September 15, 2013

Maynard D. - Son of Caleb and Sophia Camp Case

The Children of Caleb and Sophia Camp Case

Maynard D.- c. 1832 - 1867
Isum W. - c. 1834 - 1861
Dexter Rival - 1835 - 1912
Emillus - 1837 - 1924
Mahlon - 1840 - 1861
Harriet - 1842 - 1861
Martha - c. 1853 - 1933

Maynard D. Case

Until just this week, I really didn't know much about Maynard, but a little persistence paid off, and I can now write his story.  
The oldest son of Caleb and Sophia Case was born about 1832 in New York, according to census records.  In both 1840 and 1850, he was enumerated with his parents in the Federal Census.  However, in 1860, an M. D. Case, 27 and born in New York, was living in Ophir Township, Butte County, California, with the nearest post office being Oroville.
A miner with $200 of personal goods, he was boarding with a widow and her daughter and three other miners.  So he likely had not married.  Was this Maynard D.?

As it turned out, it was.  Once I found this tombstone in the Old Oroville Cemetery, I knew Maynard Case had been located.

This stone was obviously erected by a loving family back home in Indiana.  With the emphasis on his hometown of Spencerville, Indiana and the verse indicating that he would never be forgotten, I could imagine a grieving family thousands of miles away when they heard of this adventurous son's death, alone in California.

But what was the rest of the story?  The next document discovered was a mention in the Sacramento Daily Union on March 21, 1859.  
"Butte County.  We notice in The Record of March 19, the annexed intelligence: 
A Chinaman was shot lately by M. D. Case, a miner, while robbing sluices."
Wow.  Hope it was just a wounding, but apparently Maynard had a mining claim to protect by this time.

A military land warrant dated October 25, 1861 was another clue, even though it was not originally made out to Maynard.
Abner Randall was awarded 160 acres for his military service in Captain Grayham's Company of California Volunteers.  This group fought against different Indian raids in California and also helped protect the overland mail routes.  This land patent noted that the land was assigned then to Maynard D. Case and then he passed it to Isaac Newton Webbin who currently had it.  So we know that Maynard was interested in acquiring land in Butte County.

By pure luck while browsing through a large file of unindexed probate records for Butte County 1866-1867 on (begin p. 974), I came upon fifty pages of estate files for Maynard D. Case, first filed on January 28, 1867, a week after his death.  The county administrator asked the court if he could be named administrator of Maynard's estate because
"...Maynard D. Case for many years a resident in this county (died) on or about the 22nd day of January A.D. 1867, making no will...and leaving no relations nor heirs in the state..and, at his death owned real estate to the probable value of about Five Hundred Dollars, located in the county."

A missing piece of this story is how Maynard's family was discovered back in Indiana.  It must have taken awhile because the first correspondence included in the file occurred in the fall of 1868 in response to a letter from the county administrator.  First, Maynard's brother, Emillus wrote:

" Spencerville, September 26, 1868
L. Van Orden, Esq.
I received your kind letter a short time since.  Enclosed you will find the affidavits of three disinterested persons signed and sworn in the presence of the clerk of the circuit court of Dekalb conty.  You will please write and let me know if these affidavits will be considered sufficient proof of the heirship of Sophia Case, the mother, Lydia Case, Dexter Case, Mary Case, Martha Case, and Emillus Case, the sisters and brothers of Maynard D. Case who died in California, and entitle them to the estate.
The power of attorney we shall send to Isham Case, Brooklyn, California.  Will you please also write to him and tell him whether he can draw the estate on presentation of power of attorney and tell him when to come?
If any further evidence is necessary, please state what and give any other advice necessary to be followed.
If it is necessary to have an att'y appointed by the court then to take depositions here, please have Wm. H. Dils appointed.
Thanking you for the kindness you have manifested thus far and hoping that the proof will be accepted and satisfactory.
I remain yours,
Emillus Case
Spencerville, Ind."

(I believe Isham Case was the son of Caleb's brother, Hiram.  So he would be a cousin to Maynard and his siblings.)

The family also submitted another letter, notarized, stating that they were the heirs of Maynard and this was sealed on October 30, 1868.  The great thing about that particular letter was that everyone in the family signed it.

 The three "disinterested persons" who submitted affidavits to the court in Butte County were William H. Dils, an attorney, George Barney who was the notary public, and William Henderson.  All of them had known the family since 1845 which must have been the year Caleb and Sophia came to Dekalb County, Indiana.  William Dils wrote the most detailed account which in part said:

"William H. Dils, being duly sworn upon his oath, says that he is thirty four years of age and has been a resident of Dekalb County since August 1844, that from about the year 1845 until about 1856, he was personally acquainted with one Maynard D. Case, who was about said 1845, a minor living in the family of one Caleb Case, who was the father of said Maynard.  That the affidant resided within one-half mile of the residence of Caleb Case from 1846 to 1856.  That said Caleb Case died in the year 1854, leaving his widow, Sophia Case who is still alive and unmarried, and as his heirs and children the following: said Maynard D. Case, Isum Case who died in the year 1861, Dexter Case who is still alive, Lydia Case who is still alive, Emillus Case who is still alive, Maylon Case who died in the year 1861, Harriet Case who died in the year 1861, Mary Case who is still alive and Martha Case who is still alive..."

Dils goes on to say that those siblings who died named above, died without issue and that Maynard left for the state of California in 1856, unmarried and without children.  

In the meantime, the California courts were taking inventory, appraising and selling part of Maynard's estate.  
On the positive side, Maynard had -
Money found on his person at the time of his death       $ 93.50
Sold mining claim to Chinaman                                     $160.00
Sold his interest in the Spring Valley & Eureka
     Mining Company                                                       $900.00
Sold Cabin                                                                     $  25.00
Total Assets   = $1178.50

His debts and fees added up to $236.14, giving a final settlement of
$942.36.  Nowhere in the file could I find any reference to the land that he held, unless that is part either the mining claim or Spring Valley interest above.  The inventory was dated January 14, 1869.
I think several of his bills indicated that Maynard must have taken sick.  
 T. J. Jenkins was apparently the doctor and by his bill, we can see that he made several visits, one in the night to tend to Maynard.
 And the bill from the druggist indicated that he had several prescriptions.  Was he suffering from influenza, consumption, or something else?  That we will never know.
On March 10, 1869, Isham Case traveled to Butte County from his home in Brooklyn, California to receive the sum of $942.36 "in United States gold coin" to distribute to Maynard's heirs.
We know that Maynard had a very simple funeral - no procession of carriages or flowers and probably not many mourners.  His funeral bill charges only for a simple coffin costing $45.00.
A monument to a son who was not forgotten...


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