Rockford Daily Gazette
April 8, 1886 Obituary John J. Crill

John J. Crill of Monroe, formerly New Milford Killed by the Cars. His body morbidly mutilated.
John J. Crill, resident in Monroe and was well known in this city. He was here quite often on business and pleasure. His son resides in this city, as do several of the brothers. Yesterday afternoon Mr. Crill who follows the business of stock-dealing, left his home on a Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul freight train for Chicago, with three car load of stock. Just before reaching the railway station in Elgin, Mr. Crill attempted to go from the top of one car. to another. In the darkness he lost his balance and fell to the track below. At this time the train was just passing over the trestle work. Mr. Crill was unable to extricate him self from the position, and a portion of the train passed over him, killing him instantly and horribly mangling the body. Both arms and limbs were entirely severed from the trunk, and for a long distance the track was strewn with portions of the remains. It was a horrible fatality and occurred not far from the spot where the poor brakeman recently met his death.

The remains were removed to a neighboring house by order of the order of the coroner, and this morning an inquest was held. The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the facts. Undertaker N. C. Burroughs of this city, who had been notified to attend to the remains returned to Monroe this afternoon with the body of the man who less. than a day before had left his home and loved ones in excellent health.

John J. Crill was born in Steuben, Oneida County, New York, May 11,1825. He was a son of Henry and Betsey Crill. Came to New Milford in December 1844, to Sec. 14, was married Nov. 7, 1848, in Flora Township, Boone County, to Miss. Margaret Keith, who was born Jan. 28, 1929, in Manchester, Morgan County. Ohio, daughter of Balsar Keith and Lucy Smith Keith; the latter came to Cherry Valley in May, 1887, from Indiana, and there in 1836; Mr. Keith was born near Harper's Ferry, Va.; Mrs Keith was a native of Connecticut. Mr. an Mrs. Crill have had three children all now married - Michael J., born Aug. 11 1848; Orlando F., born May 30, 1850; Lottie Augusta, May 21 1855; they also have an adopted son Elsworth Crill born Mar. 24 1863 a son of Aaron Houdeshell, formerly of York County, Penn.

Thomas Crill, grandfather of the above John J. was a native of Hesse 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 Guards. 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 carried as a memento; while in the state of New York, on his way home he refused an offer of $25 for the coveted stick. The son, Michael J. Crill was married Jan 3, 1871 to Miss Amelia Houdeshell who was born in Pennsylvania, Jan. 2, 1847; daughter of Jacob and Nancy Oberdier Houdeshell, now living in Cherry Valley; they have one child - Nellie Agatha, born Sept. 30, 1873.
A son of the deceased Mr. Crill lives in this city and is in company with McMann in the livery business on the East side.

Rockford Daily Gazette
April 9, 1886

The funeral of the late John J. Crill will be held in Monroe tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock, Rev, W. H, Haight of Elgin, officiating. Undertaker Burroughs, who had charge of the body, states that the remains were not badly cut up, not near as bad as has been reported.

Contributed by Ken Krill

Return to Ogle Co. Genealogy Site