Biography of A. B. Crooks
Buchanan County, IA Biographies





A. B. Crooks, who in 1912 became manager of the implement business of A. P. Burrhus & Sons at Rowley, was born in Ohio, June 11, 1852, a son of Alexander and Hannah (Johnson) Crooks. The father was a native of Ireland and when thirteen years of age ran away from home and came to America. He landed at New York city, having worked his way across the water, and for six years he was employed in different capacities in the eastern metropolis. He spent much of three years in a store and afterward served an apprenticeship of about three years to the tailor's trade. On the expiration of that period he removed to Leesville, Ohio, where he engaged in the tailoring business on his own account, conducting his establishment successfully at that point until 1856, when he came to Buchanan county, settling in Quasqueton.

This was a new but rapidly developing region and Alexander Crooks believed that better business opportunities could be secured in the growing west. He opened a tailoring establishment in Quasqueton which he conducted for ten years and then turned his attention to the real estate and insurance business. In the meantime he was called to public office, having in 1862 been elected sheriff of the county, in which position he served for four years. After his retirement from office he returned to Quasqueton, where he continued in the real estate and insurance business until his death, which occurred in 1899. His wife, who was born in Ohio, passed away in 1898.

A. B. Crooks was a little lad of but four summers when the family came to Iowa, so that he was largely reared in Quasqueton and Independence, pursuing his education in the schools of the two cities. When his text books were put aside he engaged in farming upon a tract of rented land in Liberty township. This he continued to cultivate until 1872, when he removed to Grundy county, where he worked on the farm of Governor Boise until the fall of 1878. At that date he went to Nebraska, where he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of wild land which he at once began to develop, living thereon for seven years. At the end of that time he sold the property and returned to Buchanan county, where he again cultivated a rented farm for two years. He then abandoned general agricultural pursuits and secured a clerkship in a. store in Quasqueton, where he remained for six years. He next went to Lisbon, Iowa, where he resided for a year, his wife conducting a millinery store there during that period. At the end of that time they came to Rowley and Mr. Crooks purchased a hotel and livery business. He later sold the livery barn and conducted the hotel for three and one half years, after which he engaged in truck and fruit farming until 1912, when he accepted his present position as manager of the implement store of A. P. Burrhus & Sons at Rowley.

On the 18th of August, 1877, Mr. Crooks was united in marriage to Miss Hattie A. Odren, a daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Twitchell) Odren, the former a native of Michigan and the latter of Ohio. They became pioneer residents of Buchanan county and in 1854 removed to Howard county, where Mr. Odren entered a claim from the government, on which he began to break the sod. In the course of time he had transformed the place into productive fields, whiéh he continued to cultivate until 1870. He then came to Buchanan county and rented land until 1878. In that year he removed to Nebraska, where he secured a. homestead claim but after a few years he returned to Buchanan county and lived in Quasqueton until the death of his wife, which occurred in 1906. He is now residing in Cedar Rapids at the advanced age of eighty three years. Hem is one of the veterans of the Civil war, having served for more than four years at the front as a member of the Fourth Michigan Cavalry, during which he participated in a number of hotly contested engagements and helped to capture Jefferson Davis.

Mr. and Mrs. Crooks have become the parents of a daughter, Iva May, now the wife of B. E. Davis, a truck farmer of Independence. Mrs. Crooks is the proprietor of a millinery store in Rowley, having conducted the business for twenty two years. Her productions are tasteful and stylish and her store is liberally patronized.

The religious faith of Mr. and Mrs. Crooks is that of the Methodist church. His political indorsement is given to the republican party, and he has served as justice of the peace here for four years. He belongs to Franklin Lodge, No. 59, I. O. O. F., of Quasqueton, and is interested in the growth and upbuilding of the institution.

From:
History of Bachanan County, Iowa
And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1914


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