REV. JAMES H. CROWDER. The peculiar characteristics of social and industrial life
in Marrowbone Township, Moultrie County, have been largely shaped by the noteworthy
family one of whoso honored representatives is the gentleman whose name appears at the
opening of this sketch. Their influence, which is broad and aggressive, is felt in every department
of life and is ever exerted to promote all movements looking to the upbuilding of the township.
The honored parents of our subject are spoken of more at length in a sketch of Mr. D. M. Crowder,
which appears elsewhere in this volume.
The reverend gentleman of whom we write is the seventh in order of age in a family of ten and
was born in Marrowbone Township, Moultrie County, but then Shelby County, March 4, 1842.
Here he received his early training both upon the farm and in the district school, and afterward attended
Mt. Zion Academy, being for two years under the valuable tutorship of Dr. A. J. McGlumphy.
His father's farm remained his home until the occurrence of a most important event in
the life of the young man — his marriage, which took place in Taylorville, this State, August 13,
1862. He had taught in the meantime two winters and one summer in Marrowbone Township
and then enlisted in the service of his country July 31, 1862, joining Company A, One Hundred
and Twenty-sixth Illinois Infantry, in which he served until August 1, 1865.
The wedded pair, so soon called to part by the exigencies of war, bade each other farewell and
the young private marched away under his country's flag. He was soon promoted to a Sergeantcy
and was detailed as private secretary and confidential messenger to Gen. Nathan Kimball in
command of Second Division, Sixteenth Army Corps. He took part in the siege of Vicksburg
and at the battle of Satarcia June 6, 1862, he suffered from sunstroke. He also took part in the
Arkansas expedition, the capture of Little Rock and the battles of Clarendon and Saline. In all
of this experience he proved himself a valiant soldier, a loyal and devoted friend of the Union and
an officer upon whom reliance might safely be placed.
"When the cruel war was over" the soldier returned to his wife and home in Marrowbone
Township and resumed farming and stock-raising. in which he was engaged exclusively until 1873,
when he took upon himself the vows of a Christian minister. He first settled in Casner, Macon
County, and later at Elwin, in the same county. After one year there he spent a year at Locust
Grove, Shelby County, and a year at Pleasant Grove, Logan County, after which he returned to
Casner for a year and was at Shiloh, DeWitt County, for three years. He was then located in
Springfield. Ill., for two years, and for two years at Oakland, Macon County, of which church he is
the present pastor. During ten years of this period of his ministry he continued to reside upon
his farm, which is a fine tract of five hundred acres, upon which he has erected a beautiful home
and excellent farm buildings.
The maiden name of Mrs. Crowder was Maggie A. Wear, and she is a daughter of J. M. and Jemima
Wear, now deceased. She was born in Fayette County, Ill., October 11, 1845, and was given
by her parents the best available opportunities for an education. As a wife and mother she is faithful
and judicious, as a neighbor is warmly appreciated and as a minister's wife is a true helper in
the work of the Lord. She has seven children. namely: Ora J., the wife of Thomas Stables; Effie
B., now Mrs. T. N. Hunt; Robert M., who married Miss Lilla K. Wellman; Della and Earl. One child
died in infancy and a little daughter, Katie J., was taken from her loving parents when she had
reached the age of seven years.
The Rev. Mr. Crowder has been a successful minister of the United Brethren Church, and under
his preaching, which has been of an evangelistic nature, he has reason to believe that as many as
fifteen hundred souls have found the way of life. He is a member of Post No. 176, G. A. R., and
has been Chaplain of his post and a delegate to the State Encampment. In this connection he
conceived the idea of organizing all the posts in the county, and as the result of his movement
Moultrie County is thus organized. He is not only a devout Christian but a broad-seeing and
earnest man of public spirit, who is ever ready to sacrifice his personal ambition for the welfare of
Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, 1891 - p. 378/379
Transcription copyright 2003/2007, Moultrie County ILGenWeb/USGenWeb