September 30, 2013

Emillus - Son of Caleb and Sophia Camp Case

The Children of Caleb and Sophia Camp Case

Dexter Rival - 1835 - 1912
Emillus - 1837 - 1924
Martha - c. 1853 - 1933

Of all the Case children, we have the most information on Emillus because Mary Lucetta's son-in-law, Edward Pflaumer (husband's grandfather) was the executor of Emillus's estate.  And he saved every single paper involved!  Emillus also never married and remained on the Case homestead his whole life, except for when he was elderly and he moved into nearby Spencerville, IN.  

His obituary contains many important facts about his life.
St. Joe News, Dekalb County, Indiana, November 6, 1924, front page:

Emillas Case was born in Oswego county, N. Y., December 2, 1837, and died at the Lutheran hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and was immediately moved to his home in Spencerville, Indiana, October 29, 1924, aged 86 years, 10 months and 27 days.

His parents were Caleb and Sylvia Case and he was one of ten children.  He came with his parents to Indiana when a young boy and spent the remainder of his life here.  All of the brothers and sisters are now deceased except one, Mrs. Martha Dilley of Cliffton, Colo.  He is survived by quite a number of nephews and nieces and also grand-nephews and grand-nieces.

He joined the Lutheran church at Spencerville in early life and became a useful and honored member and remained faithful to his vows until death.  He was an officer of long standing, the last survivor of the building committee of the present church, and had been superintendent of the Sunday School for many years.  He was also a very successful teacher.  He was a close student of the scriptures and had many pronounced views on all religious subjects and he had an especially high regard for the Sunday.  He was a liberal supporter of the church with his means and a very loyal member indeed.  He attended the services as long as he was able which was only a short time before his death.  

He was a good business man.  Frugal in all dealings and expenditures, he accumulated a competency of this world's goods.  Besides his large farming interests, he was President of the St. Joe Valley Bank for many years and was also interested in other banking interests.

He was exact and positive in his conversation and loyal to his friends.  He died after a long life during which his body was worn out by the weight of years.  May his body rest in peace.
Funeral service was held in the Lutheran church at Spencerville, Tuesday afternoon, Rev. Steffey officiating.  Buried in White City Cemetery.  E. R. Kinsey, director."

Emillus took on the role as head of the household early after his father died, as his brothers, Isum and Mahlon died in 1861, and his brothers, Dexter and Maynard, headed out west in the late 1850's, early 1860's.  We know from Maynard's probate record that in 1867 already, Emillus had handled Maynard's estate from afar, conducting all the communication with the administrator in California.  And even as early as 1862, Emillus was handling the payment of taxes on the land.

 In the 1870 census, Emillus, 32, was listed as head of household, a farmer with real estate valued at $8000 and personal effects worth $2500. I would guess that Emillus may have "bought out" his brothers' shares of what their father, Caleb, had left them in land.  This would have given Maynard and Dexter seed money to make it out west.  In 1870, mother Sophia, 62, was living in the homestead, along with Lydia, 39, and Martha, 21, and sister, Mary Case Hollabaugh and her husband, Levi, who was listed as a farm laborer.

In 1880, Emillus was still living in the same place with his mother, 72, and his sister, Lydia, 50.  Soon, he and Mort Olds went into business together, starting the St. Joe News in 1884, according to the History of Spencerville by Dr. Willis Cary.  Just a few years later, a brother of Mort's bought out Emillus.  At some point, he became involved in the banking business, but on every census, he names himself as a farmer.
His land holdings may be seen on this 1880 plat map of Concord Township.
By the 1900 census, both his mother and sister, Lydia, were deceased, so Emillus was alone on the farm at age 62.  The farm was owned free and clear.  By 1910, at the age of 72, he had living with him Samuel and Mirtle Malone.  Samuel was listed as farm laborer and Mirtle was a servant.  They were in their 30's and had no children.  

Sometime before the census taker arrived in 1920, Emillus had moved into the town of Spencerville and was living alone at age 82.  He still listed his occupation as farming and I'm sure he had help, but none were living with him.  He wrote his will in May of 1922, directing his executor, Edward Pflaumer, to sell his property, pay his debts and distribute the residue of the estate as follows:
" my sister Martha R. Dilley, or to her heirs should she not survive me, a one-sixth (1/6) share of all the residue of my estate after the payment of my debts... Berton Case, I. B. Case, and Frank Case, sons of my deceased brother Dexter Case, each a one-twelfth share of my estate.
...To Ernest Hollabaugh, Hattie Fairfield, Bertha Bridges, Eva Pflaumer, Sylvia Ginther, Stanley Hollabaugh and Esther Hollabaugh, children of my deceased sister Mary L. Hollabaugh or to their heirs should they not survive me, a one-twelfth share of my estate."

In late October 1924, Emillus entered the Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana; the reason is unknown.  His hospital bill states that he was there from October 22 to October 29 when he died.  (Look at the total of that bill for an 8 day stay.)

The St. Joe News of November 13, 1924 ran the story on the front page that Emillus's estate was worth $50,000. (And it listed all the heirs and where they were living - great for the genealogist!)  But, after looking at the distribution, there must have been debts to pay, as well.

A large sale was held on November 25, 1924, to sell his personal effects, but the advertisement appeared in the St. Joe News on November 20..


 The one keepsake kept in the family for us was this pocket watch that belonged to Emillus, which came down through his niece, Geneva Pflaumer, daughter of Emillus's sister, Mary Lucetta Case Hollabaugh.

Sadly, I have no identified photo of Emillus Case.  He was the head of the family at an early age, an entrepreneur, a hard worker, and a spiritual man who loved his farm. He worked to support his mother and sister, and sometimes other siblings, for over 25 years.

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