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
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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