SAMUEL CROWTHER, is a thrifty and intelligent farmer, living on section 1 and 2, township 16, range 11, where he owns a good farm of 140 acres. When he came here the place which he now occupies was heavily wooded, and by hard work he has succeeded in making a model farm. Those who have opened farms on the prairie, have but little conception of the labor that is attached to the clearing up of timber land. On the prairie farm the first improvements are easily made by breaking the land, but in the timber the trees must all be taken out by the roots, and here the labor is.
Mr. Crowther is a native of Lancastershire, England, and was born in Oldom, March 23, 1833. His father, James B. Crowthers, was also a native of Oldom, and by trade was a hatter, an occupation that he followed in England, and for some years after reaching the United States. His father was married in his native town, to Charlotte Tyson, who was also a native of the same place. After their marriage, the parents of Samuel, lived in their native town until and births of most of the family, five of whom came to America. On March 16, 1842, they sailed from Liverpool on the ship "Sherian," and were one month making the voyage, landing in New York, April 16. The family lived in New York for five years, the father meanwhile working at the furrier business. From New York they proceeded to Danbury, Conn., where they remained three years. They later returned to Brooklyn, N.Y., residing there for five years, where the elder Crowthers was occupied at his trade, that of a hatter, and in the meantime, Samuel became quite proficient in making hats. Life in a city becoming irksome, the father concluded that he would seek his fortune in the West, and accordingly in 1854, he proceeded to Morgan County, where his son, of whom we write had come the previous year. The parents resided here until their death, the father dying at the age of sixty-five, while the mother reached seventy-three years. These people had an excellent reputation in this county.
Samuel C. came to Morgan County without any money or friends. He was obliged to walk a part of the way from Chicago to Jacksonville, because he had no money with which to pay for a ride, he having the misfortune to lose part of his money while on his way from the East. But he overcame all obstacles, and aided by his good wife, he has succeeded in making a good home. His wife's maiden name was Nancy Ater, who was a native of Morgan County, and a daughter of Bossel and Nancy (Thompson) Ater, both of whom are deceased, her father being a man quite old when he died. Her mother died in 1877, at the age of eighty-three years. Mr. and Mrs. Ater, came here from Ohio, and were pioneers in this county. Mrs. Nancy Crowther died at her home, in May, 1879. She was then about forty-five years old, and was the mother of seven children, four of whom are deceased. Catherine was fatally burned by her clothes catching fire when she was seven years old; Mary J. died in infancy; Edwin died of diphtheria at the age of six years, The others are: Elizabeth A., wife of Henry A. Bridgeman, who is a groceryman of Arenzville, Ill.; Hattie married T.B. Hogan, a farmer of this county; Nettie, now deceased, was the wife of William Webb; Laura A. is unmarried.
Mr. Crowther took for his second wife, Mrs. Clack nee Morrison. She was born in Kentucky, and is the daughter of Hige and Elizabeth (Defrease) Morrison. Her father died in Kentucky while her mother and the rest of the family came to Cass County, in 1862. Her mother spent her last days in Cass and Morgan counties, dying at about four-score years of age. Mrs. Crowther married her first husband in Kentucky, leaving no children.
Mr. and Mrs. Crowther are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which Mr. Crowther is Steward; he has been Class-Leader and Sunday-school Superintendent. Mr. Crowther is a Prohibitionist, and an ardent advocate of temperance.