John and Frances Casement Papers
John S. Casement

John S. Casement, from the Union Pacific Collection

About the Collection

John S. Casement (1829-1909) was born in New York and came to Ohio in 1850 to work as a railroad construction foreman. He met Frances Jennings (1840-1928) while working near Painesville, Ohio, and they were married in 1857. After service in the Civil War, Casement, along with his brother Daniel, obtained a contract to perform tracklaying and grading for the Union Pacific's transcontinental line. The work lasted from 1866 to 1869. John Casement was later involved in a number of other business ventures.

The John Stephen and Frances Jennings Casement papers primarily consist of the correspondence between the couple during the time J.S. Casement and his brother, Daniel, were constructing the Union Pacific Railroad from Omaha, Nebraska, to Promontory Point, Utah, from 1866 to 1869. Frances tells of home life, family and friends. J.S. Casement writes frankly of his difficulties in obtaining supplies and gives his opinion of business associates. There are also other family letters, business records, and biographical and printed materials.

Photographs include a copy of the wedding photograph of J.S. and Frances Casement and stereo cards of scenes along the Central Pacific and Union Pacific lines.

Collection Materials Used

For all of the items listed below, both the original documents and transcripts are provided. A full inventory of the collection, as well as additional digitized material, is accessible online from:

From Jack to Frances, March 4, 1866.

Jack tells Frances he misses her and expects her to write him many letters.

From Frances to Jack, November 25, 1866.

Frances tells Jack that she and the boys made it home okay.

From Jack to Frances, April 11, 1867.

Jack discusses the difficulties of traveling.

From Frances to Jack, May 1, 1868.

Frances thanks Jack for writing so often and advises him not to work too hard.

From Frances to Jack, October 1, 1868.

Frances tells Jack about how well their boys are doing.