January 16, 2014

Hiram Case and his son, Isham

I have been tracking Hiram and Isham Case because I believe they are the brother and nephew of my husband's great-great grandfather, Caleb Case Jr. and the son and grandson of Caleb Case, Sr. of Whitestown, New York.

In the 1850 census of Bristol Township, Trumbull County, Ohio, which is located right next to the state line with Pennsylvania, Hiram Case was enumerated on August 18.  He was 44, a farmer AND born in New York.  With him were his wife, Luranda, and children Willard, 18 (farmer); Isham, 17 (born c. 1833 and a store clerk); Sidney, 14; Russel, 11; Ellen, 9; Martha, 3 AND Iantha, 48 - Hiram's sister.  Iantha was named in Caleb Sr.'s will.

The name "Isham" reminded me of the story of Caleb Jr.'s son, Maynard, who died in California. (His story may be read here.)  Maynard died in 1867, so when the family was informed back home in Indiana, it was up to the widow and her eldest son, Emillus, to make arrangements for the settling of his estate and for his burial.  Maynard's father, Caleb Jr., had died in 1854.  When Emillus wrote to the administrator of courts in California regarding how to proceed with Maynard's estate, Emillus wrote:

"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?"

And it is later reported in the estate papers that in 1869, Isham Case came to pick up the cash from the estate.  

So, to me, it seemed likely that Caleb Jr.'s widow would have asked someone close to the family to handle this personal issue...someone who was already in California.  Isham would have been Maynard's cousin and her husband's nephew.  The research showed that Isham was gone from Hiram's home in Ohio by 1860 and in fact, Isham was enumerated on the 1860 census in Brooklyn, Alameda County, California, living in a boarding house there at the age of 26 and single.

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle, January 30, 1906 about an exceptionally low tide, stated:
"Isham Case, who is employed by the Southern Pacific on the Alameda  mole, came to Oakland in the year 1852 and served as a clerk on a ferry-boat, also had an opportunity to see the mud when the tide was out in that year, and he remembers it."

Isham Case had some status in Alameda County.  The Centennial Yearbook of Alameda County, 1886 gave this biography: 
This gentleman is a native of New York State, and is an old citizen of Alameda County.  He has just retired from the Board of Supervisors, in which he has held the position of President for five years.  He became early identified with the interests of Brooklyn Township, and was an officer of the Larnes* steamboat line when in operation.  He is the father of a family, and is connected with the Larnes*, having married the only daughter of the late Jas. B. Larne.  Mr. Case's most active occupation, of late years, has been that of farming in the Livermore Valley, where he owns a large ranch.  He has also operated largely in mining stocks.  He has ever been an active politician, and is a man who wields no inconsiderable influence in the Republican party.  He is 43 years of age.*

(I think this should be Larue and I think his age is off by 10 years.)

Isham was also the Treasurer in at least 1864, for the Church of the Advent, Protestant Episcopal Church in Oakland, which was established in 1860.  His father-in-law donated the land for the church and also served as a Vestryman.
He also acted as Assessor for the county in the 1860's. 
 So Isham Case was well qualified to handle any affairs given him by the Case family back in Indiana.  I thought Isham's obituary might help, but all I could find was this short notice in the San Francisco Call published on March 2, 1911.

"CASE - In Oakland, Cal., March 1, 1911, Isham Case, beloved father of J. R. Case* and the late Lula Case, a native of New York, aged 77 years.

(*J.R. was James Russell Case and Lulu was Sarah Lula Case.  Another brother, Willard Frank, might have been deceased by this time; I'm not sure why he's not mentioned.  As a side note, Isham and his wife, Hannah, must have been very saddened by the trials of their daughter, Lulu, who suffered from a mental illness.  The San Francisco Chronicle reported on April 28, 1900:
Oakland, April 27.  Miss S. Lulu Case, daughter of Isham Case, who was at one time chairman of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, was ordered committed today to the State Hospital at Agnews.  She was sent to an asylum on May 13th of last year, but was permitted to return to her home, as it was thought she had recovered her mental equilibrium.  Recently, however, she has relapsed and is afflicted with many delusions.  She imagines that spirits surround her and that to prevent them from taking her away, she must sleep in a green gown.  She has recently showed signs of a suicidal mania, and it was thought best by her family to have her again placed under restraint.  Miss Case's mother was a member of the Larue family of East Oakland, being a daughter of the now deceased pioneer James Larue.")

I also have not yet found an obituary for Hiram...just his tombstone, and Iantha's and Delia's, all in Trumbull County, Ohio. 
Iantha is buried in the Old Bristol Cemetery, Trumbull County, OH

Evergreen Cemetery, Bristolville, Trumbull County, OH
Hiram's sister, Delia, was enumerated with the family in 1880.  Hiram was 75 by that time and Delia, 70. (Delia was also mentioned in the Whitestown will of Caleb Sr.)  I have not been able to find Hiram's wife, Luranda's, place of burial, and I do not know yet who Lettie Kibbee is. Lettie was only 13 when she died.

I don't have an obituary for Hiram who died in 1894 at the age of 88.  That could possible mention a brother named Caleb Jr.  So the connection is far from secured, so I'm looking for any researcher who may have already made that link!  Otherwise, I think I will have to road trip to Trumbull County and New York!  (Not a bad idea anyway)

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