Saturday, September 8, 2012

Gasca Rich (1811-1894)

   An oddly named (not to mention very obscure) Vermont State Representative, Gasca Rich's profile here on the site follows yesterday's bio on Neander H. Rice as one of the shorter ones you'll read here. Despite being an elected state office holder from Addison County, little to nothing could be found on Mr. Rich's life and public career. The rare portrait of him shown above was located via the Find-A-Grave website, and I'm extremely grateful that there is at least one portrait of this funny named man floating around the internet!
   Gasca Rich was born in the town of Shoreham, Addison County Vermont on October 13, 1811, the last of seven children born to Charles and Molly Watts Rich.  It can safely be said that odd names ran in the Rich family, as two of Gasca's brothers were named Quintus Cincinnatus (1804-1879) and Virtulon (1809-1892). The origins of Gasca Rich's first name are lost in history, but he may have been named in honor of Pedro de la Gasca (1485-1567) a prominent Spanish historical figure who served at various times as a bishop of Palencia, diplomat and an acting viceroy of Peru.
  Little could be found on Gasca Rich's childhood or education, so it is presumed that he attended school in the county of his birth. He married Ms. Laura Loraine Bascom (1811-1874) in September 1839 and they are recorded as having one son, Irving Bascom Rich (1845-1916). Laura Loraine Rich died of apoplexy in March 1874 (her obituary is shown below), and a few years after her death Gasca remarried to Delia Anne Kinsley (1824-1910).

   In 1833 Gasca entered into a law partnership with his older brother Davis (1794-1879). This practice is listed as being active until 1851, and as far as local politics are concerned, Gasca Rich first served in public office during the early 1850s when he was elected as a justice of the peace for the town of Shoreham. In 1856 he was elected to the Vermont State House of Representatives and served in the legislative sessions of 1857 and 1858.
  In the years following his service in the legislature Gasca Rich was involved in Shoreham business and civic affairs, and in 1869 was named as one of the five directors of the Addison Railroad. An article on his appointment to this office appeared in the March 25, 1869 edition of the Vermont Daily Transcript and is shown below. 

  Other than the preceding information, little else could be found on the life of Gasca Rich. He is listed as being Postmaster of the town of Richville, Vermont from 1872 until his death, which occurred on December 14, 1894 in his native town of Shoreham. He was subsequently buried in the East Shoreham Cemetery and was survived by his second wife Delia, who died in 1910 at age 86.

You Can Help
   It's time for one of my famous "You Can Help" segments, and in the case of Gasca Rich, it is sorely needed!  This is a shout out to anyone who may have further information on Mr. Rich, so if any readers, amateur historians or possible descendants have any time on their hands and want an interesting project to fill your time with, see what you can locate in terms of information on this oddly named man! I'd appreciate anything you might be able to dig up on this uniquely named Vermont resident. As there is next to nothing on the internet about this wonderfully named man, maybe someone knows more about him than what is already mentioned in his article here!

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