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Submitted by Elizabeth Burns, Aug 2002

George Willis Cass
Arizona, The Youngest State, 1913

George Willis Cass, a leading and prominent attorney of Douglas, is now enjoying an extensive and lucrative practice, which has come to him as the reward of earnest endeavor and  recognized ability.  He was born in Coshocton, Ohio in 1851 and is a son of Abner L. and Margaret (Kerr) Cass.  The father was not only a prominent and successful physician and surgeon but also an able and farsighted politician well known in public life.  During the Civil War he was active in democratic politics, running as a candidate for state senate.  Affiliation with this party is a tradition in this family.  Abner L. Cass' uncle, Lewis Cass, having been democratic candidate for the presidency in 1848.  After a long and active career, the various phases of which had influenced the professional life of Illinois and Ohio, Abner L. Cass died in 1887.  His wife has also passed away, her death having occurred in the same year.  She was a daughter of Rev. Joseph Kerr, D.D., pastor of a Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and two of her brothers were also Presbyterian ministers.  She and her husband became the parents of five children, two of whom died in infancy.  The other are: Joseph, a paper manufacturer in New York City; Agnes who lives with her brother in New York and George Willis of this review.

George Cass grew to manhood in his father's home in Ohio and acquired his primary education in the district schools.  He entered Kenyon College at Gambier, Ohio in 1867 and was graduated in 1871.  He afterward took a post graduate course and four years later received his A.M. degree.  Having determined to study law, he entered the University of Michigan and was graduated with the degree of Ll.B. in 1874.  In the same year he went to Chicago and opened an office for his practice.  In 1901 he abandoned professional life and turned his attention to business pursuits, becoming president of the Central Sugar Company and first president of the Chicago,
Indianapolis and Louisville Railroad with headquarters in Chicago.

In 1903 Mr. Cass came to Arizona and two years later resumed the practice of law in Douglas.  He opened an office in partnership with Gid Graham and one year later severed this connection and associated himself with Albert M. Sames under the firm name of Cass and Sames.

In May 1879, Mr. Cass was united in marriage to Miss Rebecca Osborne, a native of Cleveland Ohio and a daughter of John O. Osborne, a native of England and formerly well known in the life and fire insurance business in Cleveland.  He had three children: Rebecca, Elizabeth, who married Thomas C Ahern, an attorney in Chicago; and Lillie A. who makes her home with her sister Mrs. Ahern.

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