Amos Sees Something Amiss

This article from the August 21, 1913, Lake County (Hammond, Indiana) Times caught my eye.[1]

Lake Co Times Amos C arrests hunters 21Aug1913(Click on image to enlarge)

Amos is the grandfather, great grandfather, and even second and third great grandfather of many of today’s Casbon descendants. He came to the United States in 1870 when he was 1 year old, with his father James (abt 1813–1884), mother Mary, and sister Margaret (see “James Casbon of Meldreth, England and Porter County, Indiana“).[2] They settled in Porter County, Indiana.

Amos married Carrie Belle Aylesworth in 1900.[3] Amos and Carrie raised their family in Porter township, Porter County, not far from the town of Boone Grove. Amos would have been about 44 years old when this incident occurred.

Amos casbonPortrait of Amos Casbon, date unknown. Courtesy of Ron Casbon. (Click on image to enlarge)

This 1906 map shows the location of the Hankins farm, where the illegal hunting took place, near the town of Hurlburt. It also shows the location of Amos’ farm near Boone Grove.

Hurlburt detail mapDetail of 1906 plat map, Porter Township, Porter County, Indiana.[4] (Click on image to enlarge)

Hurlburt was little more than a post office and a train depot. In 1910 it had a population of over 100.[5]

As a side note, the Hankins farm was established in 1882 by Albert Hankins.[6] He owned a gambling house in Chicago and raised racing horses at his farm in Porter County. He died in 1897 in a bizarre manner, as described in the Westchester Tribune:  [7]

Albert Hankins Suffocates Before His Body is Extricated From The Folding Bed. Woman Who Could Have Saved Him Delays in Giving the Alarm and Mysteriously Disappears From The Scene
— Career of the Noted Gambler
“Farmer” Al Hankins, race horse man, speculator, philosopher, was a victim of the treacherous folding bed, having been smothered to death Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 25, at 1 o’clock in a room in the rear of his gambling place, 3908 Cottage Grove avenue, Chicago.
The sole witness of the accident, the only person who could, by timely warning, have prevented its fatal termination was a woman who rather than risk a confession of her identity, delayed in giving an alarm and mysteriously disappeared from the scene. The personality of the woman is shrouded behind a cloak of doubt and shielded by the care of a few who know who she is, and are familiar with the circumstances which brought here [sic?] within the scope of the tragedy.

You can read an extended version of this dramatic story and a summary of “Al” Hankins’ life in this Chicago Tribune article of August 26, 1897. This lovely illustration of his farm comes from the 1882 book, Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana.[8]

Hankins farm Porter twp
(Click on image to enlarge)

I hope my readers will forgive this slight detour from the original subject of this post. Sometimes one interesting story leads to another. Genealogists refer to these as “BSOs” – bright shiny objects!

I’ll have more to say about Amos in the future. I was happy to see, as I’m sure are his descendants, that he did the right thing and refused the bribe.

[1] “Chicago Hunters Arrested,” The Lake County Times (Hammond, Indiana), 21 Aug 1913, p. 1, col. 3; image, Library of Congress, Chronicling America ( : accessed 1 Mar 2017).
[2] “New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891”, browsable images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 November 2016), image 107 of 341, line 27, James Custon; citing NARA microfilm publication M237.
[3] “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007”, databased with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 February 2016), Amos J Casbon & Carrie B Aylesworth, 28 Nov 1900; citing citing Porter, Indiana, county clerk office; FHL microfilm 1,686,211.
[4] “Map of Porter Township”(N.p., n.p., 1906), image, Porter County, Indiana ( : accessed 2 March 2017).
[5] History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1912), vol 1, p.172.
[6] Weston A.Goodspeed & Charles Blanchard, Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana: Historical and Biographical, Illustrated (Chicago, Illinois: F. A. Battey & Company, 1882), 383.
[7] “Death by Strangulation,” The (Porter, Indiana) Westchester Tribune, 4 Sep 1897, p. 1, col. 1; transcription, “Albert Hankins, Obituary/Death Notice,” Porter County, Indiana ( : accessed 2 March 2017).
[8] Goodspeed & Blanchard, Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, 135.

3 thoughts on “Amos Sees Something Amiss

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