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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Cass

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 291-294 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

This family is of English descent and is found in the records of New England at as early a date as 1644. Joseph Cass, son of the founder, was the grandfather of Hon. Lewis Cass, general in the United States army, secretary of war under President Jackson, governor of Michigan; minister to France, and secretary of state under President Buchanan. The family in Albany are also lineal descendants of John and Joseph Cass.

(I) John Cass emigrated to America and settled at Hampton, New Hampshire, in 1644; best evidence proves that he came from, St. Albans, England. He was a farmer, planter, herdsman, selectman. Died at Hampton, New Hampshire, April 7, 1675. He married Martha Philbrick, born in England in 1633, who bore him eight children:

  1. Martha, born October 4, 1649; married John Redman.
  2. Joseph, mentioned below.
  3. Samuel, born July 13, 1659; married Mercy Sanborn.
  4. Jonathan, born September 13, 1663.
  5. Elizabeth.
  6. Mercy.
  7. Ebenezer.
  8. Abigail.

Martha Philbrick was the seventh child of Thomas and Elizabeth Philbrick (or Philbrook), who came from England in 1630.

(II) Joseph, son of John and Martha (Philbrick) Cass, was born October 5, 1656. He was of Exeter, New Hampshire. He married (first) Mary, daughter of Morris Hobbs; (second) a widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Chase, daughter of Henry Green. Children, first four by first wife:

  1. John, born August 21, 1680, died young.
  2. Joseph (2), died at the age of two years.
  3. Mary, born February 26, 1687; married Ichabod Robie.
  4. John, born August 19, 1689.
  5. Joel, mentioned below.

(III) Joel, only child of Joseph and his second wife, Elizabeth (Chase) Cass, was born in 1723. He removed from New Hampshire at an early date and was one of the pioneer settlers of Otsego county, New York. He was of the town of Decatur, that county. He married and among his children was a son Elkanah.

(IV) Elkanah, son of Joel Cass, was born March 5, 1771, died May 12, 1813. He married Sarah Thurber, born March 13, 1770, died November 28, 1846. Children:

  1. Luvina, born November 7, 1790, died September 20, 1830; married ———— Clark.
  2. Sally, born April 28, 1792, died February 21, 1830; married ———— Houck.
  3. Levi, see forward.
  4. Benjamin, born September 18, 1795, died February 1, 1832.
  5. Mary, born June 25, 1798.
  6. Samuel, born March 4, 1802, died October 28, 1868; married, December 14, 1822, Lois Boardman.
  7. Joseph, born March 23, 1804, died October 1, 1839.
  8. Rachel, born August 8, 1809, died June 1, 1838; married ———— Finch.

(V) Levi, son of Elkanah and Sarah (Thurber) Cass, was born in Decatur, Otsego county, New York, September 12, 1793, died February 28, 1832. He married Martha Shaw, born July 21, 1797, died April 4, 1867. Children:

  1. Lilbern Allen; see forward.
  2. Mary Ann, born December 5, 1819; married, February 12, 1843, Matthew Kniskern.
  3. Marinda, born June 27, 1822, died September 4, 1892; married Matthew Ward.
  4. Lavantia, born May 4, 1824, died March 19, 1885; married Cornelius Pitcher.
  5. Matilda, born May 13, 1826; married Jacob Livingston.
  6. Levi (2d), see forward.
  7. Amos Alden, see forward.

(VI) Lilbern Allen, eldest child of Levi and Martha (Shaw) Cass, was born December 12, 1816, at Decatur, Otsego county, New York, died November 9, 1865. Upon the death of his father he found himself at the age of sixteen the mainstay of his mother with her seven children, aged from sixteen to two years. He shirked no responsibility, but went manfully to work, cultivating the farm in summer and teaching school in winter, and by studious application to the few books he was able to purchase, he became the leading educator of his time in the county. He was for many years one of the county commissioners of schools for his native county. He was deeply interested in religious work, a lay preacher of great force and ability, and for many years a deacon in the First Baptist Church of Worcester. He was one of the foremost citizens of the county. His services as a speaker were ever in demand at educational and religious gatherings. In politics he was a Democrat. He married, June 27, 1838, at Cobleskill, New York, Sarah MacDonald, born October 5, 1817, died November 6, 1863. Children:

  1. Horatio G., born March 18, 1841; married (first) February 8, 1866, Mary J. Babcock; one child, Carlton B., born July 9, 1867. He married (second) Mary A. Rowland.
  2. Monroe, horn July 10, 1843; married, June 9, 1863, Julia Richmond.
  3. Orsamus W., born February 9, 1846; married, March 12, 1867, Mary J, Crippen; children:
    1. Clarence D., born October 29, 1868,
    2. Melvin J., June 20, 1870,
    3. H. Deverre, February 16, 1872,
    4. Florence E.
  4. Volney, born February 27, 1848; married, October 7, 1885, Lillian E. Fulkerson; daughter Edith, born September 27, 1886.
  5. Thaddeus G., see forward.
  6. Lewis, see forward.
  7. Frances P., born September 5, 1856; married, June 12, 1878, Joseph W. Cowell; children:
    1. Walter A., born April 5, 1879, married Violet A. Parrish, and has daughter, Ruth Frances;
    2. Thaddeus G., born May 4, 1881;
    3. Grace M., born April 30, 1884.
  8. Levi, born October 9, 1860; married Ada Griffin, and has daughter Helen Rose, born April 15, 1900.

(VII) Thaddeus G., son of Lilbern Allen and Sarah (MacDonald) Cass, was born November 17, 1850. He was educated in the public schools of Otsego. In 1870 he became a partner in the mercantile business with his brother. The call to the ministry came too strong to be resisted, and he sold out his interest and took up the studies for his life work. He graduated from Colgate Academy in 1874 and Colgate University in 1880. His first charge was at Malden, Massachusetts, his last in Olean, New York. During the twenty-six years of his ministerial life he filled some of the best pulpits in New Hampshire and New York states. An eloquent speaker and a deep thinker, his services and advice were sought for by denominational leaders at state and national conventions. Failing health of a member of his family obliged him to change climate. He is now the proprietor of an extensive fruit plantation in Porto Rico, and at the same time engaged in evangelistic work. He married, June 25, 1878, Cornelia Swart; children: Helen Eaton and Thaddeus G. (2d.)

(VII) Lewis, son of Lilbern Allen and Sarah (MacDonald) Cass, was born at Decatur, Otsego county, New York, December 30, 1853. He was educated in the public schools; Albany State Normal School, class of 1871: Colgate Academy, Hamilton, New York, class of 1874; entered Union College in the class of 1878. These years of study were preparatory to that of the law. His reading was with Smith, Bancroft & Moak, an eminent legal firm of Albany, and he was admitted to the bar in 1880. In January, 1881, he opened an office, and began the practice of his profession, which he has continued with marked success to the present time. For years he was associated in practice with the late Judge Clute, county judge of Albany county. He is a lawyer of high standing, well versed in the law, a wise and safe counselor. He has had a leading connection with many of the most important cases before the different courts of the city, county and state, notably the "Trumbull will case" in Albany county, and The People ex rel. vs. The Hudson & Manhattan Railroad Company. He was assigned by Attorney General Jackson (a Democrat) to represent the state board of tax commissioners, and his services were so satisfactory that he was retained by the Republican attorney general, Mr. O'Malley; the sum at issue was $6,900,000, and many intricate questions of law were involved. Mr. Cass was attorney for the state dairy commission, and for seven years for the agricultural commission of the state, also for the State Veterinary Medical Society. He has labored industriously and efficiently for municipal improvements, and advocated the construction of Beaver Park in Albany as much needed improvement on the South Side. He is a well known public speaker and lecturer, and has been much in demand on both platform and stump. His early farm life implanted in him a love of the beauties and wonders of nature, which still abides, and is manifested in his interest in flowers and their culture. His carefully selected library shows his wide range of reading, and explains his versatility of mind and familiar acquaintance with the world's choicest literature. A lifelong Democrat and keenly alive to his responsibilities as a citizen, his services as a speaker have been of great value to his party, are in frequent demand, and cheerfully rendered. He is a member of the Emmanuel Baptist Church of Albany, a Knight of Pythias, and a Knight of Malta. He married, February 3, 1886, Kate, daughter of Judge Judson S. and Emily (Pierce) Landon, of Schenectady, New York. (See Landon.) Children:

  1. Frances London, born August 20, 1890, died December 7, 1894.
  2. Helen Landon, born December 20, 1897.
  3. Allan Landon, born November 7, 1900.

(VI) Levi (2), son of Levi (1) and Martha (Shaw) Cass, was born in Decatur, Otsego county, New York, February 1, 1828. He received his early education in the public schools of Decatur, his academic course in the Cherry Valley Academy, and prepared at the Albany State Normal School for what was to be his life work. He devoted his entire life to the training of the young, and as an earnest and faithful educator will forever live in the educational history of Albany, and in the hearts and lives of the thousands who have passed through the schools over which he presided. His professional career began in the schools of LaGrange, New York, succeeded by three efficient years as an instructor in the Albany Academy. His reputation was greatly overstepping local bounds, and he next accepted a call from Janesville, Wisconsin, where he was made superintendent of schools and principal of the high school. He effected an entire reorganization of the schools, and placed them upon a more effective basis than ever before known. In 1861 he returned to Albany and was for seven years principal and proprietor of the State Street high school. In 1868 he began his work in the public schools of Albany that was to continue without interruption for the remarkable period of forty years. Three years were spent as principal of Public School No. 2. In 1872 he was placed in charge of School No. 15, then and for many years thereafter the largest and most important of the city's preparatory schools. Here his peculiar talents had ample scope, and in the thirty-eight years of his service as its head, its standard of excellence was steadily advanced. His skill in organization was wonderful, and his faculty of imparting to his associate teachers his own earnestness and enthusiasm was constantly displayed, while his power of control over children was equally remarkable. He kept in close touch with modern progress in educational methods, and in every way strove to increase the usefulness of the school. Teaching was with him a life work, his chosen profession, not merely a stepping stone to another. His sole ambition was to be a good teacher, and to make No. 15 a model public school. On his retirement from active work on May 8, 1908, it could be truthfully said that he had fully realized both these ambitions. His relations with his assistants, his contemporaries of other schools, and his neighbors, were most cordial and happy. He was widely known in the educational world at large through his membership in the various educational associations and through the educational press. He labored and spoke for the cause of education, and accomplished great and lasting good not revealed by school reports. In 1873 Hamilton College conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts. Professor Cass is a member of the First Methodist Church, Albany, and in politics is a Republican. He married, April 20, 1853, Catherine E., born February 28, 1826, died January 12, 1899, daughter of Leonard L. and Elizabeth Pells. To them was born one child, Herbert Page Cass, October 4, 1859, died November 3, 1870. Since his retirement from his profession, Professor Cass has continued his residence in Albany, New York.

(VI) Amos Alden, son of Levi (1) and Martha (Shaw) Cass, was born in Decatur, Otsego county, New York, March 10, 1830. He received his early education in the public schools of Decatur, his academic course at Charlotteville Academy. He entered upon his life work at West Troy, New York, and such was his success that in two years he was called as instructor in the Albany Boys' Academy, where he taught for a number of years. He afterwards was owner and principal of the Grand Street Institute and Division Street Academy, private schools. He possessed in unusual degree the ability to gain the confidence and love of his pupils. Among the graduates of his school may be found the leading men of the city in the professions, in business life and in politics. Failing health obliged him to discontinue indoor life, and he retired to his fruit farm on the hanks of the Hudson river, where he died February, 1901. He married Matilda M. Lansing, who bore him a daughter, Martha J., who became the wife of Arthur J. Johnson.

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