Washington Crowder

Green County, Kentucky, USA
Death 26 Jun 1887 (aged 73)
Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA
Burial Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA
Plot Block 12, 46; no stone
Memorial ID 24292279 · View Source
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Aged 75y 11m 13d

Washington Crowder died Sunday, June 26, at the residence of his son, W. A. Crowder, north Third street. The deceased was born July 9, 1913, in Green county, Kentucky, and came to Sangamon county with his father in 1830. He was married Dec. 21, 1836 to Isabel Laughlin. They had seven children, four of who are still living. Mr. Crowder was at one time quite a wealthy farmer, but he met with reverses and lost most of his property. He was a man of upright character and of generous nature, and was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. IL State Journal, Springfield, IL 6-28-1887

"Mr. Crowder remembers that on the morning of December 20, 1836, he started from a point on Sugar creek about eight miles south of Springfield, to the latter place, for the purpose of obtaining a license for the marriage of himself and Miss Isabel Laughlin. He had finished his courting on the nineteenth, with the understanding that the marriage was to take place on the twenty-first, leaving the twentieth for obtaining the license. There were several inches of snow on the ground, but rain was then falling slowly, and had been, long enough to turn the snow to slush. Every time the horse put his foot down it went through the slush, splashing it out on all sides. Mr. Crowder was carrying an umbrella to protect himself from the rain, and wore an overcoat reaching nearly to his feet.

When he had traveled something like half the distance, and had reached a point about four miles south of Springfield, he had a fair view of the landscape, ten or twelve miles west and north. He saw a very dark cloud, a little north of west, and it appeared to be approaching him very rapidly, accompanied by a terrific, deep, bellowing sound. He thought it prudent to close his umbrella, lest the wind should snatch it from his hands, and dropped the bridle reins on the neck of his horse for that purpose. Having closed the umbrella and put it under his arm, he was in the act of taking hold of the bridle rein, when the cold wave struck him. At that instant water was dripping from every thing about him, but when he drew the reins taut, ice rattled from them. The water and slush was almost instantly turned to ice, and running water on sloping ground was congealed as suddenly as molten lead would harden and form in ridges if poured on the ground. Mr. Crowder expressed himself quite sure that within fifteen minutes from the time the cold blast reached him his horse walked on top of the snow and water, so suddenly did it freeze.

When he arrived in Springfield he rode up to a store at the west side of Fifth street, between Adams and Monroe, a few doors south of where Bunn's bank now stands. He there attempted to dismount, but was unable to move, his overcoat holding him as firmly as though it had been made of sheet iron. He then called for help, and two men came out, who tried to lift him off, but his clothes were frozen to the saddle, which they ungirthed, and then carried man and saddle to the fire and thawed them asunder.

After becoming sufficiently warm to do so, Mr. Crowder went to the county clerk's office, obtained his license, and by driving his horse before him, returned to where he had started in the morning. The next day he started on horseback, but found the traveling so difficult on the ice that he dismounted, tied up the bridle, left his horse to find the way back home, and went on foot to the house of his affianced, where he was married at the time appointed. Mr. Crowder admits that it was a very thorough test of his devotion, but it must be conceded that he proved himself equal to the emergency."

"History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County Illinois"
by John Carroll Power, E. L. Merritt & Brothers Printers, Springfield, Illinois 1876 - contr. by member 46794732

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  • Maintained by: BjJ
  • Originally Created by: Charles W Brown
  • Added: 31 Jan 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 24292279
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Washington Crowder (9 Jul 1813–26 Jun 1887), Find A Grave Memorial no. 24292279, citing Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by BjJ (contributor 46902476) .