Gideon Caskey

    This gentleman is the oldest son in a family of three sons and two daughters of James and Rebecca (Chrisman) Caskey.  He was born in Worcester, Wayne Co., O., Nov. 29, 1833.  His parents were natives of Westmoreland Co., Pa.  Gideon remained at home with his parents until he was eleven years old, when he commenced working in a saw-mill in Medina County, in his native State.  This business he has followed, more or less, ever since, being connected with others in the proprietorship of several large timber tracts in this county, and in the State of Pennsylvania.  His means of procuring an education were rather limited, his father being in poor circumstances, and unable to purchase for him the needful books, in lieu of which his father learned him his alphabet from a wooden paddle!

    March 4, 1857, he removed to the town of South Valley, Cattaraugus Co., where he commenced his career with but ten shillings in his pocket.  Nothing daunted by the low state of his exchequer, he commenced the battle of life bravely, and resolved to make himself a home and a competence.  He commenced lumbering.  He built a mill on Quaker Run, for Charles Fuller, and continued in his service for a year, and for various other parties until 1864, when he purchased his first lot of lumber in Pennsylvania, running in debt for the same.  This, however, proved a very successful venture.  He afterwards took a contract from messrs. Scowden, Frew & Fenton, of Frewsburg, N. Y., for the milling of three million feet of lumber.  In 1870 he removed West, and purchased a farm of one hundred and twenty acres, in Fairfield, Bureau Co., Ill., where he remained one year, when, receiving an offer from M. L. Fenton & Co., of Jamestown, N. Y., to mill their lumber in South Valley, he returned thither; he contracted with the parties named for the milling of twenty-four million feet of lumber.  He purchased his present residence in 1873, it being the John Fenton homestead, and located o the original tract of four hundred and eighty-five acres.  He has on his farm at present, besides a stave-mill, a circular board- and lath-mill, employing fourteen men.

    Mr. Caskey was married, June 30, 1858, to Elizabeth D., eldest daughter of Leonard and Evelina (Fargo) Barton, of Carroll, Chautauqua Co., N.Y., of which place she was a native, being born Jan. 4, 1840.  Her parents emigrated to South Valley in the year 1841.  Her father and mother are natives of Wyoming Co., N.Y., and Huntington, Vt., respectively.  The family of Mr. and Mrs. Caskey numbers six children, of whom three (two sons and a daughter) died in early childhood, viz., Leonard M., born Feb. 15, 1859, deceased; James Bertrand, Aug. 2, 1860, deceased; Jennie Maria, Jan. 18, 1862, deceased; Roland Ernest, born Jan. 21, 1864; Bertha Evelina, born Nov. 29, 1870; and Berenice Mabel, Jan. 3, 1873.
    Mr. Caskey is a member of the Democratic party.  He was elected supervisor of the town of South Valley in 1869, again elected after his return from Illinois, in 1873, and re-elected each successive year, being the present incumbent of the office.


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