CRUM, JOHN W., one of the early settlers of Morgan County, and, for a long period, one of its most successful and influential citizens, was born in Clark County, Ind., December 25, 1825. He is son of Matthias and Margaret (Spangler) Crum, natives, respectively, of Virginia and Kentucky. When a young man, Matthias Crum located at Louisville, Ky., where he was engaged in teaching school. There he was united in marriage with Margaret Spangler, who was born in Louisville, when the city was only a frontier military post. David Spangler, her father, lost his life at the hands of hostile Indians, being the owner of 1,000 acres of land on the site of Louisville. Sometime after his marriage, he moved to the opposite side of the Ohio River, in Clark County, Ind., and bought 100 acres of land. He was much inclined to outdoor sports, and was an ardent hunter. He cleared his 100 acre tract of timber and there carried on farming until 1831, when he moved to Morgan County, Ill., and purchased from William Babb a claim to 160 acres of Government land at $1.25 per acre. This farm is now owned and occupied by his son, John W. On it then stood a round log cabin, which the father used as a dwelling. He bought also 240 acres, besides the Babb claim, and died on this farm in 1841. Matthias Crum was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with which his wife, who died in 1872, was also identified. Their children were as follows: William, Christian, Polly, James, David, Gordon, Joseph, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Isaac, Samuel H., A. A., John W., and twins, who died unnamed. William was about eighty years old; Christian died at about the same age in Cass County, Ill., where James also died, aged ninety-three years; Polly, who was the wife of Leander Cobb, passed away when seventy years old; David died in Missouri; Joseph died when about eighty years old, in Paxton, Ill.; Elizabeth, wife of Lewis O'Neil, died at the age of seventy-two years; Rebecca was three years old when she died; Isaac lives at Des Moines, Ia.; Samuel, who went to California in 1849, returned to Morgan County, and subsequently made another trip to California, where he was occupied in prospecting and mining and was known as an inveterate hunter.
John W. Crum was in his sixth year when he came to Morgan County, and attended a subscription school, at first taught by Mary A. Rucker in a log school house. He was fifteen years old when his father died, and it was the latter's ante-mortem request that as soon as legally possible, he and his brother, A. A., should purchase the interests of the other heirs to the homestead. The paternal desire was fulfilled in time, and the brothers jointly conducted the farm, subsequently making an equitable division of the property, which consisted of more than 1,000 acres of land, devoted to general farming and stock raising. Mr. Crum now owns about 580 acres of land, on which he has made all the convenient and attractive improvements.
Mr. Crum has been thrice married. His first wife was Mary A. Coons, to whom he was wedded February 14, 1850. Their union resulted in the following children: Samuel H., an agriculturist living in the vicinity of his father's farm; Matthias M., who lives in the same neighborhood; William H.; James Alvin, who resides in St. Louis; Charles W., of Jacksonville; and one who died in infancy. The mother of this family died in 1877. In 1879 Mr. Crum was married to Mrs. Frances D. Eades, widow of Horatio Eades, and a daughter of William Orear. She died in 1889, and, on November 22, 1905, Mr. Crum was united in marriage with Mrs. Cella Cruse, widow of Thomas Cruse. The present Mrs. Crum is a daughter of Henry Humphrey, familiarly known as "Father Humphrey" about Jacksonville, where he located prior to the Civil War. He had charge of the conservatory of the Asylum for the Insane in Jacksonville.
In politics, Mr. Crum is a firm Republican, and has creditably filled various local offices. Religiously, Mr. Crum is connected with the Baptist denomination; while his wife is a member of the M. E. church. Both are active in religious work, and Mr. Crum is very liberal in his contributions toward the propagation of Christian doctrine and the promotion of charitable enterprises. He is, in all respects, a representative of the best element in American agriculture, and a public spirited and exemplary citizen.