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  • Writer's pictureDonna Hechler Porter

Edward Cruse, possible grandchild of Jeremiah Cruse & Elizabeth Harland

I previously posted some information on my old blog pertaining to the children and grandchildren of Jeremiah Crews/Cruse and Elizabeth Harland. I am reposting that information here, as that blog is no longer active.

As before, most of this information comes to be from Marian Kay Cruse Abbott, unless otherwise noted.

Every now and then I come across these sad stories that break your heart, of lives that seem to have been unlived and cut short too soon, and that after much heartache. The story of Edmund Cruse and wife Hattie Shepherd is one such story.

Edward, an orphan himself, would orphan his own children after an accident. Hattie survived two husbands to marry a third and was then cut short from that marriage after only eight years and during her ninth or tenth pregnancy. Edmund was 32 at the time of his death, and Hattie was barely 40 years of age.

Edward Cruse was the fifth and last child born to Zachariah Cruse and Rachel Lane. He was born on 19 August 1872 in Vigo County, Indiana (1). Sometime between 1876 and 1880 Zachariah and Rachel died and within weeks of each other. Edward was between three and eight years old at the time. Obviously, Edward went to live with someone, but I was unable to locate him in a quick search of census records. There is, of course, no 1890 census, so a second chance of finding him is gone from us. On 17 September 1890 he married Hattie Shepherd Grindle.

Hattie, the daughter of Hiram Shepherd and Sarah Tipton (2, 10), had previously married William Grindle in Clay County, Indiana on 7 March 1890 (3, 5). She was born on 8 October 1873 (9, 7), and can be found in 1880 living in the home of her father and mother (4).

The 1900 census finds the Cruses living in Harrison Township in Vigo County, Indiana on Main Street in the 6th ward in house number 118 (6). Five year old son Albert "Bertie" and three year old son Paul H., sometimes referred to as "Harry," were living with them. Albert was the son of Hattie, but his father had been her first husband, William Grindle (8), and he had been legally adopted by Edward. Records sometimes give him as Bertie, or Albert Cruse, and at other times as Grindle (Grinnell). Sometime after 1900, two more children were born to Hattie - a son named Claude and a daughter named Pearl (8).

Edward was a teamster, and on 12 January 1905, he was apparently kicked by a mule, likely in the head. Seven days later, on 19 January 1905, he died. The chief cause as given on the death certificate was "traumatic meningitis," while the immediate cause was listed as "kick by mule." He was 32 years old. He was buried in the Highland Lawn Cemetery in Vigo County, Indiana (1).

For some reason, the children were entered into records at the Rose Orphan Home as early as 10 February 1905, less than a month after Edward's death. I have no idea if the children stayed there for a time, but it is believed that the two youngest children of Edward and Hattie, Claude and Pearl, went to live with their uncle, Edward's younger brother, Henry Harrison Cruse and his wife, Elizabeth Baysinger (11). Claude was again living with his aunt and uncle in 1920 (14).

The Rose Orphan Home

The Rose Orphan Home was huge, having well over 200 residents in the 1910 census. Named after benefactor Chauncey Rose, a book has been written about it and can be found here. For an online history of the orphanage go here. This orphanage was considered one of the top 10 institutions of its kind in 1910, and it did, at least for Albert and Harry, what schools had not done for their father - they learned to read and write.

Four months after Edward's death, Hattie remarried a third time to Marion Johnson, son of William Johnson and Ada Bell, on 9 May 1905 in Vigo County, Indiana. Five years later, in 1910, Albert and Harry are found in the 1910 census in both their step-father's household and as residents in the Rose Orphan Home (12, 13). I have no explanation for that. In this same census, Hattie indicated she had given birth to eight children, but that only five lived - Albert by her first marriage; Harry, Claude, and Pearl by her second marriage; and daughter Marie Johnson, born in 1906, by her third marriage.

Around December of 1912, Hattie again became pregnant. This pregnancy would be her last, and on 24 August 1913 she passed away from puerperal sepsis, protracted labor, and delivery under anesthesia (1). She was buried in the Highland Lawn Cemetery, but no markers mark her grave or the grave of her second husband, Edmund Cruse.


1. Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Name of father and mother and their birthplaces not known, but considering the circumstances that of his parent's death this is unexpected.

2. Indiana, Marriage Index, 1800-1941 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.

3. Source #2 gives information as stated about Hattie, but it does NOT name her spouse. The name Wiliam Grindle comes from Marian Kay Cruse Abbott citing other records.

4. 1880 U. S. Federal Census, Vigo County, Indiana, Lost Creek Township, household of Hiram Shepherd.

5. Indiana, Marriage Index, 1800-1941 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.

6. 1900 U. S. Federal Census, Vigo County, Indiana, Harrison Township, household of Edward Cruse. The census gives Edward's birth month as April, but since birthdates do not square with other information in regards to the children, it cannot be said this is any more accurate than the birthmonth of August as given on the death certificate.

7. It should be noted that source 2 above gives her birth year as 1871 and source 6 gives birthdate of October 1874.

8. Rose Orphan Home Records, courtesy of Marian Kay Cruse Abbott. Also, the 1900 census states she was the mother of 2 children and 2 were living, and Bertie and Paul were the two children listed in that census.

9. Indiana, Marriages, 1810-2001 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.

10. The name Sarah Tipton is found in source 2 (marriage certificate). The 1880 census gives her name as Emmeline, and source 1 (death cert of Hattie) gives her name as Emmeline Tipton.

11. 1910 U. S. Federal Census, Vigo County, Indiana, Otter Creek Township, household of Henry Harrison Cruse. 1

12. 1910 U. S. Federal Census, Vigo County, Indiana, Harrison Township, household of Marion Johnson.

13. 1910 U. S. Federal Census, Vigo County, Indiana, Harrison Township, Rose Orphan Home Records.

14. 1920 U. S. Federal Census, Vigo County, Indiana, household of Henry Harrison Cruse.


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