The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois
JOHN S. KASBEER
Among the energetic and progressive agriculturists of Bureau county the gentleman whose name stands at the head of this sketch holds a prominent place. He is one of the leading farmers of Ohio township, his home being located on section 28, and with the interests of the community he has been identified for many years. He has done much toward the development and improvement of his adopted county, making a specialty of setting out both forest and fruit trees on the wild prairies, and has lived to see many transformed into fine forests and valuable orchards.
A native of Ohio, Mr. Kasbeer, was born in Wayne county, in 1818, a son of Samuel and Mary (Shull) Kasbeer. The birth of the father occurred in New Jersey, where he spent his early life, and on leaving his active state he settled in Ohio i in the vicinity of New Philadelphia. By trade he was a blacksmith, which he followed exclusively during his younger years, but later in life he also engaged in farming. A strong temperance advocate, for many years he served as president of Father Matthews' temperance organization, and early instilled lessons of sobriety into the minds of his children. He died in 1834, respected by all who knew him. His estimable wife was born in the Glades in Pennsylvania, and closed her eyes in death at the age of sixty years.
Mr. Kasbeer, of this review, is the eldest in the family of twelve children, six of whom are still living. His educational advantages were very limited, but he made the most of his opportunities and has become a well informed man. He was twelve years of age when the family removed to the farm in Tuscarawas, Ohio, and he early became familiar with the duties which fall to the lot of the agriculturist, becoming a thorough and skillful farmer. At an early day he emigrated to Illinois, at first locating in Lee County, where he remained for two years, and then removed to Ohio township, Bureau county, which has since been his home. He is an enterprising, wide-awake business man, and in his chosen calling has met with excellent success. He has deeded to his children some eight hundred acres of valuable land, and in his home place still has two hundred and forty acres of rich and arable land, which he has under high cultivation. His comfortable home is near the village of Kasbeer, which was named in his honor, and is a station on the Illinois Valley & Northern Railroad, a branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy.
In 1841 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Kasbeer and Miss Hannah Ross, a native of Ohio, and a daughter of William and Jane (Whitaker) Ross, originally from Pennsylvania. Twelve children blessed this union, but four are now deceased. Those living are as follows: Rebecca is the widow of Dr. Thomas Mercer. Asa married and is a farmer of Ohio township. Ira is a farmer of Allen county, Kansas, and owns about fourteen hundred acres of good farming, oil and grass lands. Joab is a large land owner and real estate agent of Denver, Colorado. Sumner is a merchant of Kasbeer. Melissa is the wife of James Coulter. Dr. W. J. is a leading dentist of Normal, Illinois and is the dental surgeon for the Illinois Soldiers' Orphan Home. Alice is a very popular young lady residing at home, and is quite active in church and benevolent work. Those deceased are Mary Jane, Rachel, Mildred and Hattie.
In connection with his property in Bureau county, Mr. Kasbeer also owns about two thousand acres of grass lands in the west. He has ever taken an active and commendable interest in public affairs, and for the past thirty-five years has kept a record and register of every important fact which has come under his observation, a book for each year. This in itself makes a valuable library and is often used by him for reference. In early life he voted with the Whig party, but since its dissolution has always supported the principles of the Republican party. Being an earnest advocate of our public school system, for many years he most capably served in school offices, but has never cared for other official positions, desiring rather to devote his time to his individual affairs in preference to public office. Both Mr. and Mrs. Kasbeer are worthy members of the Methodist Protestant church, with which they have been identified from youth. Of unswerving integrity and honor they are held in high regard by all who have the pleasure of their acquaintance, and their friends are numerous throughout the county.