Biography of Henry Clinton Case
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Well defined plans and purposes have brought Henry Clinton Case to a position among the successful business men of Racine. He has been an active factor in the Business Men’s Association and his opinions are accepted as of worth on many matters that have to do with the commercial and industrial development of his city. He came to the Mississippi valley from the east, his birth having occurred in Williamstown, New York, August 7, 1858, his parents being De Wayne and Eliza (Greenhow) Case, the former a native of Williamstown, New York, and the latter of Kendall. England. Jonathan Case, the paternal grandfather, devoted his time to farming in the Empire state and there passed away at the notable old age of ninety years. His wife, Amy Lot, also reached the advanced age after rearing a large family. Their son, De Wayne Case, also made agricultural pursuits his life work until 1884, when he left, his native city and removed to Racine, where during his later years he has lived retired, having an attractive home on the lake shore just south of the city limits. He is a Universalist in religious belief, while his wife belongs to the Presbyterian Church. In their family were four children: Frank D., who is the owner of the Case Flouring Mill at Racine Junction; Henry Clinton; George N., for twenty-five years a bookkeeper in the Manufacturers’ Bank, but now in the office of H. C. Case, and Lillie E., the widow of J. P. Davies of Racine.
Henry Clinton Case comes of English ancestry in the maternal line, his grandfather, John Greenhow, being a native of England, whence he came to the United States about 1844, establishing his home in New York. He devoted his early life to the ministry and later entered the field of journalism as editor of the Canastota Herald and later of the Hornellsville Tribune, which he continued to edit, until the time of his death, which occurred when he was more than eighty years of age. He married Jane Bailey, of Kendall. England, and unto them were born three daughters. Following the death of his first wife he wedded Mary Frodsham and they had one son and two daughters.
Henry C. Case was a pupil in the public schools of Williamstown, New York, to the age of eleven years, when he began learning the printers’ trade which he followed for three years. He spent the succeeding nine years as clerk in a general store and then sought the opportunities of the middle west, becoming a resident of Racine, at which time he entered the employ of the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company, his father being a cousin of J. I. Case. For seventeen years he remained with that company and then entered into partnership with William Henry Miller in the real estate business in 1900. That association was maintained until March 18, 1905, when the partnership was dissolved and Mr. Case has since been alone in business. He purchased the old Times building at the northwest corner of Monument Square and Fifth street and from the beginning he has enjoyed a well earned reputation as one of the foremost real estate dealers of Racine. In fact there have been periods in which the volume of his business has overtopped that of any other real estate man of the city. He has extended the scope of his activities to include insurance and the loaning of money and these branches have also proven profitable. He was formerly a partner of his brother, Frank D., in the ownership of the Junction Flouring Mills at Racine Junction, where they not only engaged in the manufacture of flour but also specialized in handling grain and rye feed. Mr. Case also owned and conducted a temperance summer resort on the south side of Racine, known as Evergreen Hall. The building, forty by eighty feet, was surrounded on all sides on the first and second floors with balconies and had one of the best dancing floors in the state. During the summer months picnics and dancing parties came from Milwaukee, and Kenosha, as well as Racine and the place was liberally patronized by those who did not wish to enter beer gardens, for no intoxicants were sold or allowed on the place. The resort was situated on a ten acre tract of land about a quarter of a mile south of Racine College on the Lake Shore Road, known as Evergreen Drive and was reached by the Milwaukee, Racine & Kenosha electric cars. This property was sold to the J. T. Case Threshing Machine Company.
In 1905 Mr. Case was married to Annie H. M. Zierke, a daughter of G. and Henrietta Zierke, who came to the United States from Germany and settled in Michigan in pioneer times. Mr. and Mrs. Case have three children: Clinton D., Henrietta A. and Ethel A., all attending school.
Mr. Case has a beautiful home in the midst of a ten acre tract of land adjoining Racine College and standing on the Lake Shore. In public affairs he manifests the interests of a citizen who recognizes his public duty as well as his private opportunities and he has done good service for public education as district clerk of school district No. 13. In politics he is a republican and keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day, but does not seek nor desire political preferment. He has so concentrated his efforts upon business affairs as to win not only substantial success but also an honored name and his life work is recognized as of worth to the city in which he makes his home.