FRANK CROUCH. In these times as never before in history the work of the individual is being critically subjected to examination as to its ability and usefulness as a contribution to the success of armies in the field or to the welfare of the people at home. The majority of the citizens of Kansas are contributing more or less to those ends and it is interesting to note the opportunities and means of usefulness enjoyed by Mr. Frank Crouch, a well known Mineola[sic] banker and old time citizen of this locality.
Mr. Crouch has played very effectively the role of a farm developer. He has used his means in buying up unimproved acreage and has in this way built up a number of farms, brought them under cultivation, and has produced more than his individual share of the wheat harvests in this section of the state. That the nation can expect something of importance of him is evidenced by the fact that he is having farmed at the present time 1,000 acres of land.
He is considered one of the conservative but public spirited business men and financiers of his community. People rely upon his judgment, and both as a banker and as an individual he has done much to direct the financial resources of his section into appropriate channels. His activities in all forms of war work are widely known. He is president of the local board of the Red Cross, has also been a leader in the Young Men's Christian Association campaigns, and is a member of the Home Guard.
Mr. Crouch comes from an old and patriotic American family. His grandfather, Joseph Crouch, was born in Virginia, moved from there to Kentucky and later to Indiana. He was a farmer and died in Ripley County, Indiana, prior to the Civil war. His children were: Salathiel, Joseph, Mrs. Ellen Preble, Mrs. Nancy Gilliland, and Henry. Henry died while a soldier of the Eighty-Third Indiana Infantry.
Joseph Crouch, Jr., father of the Minneola banker, served as a non-commissioned officer in the Eighty-Third Indiana Volunteers. He was engaged in the strenuous campaigning of Sherman's army through the siege of Atlanta, from there to the sea, and up through the Carolinas until hostilities closed. Though he was never wounded nor captured he endured such hardships that he was more or less of a sufferer all his subsequent years. He was a pioneer of Western Kansas, coming to the state in 1887, and he died at Hutchinson in 1916, at the age of seventy-six. He had much to do with the early upbuilding of Minneola. He was a stanch republican but never held any office and took a great interest in the Grand Army of the Republic. Joseph Crouch married Victoria A. Thompson, who is still living in Minneola. She was born in Ripley County, Indiana. Their children were: Frank; Olive, who lives at Dodge City, widow of C. F. Bishop; Ella, who married M. T. Bryan, of Mullenville, Kansas; Henry, a resident of Montana; and William, of Mulvane, Kansas.
Frank Crouch was born in Ripley County, Indiana, July 15, 1867. He was educated partly in the country schools and also in the public schools at Versailes. More important than what he learned in schools has been his active business experience through thirty years. Mr. Crouch came to Kansas with his parents in March, 1887, when twenty years of age. The family bought lands in Ford County about four miles north of Minneola. This section of Kansas was then well settled up and no lands were available for entry as homesteads. Later a large part of the settlers abandoned the country and left ample opportunities to enter their claims, but the Crouchs thought the land was not worth taking up. Mr. Frank Crouch remained in Kansas only a short time, and upon reaching his majority went to Nevada and had a rather strenuous experience in that state for several years. He labored in and around mines, herded sheep, and was also clerk in a hotel at Tuscarora. Altogether he was absent from Kansas about six years.
On returning to this state he brought with him the savings of his labors and then went to work as a farmer and cattle man. Those interests he has kept up to the present time and has used his increasing means judiciously to develop the country. Altogether he has added three sets of improvements to farms around Minneola.
Mr. Crouch became identified with the Minneola First State Bank in 1908, going in as a director under A. T. Reece, founder of the bank. Later he took a more active part in its management, at first as cashier, later as vice president, and in 1917 was chosen president. The bank has a capital of $25,000 and is in a highly prosperous condition. The other officers are Mr. Reece, vice president, Ed Ramsey, cashier, and Samuel Gish, assistant cashier.
As a citizen of Minneola Mr. Crouch has served as mayor and member and treasurer of the board of education. His own home in the town, which he built, is one of the most modern residences of the county. For the past six years he has been a member of the board of county commissioners. He was elected in 1912 to represent the Third District of Clark County. He defeated Charles Doyle. He finally served with G. O. Dakin, Bert Messing and Charles McCasland, and his present associates on the board are George Wilson and Frank Daily. The chief work of these boards has been road making and improving, and bridge building. During their administration a number of county roads have been improved connecting the outlying towns with the county seat. In politics Mr. Crouch began voting as a republican, his first presidential candidate being Benjamin Harrison. On account of his associations in Nevada he voted for James B. Weaver, the populist. Mr. Crouch is a Master Mason and has been identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows since early manhood and has passed all the chairs of the lodge and has been a delegate to the Grand Lodge. He has served on the official board of the Methodist Church.
At Dodge City, Kansas, October 15, 1902. Mr. Crouch married Miss Helen Leimbrock. Her father, E. H. Leimbrock, was born near St. Charles, Missouri, while his wife was a native of Germany. He came into Clark County in the early '90s from St. Louis, Missouri, and was a farmer here until his death in 1914. Mr. and Mrs. Leimbrock had four children: Alfred, Oscar, Mrs. Crouch, who was born near St. Charles, Missouri, February 14, 1875; and Howard.
Mr. and Mrs. Crouch have three children: Harvey, Evelyn and Elsie.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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