Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

William J. Crumpton

WILLIAM J. CRUMPTON had an acquaintance with Pawnee County beginning in pioneer times, and for many years has been a successful farmer and stock raiser on the old Military Reservation in Pawnee Township. In earlier years Mr. Crumpton was a successful teacher, and is one of the most highly educated men in the rural district of this vicinity.

He came to Kansas at the age of fourteen with his father, William Crumpton. William Crumpton was born near Chillicothe, Ohio, in November, 1825, a son of John and Ann Polk (Graham) Crumpton. Besides William the other children in this generation were Sarah, who married Lindsey Lamb and spent her life in Macon County, Illinois, and Jane, who married Washington Goolsberry and lived near Chillicothe, Ohio. John Crumpton was a carriage painter. William Crumpton spent his early life with a relative, William McClelland, a cousin of Gen. George B. MeClelland. Mr. McClelland was a merchant and William Crumpton learned merchandising. After General Butler had captured New Orleans in 1862, William Crumpton was appointed by President Lincoln as custom house inspector in that southern city. At the close of the war he went to Brooklyn, New York, for a time was in the commission business, and in 1869 he moved west to Macon County, Illinois, and became a farmer. He had farming interests in that section for ten years. However, in 1874 he had come to Pawnee County, Kansas, and bought half a section of Santa Fe Railway lands. In 1879 he returned to Kansas to make permanent settlement. His first home was on the Colonel Ballinger place, and he farmed his own land at the same time. He was in that locality about seven years and subsequently homesteaded a quarter of the old military reservation and spent his last years there. He finally relinquished his homestead in favor of his son William J., who now owns it. William Crumpton died in 1904. He was a republican in early life, but some years after the war became identified with the democratic organization. He married Sarah Fisher, daughter of Joseph and Mrs. (Lockwood) Fisher. Mrs. William Crumpton died in Pawnee County in 1882, at the age of fifty-two. Their children were: Carrie, who married Elmer Bardrick and died near Larned; Miss Alice, who for seven years was a teacher in the Larned public schools, served as county superintendent of Pawnee County six years and since giving up school work has lived with her brother William on the farm; William J.; and Joseph, a hotel man at Denison, Texas.

William J. Crumpton was born December 12, 1864. His birth occurred at Brashear City, Louisiana, where his mother was living while his father was performing his duties as custom house inspector during the war. He was about fifteen years of age when he came from Macon County, Illinois, to Pawnee County and finished his early training in the Larned High School. He subsequently entered and for three years was a student in the University of Kansas. Among the young men destined to subsequent fame who were then in the university were W. Y. Morgan, then a fresh-faced youth, Charles S. Gleed and the late Gen. Fred Funston. With his university training Mr. Crumpton taught school in Pawnee County for several years. For two years he was principal of the Pawnee Rock School, and did his last work in the rural districts. He also spent a year in the Kansas State Reformatory at Topeka as a teacher.

As already stated, he took the homestead originally filed upon by his father on the military reservation, proved up and is still living on the claim. The old family home there was a small frame house. Mr. Crumpton has found his chief profit in the livestock business. For ten years he has been breeding the Red Polled cattle and also the Copperbottom Percheron horses. His farm is improved in a most substantial way, and has an excellent residence and barn. He built his first silo in 1913 and has found that a most important adjunct to his business. His experience leads him to believe that the best ensilage is a combination of Indian corn and Kaffir corn. His experiments with alfalfa as a filler have not proved satisfactory.

For a number of years Mr. Crumpton was treasurer of School District No. 55 and also served his township as trustee. In politics he began voting as a democrat, subsequently became a populist and still later allied himself with the progressive republican party. In earlier years he attended state conventions as a delegate. He helped nominate Governor Lewelling and also Jerry Simpson for Congress.

While connected with the Kansas State Reformatory for Boys at Topeka Mr. Crumpton met his wife. She was Florence Hinchcliffe, a daughter of John Hinchcliffe, now of Wellington, but formerly assistant superintendent of the Kansas State Reformatory. Mr. Hinchcliffe came west from Yonkers, New York, where Mrs. Crumpton was born in 1873. Mrs. Crumpton is one of six children. They were married at Wellington, Kansas, December 25, 1895. They are the parents of three children. Rhea is associated with his father on the farm and married Juanita Dickerman. Rhea and Juanita Crumpton are the parents of a baby girl named Jaundametta. The two younger children still at home are Bernice and Dorothy.

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