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  • Writer's pictureDonna Hechler Porter

Joseph Cruse (1863-1934), possible grandson of Jeremiah Cruse & Elizabeth Harland

One of the last postings in a continuing series on Jeremiah Crews and Elizabeth Harland. Jeremiah was a son of David Crews of Madison County, Kentucky, and his first wife, Annie Magee. Unless otherwise noted, this information came courtesy of Marian Kay Cruse Abbott.

Joseph Cruse, the third son born to Zachariah Cruse and Rachel Lane, was born mid-way through the Civil War on 6 August 1863 in Vigo County, Indiana (1, 5). He was between thirteen and seventeen years old when his parents died. He went to live with his uncle, William Cruse, in Honey Creek Township, Vigo County, Indiana (13).

On 15 April 1893, in Vigo County, Indiana, Joseph married Emma Rebecca Misner (2), daughter of Leander Misner and Martha Jane Davidson. Emma was born on 12 June 1869 in Carroll County, Indiana (7).

Seven years after their marriage, in 1900, Joe and Emma were living in Crawford, Oblong County, Illinois, and Joe was farming. Living with them were nephews, Irwin Misner, aged 14, and niece Josie Cruse, aged 8 (7).

Daughter Felma was born on 9 September 1909 in Vigo County, Indiana. Joe and Emma had been married sixteen years already, and Emma was forty years old. Whether Joe and Emma had moved back to Vigo County, or whether she was there on a visit, is not known (4). It is known that by 1910 they were living in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana, on North 14th Street. Joseph was a grocery clerk. Living with them were nine month old daughter, Felma, and 18 year old niece, Josie (8).

Between 1910 and 1920, Joseph and Emma moved to Martinsville, Clark County, Illinois. They are found in 1920 living on Main Street in that town. Nineteen year old Felma was still living with them. Again, Joseph was a grocery clerk (9). They were still living there in 1930. Felma, at 29 years of age and unmarried, was still living with her parents (10).

On 26 May 1934, Joe died in Martinsville, Clark County, Illinois. He was buried two days later in Ridgelawn Cemetery in Martinsville, Clark County, Illinois (5, 6). His obituary, found in a Martinsville newspaper, is as follows:

Funeral services for Joseph cruse were conducted at the residence Monday afternoon at two o'cock by Rev. J. C. McMahon of the Methodist Church. Interment was at Ridgelawn.

Mr. Cruse died Saturday night at eight o'clock following an extended illness of heart trouble. He was 70 years, 9 months and 6 days of age. Surviving are his wife, and one daughter, Felma.

Mr Cruse was well known in the community. For man years he was employe by the Miller Store of this city.

Joseph Cruse, son of Zachariah and Rachel Cruse, was born in Vigo County, Indiana, August 20, 1863, and departed this life after a lingering illness, on Saturday, May 26, at his home in Martinsville, aged 70 years, 9 months, and 6 days.

He was united in marriage April 15, 1893 to Emma Misner. To this union one child, Felma, was born who with Mrs. Jose Daughterty, a niece who made her home with them from early childhood, constituted this happy family. Early in life Mr. Cruse lost his parents, both leaving this world inside of one week. It is only natural that he loved his home intently and was loved by all within his home. All who knew him speak in the highest terms of respect concerning his integrity, fidelity and industry. A good neighbor and a trusted employee, having been employed by E. C. Miller Department Store for 21 years, he leaves behind a record that will be cherished by all.

Two brothers, John and Ed, preceded him in death. He leaves to mourn his departure, his wife, daughter Felma, niece Josie, three brothers, Frank of Independence, Missouri; Henry of Colorado; and Thomas of Rosedale, Indiana; one sister, Amanda Burner, of Casey, Illinois, and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.

After Joseph's death, Emma and Felma moved to Paris, Edgar County, Illinois, and they are found living there when the 1940 census was taken (11). On 9 September 1945, Emma died at her home in Paris, Edgar County, Illinois (3). She was buried beside her husband in Ridgelawn Cemetery in Clark, Martinsville County, Illinois (12).


1. Obituary of Joseph Cruse (found above on page).

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

3. Obituary of Emma Cruse.

4. A further look at tax records could determine this.

5. Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

6., entry for Joseph Cruse.

7. 1900 U. S. Federal Census, Crawford, Oblong Co., Illinois, household of Joseph Cruse. Gives month and year only of birthdates.

8. 1910 U. S. Federal Census, Terra Haute, Vigo Co., Indiana, household of Joseph Cruse.

9. 1920 U S. Federal Census, Clark, Martinsville Co, Illinois, household of Joseph Cruse.

10. 1930 U. S. Federal Census, Clark, Martinsville Co., Illinois, household of Joseph Cruse.

11. 1940 U. S. Federal Census, Paris, Edgar Couty, Illinois, household Emma Cruse.

12., her entry.

13. Information courtesy of Marian Kay Cruse Abbott.

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