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 John Stephen Casement

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John Stephen Casement

  • Birth 19 Jan 1829 Geneva, Ontario County, New York, USA
  • Death 13 Dec 1909 Painesville, Lake County, Ohio, USA
  • Burial Painesville, Lake County, Ohio, USA
  • Plot Block 10, Lot 79
  • Memorial ID 12537614

Civil War Union Brevet Brigadier General, Railroad Pioneer. Born in Geneva, New York, in 1829, he and his family moved to the Ann Arbor, Michigan area when he was about 15 years old. At the age of 18, he began work as a common laborer for the Michigan Central Ralroad. By 1853, he was a contractor laying track in Ohio. He and his brother Daniel Casement built railroads in the northeast United States until the outbreak of the Civil War. He joined the Union Army in 1861, serving first as Major of the 7th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, then as Colonel and commander of 103rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. During his service he became well acquainted with Major General Grenville M. Dodge, with who he would share future railroad developing endevors. He was brevetted Brigadier General, US Volunteers on January 25, 1865 for his war service. In 1865, the Casement brothers were hired by the Union Pacific Railroad to build track in Nebraska, with Daniel being responsible for payrolls and accounting, and Jack in charge of the actual construction. Together, they supervised the laying of all the track from Fremont, Nebraska, west to Promontory Summit where the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads met to form the first transcontinental railroad. Their crews, made up of many former military personal, were run like an army, and he was known by the workers as "General Jack." On the morning of May 10, 1869, at a ceremony planned to connect the railroads, Leland Stanford, Governor of California and president of the Central Pacific, and Thomas C. Durant, vice-president of the Union Pacific, were to pound in the golden spike with silver hammers. Both men proved unable to hit the spike, so John Casement stepped up to do the job, accompanied by much cheering from the workers surrounding him. In later years, he and his brother continued to build railroads all over the western hemisphere. His wife, Frances Jennings Casement, who spent most of her married life separated from her husband, founded the Painesville Equal Rights Association in 1883 and served as president from 1885 to 1888 of the Ohio Woman Suffrage Association. She was inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame in 2001. Her influence on Jack Casement was revealed when tentatively accepting the contract from General Dodge (the then Union Pacific chief engineer), he was quoted, "I live in a democratic household, but my wife generally outvotes me."

Bio by: Cherie Atkinson Clark

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: royalduck
  • Added: 28 Nov 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12537614
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Stephen Casement (19 Jan 1829–13 Dec 1909), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12537614, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Painesville, Lake County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .