The Generations of Thomas Pine Petznick



Thomas Pine Petznick

Notes for Jasper Cather

[Thomas Pine Petznick.FTW]
Quote from a letter from Mrs W.W. Ray, August 1959, to Mrs L.A. Cather, Belle Plaine KS, upon receiving a snapshot of the house on the Jasper Cather farm, taken July 1959:
"The picture of the old Cather home shows it as I saw it in 1922, then the 'James Cather home.' The front view that shows the addition built by James Cather - two porches, upper and lower. James Cather, as long as he lived, used the living rooms of the old Jasper Cather home and
they were still in use in 1922 - but Mrs Bennett told me that when she saw it, about 1955 or 56, the old part that dated back to Jasper Cather had been torn down. That was what Father [George P. Cather of Bladen NE] wanted me to see. If I got the correct idea, the old Jasper Cather
home was a log cabin of the large type, two rooms, bedroom and living room with a large all over attic or story above for family sleeping. It had been covered with weather-boards so that from the outside the old Jasper home did not show, but on the inside there had been very little
change in the living portion of the home; the bedroom at the end of the house had a large fireplace. There had been something there that Father said had been covered to make the fireplace more modern and, in his mind, had spoiled it. I don't know when that was done. The addition
that James made to Jasper's home was, I think, before Father's time (1847-1938). The bedroom was what is sometimes called a parlor bedroom and was a sitting room by day. I saw no stairs, but in one corner of the living room the ladder, slats on the wall that led to an opening in
the floor above. At the other end from the bedroom the building was extended for the kitchen with a low ceiling and no attic above. I thought that that, too, was part of Jasper's home. Back of the house there was a smoke house that they said dated back to Jasper's time.
Everyone cured their own meat. There was a beam in the low ceiling of the kitchen where they all remembered that Grandmother Cather kept a basket hanging where there was always maple-sugar for the grandchildren when they came."
In the name of God, Amen, I Jasper Cather of the County of Frederick, and State of Virginia, being sick and weak in body but of sound and disposing mind and memory calling to mind the mortality of the body and that it is appointed for all men once to die do make and constitute this to be my last will and Testament in manner and form following, that is to say my soul I return to God who gave it & my body I desire to be decently buried at the discretion of my Executors and relations, and touching such worldly things as it has pleased God to bless me with my will and desire is that they be disposed of and I do hereby dispose of them in the following manner. FIRST, I wish that all my just debts and funeral charges be faithfully paid by my Executors herein after named, secondly my sons Thomas and John and my Daughters
Jane and Mary having already received such assistance as my circumstances will admit of, I therefore give them no more. Thirdly, my sons William and Robert & my daughter Hannah , Children of my second Marriage, they having left me at a time of difficulty and distress, I therefore I give but five shillings each. Fourthly to my sons David and James , I give my plantation on which I now live together with the tract I purchased of Mitchel or Jacob Jinkins, to them their heirs and assigns forever, they paying to my two daughters Sarah and Mary fifty Dollars each, at the time they my said Daughters shall each of them respectively marry or arrive to the ages of twenty one. Fifthly to my sons David and James I give all the residue and remainder of my personal Estate that may remain after the payments of my debts, funeral Charges, and Legacies before stated. Sixthly, It is my will and desire & I do direct that in case my son James should die before he should arrive at the age of twenty one years or have heirs of his body Lawfully begotten, that his part of my Estate herein given shall go the one half to my son David and the other half or moity to my two Daughters Sarah & Mary in equal portions. Lastly, I constitute and appoint my sons David and James Executors of this my last will and Testament. In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 13th day of April in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and twelve. Jasper Cather (SEAL)
Signed sealed & published as my last will and testament in the presence
of Jacob Rinker , Michael Brill
At a Court continued and held for Frederick County the 4th day of August 1812, This last will and Testament of Jasper Cather decd was proved by the oaths of Jacob Rinker and Michael Brill witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded and on the motion of David Cather an Executor therein named who made oath according to law. [Frederick Co VA, Will Book, page 162]
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Tombstones in Old Quaker Cemetery:
In Memory of/Jasper Cather/1740-1812/his wife/Catherine Lawrence/died 1781/his wife/Barbara Lawrence/died 1785/his wife/Sarah Moore/died 1810/Erected by/The Descendants of Jasper Cather/1961
The old stone was left in place and reads: "Casper/Cather/aged 72/died July/the 30th 1812."
Some very old deeds on file in the old Yohogainia Co VA records, caused the confusion for later researchers, who thought Jasper had three wives, because one was mistakenly identified as
Catherine Cather, a slip of the clerk's pen, I think.
family portraits, which for generations have hung in Morgan County homes, soon will be hanging in a museum in Red Cloud, Nebraska. Mrs Mary Hunter Swartz has sent the portraits of two of her ancestors, JASPER and BARBARA CATHER , to a cousin, Mrs Lawrence Cather, of Belle Plaine, Kansas who will in turn have reprints made for the Cather family and the originals will be presented to the Willa Cather Museum in Red Cloud on the behalf of Mrs Swartz. The museum was named for Willa Cather, a cousin of Mrs Swartz, and the granddaughter of Jasper Cather, who was one of the finest American novelists of her time. Willa Cather was born near Gore, Va, but with her family moved to Nebraska at an early age. She had visited the area before her death in 1947 and had visited Mrs Swartz' mother, the late Mrs Winona Hunter, here. Mrs Swartz said that the pictures had for many years been in the home of her grandparents, Professor and Mrs J. N. Fries and upon their death her mother had acquired them. When Mrs
Swartz became the owner of the pictures she preserved them chiefly because of the frames. Upon learning of the historic value of them she decided to present them to the museum.
Jasper Cather find-a-grave
Jasper Cather
Jasper Cather headstone
Jasper Cather headstone
Cather headstone


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