• Donna Hechler Porter

Jeremiah Cruse (1836-1918), possible grandson of Jeremiah Crews & Elizabeth Harland

I will be continuing my series on the possible grandchildren of Jeremiah Crews and Elizabeth Harland. Currently I am detailing these grandchildren through his son David Crews and Jane Jewell. Most of this information is courtesy of Marian Kay Abbott, a descendant of Jeremiah. The rest is my added research.


Jeremiah Cruse is proven to be a son of David Cruse and Jane Jewell through his death certificate (1). He was born on 12 August of 1836 in Indiana (2) and was the second son born to David Crews and Jane Jewell, having been born two years behind older brother Josiah Cruse. While Jeremiah's parents were married in 1833 in Vigo County, they were living in Sullivan County, Indiana when the U.S. Federal Census was taken in 1840. Likely, Jeremiah was born either in Vigo before his parents moved or in Sullivan County after they moved (3). Sometime about 1845 shortly before his tenth birthday Jeremiah moved with his parents to Honey Creek Township in Vigo County. About 1846 or 1847 Jeremiah's father, David Cruse died, and Jeremiah's mother, Jane, is listed as the head of the household in the 1850 Vigo County, Indiana census. The family was still living in Honey Creek Township.


On 19 February 1860, just a year before the Civil War started, he married Paulina M. Wilson in Vigo County, Indiana (4). Her name is corrupted in the records in a variety of ways - Palonia, Pilona, Pulona, etc., but her cemetery marker indicates her name was Paulina, so I have used this spelling. Paulina was born on 2 November 1835 in Indiana (5).

I have been unable to find any records that Jeremiah served in the Civil War. That does not mean he did not, it just means in my quick research I was unable to locate anything.


Jeremiah and Paulina made their home in Vigo County, and the 1860 census shows them living in Prairieton. Living with them that year were 18 year old Benjamin Watson and 69 year old Jacob Hess. Jacob Hess is interesting. He was born in Virginia, and according to the 1880 census, Paulina's parents were both born in Virginia. Hess also was in possession of a personal estate valued at $7000 and real estate valued at $1000. So, he was not an indigent elderly person that needed a home. I think the possibility should be considered by researchers that Paulina's maiden name might be Hess, and that perhaps Wilson was a married name. Further research could clear up the matter.


Sometime early in 1861, Paulina gave birth to a son whom the couple named Charles D. Cruse. This child lived only three years, dying on 29 September 1864. Charles was buried in Hull Cemetery in Terra Haute in Vigo County, Indiana. According to his burial marker, he was three years, five months, and eleven days old at the time of his death. The stone also records that he was the son of "J & P Cruse" (8).



Photo found at www.findagrave.com.

Six years later on 22 August 1866 he bought 1 1/8 acres in Vigo County, Section 25, Township 11 N, Range 10 W from Mary Hall for $60. Seven months later, he bought an additional 1 1/8 acres also in Vigo County, Section 25, Township 11 N Range 10 W from Nancy J. Gilliland and David W. Gilliland for $25 (9).


On 1 December 1870, Jeremiah and his wife, Palonia, sold for $800 4/6 of 27 acres in Section 28 and also 4/6 of 13 acres in Section 29 all in Vigo County in Township 11 N Range 9 W (9).


While the deed given above for the sale in Vigo County indicates a year of 1870, I have been unable to locate Jeremiah and Paulina in the 1870 census. It is possible they moved for a time to Illinois, but if so, they were once again living in Vigo County when the 1880 census was taken. That year they had their two sons living with them - M. Frances Cruse, aged 17, and David Cruse, aged 10. Interestingly, M. Frances is given a birth state of Illinois, while the others were all born in Indiana, including ten year old David. I looked for Jeremiah in the 1880 Illinois census, but I came up dry. The possibility should be considered that they lived for a short time here. Of course, the biggest burden of not locating them in the 1870 census is that fact that there were likely other children born to this family whose names are not known at this time.


The Terra Haute Saturday Evening Ledger reported on 24 Jan 1880 that Mrs. Jerry Cruse of Prairieton was very sick with the measles. She obviously recovered, for in June the 1880 census was taken and she is listed as still living (see paragraph above).


Paulina died on 1 October 1895. She was buried in Hull Cemetery in Terra Haute in Vigo County, Indiana. Jeremiah subsequently moved in with his son David, and he is found living with him six years later in Prairieton in Vigo County in 1900 when the census was taken. Also living with David that year was wife Lena and their six year old son Ira (6). Ten years later, Lena had passed away, Ira was sixteen, and Jeremiah, now 73, was still living with son David and still in Prairieton (7).



Paulina Wilson Cruse headstone

courtesty of www.findagrave.com

On 10 June 1918 Jeremiah Cruse died in Prairieton. His death was subsequently reported in the Terra Haute Tribune on 11 June 1918 (on page 2) and reads as follows:

Jeremiah Cruse, 81 years old, died at 3:30 o'clock Monday afternoon at the home of his son, eight miles southeast of Prairieton, Indiana. He is survived by two sons, David Cruse of southeast of Prairieton, and F. M. Cruse of Kansas; two grandsons and one granddaughter. The funeral service will be held at 3 o'clock Wednesday afternoon. Burial will be in Hull Cemetery.


It should be noted that while burial was apparently in Hull Cemetery, possibly alongside wife Paulina and son Charles, he is not found on the website www.findagrave.com. He may well have a marker, but it was not recorded for the website.


(1) Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011, courtesy of Ancestry.com.

(2) Birthmonth, birthyear and birthstate given in death certificate as well as the 1900 Prairieton, Vigo Co IN (son David's household). The actual birthdate found on the death certificate. Death certificate is not specific as to a birth county.

(3) Jeremiah Crews, Possible Children, Part Six: David Cruse

(4) Indiana Marriage Index, 1800-1941.

(5) Cemetery marker found on the www.findagrave.com and seen here.

(6) 1900 U. S. Federal Census, David Cruse, household, Vigo County, Indiana.

(7) 1910 U. S. Federal Census, David Cruse, household, Vigo County, Indiana.

(8) Cemetery marker found on the www.findagrave.com and seen here. It should be noted the byline on the page in regards to the birthdate does not match with the actual picture of the marker.

(9) Land records - courtesy of Marian Kay Abbott.

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