In 1909, Y M C A, created in Carthage in 1890, 1st operated on 2nd floor of James Luke's building which R H Rose had store on 1st floor, had its own structure built at northeast corner of Sixth and Main Streets on a 75 by 138 foot piece of land donated by G A Cassil, one block north of the 1904 newly built High School.
CARTHAGE EVENING PRESS
AUGUST 13, 1909
DEATH CLOSES USEFUL CAREER OF G. A. CASSIL
CARTHAGE PIONEER WAS PROMINENT THROUGHOUT COUNTY - CAME HERE 42 YEARS AGO
Once Owned Thousands of Acres of Land - Loyal to Every Interest of City
Gustavus Aldophus Cassil, aged 83 years, pioneer citizen, capitalist and philanthropist of Carthage, and one of the best known citizen of Jasper county, passed away at 12:30 o'clock this morning at his home in Cassil Place after 42 years' residence in this county.
Mr. Cassil had been in poor health since last February and during the greater part of the past two weeks has been unable to leave his bed. He had been rapidly failing in strength during the past week and was unconscious the greater part of the time.
About the 22nd of last February Mr. Cassil first spoke of his failing health. Not until then had anyone noticed that he was losing vitality. He has been gradually been more feeble since that time, but was up town quite frequently until a little over a fortnight ago. His son, Rodney P. Cassil, has been here from the west about three months attending to his sick father.
Mr. Cassil's death was not due to any disease, but resulted rather from old age. He gradually wore away growing weaker day by day and shortly after midnight last night his life came quietly to a close when the faint breath of the aged man ceased altogether.
HIS DEATH FORETOLD TO HIM
Mr. Cassil had realized for some time that the end was near, and in connnection with this fact is a strange circumstance which occurred nearly three weeks ago, just as the aged citizen's illness was becoming serious.
Awakening one day, Mr. Cassil said very calmly to his son, Rodney:
"Well, Rodney, I have just had a message."
"A message, father?" repeated the younger man.
"What do you mean?"
"I have just received a message," repeated the invalid,
"informing me of my death. I shall pass away the latter part of the second week of August."
While Mr. Cassil has been unconscious a great deal of the time since uttering these strange words, it is believed that during his lucid moments he has had no doubt that he would die at the time of which he spoke.
NATIVE OF OHIO
Gustavus Adolphus Cassil was born near Steubenville, Jefferson county, Ohio, on February 18, 1826 and was the eldest of 13 children. His parents' names were John and Drusilla Gladden Cassil. In 1832 the Cassil family moved to Green county, Ohio, where they lived about a year and moved again to Marysville, Union county, in that state. The elder Cassil was one of the most prominent men in that part of the country and was interested in the publication of a newspaper at Marysville.
When a very small boy G. A. Cassil learned the printer's trade and assisted his father in the publication of the newspaper. The youth began to shift for himself when but 14 years of age, and when the war between the United States and Mexico broke out, he enlisted in Company C of the third regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Young Cassil saw much service and on September 4, 1846, was promoted to the position of sergeant. He was honorably discharged with the rest of his regiment June 18, 1847.
JOINS GOLD SEEKERS
After two years spent in and near Marysville, Mr. Cassil joined the gold seekers in the westward rush of 1849. He with a nmber of other young men from that part of Ohio decided to go to California, so went down the Ohio River and up the Missouri River to Independence, making the trip in the steamboats used at that time. From Independence the party went across the plains with ox-teams to the gold country. It was a very hard trip and several of the party lost their lives before the journey was finished.
Some members of the party, it was afterward related, insisted on traveling on Sunday in order to make better time, but young Cassil and his immediate friends objected to this, and insisted upon resting one of the seven days. These Sabbath observers reached the gold several days ahead of the other party, and were besides in much better condition upon their arrival at the end of their journey.
Having reached California, young Cassil settled in Hangtown, now called Placerville on the Feather River. He was very successful here, and made a large sum of money by placer mining.
In the fall of 1851 G. A. Cassil again crossed the plains on his return trip eastward and again took the same slow steamboats back to his home in Ohio. A few months after his return he married the girl to whom he had been engaged before going west - Miss Emily Hart Pickett, the marriage occuring on January 27, 1852. He then engaged in the mercantile business with his father in Marysville for a short time, and served the years of 1852 and 1853 as a member of the village board of trustees.
Later he became a conductor and superintendent of the short railway line running from Delaware to Springfield, Ohio, now owned by the Big Four and New York Central Railroad companies. John Cassil, the father of G. A. Cassil, was one of the principal organizers of this early day railway company.
While Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Cassil were living in Marysville, two sons were born to them. Rodney P. Cassil, who is still living, was born January 12, 1853 and Edwin P. Cassil was born September 2, 1854 and died July 17, 1886.
SEES SOUTHWEST MISSOURI
In 1855 G. A. Cassil, with a party of young men from his neighborhood again went west and settled in central Texas, where Mr. Cassil engaged in the cattle business until 1857, when he returned to his family in Marysville. While on this trip he went through this section of the country and became very enthusiastic about it. This led to his later locating here.
Soon after his return to Ohio Mr. Cassil took a position on the Dayton & Michigan railway and ran from Dayton to Toledo as a passenger conductor. The first year while he was on this run he lived in Toledo, then a small city, and later moved to Dayton where he lived almost ten years. Just before the close of the Civil War in 1864 he moved his family to a plantation near Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He raised on crop of cotton there and then had a proposition to engage in the oil business in West Virginia. He accepted the proposition and in 1865 moved to Parkersburg in the latter state.
A little later Mr. Cassil decided to give up this business and again go west, and in the month of September 1866 he came to Jasper county, Missouri. He came by stage to Sarcoxie and went from there to Preston, in the northern part of the county, in his own conveyance, the stage turning south from Sarcoxie and going to Ft. Smith, Arkansas. Mr. Cassil came a few days later from Preston to Carthage. Since that time the name and fortune of Cassil have been unceasingly connected with the history of this county.
REACH CARTHAGE IN 1867
His family soon followed him to Missouri and arrived in the village of Carthage, on November 2, 1867. They stopped for awhile at the old "Aetna House," which stood where the Harrington hotel is now located. A short time later they moved into a dwelling house that stood on the south side of the public square where the Griswold Wholesale Grocery company's building now stands. In a small office building on this ground Mr. Cassil had his office, and here also was the law office of Judge M. G. McGregor.
Mr. Cassil, a little later moved his family to the house which was recently removed to give place to the new Carthage Y.M.C.A. building at the corner of Sixth and Main Streets.
He and Judge McGregor soon purchased 40 acres of land where the Carthage Foundry now stands, and after dividing it into lots and selling them, they bought the land in addition to Carthage now known as Cassil Place which bears his name to this day.
BUILDS IN CASSIL PLACE
This was in 1872 or 1873, and Mr. Cassil at once began there the erection of a home where the P. J. Lehnhard house now stands. Just as the residence was about completed it was burned, but Mr. Cassil immediately rebuilt, and this house is the one now known as the Lehnhard property. The present Cassil home was built in the year 1900, and now stands 100 yards east of the first mentioned Cassil Place home.
When Mr. Cassil moved here he owned 57,000 acres of land in this county, secured in a trade for his West Virginia oil interests. This was known as swamp lands, and was scattered all over the county. It is said that he could walk 16 miles east from Jasper City, and that every section of land upon which he would walk for that distance belonged to him. Mr. Cassil soon began selling this land receiving for the most of it $2.50 per acre, the purchaser assuming a mortgage of 90 cents per acre due the county.
FOUNDS BANK OF CARTHAGE
The Bank of Carthage was founded by him in 1868 and began business in a building located upon the same site where that bank now stands. Mr. Cassil was president and E. W. Harper was cashier of the institution. Since that time Mr. Cassil has been one of the prime movers in the management of this bank. Later, Al Cahn became cashier, and still later J. A. Mitchell was chosen to that position. The bank was incorporated in 1896, and Mr. Cassil always retained an interest in the institution. He was also interested in the Carthage Woolen Mill and in several other business properties of the city.
Mrs. Cassil died October 13, 1892, and her memory has since been constantly with her husband. She is buried with the deceased son, Edwin P. Cassil in Park Cemetery.
LOYAL TO CARTHAGE
Mr. Cassil was always a great enthusiast in advancing the good of the city of Carthage. When he came here 43 years ago he became active in building up the then western village and was always intensely loyal to the town's every interest. From the day he founded a bank in the pioneer village until the present time, when his recent gift to modern Carthage of a magnificent lot upon which to erect a beautiful home for young men, he worked for the city's welfare.
He laid out several additions to Carthage and was always one of the first to contribute with his energy to anything which would redound to the good of his home city.
By a long life of hard work and strict honesty he has won the respect and admiration of his fellow men and deserves the memorial of the fine Y.M.C.A. building he was so desirous to have the city secure.
SON AND SISTER ARE NEAREST RELATIVES
Mr. Cassil's only surviving near relatives are his son, Rodney P. Cassil, who was with him at the end, and a sister, Miss Mattie Cassil, who has been with the Carthage pioneer during all the years since the death of his wife, but who is now critically ill at the old home in Marysville, Ohio where she went bout a month ago for a visit. It is feared she cannot recover.
Miss Alice Cassil, a niece of the deceased, is here and has been a faithful attendant on the sick man during the last few weeks of his illness. There are many relatives in Ohio, but none are expected to come to the funeral, although all have been notified and their coming is possible.
WAS MEMBER OF NUMEROUS LODGES
Mr. Cassil was a member of the Masonic, Elks and Odd Fellows lodges. He became a member of the I.O.O.F. in Marysville, Ohio in the year 1847. His father was the organizer of the lodge, which was one of the very few in the state at that time. On January 20, 1853, Mr. Cassil became a Mason and in later years achieved a high rank in that lodge, becoming Royal Arch Mason and Master Mason in that order. He joined the Elks lodge in this city upon its organization about ten years ago. He was one of the oldest members of this order in America, and was the oldest member of the local lodge.
FUNERAL SUNDAY AFTERNOON
The funeral was held at the home in Cassil Place.
Rev. Allen J. Van Wagner of south Garrison Avenue, a former pastor of the Congregational church in this city, who was a friend of Mr. Cassil for nearly two decades.
Emily Hart Pickett Cassil
1831–1892 (m. 1852)
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