Crill Biographies of Illinois
From late 1800
Collection of Ken Krill

History of Ogle Co. Illinois
H.F. Kett and Co. 1878, page. 799

Crill John J.: Farmer, Stock Dealer and Feeder. Raiser of Norman Horses and Short Horn Cattle; Sec.14 P.O. Monroe Center; owns 500 acres of land, valued at $22,500; he was born May 12, 1825, in Steuben, Oneida Co., N.Y.; son of Henry Crill and Betsy Brooks Crill: came to New Milford Sept. 25, 1843; to Monroe in December, 1844 to sec. 14; was married Nov. 7, 1847, Flora Township, Boone Co., to Miss Margaret Keith, who was born Jan. 28, 1829, in Manchester, Morgan Co., Ohio; daughter of Balsar Keith and Lucy Smith Keith; the latter came to Cherry Valley in May, 1837, from Indiana and, there in 1836. Mr. Keith was born near Harper's Ferry, Va.; Mrs. Keith was a native of Connecticut. Mr. and Mrs. Crill have had three children, all now married Michael J., born Aug. 11, 1848 Orlando F., born May 30, 1850 Lottie Augusta, born May 21, 1856; they also have an adopted son Ellsworth Crill, born March 24, 1863, a son of Aaron Hondershell, formerly of York Co., Penn. Thomas Crill, grandfather of the above, John J., was a native of Hess Darmstadt, Germany; he came over as a British soldier during the Revolutionary war; taken prisoner in Eastern New York; was liberated and hired out to a farmer, who was soon after drafted, when young Crill took his place, served out the nine months and then enlisted for the war he survived he war, and in later life his name was on the pension roll as one of noble defenders of his adopted country; he died in Stark, Herkimer Co., N.Y., when about 85 years of age. The grandfather on the mother's side spent many years in the Southern States as a tin peddler, selling the ware for a New England firm; he died in Steuben, Oneida Co., when about 60 years of age. The great grandfather, Samuel Brooks was a native of London Eng., and was one of Gen. Washington's picked Body Guard. There is now in the possession of George Brooks, a cousin of the subject of the biography, now living in Lewis Co. N.Y., a small bureau, made in London in 1601, and still in use. Mr. Crill and lady visited the great. Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia in October 1876, and the tomb of the immortal Washington, at Mt. Vernon, and places of chief interest in and around Washington, our National Capital. While on the old farm, at Mt. Vernon, Mr. Crill cut a nice chestnut cane, which he still preserves as a...

Portrait and Biographical Album of Ogle County, Illinois
Chapman Bros. 1886, Page 369

John J. Crill one of the representative citizens of Monroe Township, living in retirement on his fine farm on section 14, was born in Oneida Co., N. Y., May 12, 1825. His parents were Henry and Betsey (Brooks) Crill natives respectively of New York and Connecticut. They were married in Oneida Co., N. Y., where his father followed the occupation of an agriculturist, and in which he was very extensively engaged. He also kept a large dairy. The grandfather of Mr. Crill of whom we write, Thomas Crill, was born in Germany, and emigrated to the United States as a British soldier, during the Revolutionary War. Shortly after landing near Little Rock, they got into trouble with the "Yanks," the British being completely overcome and cut to pieces, and Thomas ran into the woods where he concealed himself until the following day, when he was taken prisoner and held for three months. At the expiration of that time he, in company with a lot of other prisoners, was taken up as far as Albany, given a few shillings apiece and turned loose to take care of themselves. Thomas then went to Montgomery and engaged in working on a farm. While engaged in that occupation he was hired as a substitute for nine months to fight against old England. After the expiration of his term of enlistment he again enlisted during the war on the side of the Colonists, and bravely fought for their independence until the close of the war, when he received an honorable discharge, subsequently becoming a pensioner of this government. He died in Herkimer Co., N.Y.
Mrs. Betsey (Brooks) Crill, mother of the subject of this notice, was a daughter of Samuel Brooks, who was born in London, England. He emigrated to this country with an English colony, and located in Connecticut. He was a member of Gen. Washington's bodyguard, and out of the thirteen who acted in that capacity eleven survived during the war, Mr. Brooks being one of them. After the close of the war and the independence of the Colonies had been won, Mr. Brooks was employed by a company in Connecticut to go into the Southern States to peddle tinware. He died in Connecticut at an advanced age. John Brooks, son of Samuel, was married in the State of Connecticut, moved to Oneida Co., N. Y., and there followed the vocation of a farmer until his death in 1831.
Henry Crill, father of the subject of this notice, was united in marriage with Miss Betsey Brooks, 1818, and of their union nine children were born, all of whom lived to attain the age of maturity. Their names were as follows: Thomas, Sophia, John J., Lydia, Caroline, Sarah, Harvey, Alfred and William. Caroline died in 1873, and William Dec. 19, 1885. Henry Crill, the father, came to this State in 1843, and Located at New Milford, where he remained one year. He then removed to Monroe Township, this county, and purchased about 1,500 acres of land, on which he located with his family, and at once en-tered upon its cultivation and improvement. He continued to reside on this land until 1864, when he retired from the active labors of life and moved to Rockford, where he lived until 1882. Leaving Rockford at the time stated, he came to Monroe Village, this county, and there continued to reside until his death, which took place Sept. 17, 1885 his wife, the mother of J. J. Crill, of this notice, having preceded him to the land at the hereafter, dying April 2, 1883.
John J. Crill was an inmate of the parental household until he attained the age of 23 years. After he came with his parents to this State be was for eight years engaged as a teamster on the road, most of the time between his home and Chicago. His education was acquired in the common schools, and he seems to have been an agriculturist all his life, for, with the exception of the time he was engaged in teaming, he has followed that vocation. By economy and energetic effort Mr. Crill has succeeded in accumulating a competency. He is the proprietor of 568 acres of valuable land, which is worth $75 per acre.

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