Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


DUDLEY CASS. Cass was formerly spelled Casse. It is said to have been derived from the name of a Celtic tribe or class located in what is now central France, bordered by ancient Germany and ancient Britain. These people lived in the latter country at the time of the invasion of Julius Caesar, when he led his Roman legions to the far north. The tribe located on the banks of the Thames river, and fruitlessly resisted the Roman invaders. The tribe continued to reside in England for centuries until some of those bearing the name immigrated to America in the early Colonial period and from them the present numerous family of Cass in the United States descended. We first have definite record of John Cass, who was an English Puritan by birth, born at St. Alban, England, date not known, but he emigrated from that country to America in 1640, locating at Hampton, New Hampshire. The lineage of the subject of this sketch may he traced directly to him, back nearly four centuries. Records show that he married Martha Philbrick in July, 1647, that he died April 7, 1675, and that his family consisted of the following children: Joseph, born in 1656; Samuel, born in 1659; Mary, born about 1661; Jonathan, born in 1663, and who died in 1745, was the next in line of our subject's progenitors; Elizabeth, born in 1666; Marcy, born in 1668, Martha, born in 1669; Abigail, born in 1674; and Ebenezer, born in 1676. The great-grandfather of our subject was Mason Cass, and the grandfather was Capt. Mason Cass, Jr., who was born at Spring, New Hampshire, May 24, 1751, and died at Alexandria, New Hampshire, October 15, 1777.

Mason Cass, father of our subject, was born at Alexandria, Grafton county, New Hampshire, in 1788, but he moved to New York state when young, located near Syracuse where he spent the rest of his life. He was a carpenter by trade, also engaged in farming, and for some time was a manufacturer of coffins. At the time of the breaking out of the war of 1812 he lived in Canada and, being an American, was forced to leave that country. In 1810 he married Mary Merrell, who was born in Endfield, Vermont, in 1793. She was of Scotch-Irish descent. Her death occurred at Sheboygan, Wisconsin, in 1884, at an advanced age, and there she was buried. His death occurred at Chenango, New York, in 1837, forty-seven years prior to the death of his wife, who was much younger than he. To these parents seven children were born.

Dudley Cass was born on March 21, 1811, in New Hampshire. He grew to manhood in the East and received a common school education. He worked with his father until the latter's death, and thus learned to be both a carpenter and farmers He then moved to the state of Wisconsin, making the long journey, through wilderness a large part of the way, on horseback, in 1840, when Wisconsin was still in the wilds and little improved. He located at what is now the town of Salem, where he purchased a farm which he conducted until 1873, successfully engaged in general farming and stock raising. He was one of the early pioneers of the state, and was a man of much courage and force of character, a man whom hardship could not conquer. He cleared and developed his land by hard and persistent work, in due time establishing a comfortable home. He was a stanch Democrat, and, taking a leading part in political affairs, was for some time a member of the general assembly of Wisconsin. He was for four years president of the fair association in his county. He held many county offices in Wisconsin, in fact, was active in public affairs all his mature life, was known throughout the Badger state, and did much for its early development. He remained in that state until 1873 when he removed to Springfield, Missouri, and here engaged in the grocery business with his son, Lewis Cass. They started in with a capital of only five hundred dollars, locating their store on Campbell and College streets. They managed well, dealt honestly and courteously with their customers and, increasing their stock from time to time as they prospered, became one of the largest grocery merchants in this city, and at the time of his death our subject was considered one of the wealthy men of Springfield. A part of his competency was gained through judicious and extensive speculation in real estate.

Dudley Cass was married in 1835 to Martha L. Robbins, Who was born on March 4, 1816, at Deerfield, Massachusetts. She was reared in the East and received her education in the common schools. She came of a sterling old New England family, and she was a woman of many praiseworthy attributes, and she proved to be a most suitable helpmeet for her husband, her sympathy and counsel contributing much to his success in life. Her death occurred on October 13, 1894. The death of Dudley Cass occurred ten years previously, on October 28, 1884.

Politically Dudley Cass was an ardent Democrat all his life. Fraternally he belonged to the Masonic order. He was a member of the Baptist church and a large contributor to its support. While living in Wisconsin he and three other men alone supported the church of this denomination in his community.

To Dudley Cass and wife the following children were born: Louis S., born on November 3, 1837, in the state of New York, died June 12, 1906; in early life he was a school teacher, later engaged in the grocery business in Springfield, as noted above, with his father; he married Charlotte Collier, who was born in the state of New York, June 14, 1839, and died in March, 1897; she was a daughter of John and Ann Collier, natives of Buckingham, England. To Louis S. Cass and wife, who were married on September 17, 1862, seven children were born. Thressa A., second child of Dudley Cass and wife, was born on September 27, 1844, at Syracuse, New York, and she was nine months old when her parents took her to Sheboygan, Wisconsin; there she grew to womanhood and received her education in the common and high schools, later took a course in the Seminary at Evanston, Illinois. She is a well-educated, cultured and affable lady, who preferred to remain unmarried in order that she might devote her active life to the care of her parents in their declining years. She is a devout member of the Baptist church, in which she was a Sunday school teacher for many years. She resides in Springfield in a comfortable and neatly kept home, and it is to her that we are indebted for the data in this sketch of this interesting family. Kimball K., the youngest of the three children born to Dudley Cass and wife, first saw the light of day on April 20, 1846, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where he grew up, and he has devoted his life to agricultural pursuits, living now in retirement at Bristol, Wisconsin.

Members of the Cass family have been known as law-abiding, intelligent and good citizens wherever they have dispersed.

[1768-1770]


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