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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Frank L. Casper

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[This information is from pp. 200-202 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

Frank L. Casper, manufacturer of extension tables and the patentee of table supports for drop-leaf tables, in the town of Cobleskill, Schoharie County, has a large and finely equipped plant at Howe's Cave, not far from the railway station of that village. He was born October 10, 1857, in the town of Cobleskill, and is the only surviving son of George Casper, a well-known business man of this section of the county. He is of German and Scotch descent, and the representative of a pioneer family of Schoharie County, his paternal grandfather, whose name was Peter, having been an early settler of this town. Peter Casper was a farmer and the owner of a good homestead, which he managed successfully until his death, at the age of threescore years. He and his wife, whose maiden name was Margaret Herron, were among the leading members of the Reformed church. They reared a large family of children.

George Casper left the home farm on becoming of age, engaged in business for himself as a miller, purchasing a clover-mill and a saw-mill, and afterward a planing-mill and a cider-mill, all of which, with the exception of the first named, he is still operating with success. With true German thrift he saved each year a portion of his earnings, and soon erected the house in which he is now living. He has also accumulated some other property. A strong Democrat in politics, he takes an intelligent interest in local matters, and has served his fellow-townsmen in various ways. He has held different offices in the Reformed church, of which he and his wife are active members, and for a number of years has been Elder of the church. He married Emeline Berner, who was born in Barnerville, this county, a daughter of John J. Berner. Of their five children three are now living, as follows: Ella, wife of Sylvester Mann, of Howes Cave; Alice, wife of Harvey Boorn; and Frank L. John P. Casper, who was preparing for the ministry at Rutgers College, died at the age of twenty-three years, and a daughter, Ida, wife of Ira Rickard, died on March 13, 1899.

Frank L. Casper in his boyhood and youth acquired a practical common-school education, and until attaining his majority assisted his father in the care of his different mills. Desirous, then, of turning his natural mechanical ability to some good account, he began the manufacture of furniture on a small scale, and succeeded so well that in the course of a few years he was forced to build an addition to the shop in which he had started his operations. He subsequently leased the main building of the old Braman woollen factory, and, erecting near by a drying kiln, a finishing-room, and a wareroom, has here since 1882 devoted his entire time to the making of extension tables. His plant is furnished with the latest improved and approved machinery, much of which he designed and made in his own factory, this being, with a single exception, the only one of the kind between Binghamton and Albany. He employs a large force of men all the time in order to meet the demands of his customers in the six New England States, New York, and Pennsylvania, his tables being sold on their merits. His trade, already large, is constantly increasing, orders being daily received from firms in different parts of the Union. His factory and residence are both warmed by steam heat and lighted throughout by electricity.

Mr. Casper is a steadfast Prohibitionist in politics, and labors hard to advance the temperance cause. He is an active member of the Reformed church, in which he has served as Elder and treasurer, and has also held other offices. He has been connected with the Sunday-school for many years, much of the time being its superintendent or the teacher of the Bible class.

On March 5, 1879, Mr. Casper married Miss Belle Becker, daughter of Francis Becker, a prominent manufacturer of Schoharie County, owning and operating mills at Central Bridge, Gallupville, and Berne. Mr. and Mrs. Casper have two children — Le Roy and Le Grand, the eldest a pupil in the Cobleskill High School, class of 1899. The younger son will enter Cobleskill High School the coming fall.

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