From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing
biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.
ROBERT CROWNOVER, a farmer residing on section 22, Lomax Township, is numbered among the honored pioneers of
Henderson County. His residence here covers a period of fifty-two years, during which time he has not only
witnessed the growth and advancement of the county, but has also aided in its development and progress, and has
borne his part in its upbuilding. He may well be numbered among its founders, and it is with pleasure that we
present to our readers this record of his life.
Mr. Crownover is a native of Lycoming County, Pa., born October 16, 1816, and is a son of James and Elizabeth
(Knox) Crownover, who were also natives of the Keystone State. Robert is one of thirteen children, four sons and
nine daughters, but only four of the number are now living: Mr. Crownover of this sketch; Mrs. John Peasley, of
Burlington, Iowa; Almira, wife of Almeron Skenkle, a resident of Dorchester, Neb.; and James, a farmer living near
The father of this family followed farming throughout his entire life, and always lived in his native State, his
death there occurring in 1832.
Upon the old homestead farm our subject spent his boyhood and youth, there residing until 1835. He used
frequently to walk three miles to the log schoolhouse, where in a primitive manner the common branches of English
learning were taught. He could attend school only through the winter season, for in the summer months his labor was
needed upon the farm. In 1835 he went to Michigan and engaged in farming in St. Joseph County for four years; he
then removed to Calhoun County, where he made his home until 1842. That year witnessed his arrival in Henderson
County, the family having entered land herein 1836. The journey was made by team, and he settled near Shokokon, but
after two years removed to the farm which has now been his home for half a century, becoming owner of two hundred
acres. It was a wild tract, still in its primitive condition, but he at once began breaking it, and in course of
time rich and fertile fields might be seen where once was barren prairie. As his financial resources increased, he
also made additional purchases, until he is now the owner of five hundred acres of valuable land. He superintends
its cultivation, and in return for the care and labor bestowed upon it he receives a good income.
On the 22d of January, 1851, Mr. Crownover was united in marriage with Miss Temperance Curts, daughter of John
and Temperance (Fredericks) Curts. The lady was born near Rock Haven, Pa., September 5, 1825, and in 1836 came with
her parents to Illinois. Nine children graced this marriage: Elizabeth, wife of Albert R. Bryson; Elisha, who is
living in Iowa; John; Robert; Temperance, twin sister of Robert and the deceased wife of William Randall; Alice,
wife of Charles Reynolds; Many; William; and Mercy, wife of A. L Gates.
In his political views, Mr. Crownover is a stalwart Republican, and has served as Assessor, and held other minor
offices. He and his wife are prominent members and active workers in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Crownover
has served as one of its Elders and is now serving as Trustee. His life has been well and worthily passed, and
during the long years of his residence in Henderson County he has won and retained the respect and confidence of
all with whom he has been brought in contact.