From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 1178
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902


   John F Crowl was born in Wells county, Indiana, November 26, 1858, and throughout his entire life has engaged in the tilling of the soil, so that long experience has made him a capable and enterprising farmer.  His parents were John D and Barbara (Hoy) Crowl, the former a native of Maryland and the latter of Ohio.  Mr Crowl was of German descent and in his business career devoted his energies to farming.  At an early day he and his wife took up their abode in Wells county, Indiana, where they underwent all the hardships and privations of pioneer life.  They lived in that state when fever and ague were common ailments among the pioneers, and thus they had to contend against ill health, as well as the discomforts incident to founding a home in the frontier region.  Mr Crowl was a patriotic and loyal citizen, and when the call came for aid to preserve the Union he volunteered in the service of his country and went to the front to do or die, serving throughout the Rebellion.  He was never captured or wounded, and at the close of hostilities he received an honorable discharge, returning to his home with a creditable military record, for on many a field of battle he had displayed great bravery.  After his return he resumed farm work, and thus his remaining days were spent, his death occurring in January, 1898.  His political views were in harmony with the principles of Republicanism.   His wife died in December, 1860.  She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, while he was of the Presbyterian faith.  Their union was blessed with four children:  Mary, who became the wife of J Hanna; Lewis D, of Indiana; John F; and Albert, Lyons, Kansas.  The father was four times married, the mother of our subject being his second wife.  His first union was with a Miss Avis, by whom he had four children, namely:  Robert, who is living in Rice county; Elizabeth, the wife of R M Hays, a Presbyterian minister; Byron and Theodore, both of Indiana.  For his third wife Mr Crowl chose Mary A Dillon, and they had three children: Sarah E, who became Mrs J Morgan; Josephus E, of Indiana; and Martha, wife of P Jones.  After the death of the mother he wedded Mrs Rebecca Bird, a widow, who is yet living in Indiana. 

   No especial event occurred to vary the routine of farm life for John F Crowl in his youth.  He remained at home until eighteen years of age and then started out upon an independent business career, going to Illinois, where he was employed as a farm hand.  In 1879 he made a prospecting tour to Kansas and was pleased with the possibilities and advantages of Rice county.  He then returned to Illinois and soon after his marriage, which occurred in 1881, he again came to the Sunflower state and has made substantial improvements upon his land.  After seven years, however, he returned to Illinois, believing that he would have better opportunities in that state, but he soon found that he was mistaken and again came to Kansas, in 1889, since which time he has remained continuously upon his farm in Rice county, perfectly satisfied with the advantages here offered.  He now has his land all fenced and under a high state of cultivation, and a good, commodious farm residence, a large barn and other substantial outbuildings stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise.  An orchard yields its fruit in season and there is also a beautiful grove upon the place.  His farm is conveniently located two miles northwest of Mitchell and is now a valuable property, for the labors of man and nature have wrought great transformation there.  He carries on general farming and raises some stock, and his well directed business efforts have year by year increased his capital until he is now the possessor of a very comfortable competence.

   In 1881 occurred the marriage of Mr Crowl and Miss Nellie M Sutton, who was born in Illinois, April 24, 1861, her parents being Nelson and Mary (Holland) Sutton, the former a native of Michigan and the latter of Ohio.  Both represented families of honest farming people.  Mrs Sutton died in 1885, but the father of Mrs Crowl is still living and finds a good home among his children.  Both he and his wife were for many years faithful followers of the Baptist church, in which he still holds membership.  He has four daughters and one son, namely: Minnie, now the wife of R L Dick; Katie, who married H E Thomas; George, of Rice county; Jennie, the wife of C C Williams; and Nellie M.  Mr and Mrs Crowl are the parents of seven children:  John, who was born February 3, 1882; Nelson, born April 21, 1884; Clifford, born in September, 1887; Lester, whose birth occurred in August, 1890; Frank, who was born in July, 1892; Archie, born in January, 1894; and Ernest, born in December, 1896.  The children are still at home with their parents and the family is one widely and favorably known in the community.  Mrs Crowl is a member of the Baptist church, and to her husband she has been a faithful companion for the journey of life since their marriage, which was celebrated twenty years ago.  Mr Crowl votes with the Republican party, but takes no active part in politics, preferring to give his time and attention to business interests, in which he has met with creditable success.