Crill Biographies of Illinois
From late 1800
Collection of Ken Krill
Portrait and Biographical Album
Ogle County, Illinois
Chicago, Chapman Brothers, 1886
Thomas Crill. The gentleman of whose life we present the following sketch, adds to the honor of having been a pioneer of the county, a high reputation for integrity and sterling worth, maintained for more than a third of a century. He is a native of the town of Steuben, Oneida County, N. Y., where he was born Aug. 16, 1819, and where the early years of his life were passed. He received a limited education, only such as the district schools of that day afforded, but overcoming all the disadvantages of his surroundings, he, early in life, entered upon his business career.
The marriage of Mr. Crill took place in the town of Booneville, his native county, on March 25, 1845, when he was united in the, sacred bonds with Caroline Smith, a daughter of his native town, where she was born Feb. 5, 1825. Five children grew up about them: Elizabeth, Emily, Willard, Loretta and Emma, of whom two daughters, Emily and Laretta have gone before.
Upon moving to Illinois, in the fall of 1852, Mr. Crill settled on 16o acres of land on sections 25 and 26, Monroe Township, which had been bequeathed to him by his father. On this farm he has lived up to the present time, and the place has been considerably improved, and now includes a fine set of buildings. The entire homestead farm at the present contains 439 acres, all of which is under cultivation. The parents of the subject of this notice were Henry and Betsey (Brooks) Crill, who were also born in New York State. On coming West in the fall of 1842, they settled in Monroe Township, where the remaining years of their lives were passed, Mr. Crill dying Sept. 17, 1885, his wife having preceded him some two years, the date of her demise being April 2, 1883. Mrs. Crill is the daughter of Wolcot and Betsey (Gray) Smith, also of New York stock. Her mother died there July 6, 1847. Her father came West to Illinois in 1874, and died in White Rock Township, Nov. 8, 1878.
Their first born, Elizabeth, is married to Darius Deeds and is settled in Fayette County, Iowa; she has five children: Mary E., deceased; Ida; Thomas J.; Sarah D. and Jennie; their eldest son, Willard, is married to Philena Haller, and resides in Monroe Township. They have three children: Rosetta M., Nellie M. and Ida M. Their youngest daughter is the wife of James D. Nead, who is also settled in this township. Of their two children, Imogene and Anna M., the eldest is dead.
Mr. Crill has been called upon to serve the community in public positions a number of times. He has thus held the office of Highway Commissioner for three terms, of Assessor and also Collector for a like period. Since the death of his brother, John J. Crill Mr. Crill of this notice, has been made Highway Commissioner, which office was held by the deceased His politics are Democratic.
Biographical Record, Ogle County, Illinois
S. J. Clark, Chicago 1899, Page 444
THOMAS CRILL, who is now living a retired life on his farm on section 25, Monroe Township, has been a resident of Ogle County for almost half a century, and is therefore numbered among the early settlers. He is well known in the county and has always been held in high esteem. A native of New York, he was born in Steuben, Oneida County, August 16, 1819, and is the son of Henry and Betsy (Brooks) Crill, both natives of the same state. Thomas Crill, the paternal grandfather, first enlisted in the British army during the Revolutionary War, was later taken prisoner by the Colonial army, under Washington, took the oath of allegiance, joined the American army, and was with Washington until the close of the struggle, when the independence of the country was acknowledged. For his services, in later years he received a pension from the general government. By trade he was a miller and for some years operated a mill on Van Horn creek. Subsequently removing to Herkimer County he purchased a farm and engaged in tilling the soil during the remainder of his life, dying at the age of ninety-three years.
Henry Crill our subject’s father, was born in the town of Stark, Herkimer County, New York, and there grew to manhood and married Betsy Brooks. He was a farmer by occupation and in his native State owned and operated a farm of two hundred acres. With a view of bettering his condition, or rather to give his family better opportunities, be sold his place and in September, 1844, came to Ogle county and bought a squatters claim of one hundred and sixty acres in Monroe township, but later removed to the village of Monroe Center, where he purchased a cottage and lived a retired life. His death occurred in that village at a ripe old age, and his memory is held in grateful remembrance by those who were fortunate enough to know him.
The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in his native state, where he received but a very limited education in the primitive schools, the knowledge since acquired being received in the school of experience and by reading and observa-tion. On the 25th of March 1845, he was united in marriage with Miss Caroline Smith, a native of York state, and a daughter of Wolcott and Betsy Smith. By this union five children were born, two of whom died in childhood. Those arriving at mature years were: Elizabeth, who married a good, substantial farmer of Fayette County, Iowa, where they now reside; Willard, who married Pauline Heller, and who is now working four hundred acres of his father’s farm; and Etta May, who married James Mead, (sic) but who died at Kirkland, Illinois, leaving four children. (Error: this man is James Nead).
In September, 1852. Mr. Crill came to Ogle County and located on sections 25 and 26, Monroe Township, and for some years lived in a house not over twenty feet from where his present residence now stands. When he located in the township there was comparatively little improvement made and settlements were as yet few and far between. His own place was entirely unimproved and he broke the first sod on the farm. The changes that have since been made are wonderful, indeed. His journey to Ogle County was made by water and rail to Chicago, and from thence by teams to his stopping place. There was then no railroad in Ogle county. From the time of his settlement here he has pursued an active life, and he has been honored by his fellow citizens with a number of local offices, serving three years as assessor, three years as collector, and the same length of time as commissioner of highways. in politics he has always been a Democrat, and a stanch advocate of the principles of the party. But he has always given more time to his business interests than to politics, and he has the reputation of being one of the best farmers in his section of the county. His place is well improved and kept in excellent repairs. In addition to general farm-ing he has given more or less attention to stock raising, especially Holstein cattle. He usually ships his own stock to the Chicago markets, thus saving the dealer’s profit. His long residence in the county has brought him in contact with many people, and he has the happy faculty of making and keeping friends.