ALEX. H. CROUSE, of Wayne Township, is the only surviving member of a very respectable and prominent old pioneer family. This gentleman's ancestors were of German descent, and immigrated to this country before the Revolutionary war, and settled in Pennsylvania. His grandfather, HENRY CROUSE, was born in Pennsylvania, but moved to Butler County, Ohio, in an early day, and later, about 1835, he removed to Indianapolis, Indiana. His family consisted of five sons and two daughters, viz.--HENRY, SIMON, JOHN W., DAVID, DANIEL, SALLIE and ELIZA, all of whom went to Butler County, Ohio, with their parents, except the eldest son, HENRY, who remained in Pennsylvania.
JOHN W. CROUSE, the father of our subject, was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, on the 15th of April, 1805, and while living in Butler County, Ohio, with his parents, became acquainted with MISS ELIZA CHRISTMAN. Soon after they became acquainted a strong friendship grew up between them which ripened into love and resulted in their marriage on the 17th of March, 1825, the ceremony being performed by the Rev. Bishop KUMLER. ELIZA CHRISTMAN's parents were DANIEL and MAGDALINE CHRISTMAN, and they were natives of Guilford, North Carolina, where the former was born March 27, 1773, and the latter, December 8, 1776. They were among the early pioneers of Preble County, Ohio, where they reared a family of four sons and one daughter, viz.--JOHN, ELIZA, SOLOMON, JACOB and DANIEL. The sons all spent most of their days in Preble County, Ohio. Immediately after their marriage in 1825, JOHN W. CROUSE and wife settled in Union County, Indiana, near Liberty, entering land from the Government. They were among the pioneer families of that county. In the fall of 1828 they removed to Wayne Township, Tippecanoe County, and settled about two miles from the present CROUSE homestead, where they bought 142 acres and entered 160 acres of Government land. Here they resided till the time of MR. CROUSE's death, which occurred on the 13th of September, 1844. They had born unto them one daughter and two sons, viz.--MARY A., born October 5, 1826; ALEXANDER HAMILTON (our subject), born October 23, 1828, and DANIEL FRANKLIN, born June 11, 1837. MARY A. became the wife of JAMES W. STEWART, and lived till March 23, 1874. DANIEL CROUSE died July 11, 1866. MRS. ELIZA CROUSE, mother of the above, lived till March 26, 1883, when she was called away by death. Though a comparatively young man at his death, MR. CROUSE had been a useful and successful businessman, and his life was characterized by an honesty and uprightness in all his transactions. Reared to farm life, and inured to labor himself, he early taught his son, ALEX. H., the principles of economy and industry as the only honorable road to success in life. He was a prominent Whig in his time, and was once a candidate for State Senator, but was unsuccessful. He was a consistent and respected member of the United Brethren church, as was also his wife, for many years prior to his death.
As MR. ALEX. H CROUSE's early life was passed amid the scenes of frontier life, his educational advantages were of a very limited nature, his school privileges being limited to a few months at the old log schoolhouse in winter, his time during summer being occupied assisting his father to clear and cultivate the land. Left fatherless when sixteen years of age, the care and management of a large farm of about 200 acres fell upon him. It was no small undertaking for a boy of that age to assume the responsibilities of successfully managing a large farm, but assisted by the counsels of a fond, intelligent and industrious mother, he succeeded not only in retaining his inheritance, but annually increasing in wealth, and by dint of industry and perseverance and that frugality, which had been a part of his early training, he acquired by purchase, other lands, till he now owns a fine farm consisting of about 450 acres of choice farming land. When but six years of age his father used to give him money with which to buy young calves, and raise to sell for his own profit. Thus under his father's tuition, he early in life became a successful speculator in livestock. The knowledge of the business acquired in this way he was enabled in after years to turn to good account, as he was for a number of years largely engaged in buying and selling stock, from which, by his skillful management, he derived large profits, and in this, as in every other enterprise, he has attained a degree of success seldom enjoyed by other men.
His pleasant home is beautifully situated on a rise of ground, affording a fine view of the fertile country for miles around. In the rear of his buildings, a few rods distant, stands a magnificent black walnut grove, covering about three acres, and for which MR. CROUSE has refused the handsome sum of $2,500. In the edge of his grove stands a very fine saw mill, erected by him in 1879, for the purpose of manufacturing his timber into lumber, and for the accommodation of the community.
In 1859 he took a pleasure trip to Europe, and visited the principal cities of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France. MR. CROUSE is a public-spirited man, who has always taken a lively interest in public affairs, and was at one time a candidate for State Senator. He claims to have been the first person who originated or suggested the present liquor laws of Indiana. In 1882 the people of his township demonstrated their confidence in his ability and integrity by electing him justice of the peace, which office he still holds and discharges its duties honestly and fearlessly, and to the entrie satisfaction of the public. In politics, he may justly be called independent and liberal. His first presidential vote was cast for General Scott, and he has since supported Lincoln, Grant, Tilden, Garfield and Cleveland, for the presidency. Though not a member of any church, is orthodox in his opinions. Being naturally of a kind, generous, and confiding disposition, he has frequently become an easy prey to the seductive wiles of designing and dishonest men, and been induced by fair promises to become an endorser, and for this indiscretion has had to pay several thousands of dollars. Nothwithstanding these drawbacks, he is still in opulent circumstances. Of his domestic relations, little remains to be said. He was kind and devoted to this mother during her life, but he has never married. Whether in the turmoils of his many business transactions he has not found time to "woo and win" some estimable member of the fair sex, or whether he prefers a life of celibacy to the hazard of making a bad matrimonial investment, the writer is unable to say, but that he is an honest, industrious and useful citizen, all will agree.
Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe
pp. 796, 799-800
ALEXANDER HAMILTON CROUSE
The founder of this well-known Tippecanoe County family was of German origin. GEORGE CROUSE came across the Atlantic long before the Revolutionary War and settled in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. He left a son named HENRY, who was born July 6, 1768, and married a MISS HEVISON whose birth date is recorded as February 15, 1766. The date of births of their children are thus given in the old family Bible: CATHERINE, May 20, 1792; LEAH, March 6, 1794; HENRY, August 1, 1796; MARIA, July 15, 1798; SIMON, July 25, 1802; JOHN, April 15, 1805; DAVID, September 18, 1808; ELIZABETH, October 15, 1810; DANIEL, November 20, 1814.
About 1820, the father of this family removed to Germantown, Ohio, and cleared a farm in that locality. In 1830 he settled in Marion County, Indiana, where he purchased and cleared a section of land, including the site afterward selected for the Indiana Asylum for the Insane, west of Indianapolis. He died in the prime of life, as the result of injuries from a falling tree. His son, JOHN W., who was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, came with his father on his removal to Butler County, Ohio. March 17, 1825, he was married to ELIZA CHRISTMAN, in Preble County, Ohio, the ceremony being performed by Bishop Kumler, a well-known ecclesiastic of that day. She was born in Preble County, Ohio, June 5, 1805, her parents being DANIEL and MADALINA (OGO) CHRISTMAN. They were both natives of Guilford County, North Carolina, the father being born March 27, 1793 (sic; should be 1773?), and the mother, December 8, 1776. They had five children, JOHN, ELIZA, SOLOMON, JACOB and DANIEL. The family were early pioneers of Preble County and highly respected as citizens. DANIEL entered land and became prosperous as a farmer, at one time owning about three hundred acres. He was a member of the United Brethren Church, straightforward and honorable in his business dealings, and died on his Ohio homestead when eighty years of age.
After his marriage, JOHN W. CROUSE located near Liberty, Union County, Indiana, where he purchased land and a sawmill. In the fall of 1828 he removed to Tippecanoe County and located on land in Wayne township two miles from the present Crouse homestead. Besides the quarter section entered from the government, he bought one hundred and forty-two acres and there remained until his death, September 13, 1844. He cleared off the timer and turned the first furrows on the prairie land, developing three hundred acres of rich soil, the greater part of which he brought to a high state of cultivation. He and his wife were members of the United Brethren Church, in which he served as class leader and held other offices. He was a very zealous member, contributing liberally to build and support the work of the denomination. At one time he was a Whig candidate for state senator. He was loyal as a citizen, practical as a farmer, straightforward in business and in every way reliable. His wife died March 26, 1883, aged seventy-eight years. During her long widowhood of nearly forty years, she depended on her son Alexander to manage her business affairs. Her children were as follows: MARY A., born October 5, 1826; ALEXANDER H., October 23, 1828; DANIEL FRANKLIN, June 11, 1837, died July 11, 1866; MARY A. married JAMES W. STEWART and died March 23, 1874.
ALEXANDER HAMILTON CROUSE was born in Union County, Indiana, October 23, 1828, and was but six months old when brought by his parents to Tippecanoe County. His early life and training was passed in the pioneer period and he never lost the coloring of character and sturdy qualities acquired in those days of heroic hardship. What little education he got was in a log school house. He knew all about the soft side puncheon seats and helped put the ten-foot backlog in the yawning fireplace. At intervals, between his sixth and fifteenth year, this pioneer boy attended this rude school, going occasionally to a school of a little better grade near O'Dell Corner. His father early began to teach him practical business methods and when still a boy he knew how to bargain for cattle, his father giving him the money and showing him the points of good stock. He was an unusually bright farm boy and when only nine years old cultivated thirty-five acres of corn. At the age of sixteen, the death of his father left the management of the farm on his shoulders. In time he became quite prosperous as a cattle dealer and amassed wealth.
June 24, 1894, MR. CROUSE was married in Hardin County, Kentucky, to MISS TEE P. HUMPHREY, a member of a distinguished family of the state. More than twelve hundred people attended the ceremony, which was performed by the bride's brother, REV. FELIX HUMPHREY. MR. and MRS. CROUSE gave a reception on returning to their Indiana home, which was attended by over six hundred friends and neighbors of the family. MRS. CROUSE was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, March 25, 1872, her parents being THOMAS and ARMANDA (ROYALTY) HUMPHREY. The paternal great-grandfather, SAMUEL HUMPHREY, SR., came from Virginia and became a pioneer of Kentucky, where he made his home among the Indians and the wild and romantic scenery of that famous region. MRS. DRUSILLA HUMPHREY, grandmother of MRS. CROUSE, was the daughter of a prominent official of Hardin County, who had Indian blood in his veins, and more remote members of the family served as chiefs of the Shawnee Indians. It is claimed that a vast amount of the land in Kentucky belongs to this branch of the family. The children of SAMUEL and DRUSILLA HUMPHREY were SALLIE, JOHN, LYDIA, SAMUEL, WILLIAM, WESLEY, THOMAS, RACHEL, and MAHALA, the last dying in early womanhood. The father, who was a substantial citizen of Hardin County, died at his home there in middle life. His son, THOMAS HUMPHREY, who became the father of MRS. CROUSE, was born in Hardin County, March 12, 1827, followed farming and when about twenty years of age married Armanda Royalty, who was born in Hardin County, July 1, 1832, her parents being DANIEL and ANNIE (SAUNDERS) ROYALTY. Her father, who was born in Washington County, Kentucky, was a son of DAVID ROYALTY, one of the pioneers of Kentucky. ANNIE SAUNDERS was a daughter of THOMAS and SALLY SAUNDERS, the father serving through the Revolutionary war under General Washington. He was a very strong man and weighed two hundred and sixty pounds when he entered the army, but received a wound in the battle which made him a cripple for life. His parents lived near one of the battle fields and the window-panes were shattered by the firing. After leaving the army, MR. ROYALTY (sic; should this be Mr. Saunders?) took up his residence in Washington County and there spent the remainder of his days. His children were ANNIE, ISAAC, REBECCA, HANNAH and several daughters whose names are forgotten.
DANIEL ROYALTY was a shoemaker but owned land in Hardin County, of which he was one of the substantial citizens. He removed to that locality soon after his marriage and lived there until his death. His children were SARAH, THOMAS, JANE, REBECCA, CATHERINE, MARY A. and ARMANDA. After their marriage, THOMAS HUMPHREY and wife located on the headwaters of Mill creek, where he purchase a farm and spent the rest of his life in its cultivation. His children were FELIX, THOMAS, MISSOURI, JOHN W., ISAAC F and WYATT W. (twins), MARY, CHRISTIAN D. and TEE P. The father died December 22, 1894, aged sixty-seven. He was a member of the Baptist church and had served as clerk and moderator. In business he was industrious, energetic and trustworthy, kind and affectionate to his family and a first-class citizen in all respects. His widow makes her home with MRS. CROUSE, and, like the latter and the rest of her children, is a devoted member of the Baptist church. The Humphreys are one of the oldest and most influential of Kentucky families. REV. FELIX HUMPREY, brother of MRS. CROUSE, was educated at Garnettsville, Meade County, Kentucky, and is now an ordained minister of the Baptist church.
ALEXANDER H. CROUSE was in many ways one of the most notable citizens of Tippecanoe County. He was especially well known as a farmer, in which line he was energetic, progressive and resourceful. His management of his mother's estate showed business ability of a high order. For eight and a half years he served as justice of the peace and during that time tried many cases, whose decision gave him a reputation for moderation and justice. His good common sense proved valuable to litigants, whom he persuaded to settle many of their disputes out of court. He always favored arbitration, if this could be brought about and saved contending parties much money by inducing them to compromise their differences. He was a man of integrity, of sterling character, and his word was as good as his bond to those who knew him. At one time he was a candidate for state senator and always took an interest in politics, first as a Republican, then as a Democrat. It is claimed that he suggested the ground-work for the present Indiana liquor laws, and in other ways showed constructive ability. MR. CROUSE traveled a good deal not only in the United States but through foreign countries. In 1869 he spent time in England and Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Germany, Spain and Turkey. His sympathies were warm, his disposition kindly and his nature generous. He was long a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he filled all the chairs, and also belonged to the Encampment. He died August 13, 1908, and is buried in Westpoint cemetery, where his widow has erected a beautiful monument to his memory. MRS. CROUSE is a lady of many charms, bespeaking of the high social connections and fine families from which she sprang. Her home is noted for its hospitality and so kindly and courteously dispensed as to make all who call desire to come again. The children of MR. and MRS. CROUSE are as follows: JOHN THOMS, born April 26, 1895, and died in infancy; WILLIAM ALEXANDER, born November 24, 1896; MARY MAGDALENE, born October 7, 1898; MARK HERMON, born August 29, 1903; PARTLOW LOVELESS, born August 15, 1905, and ARMANDA ELIZA, born October 11, 1908.
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