James Crum
Biography

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 436-437, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  James Crum, of township 17 north, range 11 west, postoffice Arenzville, Illinois, was born in Clark County, Indiana, September 22, 1806. His parents were Matthias and Margaret (Spangler) Crum, the former born in Montgomery county, Virginia, of German ancestry, and the latter in Louisville, Kentucky, in the fort there. Her father was killed there by the Indians. They had twelve children, of whom James was the fourth. Only five of the family are living: Joseph lives at Paxton, Ford county, Illinois, and is a retired farmer; Isaac N. lives in Iowa, a merchant, farmer and preacher; Abraham A. lives in Morgan county, Illinois, farmer and wealthy citizen; John W. owns property in Jacksonville, a widower and well-to-do citizen; William died in Indiana; Christian died at Ashland; David died in Missouri; Samuel died from an accident received in California; Mary married Leander E. Cobb, killed by a horse in Greene county, Illinois; Elizabeth was the widow of Louis O'Neil, and she died in 1892, of the grippe.
  James came to Cass county in 1830. The next year his father and mother came and took some land near that of their son, where both parents died. On coming here Mr. Crum and his brother, Christian, entered 160 acres, and bought 240, which they divided equally.
  He was married to Christine Ream, January 31, 1833. Her parents were Pennsylvanians who moved to Ohio, where she was born. They had a large family. David, deceased, was the eldest; Thomas Jefferson (see biography); James F., a Dakota farmer; Sarah Margaret, wife of Dr. J. F. Wilson, of Tallula, Illinois; Mary Elizabeth, wife of William Howard Thompson, lives in Jacksonville; William Marcellus resides on a farm near Virginia, Illinois; John went to Iowa and Kansas and returning settled in Chapin, Illinois; Amanda C., wife of William Henry Thompson and now lives in Kansas; Marquis L. (see sketch); Charles was killed on the railroad near Keokuk, Iowa, it being a very sad affair; he was a teacher in the high school and left a wife and five children.
  Mr. Crum lost his first wife May 1, 1878. He since married Mrs. Eliza Bean, whose husband died in the army. She had two daughters by her first marriage. Mr. Crum has divided his property liberally between his children: most of them having received $10,000 and some a greater amount. Mr. Crum still owns a section of land where he lives, besides having extensive interests in personal property. Few men have been as successful as he in the accumulation of wealth. He has always lived well and endeavored to enjoy life as it came. He is a liberal in religious views and a believer in the Christian religion, to the support of which he has donated liberally out of his means. He has been a life-long Democrat, has voted twice for General Jackson, first in 1828 and again in 1832. Very probably there is not another man in this part of the State that can say as much. He has held various offices of responsibility and trust.
  The ancestral history indicates that the Crum family have generally been tillers of the soil, of a hardy, long lived family, usually successful in anything they undertook.
  An event transpired September, 1891, which Mr. Crum will never forget, it being the occasion of their eighty-first birthday. The relatives from far and near came and enjoyed the jubilee. Photographers and newspaper reporters were in demand, as over one hundred relatives were present.
  Mr. Crum came here poor and was surrounded by neighbors who were well-to-do at that time. Since then he has outstripped them all in accumulation of wealth. He has given his children more than $100,000 and still owns about $75,000 worth of property. When eighty years of age Mr. Crum competed at the Cass county fair for the old gentlemen's prize for best horseback riding and won it. The prize was a gold-headed cane, inscribed: "Presented to James Crum for the best old-gentleman riding, August 6, 1886."



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