The Democrat, Spencer, Owen County, Indiana - September 17, 1886|
Never in the history of this part of the country, was there a more notable gathering of one family than was that of the descendants of Martin and Susan Crouse, which was held on the old Crouse homestead two and one-half miles north of Patricksburg last week. Picturesquely encamped in tents on the old home farm, the sons, daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the two old pioneers, who are dead and gone, met in a grand family reunion - there to recount and retell their boyhood and girlhood days at the old home.
Such gatherings as these invite pleasant memories of early times - pioneer days, and are always interesting events to the younger generations. To begin with, the Crouse homestead is located in two counties, Clay and Owen, the line running directly through the farm, and is now owned by Mr. Martin Kaiser who married a granddaughter of Martin Crouse.
It is here among the romantic hills of Six Mile Creek that this reunion is now being held. The various members of the family, most all of whom reside in the West, began arriving September 1, to meet together in their first and last family reunion. Some of them are getting well up in years and it is not likely that they will ever again have the pleasure of all meeting together. They are camping out on a beautiful hillside, near a large spring of excellent water, and have two large tents for sleeping purposes, a large eating tent capable of seating 30 or 40 persons at one time, and a cook tent where good old fashioned country grub is prepared, and there is also a refreshment tent on the grounds. To say that the boys and girls are enjoying themselves would be placing it lightly. "Tis one meeting they will ever remember.
They remained in camp from Tuesday of last week until Monday of the present one, and thoroughly enjoyed the outing and meeting once again as a family. On Saturday last, the entire party attended the "Old Settlers" meeting, at Bowling Green, and there met many acquaintances of their early days on Hoosierdom. They had erected a large wigwam with a seating capacity of not less than 500 persons and it was here that they had their gatherings and told the tales of their early lives "down on the farm." Some sad experiences would be related and tears would dim the eyes of the hearers - then again merry peals of laughter would greet the ear when someone told a funny joke on some of the boys and girls. Then again someone would sing a pleasant song, much to the enjoyment of those present. Such things as these went to make up the visit of these former residents to their old home. Surely this will be one occasion that will be dear to their hearts and in days to come they will remember their first and last reunion.
A general invitation was extended to everybody in this section of the country to visit them in their camp on Sunday, and we would not miss it very far when we say that not less than 1,000 persons accepted the invitation and paid their respects to the family. Colonel John T. Smith, of Bowling Green, acted as master of ceremonies and it was well done. Reverend John Williams, of Bowling Green, and one of the old pioneers of Clay County, delivered a fine sermon in the morning that was a fitting tribute to the occasion.
The Patricksburg Cadet band arrived just before the noon hour and throughout the day rendered many pleasing musical selections that were well received by the large crowd. Another feature was the singing by the audience of old time hymns that brought to minds of these old people more pleasant recollections of bygone days in the old country meeting house.
The band played a selection after dinner and called the crowd together. Colonel Smith then introduced Dr. John A. Williams, of Patricksburg, who made a pleasing address. After this, Reverend Adam Markley delivered a short sermon. The remainder of the afternoon was taken up by the singing of songs and by short talks by the various members of the Crouse family. The most touching incident of the whole day was the bidding farewell to the family by the entire audience - the solemn leave taking brought tears to many eyes, but the best of friends must part. On Monday, a photographer came and took a picture of the family that they could carry to their various homes as souvenirs of their first and last reunion.
This article would not be complete without the history of the family which was given us through the kindness of Martin Kaiser, which we appended as follows:
Martin Crouse, the father, was born in North Carolina in 1797 and came to Indiana and settled on the present line of Clay and Owen Counties in 1834. At that time, the country was a dense wilderness and it was necessary for him, as was the case of all settlers, to undergo many perils and privations in redeeming the land from the hands of the Indians. The present generation cannot realize what those old settlers had to pass through in order that we might enjoy the fruit of their early labor.
In 1819 Martin Crouse sought the hand of Susan Waggoner in matrimony, back in the state of North Carolina. To this union was born the large family of fifteen children - eleven boys and four girls - Winston, Evyline, Frances, William, Eli, Jacob, Calvin, Wade, Andrew, Stephen, Henry, Benjamin, Harrison, Frederick, and Susan, eleven of which are now living. From these, 107 grandchildren and 125 great-grandchildren, making the descendants of Martin and Susan Crouse total 247. In 1880, Martin Crouse moved to Illinois, where he died April 13 1883. His wife, Susan, died 1881. There ends life's story of two of the early pioneers of this country.
Winson Crouse, the oldest of the children was born in North Carolina Feb. 8, 1820, and came to Indiana with his parents in 1834. In Sept. 1851, he moved with his family to Illinois, and then again in June 1854 he moved to Iowa, settling in Guthrie county, but at the present time he is living near Linden in Dallas county, Iowa. On the 12th day of March, 1847, he was united in marriage with Mary Stephens. To this union was born ten children. Number of grandchildren 23. It was 1846 that the call was made for volunteers to go to the front in our conflict with Mexico. Mr. Crouse answered the call and was in the service of the country one year. Again in '62 he nobly volunteered his service to defend the old flag and enlisted in Co. I. 19th Iowa Vol., and served as a member of the regiment three years. He and his aged wife attended the family gathering and again enjoyed the meeting together with his brothers and sisters, together with many old associates.
Evyline Houk, was born in North Carolina on the 26th of Sept. 1822, and came to Indiana with her father's family in 1834. On January 8, 1844 she was married to John Houk and is now living with her husband at the old Houk homestead five miles northwest of Lancaster. To this union were born 13 children, and from these are 35 grandchildren.
William Crouse was born in North Carolina in October, 1825, and came to Indiana with his father in 1834. Mr. Crouse was married three times, his first wife being Daisy Kendall, and to them was born one child. His second marriage was Hannah Lenhart, and to them was born one son, Calvin Crouse, who now resides in Cumberland Co., Ill. His third wife was Anna Haltom, and to them was born two children. Mr. Crouse had two grandchildren. He died in Helena, Arkansas, October 16, 1862.
Eli Crouse, was born in North Carolina, May 19, 1827 and came to this state, in 1834. He, in 1852, moved to Illinois and is now residing near Neoga, Cumberland county, in that state. On the 4th of July, 1862, he enlisted in Co. F. 49th Ill. Vol. Infantry and served three long years. On the 14th day of Oct. 1849, he was married to Martha E. Toliver and unto them was born seven children. His wife, Martha passed from scenes of her earthly labor on April 25, 1883. They have grandchildren to the number of twelve.
Calvin Crouse, was born in North Carolina, June 8, 1830 and became the resident of this state in 1834. In 1851 he moved to Illinois, but in 1868 moved to Missouri, where he now resides at Cainsville. On November 9, 1857, he was married to Christina Greenwood, and the result of the union was eleven children and thirteen grandchildren. Mr. Crouse served his country in the late unpleasantness, enlisting in Co. F. 46th Ill. Vol. Inf., on January 1, 1862. He had been out about six months when he received a serious gunshot wound, which resulted in the loss of his left eye. His first wife died on Oct. 13, 1893, and on May 22, 1895 he was married to Hannah Woodruff.
Frances Suffle, was born in North Carolina July 22, 1823, and came with her parents to Indiana in 1834. She was married to Mark Reynolds in Oct. 1846 and they moved to Iowa in 1852. Her husband died in Nov. 1854, she moved back to Indiana the same year. On Jan. 29, 1856, she was married to Jacob Suffle and they are at: present living twelve miles north of Casey, Clark county, Ill. Mrs. Suffle is the mother of eleven children and has thirteen grandchildren.
Andrew Crouse was born in North Carolina on the 27th clay of April, 1834 and was only six months old when he landed on Hoosier soil. In 1853 he moved to Illinois, where he two years later was married to Mahala Toliver. Five children have been born to Mr. & Mrs. Crouse and they also have twelve grandchildren. They now reside in Jasper county, Illinois.
Stephen Crouse " was born in Indiana, on Sept. 27, 1836, was the first child of the family whose birth place is in this state. In 1858 he moved to Iowa and has resided there ever since. On April 3, 1859 he was united in marriage to Maria Markes, and they are blessed with three children. Mr. Crouse' war record is without a fault. He was a good soldier and served his country for three years. On June 13, l861, he enlisted as a private in Co. H. 1st Iowa Calvery. Mr. Crouse now resides in Leon, Iowa.
Henry Crouse, was born in Indiana in November, 1839. He enlisted as a private in the 71st Ind. Vol. but met with the sad fate that befell many brave northern men. It was his lot to be captured and made a prisoner and was taken to the famous hell-hole, known as Libby Prison at Richmond, Va. The privation he suffered none can ever tell. The burden of such was more than he could bear and he died there.
Benjamin Crouse, was born in Indiana, January 31, 1841, and in the year of 1865 he moved to Illinois where he now resides near Ingraham, Clay county. On Nov. 27, 1866, he was married to Mary C. Cox, and unto them was born ten children and also have four grandchildren. At the early call for troops to defend our country's flag, Mr. Crouse was among that number, and on Sept. 16, 1861, he enlisted in Co. A. 43rd Ind. Inft and made a good record, serving in all three years.
Harrison Crouse, was born in Indiana, Sept. 9, 1843, and at present lives in Jasper county, Illinois. On Sept. 20, 1866, he was married to Martha Addy, and they have a. family of twelve children, also five grand- children. On Aug. 30, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Co. A. 43rd, Ind. Inft. and served about four years as a member of that regiment.
Frederick Crouse, was the next member of this large family. He was born in Indiana on Oct. 11, 1845, and moved to Illinois, Feb. 9, 1880. He answered Uncle Sam's call for boys to help him out in the great struggle for freedom, becoming member of Co. H. 22, Ind. Vol. Inft, on Sept. 15, 1864. On Jan. 14, 1866, he was united in marriage with Samantha Hoover and to them was born seventeen children, they also have six grandchildren. Mr. Crouse and wife reside in Jasper County,Illinois.
Susan Trimmer, was born in this state on Oct. 8, 1848, and moved to Illinois in 1880 with her parents. In 1882 she returned to this state and on March 30, of the same year was married to Nathan Trimmer, and to them was born two children. They are comfortably situated at Riley, Vigo county, Ind.
Jacob Crouse the sixth child of the family died in infancy.
The following members of the family above-mentioned are attending the reunion. Winston Crouse and wife, Linden, Iowa: Calvin Crouse and wife, Cainsville, Mo.; Stephen Crouse and wife, Leon, Iowa. Andrew Crouse, Bogota, Illinois; Harrison Crouse, wife and one child, Bogota, Illinois; Frederick Crouse and three children, Bogota, Illinois; Benjamin Crouse and daughter, Ingraham, Illinois; Eli Crouse and daughter, Neoga, Illinois; Frances Crouse Suffle and four children, Casey, Illinois; Susan Crouse Trimmer, husband, and two children, Riley Indiana; and Evyline Crouse Houk, husband and 5 children, Bowling Green, Indiana.