David Crowe

DAVID CROWE is one of the large land owners and prominent farmers of Cherokee County. He owns 960 acres of land and resides on a tract of 21 acres which is now included in Weir City. He came to this section in the early days of its settlement and is one of its most highly respected citizens. Mr. Crowe was born in Pennsylvania in 1836, and is a son of Samuel T. and Mary (Seibert) Crowe.

The father of Mr. Crowe was of Scotch-Irish descent, and the mother, of German ancestry, but both were born in Pennsylvania. They had a family of 12 children, the only two survivors being David; and Samuel, who follows farming in Pennsylvania. The latter, with two other brothers, Robert and James, served in the Civil War, all in the 114th Reg., Pennsylvania Vol. Inf. James was a victim of the battle of Seven Oaks. Samuel was made a prisoner in the early part of the war, and was confined at Suffolk, and in the awful prison pen at Andersonville, where he was subjected to indignities and to suffering seemingly impossible in a civilized country. These resulted in the ruin of his health, the loss of his hair, and of all power of speech, for two years. When released he was a wreck, and the small pension the government awarded him can never compensate him for what he suffered as one of the country's defenders.

David Crowe had but limited educational opportunities in his youth, his usefulness on the farm being too great to allow of his spending much time over books. Conditions were harder for farm boys half a century ago than now, when machinery takes the place of brawn and muscle. Until he was 19 years of age, he followed the plough and wielded the hoe on the home farm. Then he accepted a position in the Public Iron Works in Pennsylvania, and remained with that concern for 12 years. His next move was to Vinton, Ohio, where he was engaged in chopping wood by contract, and later, for four years, in running a tannery. This he sold in 1870. In that year Mr. Crowe came to Cherokee County, Kansas. The available land at that time was in litigation between the railroad companies and a body of united citizens known as the Land League and Mr. Crowe did not try to secure property of his own until 10 years later. He farmed during this period on the James F. Joy land, who was a railroad contractor and controlled the land owned by the railroad company. After the land litigation had been satisfactorily settled, Mr. Crowe purchase 960 acres, which he still owns. It is located as follows: The whole of section 16; a quarter of section 10; the west half of the northwest quarter of section 11; the south half of the southwest quarter of section 3, all in township 32, range 24, making 960 acres, besides the 21 acres in section 34, township 31, range 24, on which he lives, and which is now an addition to the southern part of Weir City. This land is all valuable and Mr. Crowe, with an army of assistants, has it under a fine state of cultivation,—its annual yield testifying to the fertility of Kansas soil.

On his own home tract he has a valuable coal vein, the quality of the product being that known as the four-feet vein. Mr. Crowe sells coal from this vein. Formerly he was largely interested in the raising of horses, in fact he was at one time the leading man in this line in the county, but now devotes more time to hogs and Shorthorn and Red Polled cattle. His various enterprises have resulted successfully, and have made Mr. Crowe one of Cherokee County's capitalists. He has been identified with public affairs in the county and township, serving on the School Board of District No. 69, as Cherokee township treasurer, and for three years was a member of the Board of County Commissioners of Cherokee County.

In 1857, Mr. Crowe married Susan Irving, who was born in Clarion County, Pennsylvania. They have a family of three sons and three daughters, as follows: J. Robert, of the J. R. Crowe Coal Company, of Weir City, residing at Kansas City, who married Margaret Hamilton, daughter of William Hamilton, of Weir City, and has two children,—Stewart and Mary C.; Mary Catherine, born in Jackson County, Ohio who married B. S. Abbott, of Weir City, and has two children, Nellie May and Vida; Brady W., born in Vinton, Ohio, who married Jennie Holmes; Ada Belle, born in Vinton County, Ohio, who is the wife of Sidney Gould, the present postmaster of Weir City; Mark, born in Cherokee County, Kansas, who married Nellie Gingery, and has one child,—Bernice; and Effie May, born in Cherokee County, Kansas, who married Joseph R. Burnett, and died in Weir City, in 1900, leaving one child,—Joseph R., Jr.

Mr. Crowe was reared in the principles of the Democratic party, but since he reached years of discretion he has been identified with the Republicans. While not a member of any religious body, he is liberal in his support of all, and is a man of high character and unimpeachable integrity. He has seen this section of Kansas in its worst days, has done his share in bringing about its peace and prosperity, and receives, as he deserves, the respect and personal regard of all who know him.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by students from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 4/24/97.


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