Joel  Crum
(and  Bellamy  S. Sutton)

          No Moral township family is better known that that of Crum. It has been identified with the county for more than sixty-seven years, and its members have figured conspicuously in various departments of business.  The founder was a man far above the average ability, and during his long life exercised an influence for good in the county's development.  He was, perhasp, one of the most successful farmers of his day and did much for the improvement of agricultural methods in his community.  The immediate ancestors were Pennsylvanians, Peter and Elizabeth (Eckelbarger) Crum ,  being settled in that famous old commonwealth during the earlier years of the nineteenth century. Their son,   Joel, who was destined to figure so prominently in Indiana affairs, was born in Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, May 30, 1816, and when twenty years old removed to Juniata county.  He spent three years in that locality, and during that time took the step which is the most important in every man's life.  On May 30, 1839, he married Maria L. Jeffries and with her he migrated to Fayette county, Indiana, where he farmed rented land for several years and in the spring of 1842 made the moves which led to permanent settlement.  It was in the spring of the year mentioned the Joel Crum first entered the borders of Shelby county and located on the old  Jeffries  farm west of Sugar Creek.  He developed this place with such judgment and skill as to take rank among the leading farmers of the township.  He was a member of the Democratic party, and though not an office-seeker made his influence felt as a safe adviser.  In religious affairs, also, he was recognized as a leader, and none were more active in the local affairs of the Methodist Episcopal church.  His wife was also an influential worker in the same denomination, and regarded by all as a worthy Christian woman.  Joel Crum was the soul of honesty, and none ever charged or felt that he was not strictly fair in all his dealings with his fellow men. His earthly life, which was as upright and blameless as the most exacting could ask, came to an end on August 1, 1893.  His wife had preceded him to the last resting place, as she died on March 26, 1890.  This worthy couple had a family of eight children:  Jerome, who was born May 23, 1840, died when six years old;  Michael E., born May 1, 1842, died September 26, 1890;  Catherine, born February 6, 1845, died in July, 1896;  George Washington , born October 3, 1847, died November 16, 1904;  John Wesley , who was born February 11, 1850, resides near Morgantown, Indiana;  Mary Eliza , born July 23, 1852, became the wife of  Perry Albert Graham; Columbus Oliver, born March 9, 1854, deceased;  Louise Irene, born October 23, 1856, married  Henry Smith, and died August 7, 1881.
           Bellamy S. Sutton, who became one of Mr. Crum's sons-in-law by marrying his daughter  Catherine, was for a long time one of the most prominent men in Shelby county. In 1876 he was elected Clerk of the Circuit Court, and served for a four-year term during a period of unusual political excitement.  He was very fond of politics, for which he had a natural turn, and took an active part in all the preliminary proceedings as well as the ensuing campaigns.  A great mixer, social in temperament, and fond of company, he knew practically every man in the county.  In 1878, he joined with  W. Scott Ray, Prosecuting Attorney for Johnson and Shelby counties and  Albert McCorkle, Sheriff of the county, in founding the Shelby Democrat [newspaper-plf], which was a success from the start, and afterward became a pioneer in the politics of old Shelby.  In 1882 Mr. Sutton was a candidate for one of the state offices, but was defeated.  In the same year he was nominated by his party as candidate for Joint Representative from Shelby, Marion and Hancock counties; was elected and took a prominent part in the work of the ensuing session. President Ingalls, who had a high regard for Mr. Sutton's ability as a railroad man, appointed him for superintendent of the Whitewater Branch of the Big Four system . After filling this position acceptably for several years, he was promoted and given charge of an important branch line in Illinois.  In 1896 he was elected to the State Legislature as Representative from Shely county, and after serving one term he retired to private life.  His health had been bad for years, and his ailments terminated in death some five or six years ago.  He had two very bright daughters, Misses Minnie and  Myrtle , who became popular favorites in Shelbyville society.  Their residence on South Harrison street was the scene of many hospitable gathering, as the family were fond of company and numbered their friends by the score.  Since the death of their parents the younger daughter and her husband have occupied the old homestead and kept up its reputation for cordiality in greeting and liberality in entertaining.
Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana by Edward H. Chadwick, B.A., assisted by well known local talent, B.F. Bowen & Co, Publishers:  Indianapolis, IN, 1909.
Copied by Phyllis Miller Fleming.
For further information on this family, contact Judith Lucero.

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           Joel Crum was born in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, May 30, 1816 and died August l, 1893.  He was the son of   Peter and Elizabeth Eckelbarger Crum , who had two other sons, William and Rufus K.  The Crums were of German descent.  At the age of twenty, Joel moved to Juniata County, Pennsylvania, where he lived for three years.
           He migrated to Indiana via Cincinnati then to Madison, Indiana, where he took the old plank road, later 421, or Michigan Road, and headed toward Indianapolis.  Along the way, he stopped at different taverns or inns.  One evening, he got as far as Big Sugar Hill.  The next day he and his partners went down to the old mill and on to see the big hill called the "Devil's Backbone."  Joel liked the surroundings so he made arrangements to buy 80 acres.  Then he returned to Pennsylvania where he married  Maria L. Jeffries  May 30, 1839. She was born March 12, 1819.  Joel, Maria, her parents and his parents came to Indiana together and settled on the west bank of Sugar Creek where Joel farmed.
           Joel sold the farm and had a store and saw mill in London about 1855.  The store was owned by Joel Crum and John H. Jeffries. His brother was killed in the saw mill. Joel sold his interests in the businesses and bought another farm where he found material for making brick.  He built a brick kiln 1 ½ miles east of London and burned brick for three two-story houses.
           He started to build his home when the Civil War call came for volunteers so his oldest son, Michael, enlisted.  That slowed down the work on the house as he had to teach a new hand. The trees had to be cut, hauled to the mill and sawed.  At length the house was completed and furnished in time for the wedding of the oldest daughter, Catherine.  The London house was a "dream home" in its day.  The other two houses were completed for his two oldest sons, Michael and George W.  Joel's homestead was the birthplace for the younger children and site for the weddings of all his daughters and for their second-day receptions, then called "infairs.' The two youngest children, Louisa Irene and Columbus, passed away there in 1881 and 1883. Columbus's death being the second fatality at the saw mill.  Maria died March 26, 1890.
          Joel Crum was far about [sic] the average in ability.  He was considered a well-to-do and most successful farmer of his day.  As early as 1844, he ran a threshing machine, known then as the "Ground Hog" and during every season for over fifty years he was engaged in this occupation.  He reared a large family with whom he dealt generously by assisting them with homes.  In politics, he was a Democrat. Joel and Maria were active members on the London Methodist Church and were honest Christian citizens.
           They were the parents of eight children,  Jerome,  Michael,  Catherine,  George Washington,  John Wesley,  Mary Eliza,  Columbus Oliver  and  Louisa Irene .
The History of London and Brookfield, Shelby Co. Indiana. pp. 50-51; Reude, Velma.
Contributed by Judith Lucero.

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