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George L. Crookham

Occasionally young men would secure employment here and remain permanently. Of the number were John Kight and George L. Crookham, who came to the licks in 1799. The latter became one of the leading men of the settlement and lived in the county until his death.

He was born at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, November 18, 1779. He had a taste for learning and soon qualified himself to teach. When only twenty years of age he came to the licks and went to work at a salt furnace. But he kept up his studies. Even at night, while watching the kettles, he pursued his studies, and John Farney is authority for the statement that he included astronomy among them. Mathematics engaged his attention the oftenest, but he was a student of Nature and her worlds, even down to insects.

In 1812 he volunteered for the war, and rendered his country valuable service, for which he received in later years a land warrant.

He was a great lover of freedom, and when the slavery question began to attract attention in 1836 he became an Abolitionist. This made him very obnoxious to many of his neighbors, and that led to an act of incendiarism, which disgraced the county and lost to posterity a very valuable book. He had a school house on his farm, two miles west of Jackson, where he taught the children of the neighborhood. In this little house he kept his library, his collection of curiosities and relics, and a manuscript history of the salt works from the earliest days. One night the building was fired by some pro-slavery people, and it was destroyed with all its contents.

Mr. Crookham was the father of sixteen children, fourteen of whom survived him. He died February 28, 1857, at the home of his son-in-law, J. W. Hanna, east of Jackson, the most learned man in the county, and respected by all. The bells of the town were tolled on the dav of his funeral.

Source: A History of Jackson County, Ohio by D. W. Williams, Volume I, Jackson, Ohio, 1900.

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