is a son of John and Martha (Swallow) Cass, the former a native of Kentucky, and the latter of Pennsylvania. They were of English and Irish extraction respectively, and were pioneer settlers of Ohio, having located in Warren County at an early date.
In 1832 the family emigrated by team to Illinois and located upon the prairies of Montgomery County. They located in Raymond Township, south of the site of the village of that name, although there was no settlement at the place at that time, and the inhabitants of the county were very few. There were no railroads; the land was still in its primitive condition and the work of progress and civilization seemed scarcely begun. Mr. Cass began the development of the farm on section 31, which our subject now owns, but was not long permitted to enjoy his new home, being called to his final rest in 1834. The mother was thus left with a family of seven children and with but limited means. She displayed great energy and heroism in the care of the children, whom she kept together, making for them a home. She was a lady of good education, and to help support her family opened a school in her own home, and thus had the honor of teaching the first school -in the township. Her death occurred in 1852.
Our subject was the only son in the family of seven children, the youngest of whom was born after the father's death. Only three are now living. His sisters are: Augusta, wife of Harrison Mits, a farmer of Raymond Township, and Louisa, widow of Frank Hitchings, of the same township.
Mr. Cass, whose name heads this record, was reared to manhood amid the wild scenes of frontier life, and in his boyhood was early inured to the hard labors of the farm. He worked in the fields and aided his mother until her death. As a companion and helpmate on life's journey he chose Miss Helen Lawler, a native of White County, Ill., and a representative of one of the early families of that locality. Their union was celebrated on the 17th of June, 1856, and unto them were born five children, of whom one died in infancy. The other four are now living: William S. is a veterinary surgeon and liveryman of Raymond; Nora A. is the wife of Joseph Williams, of Butler Grove Township; Mary was joined in wedlock with Frank Welshand and they reside in Litchfield; Lula B., who completes the family, is living with her parents in Raymond.
Mr. Cass followed farming throughout his business career, and although he started out in life empty-handed, has worked his way steadily upward to a position of wealth and affluence. In 1880 he left the farm, which, however, he still owns, and removed to Raymond, where he is living retired, enjoying the rest which he has so truly earned and richly deserves. He is a pleasant, genial gentleman, who has many friends and is held in the highest regard throughout the community.

Extracted 04 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, page 213.

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