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Henry Cassingham Biographical Sketch

[From the History of Grundy County Illinois (Chicago, O.L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers, Lakeside Building, 1882), pages 108-109.]

HENRY CASSINGHAM, farmer, P. 0. Gardner; born October 8, 1815, in England; son of Thomas and Phoebe (Ford) Cassingham, natives of England. The parents emigrated to Muskingum County, Ohio, where they died, the mother in October, 1838, and the father in 1845. They had twelve children, all of whom grew up and were married, nine are living – Thomas, Richard, James, George, John, Henry, Phoebe (deceased), Elizabeth, Sophia (deceased), William, Ford and Mary (deceased). The parents belonged to the Methodist Church. Our subject attended the subscription schools in the country, getting a fair business education. He worked with his father until the age of twenty-one, when he began learning the carpenter trade, which he continued for fourteen years. He moved to Kendall County, Ill., in 1845, where he carpentered until 1849, at which time be came to his farm of eighty acres, in what is now Mazon Township, which he had purchased of the Government a little while prior to his moving. Here in this neighborhood he has lived and now possesses 240 acres, the result of their own labors. When locating in Kendall County, they had about $300. They settled on raw prairie, and witnessed the scenes of the early pioneers. Was married, in 1839, to Jane Osler, a daughter of George and Jane (Hollenback) Osler, the father a native of Maryland and the mother of Virginia, and the parents of four children – Jane, George, John and Nancy. The mother was married prior to that with Mr. Osler, to Nathan Devore, and the result was two children – Elizabeth and David. Mr. Devore was drafted in the war of 1812, in which service he died. Her mother was married, after the death of Mrs. Cassingham's father, to John Hartford, the result being two children – Eliza A. and Sarah E. Mrs. Cassingham's mother was a church member of the Methodist Episcopal organization for sixty years before her decease, to which the father belonged. Mr. and Mrs. Cassingham have been blessed with eleven children, viz., David H., deceased; Marshall, physician at Roberts, Ford Co., Ill.; Ellen, deceased; David, deceased; Mary E., deceased; Elvira, the wife of Thomas Foster; Arvilla, the wife of Dr. W. H. Watson, of Caberey, Ill.; Alice, deceased; Ora W., druggist, Ford County, Ill.; Clinton, married Melissa La Force; and E. W. Mr. Cassingham was Supervisor for eight terms, Justice of the Peace several years, and other small offices; was once solicited and was run for County Judge, and was only sixteen votes behind. He and wife have been connected with the Methodist Church for over forty-four years. He was once Whig, and joined the Republican party at its organization. A brother of Mr. Cassingham came from Ohio to this county on horseback, bringing with him a dog to hunt. The first chase was a wolf, which they caught. Ford, the brother, took the hide from the animal, and started home without his dog, which he thought was either dead or stolen. When he arrived at his home, he found his faithful dog awaiting him.