America Jane <I>Warren</I> Crooks

America Jane Warren Crooks

Brownsville, Linn County, Oregon, USA
Death 31 Jul 1954 (aged 96)
Prineville, Crook County, Oregon, USA
Burial Prineville, Crook County, Oregon, USA
Plot Block B Lot 132 Space 1
Memorial ID 28795113 · View Source
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America Jane Warren was born in Brownsville, Oregon, on November 7, 1857, the first child of Andrew J. and Eliza (Spalding) Warren. America's mother, Eliza, was the oldest child of the Reverend Henry H. and Eliza (Hart) Spalding, Presbyterian missionaries who were sent into the wild and untamed northwest to teach the white man's religion and save the souls of the native Indians. The Spaldings accompanied Dr. Marcus Whitman and his wife, Narcissa, who had the same goal.

The Spaldings established their mission at Lapwai, Idaho, while the Whitmans settled at Waiilatpu (near Walla Walla, Washington). When Eliza was about ten years old, Henry Spalding took his daughter to Waiilatpu so she could attend a school which had been set up for white children.

Shortly after her arrival, a band of disgruntled Cayuse Indians attacked the Mission and massacred Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and many others. Eliza, who had witnessed the horror of the massacre, was among the forty-six captives who were carried off by the Indians. She was obliged to act as interpreter as she was the only one who could speak the Indian language.

After several weeks, the prisoners were rescued by a party led by Peter Skene Ogden. Henry Spalding was so frightened at the possibility of Indian attack at the Lapwai mission that he moved his family south to the Calapooya River area in January of 1848. He was given land on which to settle by his friends, Captain James Blakely and Hugh Brown, at the site of Brownsville.

It was here that Eliza met and married Andrew J. Warren, a young cattleman. And it was here that Eliza's daughter, America Jane, married Joseph H. Crooks on October 3, 1873, when she was not quite 16 years old.

Joe Crooks was the son of John Turley and DeMercy Crooks who had come to Oregon by wagon train from Missouri in 1848.

Shortly after their marriage, America and Joe moved to a ranch on Willow Creek, near Grizzly, in Wasco County.

Five children were born to their unionb: Effie, Minnie, Charles A., Warren and Beulah. In 1890 they moved into Prineville into a house which stood at the southeast corner of West Second and Claypool streets, so that the children could attend school in the winter. They spent their summers on the ranch.

A seldom-mentioned fact is that America's aunt Martha Jane Spalding also lived in Prineville for a long time. Martha married William (Bill) Wigle and they built a house which still stands at the northwest corner of East First and Dunham Streets [1991].

America told her children and grandchildren many of the stories that her mother had recounted to her of the happy days at the Lapwai Mission, as well as those of the terror of the massacre at Waiilatpu. America also recalled her own fond memories of the early days at Grizzly when the young people would pile into a wagon, drive to Prineville, dance all night, and drive home again in the dawn of the next day.

Joe Crooks passed away October 18, 1918. America continued to live in the house on West Second Street until her death on July 31, 1954, at the age of 97. She was the 1939 Crook County Pioneer Queen.

Source: Crook County Historical Society


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  • Created by: Carrie and Allen
  • Added: 5 Aug 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 28795113
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for America Jane Warren Crooks (7 Nov 1857–31 Jul 1954), Find a Grave Memorial no. 28795113, citing Juniper Haven Cemetery, Prineville, Crook County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by Carrie and Allen (contributor 46963612) .