Sunday, July 31, 2011

On to Illinois

"December 22 1829
"I started on the trail from Raccoon, lost the night one and travelled about six miles out of our way. Came across an Indian wigwam paid boy for setting us right land Birch and Maple and good to Black Raccoon about sunset about 14 miles from where we started and had travelled at least 20 to Wabash river thence down river and crossed about 2 miles distant - dark down the river through the wood  etc got lost struck fire and camped for the night about 7 o'clock on a side hill the most sitely place we could find, built fire in an old dry white oak that was blown up laid down on supper side of the fire, and when asleep, we would find ourselves slipping down into the fire and our toes getting scorched. had walked about 22 miles and was quite tired - did not sleep soundly and surly(?) enough the next morning for comfort -

"Dec 23d - No expenses -
"Had nothing to pay for lodging last night Started into the woods found a road in about 30 rods thence on about 2 miles. Came to a Mr. Woodworths where we had intended to make last night having fasted about 32 hours - The sight of a house or log cabin looked pleasant - fine bottom land on the Wabash got a good breakfast stopped for the day tried to buy a canoe but failed - hired Mr. Woodruff and hands try to build us one, ...(?)... four hands commenced work at canoe say about 10 o'clock AM. [I note he has the man's last name spelled two ways, don't know which is correct.]

"December 24  1829
"At Woodruffs, had nothing essential on hand went occasionally into the wood to see the workmen at canoe and view the land on the bank of the Wabash - land extremely fine timber oak birch walnut claw(?) hickory ash etc

"December 25. Christmas - 11 o'clock AM
"Expenses for board and work on canoe $3.25 got into canoe and put off down stream at 8 miles two large rocks on left hand show about 60 fee high composed of limestone fine bottoms on each side of the stream from 1/2 to 1 1/2 miles wide. from Woodworths to Salmon Creek, put in on the left hand side at 8 1/2 miles a Halveys some refreshments banks of limestone an Indian's house occasionally along on the banks the Miami reservation 30 miles square on the left hand shore (south of river) at at 32 miles from Woodworths the Mississinaway puts into the Wabash on the left hand side at 35 miles Miami > post a small village on the right hand shore or north bank of river sunset at 40 miles 6 o'clock PM some little altercation took place between Mr Clarke and myself about running in the night - I gained the point and we put up at Oldhams

"December 26. 1829
"Expenses $0.32
"Started at 1/2 past 6 AM from Oldhams yet dark at three miles Pipe Creek puts in on the left hand bank, at 11 miles the rapids of the Wabash at 13 miles Logans Port - Eel river puts in on the right hand shore Logans Port in the forks - Town just commenced only 18 months old and contained about 300 inhabitants and calculate in 18 months more will contain 1,000. so says the Landlord Tharp & Wilson keeping Hotel keeping - Passed down the river, land on the right bank high, White oak barrens on the left hand shore fine bottom land rather low will overflow at sunset passed Deer Creek Prairie on the left at 40 miles from Logans Port the Tippecanoe river Dark at 4 miles passed Pino river, river turned more south at 50 miles from LoganKeepers Port LaFayette commenced three years ago contains a population of 1000 . So says Gen Johnson the Hotel Keeper, a real mud hole got there 1/2 pat 7 o'clock PM. the head of Steam Boat navigation The mouth of Tippecanoe on the Wabash 6 miles above Lafayette made in all this day 63 miles.
"Expenses $l.12 1/2

[I will say that 63 miles in a day traveling down river in a canoe is making pretty good time. And speaking of time there is two maybe three more posts of this journal before I'm finished with it.]  

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Welcome and More Journal

I would like to welcome Michelle Miller of, Scott of, and Lisa of ....It Can't Rain All the Time to my blog. Today we continue on with the journal of a trip to Illinois in 1829.

"December 17th 1829 -
"Left Vances thence up the river on the south troubled with streams pulling in on the sounth bank for every three steps forward, lost four by slipping on the snow - walked hard all day and only made 14 1/2 miles to Flat rock, there crossed the river to the north side to Mr. Bowens as I supposed a Methodist was highly delighted with his prayer.
"Expenses $0.55

"December 18 - 1829
"At Flat Rock (Mr Bowens) passed up river to Defrance to Breakfast fine bottom land Mr. Clarks toe was blistered. 9 miles to Defrance at Defrance ferried over - Mr Scott breakfast Continue up the river on south side land very poor scrub oak plains and hills in abundance - up the river to an old Frenchmans looked more like the Devil than a human being dressed in buckskin hogs and hens lived in common with him in his house at Delaware town
Then up the river on the north side through some very fine bottoms up to Mr Hughes three miles when Capt W came in company with a Miss Platter and Mr. Clark and myself might follow one mile had to cross a bad stream - Capt W. and Mr. Clark undertook to cross on the ice Capt W - succeeded and Mr. Clarke broke through they left me to cross on but I contd at the mouth with the fair conductress Mr. Clark gave up crossing on the ice and afterwards crossed at the mouth in a canoe all arrived at the Platters about dark Capt W - very much smitten with the young Miss Mr. Clark was put to bed on the floor with the old lady sow, and Capt W - and myself bunked together we all slept rather uncomfortably that night - We had walked 21 miles that day
"Expenses $1.05

"December 19th 1829
[Can't decipher the first sentence.] Capt W. and Mr Clarke [gec?] me some oil on account said they were dirty as the devil continued up the river about 12 miles further to Mr Runyons some fine timbered bottom uncultivated land and bad streams to cross made only 15 miles in the whole day - Up lands not very good rather thiin and cold. My feet a little raw and hard walking - ground hove up with frost - Mr Reynols Capt W very far gone -----real hog and hominy concern. all turned and slept read and (?) and slept but little
Expenses $0.50

"December 20th 1829
"Sunday - took a luncheon in our packs 25 1/2 miles without a house - paid but little attention to land - bad streams , nothing but an Indian trail reached a house about sunset - within 3 1/2 miles of Ft Wayne - about 8 o'clock tired as hunting dogs a poor supper a dirty bed crossed ferry 1/4 miles below town -
"Expenses $0.44

"December 21. 1829
"In the morning took a lecture from Mr. Clarke on good manners had a poor breakfast took a walk to view the place about 500 inhabitants a more savage looking set seldom found who call themselves white . Saw aMr. Henderson and son did not make myself known to son - returned to the inn wrote to brother Leonard [Leonard - for whom Case Western Reserve University is named] paid bill at the Gerhard House - Expenses in all these $l.06 1/4 and started for White Raccoon an Indian Village 12 miles passed some wet prairie arrived at Raccoon village about dark with some difficulty it was that we could find a place to stay Indians not very conversant, Indians got a decent supper for them feasted sumptuously. A matress on the floor for bed rested hard the principle indian could understand and talk but would not
"Expenses %0.25

[We will start with Dec 22 next post.]   

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A trip to Illinois

I have some pages of a journal written in 1829 or '30 about a trip to Illinois from Ohio which I'd like to share with the readers and without further ado, voila, here it is:

"This book is a memorandum of the family relations as they come to my mind and as information obtained [the writer, Zophar Case from Long Island originally, descendant of Henry, states in his own hand].

"In this relation I know of no better way or place to make a record of my trip to Illinois when there was not one hundred thousand people in it.

     "December 7 at 4 o-clock AM at Hepbourns hotel Cleveland Ohio left in the stage hard stage fare and expens that day no remarkable incident happened - Company James S Clarke and Charles Wilkinson we were all very sleepy - A little difficulty between Mr. Clarke and two females passengers - roads very muddy carriage in the after part of this day made it appear like lightning that had almost spent its force before the sounds of thunder cracking to keep time -

"Thursday Dec 10th 1829
"Spent on yesterday $3.12's A Milan - Started from Milan, two horses, four passengers beside the driver. roads abominable horses balked had to walk. hired an extra team at Monroe two lordy passengers, one a female who wished me to pay her in her own coin - Sandusky prairie delightful Allosa and birch bark. good living for footmen to bed and calculated to stay our Sunday, and wait for Mr. Clarke to come up. Expenses at Spaffords $l.45

[Some of this is hard to read and understand with no punctuation, but dear readers, we will trudge on.]

"December 14th 1829
"Started Mr. Clark and myself Capt W rather indisposed Mr Clark and myself stopped at the County Treasurers and share $6.50 in County orders to help pay Capt Wilkinson's taxes in Perrysburg made 44 cents in the operation taxes settled and proceeded up the river to opposite Manmu(Miami?) Village lef Capt W at his uncles to stay and recreate until tomorrow morning and Mr. Clark and myself crossed the river to stay all night - stayed at Mr. Lloyds Inn and wrote a letter to friend O. B. Skinner in the evening got in company with the U. S. Engineers, they said the country is fine up the river - The best country in the Wabash valley they ever saw on the Tippicanoe very poor all oak barrens, on the Wabash good. On the big St. Josephs very good country of land - They have a run a line of canal from the mouth of the Tippicanoe to the big bend of the St Josephs - about 90 miles to Fort Wayne - Can if we choose about 30 miles from Fort Wayne git on the head waters of the Wabash and go down in a canoe -

"The Engineers have constructed their falls work and are now on their return to Washington - They feel well with their face turned homeward jovial good company, did not learn their names
Expenses$2.12's - Crossed back

"December 15th. 1829
"Started up the south bank of the Manmu we had to cross some bad creeks Kept round on the hills made only 9 miles to Missionary station snow and sleet pelting us all day - Kept Capt W spirits up. Mr Clark unusually dull. As we waded along through the mud snow and sleet and red water. When we got to the station we anticipated something good for body and soul and found ourselves disappointed. Station has 22 (or 27?) Indian schollars - some attended to the farm under the direction of the Rev W Van Tassel Preacher and Indians all poor and deluded have been there
about six years
"Expenses at Station 58 cts freight(?) al(?)

"December 16th 1829
"Crossed the river in a canoe Indian paddle Thence up the North bank of the river sixteen miles to Judge Vance's at 9 (?) on the route Manors(?) --- and land good along the river flat back had some bad creeks to cross. left Capt W-- to come from Manors to Vance's in a canoe along with the Frenchmen -
    "Expenses $0.88---

[Next Post we'll start with Dec 17th.] 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Moving On

August 1804: Death of Joseph Case, leaving his wife Lydia with his ten children, some of whom were old enough to take care of themselves. The youngest, James, was ten at the time, They continued living in Ohio as far as I know, and James married Hannah Wiard in Harpersfield. The next time I hear of James, he is working on the Pawnee Indian Reservation in Nebraska Territory. He went there with one of the Presbyterian missionaries who was going to visit the Otoes, a part of the Council Bluffs Indian Agency responsibility.

James and his two sons are shown as working with the Pawnees, Aaron as a blacksmith, Solomon (age 15) as an interpreter, and James as a farmer, from 1835 until 1847. These jobs were not continuous, and they worked with the Otoes, too, further north for awhile. I hope to get into more detail of their life on the Res, but due to research limitations, I'm afraid that's it for the Res.

James and Solomon traveled on to Utah in 1847 in separate Mormon parties and Aaron stayed behind. You can read about James trip to the Rocky Mountains in a humorous piece at, Issue #8, May 2010.

This concludes for now the 'traveling to the West" posts, but the end of the story is yet to come as more and more people keep traveling to the West to settle down and make homes for their families as James and his father and grandfather did. The pioneers were a tough and hardy people to cut through the forest, fight off the Indians, and build their cabins all in the name of cheap land and freedom for freedom's sake.  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

And More on the Life in Early Ohio

"I think whiile zealots fast and frown,
And fight for two or seven,
That there are fifty roads to town,
And rather more to Heaven."
Praed - Chant of Brazen Head

Here are a couple anecdotes about church attendance in Austinburg before we take up the journey West:  The Tuttle family lived two-and-a-half miles from the church and there was not a Sabbath for over 30 years that the house of Ira Tuttle was not represented at the meeting. One Sunday their family team was hitched to the big buggy, which could easily carry 16, and were standing by the fence waiting for the load when the church bell began to ring, and the horses started for the meeting. When the family came out they were too far away to be caught. Those who went that day had to walk. The horses made the journey safely, stopped at the landing, then went on to the shed, where they stood waiting to be tied. 

One Sabbath, when the family of Mr. Case were detained at home, his horse went alone to the meeting and stood by the hitching post through the service.

I mentioned "physical exercises" in regard to a church meeting in a previous post. One occurrence was at Cross Creek, Pennsylvania, at a service performed by the Rev. Joseph Badger. It was the custom of Prebyterians to meet in large numbers on sacramental occasions. On this particular instance, probably a thousand were upon the grounds when one of the gentlemen in attendance had one of these "bodily exercises." It seems he was overcome by his own intensity of belief and fell into some sort of a trance alarming most of the congregation. He asked them to carry him out, which they did. He then asked them to carry him back, which they also did. By this time he was trembling and as feeble as a dying man. Afterwards, he said, "I feel that I am in God's hands, and that He will do with me just what He pleases."

And among the accounts of these "exercises" in Ashtabula County was the following which appeared in Austinburg, from the memoir of Mr. Badger: "November 6, 1802, Lord's day, the people assembled in Deacon J. Case's barn. Preached twice to a very solemn assembly. Several were in deep distress, and became unable to support themselves. As the distressed were unable to go from the barn, prayer, exhortation, and singing were continued until after the sun went down. As three children, twelve or thirteen years old, were going from the barn to my house they all fell helpless. They were taken up and taken care of. One of them continued in a perfectly helpless situation for more than twelve hours."

I've heard of this happening in services where the preacher let loose with the "hellfire and brimstone", usually in connection with the Holy Roller Baptist type church, but never in a Presbyterian service. 

In 1812 it was decided to build a meeting house, and in former times it was considered impossible to raise a building without whiskey, but the women declared that it was not necessary to aid the brawny muscles of the men with whiskey in order to raise the frame of the house of God, so they gathered together and made some home-made beer, flavored with sassafras, spruce, and other herbs, and gave it to the men in the place of whiskey, and the discovery was made that they got along very well without intoxicating liquor while raising the frame of that church. 

 Going backward to 1796, when the surveyors (for the Western Reserve) arrived, Indian trails, leading from one encampment to the other, were the only pathways to be found. The Connecticut Land Company opened the first public highway through this section, and it was the first road that was laid out and recorded on the Reserve. This was known as "The Old Girdled Road," and ran from Pennsylvania to Cleveland. In Ashtabula County this road passed through Conneaut, Sheffield, Plymouth, Austinburg and Harpersfield.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Church at Austinburg (Ohio) and a Disheartening Event

The Reverend Joseph Badger arrived in Austinburg and set about getting his large family settled in a spot "in the south part of town, near the residence of Deacon Mills."

"Mr. Badger says, ......'It became necessary on my arrival in this wilderness to provide bread for my family........ Got flour at the mill [Judge Austin's mill], coarse enough, but served well for bread. Meat was more difficult to be had. Hearing of a barrel of pork at Painesville, I sent a man with a dray to haul it through the woods, thirty miles; paid twenty silver dollars for one hundred and seventy pounds; it was the whole hog, feet, head, snout, and ears. I procured two cows, which furnished plenty of milk. Our pasture was large, without a fence; sometimes the creatures rambled out of hearing for a day or two. Notwithstanding our long and tedious journey, we had obtained such supplies as made us comfortable, and had much to be thankful for, although, sometimes our prospects were very dark. About this time it was necessary to extend my missionary labors to other parts of the Reserve. I had only made such arrangements as to shelter my family from the storm and supply them with bread for about two months.'"

Due to the scarcity of Reverends or missionaries, Badger preached all over the Western Reserve and was very well liked wherever he went, sometimes being absent for months from the town.

"During the year 1801, a remarkable revival occurred in the place. This revival was attended with singular physical exercises. .......... By the means of this revival a large number were added to the church, and the whole community was much affected. The whole number admitted at the time was forty-one, and the Lord's supper was administered to sixty-two persons. Among those who joined by profession were Eliphalet Austin, Thomas Montgomery, Q. F. Atkins, Henry L. Badger, Juliana Badger, et al. In a single day the church was increased to six times its original membership. It continued , however, without regular preaching. Mr. Badger supplied as he could but had appointments at Conneaut, Harpersfield, and other places."

In August 1804, Captain Joseph Case was assisting two travelers across a river and had already made one trip taking the horses and one of the travelers to the bank on the other side. Returning with the other traveler to pick up the saddles and rest of their baggage, they started out for the opposite bank with the stream running high. Midway across, the traveler on the bank saw Mr. Case stand up in the canoe and fall into the water with his hands held high. The traveler in the canoe didn't see this, and when the canoe hit the bank, the Reverend Badger hopped into it and they paddled fast and furious to save him. Mr. Case came up one time with his hands high in the air. ""When the canoe arrived alongside of him, one man threw down his paddle to seize hold of him, but at that moment he sank like a stone. ...... The death caused a gloom over this region, and has been dwelt upon as one of the sad incidents of this early day." I assume he died of a heart attack, age 51.

Note: Items in quotes taken from the History of Ashtabula County.

The family continued to live in Austinburg until they scattered to the four winds, Joseph M. Case, moving to Morgan, Ohio, Francis to Colorado and James - we'll follow James next. I haven't come across any records yet of the other family members in Ohio. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Austinburg, Ohio

"In the spring of 1800, the population of Austinburg was increased by the following arrivals: those of Joseph Case, J. M. Case, Roger Nettleton, Joseph B. Cowles, Adam Cowles, Josiah Moses, John Wright, Sterling Mills and family, Noah Cowles and his son Solomon, Dr. O. K. Hawley, and Ambrose Humphrey. The most of this numerous company made the journey from Norfolk, Connecticut, to Austinburg on foot. The greater part of them came without their families, returning for them after they had erected cabins wherein they might live. Some of the number finally took up their residence in other townships."

When Sterling Mills and family arrived, they were provided with two horses, and accompanied from Madison or Harper's Landing by Joseph M. Case. They set out for Austinburg in the afternoon and when it turned dark, the party was stranded in the middle of the forest in a rainstorm. The next day after the storm cleared off, they started out again and ran into "Austin's Camp," as it was then called, after about three-quarters of a mile.

"The number of settlers within the limits of the present county of Ashtabula during the winter of 1799-1800 was therefore not far from fifty persons. Harpersfield outranked the other townships as to the number of inhabitants; Conneaut came next, then Austinburg, then Windsor and Monroe."

There has been some talk in the news and other programs of religion and secularism in early America. Some argue that the country was established on religious ideas and some not. Here is the Williams brothers take on it as written in the History of Ashtabula County: "The Pilgrims gave tone to the society of New England and their independence moulded the religious character of the whole people. The removal from the monarchies of the Old World, and the love of freedom, which found scope in the New, resulted in the establishment of a pure democracy, both in the church and in the state. The aristocracy of the south and the democracy of the north were largely the result of church influences."

"The first church which was organized in Ashtabula County was that at Austinburg in October, 180l" [by the Reverend Joseph Badger].

This is a drawing of the first church built in Austinburg in 1815 and is still standing. I was going to post a more recent picture, but I couldn't find it. It is called the Old Congregational Church. On second thought, maybe they have torn that one down and built a new one that looks like it. The names of the first settlers are emblazoned on the windows.

Here is another drawing, both taken from the History of Ashtabula County, of Sterling Mills' house also built in 1815. In the beginning, the houses were not as elaborate, being log cabins built to last a few years until the more luxurious structures were built.

Joseph Case and son Joseph M.were among those who built temporary cabins and returned to Connecticut in 1800 to collect his family. Joseph had ten children, and they all removed to Ohio, except for one or two of the girls who married and stayed in Connecticut.

More on their lives in the next post and who moves on from there.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Onward from Norfolk, Connecticut

"It is necessary, in order that the thread of the narrative should not be spun to a length which might fatigue the reader, that he should imagine a week to have intervened between the scene with which the preceding (post of the same subject) closed and the events with which it is our intention to resume in relation in this."

Ahem! That is the opening sentence of Chapter VIII after the quotation from Troilus and Cressida of James Fenimore Cooper's The Prairie. It was taken from the Project Gutenberg site of books in the public domain and says in more flowery language than I intend to use that which is my "intention to resume" concerning the subject on which we began these series of posts, traveling to the West.

We shall leave the scenes of Connecticut and pick up with the History of Ashtabula County, Ohio, 1798 to 1878, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Pioneers and Most Prominent Men, by the Williams Brothers of Philadelphia. This book is also in the public domain and was reprinted by the Higginson Book Co.  

Joseph Case and Lydia Mills Case, mentioned earlier, figure in the history of Austinburg Township in Ashtabula County, PA, but first we will rehash the foundation of the township and some of its history and move on to the settlement of the town.

      "In the year 1798 the Connecticut land company was organized, composed of fifty-six individuals, resident of Connecticut.  

     "On the 5th of September of the same year, the company received a deed for about three million acres of land lying in the northeastern part of Ohio, and called the Western Reserve.

     "It appears from the records of the Connecticut land company that when the division of the land was made among the members of the company, ninety-three townships, east of the Cuyahoga, was drawn in a lottery, and the township of Austinburg, then known as number eleven of the fourth range, fell to Messrs. Austin, Rockwell, Battell, and others, and these parties, in connection with other gentlemen of Connecticut who had drawn adjoining lands, formed themselves into a company, called the Torrington land company.

     Because of "the fear of Indian disturbances and the prospect of war with the French," the first attempt at colonization of Austinburg, "designated in the field notes as 'Blakeslee,'"  was abandoned by Colonel Blakeslee and he ended up settling in Genessee county, New York. 

     "About the same time a singular accident befell one of the company, which resulted in a way least expected,  but which proved almost providential, at least a blessing in disguise.

      "This accident was nothing more nor less than the biting of a mad dog of Judge Austin, who seemed to be the leading spirit in the new company. The symptom of the terrible disease of hydrophobia succeeded, nearly baffling the skill of the best physicians. It was, however, while in this state of anxiety and fear that it was advised by physicians and friends, as a relief, that the judge should for a time, leave his home and divert his thoughts from his dreadful disease by travel in foreign lands. To this he consented, but instead of going abroad he resolved to himself to make a tour to the WILD LANDS in the WEST [emphasis added], and to open a way for a colony in that region.

      Judge Austin formed a party of "Roswell Stevens and his wife, newly married, and three young men, David Allen, Anson COLT [emphasis added], and Samuel Fobes, all of whom he had hired for the purpose, and George Beckwith, his wife,  and two small children, in company, set out on this long journey, having taken farming tools and a team for the purpose of make improvements." At Schenectedy, they split up, the Judge to go overland with his team and the others to go by boat to the Grand River where they would meet up. Austin was down to his last pork rind when he got word that the boat had finally arrived. "With the assistance of his men, the judge afterwards was able to transport his goods and provisions on hand-sleds from the landing to Austinburg.

     "On the 5th day of June, 1799, the first blow struck by a white man's axe in the town of Austinburg was struck by Judge Eliphalet Austin himself, the chief proprietor of the lands and the pioneer settler of all."

     The small group set about building cabins for themselves and the judge organized his colony and headed back to Connecticut to sell the land and bring in settlers.

      "Those who were enlisted in the enterprise were men of the like spirit,--men who sought homes for themselves and their families, but who at the same time sought to plant institutions in the new land. It is remarkable that the character of a place as well as of a country through all time partakes of the spirit and character of those who first settled it. The foundations of society in the township of Austinburg were laid in such a manner as later generations have had much reason to be grateful, and by men of whom their posterity have no reason to be ashamed.

     "The names of Deacon Noah Cowles, Captain Joseph Case, his son, afterwards Deacon Joseph M. Case, Adna Cowles, Solomon Cowles, Joseph B. Cowles, Roger Nettleton, Dr. Orestes K. Hawley, John Wright, Jr., Joseph Moses, Daniel C. Phelps, Isaac Butterfield, Ephraim Rice, Calvin Stone, David Allen, and Sterling Mills are all worthy of a high place, and should be highly regarded in the tablet of memory; for they, with Judge Eliphalet Austin and his family, may be regarded as the founders of society in this important community, and as the originators of influences which have extended far to bless this country. These were all the members of the colony which, under the lead and through the influence of Judge Austin, were to start in the spring of 1800 for a permanent settlement in this FAR-OFF WILDERNESS [emphasis added]."

With cabins to build, lands to clear, farms to plant, and crops to raise, we will continue with the Discovery and Settlement of The West from a personal perspective in the next post. What amazes and amuses me about this is the time it takes from the landing of the Mayflower in 1620 to the move west in the late 1700's and the 1800's and the speed it picks up from then right up until today.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pause in Norfolk for a couple of anecdotes


No anecdote is the construction of the Taj Mahal in India which began in 1631 and went on until 1653 and now is a World Heritage site of UNESCO. Sometimes I get a mind boggle when I see what was going on in the world in the 1600's, when America was just beginning to be populated by foreign immigrants with no visa or passport.

"Asahel Case and his wife, Dorothy Phelps, were from Simsbury. ...... The said Asahel senior had thirteen children. He died in 1809, aged 81. Asahel Jun(ior) died 1840, aged 84. ..... A man who spent a night at his home said that in the morning Mr. Case (senior) went to the chamber stairs, called out all the names found in the Bible, and added, 'and all the rest of you get up.'

"Aaron Case, son of Asahel Jun. lived on the old place where his grandfather lived and died. His son, Hiram, lived on the old place, and died there from 'grinder's consumption,' contracted by grinding scythes in a scythe shop. [If he lived today, he could sue and get a big chunk of money.]

"(Aaron Case's) first wife took by mistake a dose of saltpetre instead of Epsom salts, as she supposed it to be, and died from the effects of it in a few hours. ...... Captain Aaron, as he was called was taking home a load of potatoes in an ox cart. He always kept two or three rods ahead of his oxen. Going up a long hill the tail-board of the cart got loose, and his potatoes rolled out and scattered from the foot of the hill to the top. When he reached home and found his cart empty, doubtless the English language was inadequate to express his feelings. ...... Time and space forbid telling of his once driving a pig some two miles without discovering that he had taken the wrong pig out of his pen. [I think I inherited some of those same traits.]

The Revolutionary War came along about twenty years after Norfolk was settled and many of the settlers were called on to do their duty, including Asahel, Senior, from June to December 1775.  

Joseph Case, the oldest son (of Asahel, Senior), married Lydia Mills and we will follow him part way coming up.

(Note: Quotes are taken from History of Norfolk, Connecticut, 1744-1900.)