Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

One Township's Yesterdays Chapter XXVIII  


JOEL and AMELIA (SAMPSELL) CROMLEY were both natives of Pennsylvania, but early moved to Sandusky County, Ohio.

JOEL CROMLEY was born in Union County, Pennsylvania, was reared and married there. There were five children:
    John F.
    Jacob J.
    Sarah J.
    Merritt J.

The two youngest were born in Union Township and all were reared here.

From Sandusky County, Ohio, in the early 'fifties, JOEL CROMLEY, his wife and children came to Marshall County, where he purchased laud [land] in Union Township. The year of their coming to this vicinity has been variously stated. JOHN F. CROMLEY says it was in the fall of '54. "I was nine years of age when we came here from Ohio," he recalls. As he was born in December, 1845, he would not have lacked many days of being nine in the fall of '54. But perhaps it was '55 when they came. Historians differ. A. C. THOMPSON says it was in '56 that the CROMLEYs came, and DANIEL MC DONALD set it down in one of his works as 1847. At any rate, early in the 'fifties would hit it quite squarely, so we shall let it go at that.

"The family located five miles southwest of Culver, within about two miles of the present community of 'Monterey," says JOHN F. CROMLEY. "That was in Fulton County, our first place of residence after coming from Ohio. In the spring of '55 we moved into Union Township and settled on our farm in the far southwestern part of the township. The farm adjoined Fulton and Starke counties, being in the very corner of the township. We moved in the fall of '69 to what is now Culver."

JOEL CROMLEY purchased eighty acres in Union Township, and also entered a tract of forty. He gradually cleared and improved his land, and on his homestead spent the remainder of his life, dying at the, age of eighty-two. He was a member of the United Brethren Church, His wife, AMELIA (SAMPSELL) CROMLEY died in 1890.

Of the five children, John F. known in later years as "Neighbor" CROMLEY, was the senior. He was born December 17, 1845, and in 1934 is still living. At the time this is written, he approaches his eighty-ninth birthday, which will be celebrated in December. Although he has just been through a spell of disability in the hospital, his physical condition is promising and his indomitable spirit is unshaken. For he is made of the real old pioneer stuff. He resides on Lake View Street in Culver. "Neighbor" CROMLEY is one of the of the veterans of the Civil War in this part of the county, and practically the last remaining in the township. Only two answered the roll call in 1934.

JACOB J. CROMLEY was born September 17, 1850, according to THOMPSON, the historian; Mc Donald said it was in '49. As was his brother John, Jacob was born in Ohio, in Sandusky County to be exact. He grew to manhood on the farm in Union Township, was educated in the public schools of this section, and in his boyhood days assisted his father to clear and improve his land. He had a taste for the medical profession and began studying it under the instruction of Dr. KELSEY of Pulaski County, afterward attending a course of lectures at Indianapolis. He made commendable progress, but in time abandoned the idea of becoming a "medico." In 1885, he left the to become a business man in Burr Oak, where he started a drug store at first, later adding groceries and general merchandise. He bought the drug store of old Dr. D. C. KNOTT. His Burr Oak business became well established, and he erected there a store building to accommodate it. The general store became widely known, and its owner's reputation as a fair-dealing and forward-looking merchant grew with the years. JACOB CROMLEY was elected township trustee in 1886. His wife was MARY LORING of Starke County.

Sarah J. a sister, became the wife of HENRY ROMIG of Union Township. Marion Miles died in 1905. The younger brother, Merritt J., remained on the home farm for a number of years, and is still living in 1934, his residence being at the home of OSCAR ZECHIEL.

Prior to 1880, the lands of J. CROMLEY were in the extreme southwestern corner of the township. There were lands also in the name of H. CROMLEY near the CROMLEY Cemetery in the KALEY schoolhouse or Zion neighborhood. Two separate families of CROMLEYS lived near the cemetery.