Gabriel Crum, the subject of this sketch, landed in Cloud county in the year 1878, with fifty cents in his pocket and with a family that consisted of a wife who was ill and two small daughters, Effie and Hattie. He traded a horse for the improvements, and eighty acres of land, an uninhabitable dugout, belonging to Miss Manigan. He homesteaded the land and at once proceeded to build some sort of an abode. He earned the ridge log and poles for the roof by the primitive mode of exchanging work and in this case he labored seven days. After his house was built they did not possess an article of furniture to begin housekeeping on. He bought a stove on credit, also a bill of groceries; hung on to his fifty cents like grim death and came home feeling like a king, one of the happiest events of his life. Soon after getting settled in their dugout they were deluged with rain. The water came up to the railing of their homemade bedsteads and they were completely flooded. When the water subsided they were, figurativly speaking, sunk in mud.
These are a few of the many hardships Mr. Crum and his worthy family endured during their early residence in Kansas. A threshing machine came into the community. The men who contemplated buying were inexperienced and could not operate it. Mr. Dobbs, the agent who was selling them the machine, not having had much experience in adjusting machinery could not figure out the difficulty. Knowing Mr. Crum had worked in that capacity he sought him out and offered him twenty-five dollars to put the thresher in operation. Mr. Crum was overwhelmed by the munificent offer and affirms that it sounded louder to him than the heaviest peal of thunder he had ever heard. He set about to solve the problem and found the sieve had been put in upside down. He adjusted matters quickly and set the wheels and belts in motion. Agent Dobbs was so overjoyed that his prospective sale was not cut short by the machine refusing to work, took Mr. Crum around behind the thresher and thrust thirty dollars into his hand instead of twenty-five dollars. Imagine the smile that enveloped Mr. Crum's countenance as he shoved his wealth deep down into the pockets of his pantaloons. They then considered his services indispensible and offered him two dollars per day, full time, wet or dry, and he worked for them one hundred and twenty-three days. This was where Mr. Crum got his start.
Mr. Crum is a native of Ohio, born in 1844. When one year of age his parents moved to Wabash county, Indiana, where they both died of lung fever, leaving two sons, himself, aged five and a brother one and a half years. They found a home with a family named Crasher and when twelve years old drifted into Illinois with a family by the name of Fox. The two boys remained together and both enlisted in the Thirty-ninth Illinois Regiment, Company B, which became one of the most famous that entered the Potomac valley.
They were in this company two years and eight months and then enlisted in the Eighth Illinois Cavalry, Company M. He was mustered out at St. Louis in June, 1865, having served the entire term. His brother, William, was killed at the first day's battle of Gettysburg, at the youthful age of nineteen years. He enlisted at the age of sixteen. That he might not be rejected he put eighteen in his hat and nineteen in his shoe and remarked that he was between eighteen and nineteen. William was among the captured and thrown in Libby prison. He weighed one hundred and sixty-eight pounds when he entered and less than one hundred when released. Mr. Crum was in the battle of Rumley, February 22, 1862; Perthouse Bridge, August, 1862, and Winchester, June, 1862, where thirty-seven hundred and twenty of the Union boys were thrown in the trenches and the first defeat "Stonewall" Jackson ever suffered. He was in the battle of Berkley Springs, Bath, Virginia, and a great many raids and skirmishes. Most of the winter of 1864 they were after Mosby and the guerrillas. In one of these raids Mr. Crum's horse received five bullets.
After the war Mr. Crum returned to Illinois where he operated a thresher, header and corn sheller. In 1870, be moved to Lyons, Iowa, where he filled the position of night watch for two years; later returned to Illinois and in 1878, emigrated to Kansas. He was married February 23, 1870, to Melissa Bardon, a daughter of James Bardon, of Canada. Mrs. Crum was born in Augusta, Canada, and came with her parents to Ogle county, IIIinois when a young woman about sixteen years of age.
Mr. and Mrs. Crum's family consists of four children, three daughters and one son. Effie, wife of Charles Hogue, a farmer of Arlon township; they are the parents of two children, Mabel and Lewis, aged seven and five years. Hattie, wife of George Hogue, a farmer of Madison county, Iowa, near the city of Peru; he is a brother of Charles Hogue. Their children are Floyd Albert, aged three, and Velma Melissa, aged two. William, who works with his father on the farm, is unmarried. Lusina, aged sixteen, is a graduate of Fairview school, District No. 67. Mr. Crum is a Republican and takes an interest in legislative affairs. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the Relief Corps.
Mr. Crum had a hard struggle his first few years in Kansas; at one time every plow, drag or other implement, including his land and stock, was under mortgage. He now owns two hundred acres of land, has a fine herd of native cattle and a commodious stone residence which is a comfortable fortune. His chief industry for a number of years has been cattle. Mr. Crum is an honest, industrious man; a genial, whole souled neighbor, and one of the best citizens of his township.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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