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Case & Billings business records

Call Number: RH MS 62


Contains records, correspondence, and business information for Alexander E. Case and Levi Billings, who were partners in the Case and Billings Agency and the Cottonwood Valley Bank of Marion County, Kansas. Case and Billings had the largest real estate business in western Marion County in the latter half of the 19th century.


  • Creation: 1867 - 1901


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Alexander E. Case (1838-1929)

Alexander E. Case was born in Canton, Bradford County Pennsylvania in 1838 to Ephraim and Mary (Bothwell) Case. His father was a farmer and cabinet worker. After his discharge from the army in 1865, he moved west and eventually settled in Marion County, Kansas, taking up a homestead claim. He founded a real estate and loan business soon after arriving in Kansas, also earning his insurance commission in 1868, and this agency was appointed to sell the lands granted to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railway when it built the railroad through Marion County.

Case held a variety of public positions, including serving as representative of the county in the 1869 Kansas Legislature and serving as county surveyor from 1866-1873 and for later terms. He was admitted to the Marion County bar in 1868 and was elected county attorney in 1869. Alexander E. Case died in 1929.

Biography of Levi Billings (1835-1898)

Levi Billings was born in Webster, Monroe County, New York on November 24, 1835 to Ozias Morse and Hannahretta Matilda (Jennings) Billings. In the 1840s the family moved to Indiana, and in 1857 Billings married Emily Dyer in Laporte.

In 1864 Billings and his family moved to Marion County, Kansas, where by 1870 he was working as a dry goods and grocery merchant. He went into business with Alex E. Case, operating the Case & Billings Agency and in 1876 opening the Cottonwood Valley Bank. Also in 1876 Billings remarried to Carrie Belle Hoops, his first wife having died in 1875.

Levi Billings died October 18, 1898 in Canyon County, Idaho.

History of the Case and Billings Agency

The Case and Billings Agency had the largest real estate business in western Marion County. Their business interests and connections were many and varied.

In 1876, Case and Billings organized the Cottonwood Valley Bank, which continued in business until 1893 when the panic forced all but one Marion bank out of business.

In 1893 Rosse Case, Alexander Case's son, joined the company. He was largely instrumental in transferring the activities of the agency to strictly fire and liability insurance. The company continues to be family-owned into the 21st century.


2.5 Linear Feet (5 document cases + 142 volumes, 2 oversize folders)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The collection spans the years 1867, soon after Alexander Case came to Kansas, through 1901. It includes a large number of volumes and loose material containing business ledgers and account information, incoming and outgoing correspondence, and other documentation for many of the businesses in which Alexander Case and Levi Billings were involved, namely real estate, the Cottonwood Valley Bank, and insurance. There is also one volume of financial documentation from lodge number 151 of the Ancient Order of United Workmen (A.O.U.W.).

Materials have been physically separated by size. The bulk of the collection are the volumes located at RH MS E89, which includes much of the outgoing correspondence for Case & Billings, the Cottonwood Valley Bank, and Case & Son Insurance. Volumes are also located at RH MS BK6, RH MS BK7, RH MS C45, RH MS G26, and RH MS H8. There are also loose materials housed at RH MS 62 removed from these volumes and at RH MS 1412, as well as a few loose oversize items at RH MS Q24.

Physical Location

RH MS 62

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RH MS 1412

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Immediate Source of Acquisition

Alex H. Case, Case and Son Insurance Company, 1966, 1969


Guide to the Alexander E. Case Collection
Case & Billings business records
Finding aid prepared by pg, 1975; es, 1978. Finding aid encoded by cl, 2010. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2017; lmw, 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in language English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Case & Billings business records, RH MS 62, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States