Biography of Capt. J. R. Crouch (dates unknown )
Unknown Source


One of the highly respected citizens of Granite is Mr. J.R.CROUCH who has the distinction of having been a campanion with H.C.SWEET in the pioneer days when Mangum was founded. He kept the first hotel in Greer county at Mangum, using as his hotel a dug-out and two tents. This was on the trail between Wichita Falls ad Mobeeti, Texas, and his principle trade was with the cowboys. Here he fed and sheltered hundreds of people.

Mr. CROUCH camped with Mr. SWEET on what is now the farm of L.A. JOHNSON, his son-in-law, adjoining Mangum. On the night of May 10th 1883, when a violent storm came up nearly blowing them away. Mr.SWEET, with A.S. MANGUM, from whom the town was named, had previously located confederate warrants and held the land under this claim.

Mr. CROUCH is an interesting Old settler, and Mrs. CROUCH, his life long companion is no less so. They together relate enough interesting pioneer stories to make a volume of captivating reading. Their dug-out and tent hotel was eagerly sought and they soon began to retrieve losses sustained by fire at Wichita Falls, which left him almost penniless. Besides his hotel he kept a ranch at the mouth of Elm Creek, where he bought horse, cattle and mules from the Indians. He also kept a trader's post and traded for Indian trinkets, furs, hides and blankets. At Vernon he found ready sale for his stock at satisfactory prices.

Mr. CROUCH was fond of hunting and shot deer, antelope and wild turkey in great numbers. He shows the same gun, a Winchester model of 1873, he has had all these years. In speaking of the pioneer times he says "Tin-City" was the name applied to SWEET'S STORE and Post Office because the cracks were covered with tin strips made from tin cans thrown away by travelers. Mr. CROUCH had much dealings with Indians but says they always treated him fairly while Mrs. CROUCH entertains her guests for hours at a time relating experiences with the redskins, but has nothing to complain of at their hands. Often when Mr. CROUCH would be absent she had to deal wth them alone but they never harmed her. They called Mr. CROUCH "Chuckaway Chief", because he fed them.

Mr. and Mrs. CROUCH and children constitute the oldest family now living in Greer County. Their children, J.R. CROUCH JR., Anna Bell CROUCH, now Mrs. McDOUGAL, and Lila V. CROUCH, now Mrs. L.A. JOHNSON also of Mangum with their playmates, Frank H. SWEET and Lucy SWEET, now Mrs. WILSON also of Mangum, were the first and only children in Greer County for some time. Mr. SWEET'S family had been in the county ten days when the CROUCH family arrived. Mr. and Mrs. CROUCH tell of the first school in the county, when where and by whom taught, also who preached the first sermon in the county and where, which with many other interesting features of pioneer history will constitute an interesting chapter in these pages.

Mr. CROUCH is a native of LINCOLN COUNTY, MISSOURI, where he married Miss ANNIE Y. HUTT daughter of MAJ. T. W. HUTT of Virginia. They resided in Missouri, until one year before coming to Greer County in 1883. They now have a cozy home in Granite but own other valuable property in Greer County and live comfortable as a result of their hard labors, and enjoy the hghest respect of all their multitude of acquaintances.

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[Transcriber's note:  I do not know if this is from a newpaper article or from a book. I have no date. I believe this information came from David Crouch of Troy, Mo. Their residence at Granite, OK. I believe Ann Hutt's middle name was YOUNG. Photo attached is Capt. J.R.CROUCH & GRANDCHILD also their residence in Granite, OK.  j.g.]

File submitted to HERITAGE PAGES of LINCOLN COUNTY, MISSOURI by June Groshong, 3 June 2004.  Link change or update: 18 Jun 2004

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