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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



The early settlers of McLean County are fast passing away and soon the time will come when none will be left to tell of the trials and difficulties encountered in its early settlement. Mr. Case of this notice is one of the number who has not yet crossed the river to the other shore, and is passing the sunset of life on his fine farm on section 25, Old Town Township, enjoying the accumulations of an honorable past. He is the son of Abner and Alice Olive (Rowland) Case, natives of Connecticut. The parents after their marriage located in Ontario County, N. Y., whence they removed to Huron County, Ohio, and there lived until 1833, when they came to this county and settled in Old Town Township, on section 25. The parents lived there for several years, when they removed to Madison, Wis., and there died, the demise of the father occurring Jan. 5, 1854, and that of the mother January 6 of the same year, and both are buried side by side in one grave. The father of our subject was a farmer and left the plow to become a soldier in the War of 1812, and was a participant in the battle of Lundy's Lane, where three fingers of his left hand were shot away. He witnessed the burning of Buffalo, N. Y., and for his services as a soldier in the War of 1812 received a pension from the Government. Of his union with Miss Rowland, seven children, four sons and three daughters, were born.

Lewis Case was the third in order of birth of his parents' children and first saw light in Ontario County, N. Y., Feb. 27, 1809. He was brought up to farm labor and there lived until 1824, when he accompanied his parents to Huron County, Ohio. He lived in the latter county until 1833, when he came to McLean County and made a settlement on section 25, Old Town Township, bringing with him from Ohio his wife and one child. The journey was made overland with an ox-team and his capital at that time consisted of three feather beds and $50 worth of leather, which he traded for a cow, one hog, seven pigs, and provisions for the winter. He managed to get in a small crop of corn, but in the fall he lost his cow, four pigs and one ox, which left him in a worse condition than when he first located. The following summer he made a short poke and plowed his corn with the single ox. He was possessed of that determination which knows no such word as fail and succeeded in erecting himself a log house and soon had forty acres of his land fenced. The first religious meeting held in Old Town Township was held in the log house of our subject, and there the early settlers assembled from a distance of many miles and worshiped for some thirteen years.

Mr. Case had great faith in the future development of the country, and from his first settlement in the county economized with a view of increasing his landed interests and at the present time is the proprietor of 610 acres of valuable land. The old log house has given way to a fine residence and the taxes of our subject have increased from twenty-five cents to upward of $300 a year. Mr. Case was married in Huron County, Ohio, to Miss Sarah Hendryx, Oct. 13, 1831. She was the daughter of John and Mary (Flynn) Hendryx, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and the latter of Ireland. Her parents settled in Steuben County, N. Y., after their marriage and there lived until 1817, when they moved to Richland County, Ohio, and were among the early settlers of that county. Subsequently they made another removal, locating in Huron County, the same State, and in 1833, came to this county and settled in Old Town Township, where they lived until their death. They had six children who lived to attain the age of man and womanhood, of whom Mrs. Case was the eldest.

She was born in Steuben County, N. Y., Jan. 14, 1810, and was seven years of age when her parents removed to Ohio, and continued to reside in that State until her marriage. She bore our subject five childrenMary A., Olive, Sarah E., Hannah E. and Zerilda I. Mary is the wife of Peter B. Price, and they are living at Hutchinson, Kan; Olive married John W. Savidge, and they reside in Danvers Township, this county; Sarah E. and Wesley Brown were united in marriage and are living in Arrowsmith Township, this county; Hannah is the wife of Sylvanus Mikel, a farmer of Old Town Township. Mr. Case has four great-grandchildren now living; one great-grandchild is deceased. On the 13th of October, 1881, Mr. Case and wife celebrated their golden wedding. Mrs. Case departed this life at the old homestead in Old Town Township, on the 4th of January, 1887, at the ripe old age of seventy-seven years.

Mr. Case has held some of the minor offices of his township. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with which his wife was also connected. In politics our subject is a stanch Republican, and was one of the delegates to the first County Convention ever held in McLean County.

As a representative and honored citizen of McLean County, and of the township of which he has so long been a resident, we present the portrait of Mr. Case in connection with this sketch, as also that of his deceased wife.

Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 647. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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