Larkin W. Crouch was born in Washington county, Tennessee, March 6, 1843, and died on March 31, 1916. He was the son of James M. and Susanna (Bowman) Crouch, the father a native of Virginia and the mother of Washington county, Tennessee. John and Sarah Crouch were the grandparents of Larkin W. Crouch on the paternal side. They were Virginians, lived on a farm, and were members of the Christian church.
On the maternal side, the grandparents were Joseph and Elizabeth Bowman, both of whom were born in Virginia and died in Tennessee. Joseph Bowman was a farmer and was the owner of thirty-one slaves, whom he set free at the time of his death. The maternal grandparents were Dunkards. James M. Crouch, father of the late Larkin W. Crouch, was born in Washington county, Tennessee, and lived in that county all his life, following the occupation of a farmer. He had a family of thirteen children. The family were members of the Christian church.
Larkin W. Crouch was educated in the schools of his neighborhood, in Tennessee, and became a contractor and builder, and continued in that line of business after coming to Fortville, Indiana, on October, 1864. He was actively engaged in this business for a period of fifty-two years. In 1879 he started a lumber yard and planing-mill at Fortville, and continued this business, in connection with his contracting business until 1880, when he disposed of the planing-mill and afterwards devoted his time exclusively to contracting and building.
Mr. Crouch became a member of the Christian church, at Boors Creek church in Tennessee, in 1859. When he came to Fortville there was but one other person in the place who was a member of that denomination. A few additions were made to this number in a short time, and with these Mr. Crouch organized a congregation and began the work of building a church, in 1871. There were twenty-three charter members of this organization, fifteen men and eight women, and four states were represented in this membership, namely: Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana. His passing removes the last survivor of the charter members. The congregation was organized, August 6, 1871; the house of worship was completed and dedicated, June 2, 1872. Mr. Crouch served as elder in this church for a period of thirty-four years, and was active in the Sunday school work, as superintendent, assistant superintendent and teacher, for forty-three years.
Politically, Mr. Crouch was affiliated with the Democratic party. He was frequently elected to office and filled every official position in the town. He was married, in 1867, to Maria Cavender, of Dayton, Ohio, who died in 1872, leaving one son, Albert, who died in 1871. Mr. Crouch's second marriage was in 1873, to Sallie J. White, of Victor, Iowa. To this union four children were born: Edwin L., James P., Martha May and Bessie (deceased). The second wife died on November 8, 1892, and Mr. Crouch married for his third wife, May E. Hyatt, in 1901. She was born in Westfield, but was living at the time of her marriage in Indianapolis, and had been a school teacher for twenty-two years.
Mr. Crouch was a charter member of the Knights of Honor and was formerly a member of the Free and Accepted Masons. He took an active interest in politics and was an active worker in the temperance cause.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Page 1055-1056.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI November 8, 2001.
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