December 15, 2013

Sophia Camp Case - Great-Great Grandmother

After her husband, Caleb, died in 1854, Sophia Case was left to raise her large family alone.

On July 13, 1860, the census enumerator found the Case family at the same location in Concord Township, Dekalb County, Indiana.  Isum, 26, was named as head of household.  The value of the land had increased to $4000, probably because more land had been improved and used for farming.  Isum's personal worth was $1000; he was teaching, too.

Sophia, at 52, was keeping house and raising the younger children, Mary, 12, and Martha, 9.  Maynard had left the house and was listed in the 1860 census in California.  At home were Emillus, 22; Mahlon, 19; Lydia, 19 (error in age); Harriet, 17 and the two younger girls.  Also joining the family were Dexter Case, 24, and his wife, Mary Jane, 24.  
No will was found for Caleb Case in the courthouse at Auburn, Dekalb County, Indiana.  In the early 1860's, at least, documents show that the property taxes were paid by "the heirs of Caleb Case" and then later on in the names of several different sons until each left the area or died. 

In January, 1861, Sophia's children, Isum and Harriet, died, quickly followed by Mahlon in March of that year.  Dexter and wife, Mary Jane, moved to Kansas, so the heirs at home would have been Emillus and Lydia and the two youngest girls, Mary and Martha.  Sophia was not done grieving because in 1867, she learned of her son, Maynard's, death in California.

This photo was found in the satchel of Emillus Case and it is unidentified.  I always wondered if it were his mother, Sophia, as she looked like someone who had weathered many storms.  But we will never know the identity of this woman, for sure.
 So on July 25, 1870, the Case family was much smaller when the census enumerator stopped by.  Emillus was named as head of the household with real estate worth $8000 and personal wealth of $2500.  He was listed as a farmer.  His mother, Sophia, 62; sister, Lydia, 39; and sisters Martha, 21, and Mary and her husband, William Hollabaugh, completed the household.  

In 1880, Emillus, 42, a farmer and head of the household, had only Lydia, 50 and Sophia, 72, at home.  (This one time the census taker listed her birthplace as CT, but, of course, we don't know who reported that.  The birthplace had always been New York prior to this.)  Mary and her husband, William Hollabaugh, had moved just down the road, and Martha and her husband, William H. Dilley had settled in Iowa.

Sophia died on February 15, 1888.  She had written a will dated January 14, 1882, which was located in Auburn, Dekalb County, Indiana courthouse.

Sophia Camp Case's will:
"I, Sophia Case, of Concord Township, County of DeKalb and State of Indiana, being of sound mind, but in feeble health and in view of the certainty of death and the uncertainty of life, do make and publish this, my last will and testament:

Item 1st: I will, bequeath to son Emillus Case the undivided four-fifths of all the real estate I may be possessed of at my decease and on the condition that the said Emillus Case is to pay my daughter, Martha Dilley, the sum of Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars.

Item 2: I will and bequeath to my daughter, Lydia Case, the undivided one-fifth part of the real estate I may be possessed of at my decease unconditionally.

Item 3: I will and bequeath to Mary Hollabaugh, my daughter, the sum of Three Hundred Dollars out of my personal estate.

Item 4: I will and bequeath to my daughter, Martha Dilley, in addition to the above legacy, the sum of Three Hundred Dollars out of my personal estate.

Item 5: I will that all of my personal estate not hereinbefore bequeath shall be equally divided between my daughter, Lydia Case and my son, Emillus Case, after the payment of all my just debts and charges.

Item 6: I hereby nominate and appoint my son Emillus Case, my Executor to carry out the provisions of this my last will and testament according to the true intent and meaning thereof.
In witness whereof, the said Sophia Case has hereunto set her hand and seal this 14th day of January, 1882."

I have but one item that has been passed down from Sophia Camp Case, probably through her granddaughter, Geneva Hollabaugh Pflaumer (daughter of Mary Case Hollabaugh), as Geneva's (aka Eva's) husband was the executor of Sophia's son, Emillus's, will.
Coin silver spoons owned by Sophia Camp Case
According to my research, coin silver spoons were made from colonial times to about 1868 when a silver standard was set for silversmiths.  The spoons were made from melted silver coins that no longer had worth in society or from worthless European coins.  Sterling silver was introduced in 1850.  In the 19th century, makers began to stamp their names on what they produced. Two different makers made these particular coins - I. Avery and L. S. Porter - and I could not find information on either person.  The spoons were obviously well used and ten of them exist. (In Mary Case Hollabaugh's obituary, it said there were ten in her family, but I have never been able to find the tenth person.)  The spoons were all engraved with what looks like a C in very elegant script.

Years of black grime covered the handles of the spoons, but baking soda helped clean away most of it.  In the above photo, you can almost see the teeth marks in the bowl of the spoons!

Sophia is buried beside Caleb in the White City Cemetery, Spencerville, Indiana, just down the road from their homestead. This brief obituary appeared in an unidentified New York paper from Oneida County:

"Died.  CASE - In Spencerville, In., Feb. 15, 1898, Mrs. Sophia Camp Case, a sister of the late Platt Camp, of this place, in the 81st year of her age."

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