1902 - A Massachusetts Man's Big Luck - Gate Tender on a Railroad to Get a Large Slice.
The Times Special Service.
WORCESTER, Mass., Saturday, June 7. - Family records expected daily from the parish priest at Lanoraie in Quebec are expected to establish the claim of Joseph A. Demars, a gate tender of the Boston & Albany Railroad to a share of the $8,000,000 which has been in possession of the city authorities of Cleveland, O., since 1864.
Mr. and Mrs. Demars, in case they are able to prove their claim, will have to share the fortune with the families of Mrs. Loiuse Caisse, Alfred Caisee, Henry Caisse and three sisters, and Mrs. Frank Belville.
Fiction never furnishes a stranger romance than that of the Caisse millions and the efforts of the Caisse family to prove their kinship to the mysterious real estate man who died in Cleveland nearly forty years ago.
Men and women have grown old in hope of eventually becoming wealthy, families have increased and multiplied until now, should the fortune be divided, a liberal estimate would give those having claims only about $300,000 each.
Family Came from Canada.
The family comes from Canada. So did Leonard Caisse, the multi-millionaire of Cleveland. After his death heirs were advertised for, and over 200 put in claims, but were unable to establish them.
Further proofs of the family of this millionaire have come to light which has caused the Cleveland authorities to issue another call for heirs to the millions to appear and put in their claims.
A dispatch from Middletown, N. Y., gives details of the death of owneres of real estate which constitutes the property. Pierre Bourdon, a real estate man of 1122A de Mountigny street and Joseph Prud'homme, a carpenter of 265 Plessis Street, Montreal, were grandsons of the brother of Leonard Caisse, who died at Sarah Scorskending, Huron County, Ohio, leaving to his sons, Absolon and Leonard, his fortune, which he made by speculating in Cleveland real estate when the city was young.
Proofs in an Old Bible
These two sons of the Canadian millionaire died intestate and without direct heirs, the last in 1880. Many have Americanized the name from Caisse to Case, and it was despaired of ever locating the rightful heirs until J. E. Durham of Huron County, Ohio, discovered the proofs.
He was demolishing an old barn on a newly acquired piece of property when he discovered in ruins and old Bible. The fly leaves of this book contained the genealogy of the millionaire's family in complete detail and in his handwriting.
From the details it was learned that a brother had lived in Lanoraie, a small town between Montreal and Quebec. The brother was a farmer, Antoine Caisse and was the heir to the property after the two sons died. He evidently never knew of the fortune left by his brother, and later by his nephews.
It is through their relationship with this Antoine Caisse that Prud'homme and Bourdon of Montreal expected to get the money, as they are the grandchildren of Antoine Caisse on the meternal [sic] side.
Mayor is Asked to Act.
These Montreal men have applied to the Mayor, asking him to inform the Mayor of Cleveland of their relationship to Antoine Caisse, and to assist them in getting the $8,000,000.
"This old Lanoraie farmer, Antoine Caisse," said Mr. Demars, "was my wife's father's uncle. I knew him well, as I was born in Lanoraie. My wife and all her people, with the exception of one brother, Camille, were born in this little town, too. There has been much talk over this property.
"We felt for years that we were the real descendants of the Canadian millionaire, but had nothing to prove it with more than the family name. About eighteen or twenty years ago the matter came up, but we could do nothing, and when I read this story I knew in a minute the necessary proofs had been found.
"This Antoine Caisse is the very link in the family which gives us the proof. We believed all the time that he should have had the money, but he could not establish a relationship, or did not try, and when my wife's people tried, they could not do it.
"The finding of the genealogy written by the millionaire furnishes just the proof we wanted."
Seattle Daily Times
June 7, 1902
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