Wed, June 26

1875: FIRST FAMILIES; Casner Family

Jincy Jane Fields (born about 1786) married Henry Casner in Ray County, Missouri, in 1822; they became the parents of 1 daughter and at least 12 sons. Henry Casner died in 1847, in Marion County, Iowa. In 1852, the widow, Jincy Jane (Fields) Casner, and most of her family migrated by wagon train to Oregon, where they settled. Some of the family then moved to Washington and some moved to California.

Riley Casner (born July 9, 1843) went with his mother and other members of the family when they migrated to Oregon in 1852. He married Nancy Fields/Miller on July 2, 1864, in Wasco County, Oregon. They became the parents of at least 5 children, and were living in California when Nancy and 2 of the children died of a fever. Riley Casner married Rebecca Jane Frezell at Lake Tahoe, California. The family of Riley Casner joined his mother and brothers on the move to Arizona Territory.

Jincy Jane Casner was about 89 years old when she arrived in Yavapai County, Arizona Territory, in April of 1875, with her sons, John, William, Daniel, Moses and Riley, and other members of her family. Moses Casner ran for the office of Sheriff of Yavapai County in 1876, but lost the election. Later, John, William and Daniel would move away from Yavapai County, but Moses and Riley stayed.

The Verde Reservation, established November 9, 1871, was thrown open for settlement on April 23, 1875, however, this news was not printed in the Prescott newspapers until June 4, 1875. Some of the Casner brothers were already in the Verde Valley and were the first to claim several parcels of land along the Rio Verde, including land by "the cottonwood grove" (which they rented to James O. Bristow in 1876), land at the mouth of Oak Creek (sold by Riley Casner to Samuel Loy), etc., and land on Beaver Creek.

Rebecca Casner wrote, "My husband and I came from California in 1875 and settled on the old Kerwagner place near Jerome." (Pioneer Stories of Arizona's Verde Valley; 1933, 1954; "Memories" by Rebecca Jane Casner; page 50.)

The first child of Riley and Rebecca Jane Casner, George Washington Casner, was born there on August 17, 1875.

"During the next four years we moved to a good many different places and went through many hardships. We moved to the Gila in wagons and tried to live and farm among the rattlesnakes which were very numerous down there. We had no house to live in and had several small children" (Pioneer Stories of Arizona's Verde Valley; 1933, 1954; page 50.)

Their small children were: Florence D. Casner, born January 1, 1877; Benjamin "Bus" Franklin Casner, born April 24 1880 (or 1878); Salatia Casner, who died and was buried at Beaver Creek; Sarah Alice Casner, born August 9, 1882, who married Nicodemus "Deem" D. Hutcheson on July 13, 1897; John "Jonny" C. Casner, born May 12, 1885, who married Hattie Maude Baker; and Louise E. Casner, born October 30, 1887, who married George E. Clark on July 4, 1903 (who was murdered in 1905) and W. Goswick on October 15, 1906.

Rebecca Casner wrote, "In 1889 we moved to the last place on Beaver Creek and settled there. We had very little to get along with and had to live outside until we slowly improved the place and could build a house, which was made of logs. We cooked on a campfire for five or six years. We traded vegetables to the army post in Camp Verde for my first cook stove. This was a great help to me, for I had small children to care for besides my husband's mother who was bedfast. I took care of her for thirteen months before she passed on at the age of 104 years." (Pioneer Stories of Arizona's Verde Valley; 1933, 1954; page 50.)

The children of Riley and Rebecca Jane Casner born at their Beaver Creek home are: Ida Belle Casner, born June 21, 1890, who married Henry H. See; Maggie Jane Casner, born December 17, 1892; Blanche Elizabeth Casner, born August 6, 1895; Katy S. Casner; and Evie R. Casner, born December 24, 1897.

Rebecca Casner wrote, "During these years I worked the hayfields, plowed, and did most of the farm work and made all my children's clothes." (Pioneer Stories of Arizona's Verde Valley; 1933, 1954; page 50.)


Gen Forum; "Casner Family that Roamed the West," by Liz Freeman; May 17, 2006; and "Riley Casner," by Liz Freeman; February 20, 2000.

Sharlot Hall Museum Library and Archives; online database.

Certificates of death, birth, newspaper articles, cemetery data and census information.