William McDowell Crutcher


William McDowell Crutcher

Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky, USA
Death 16 Mar 1896 (aged 67)
Auburn, Placer County, California, USA
Burial Auburn, Placer County, California, USA
Plot 144
Memorial ID 48369897 View Source
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Member of the State Assembly, elected Nov 7 1882 to Board of Equalization

served in the California State Assembly 22nd District from 1875-1877
Excerpts from an article by Bill Wilson, May 10, 1996
Auburn Sentinel

Residence of W.M. Crutcher, Auburn, Placer Co. CA

William McDowell Crutcher was . . .admired socially, and was respected in law enforcement and in political circles. He also became a prosperous businessman.

The most talked about incident in Crutcher's life was a shoot-out with the notorious highwayman Richard "Rattlesnake Dick" Barter" and an accomplice in Auburn on July 11, 1859. A shot meant for Crutcher barely missed, striking and killing George M. Martin a deputy county tax collector, as Martin sat in a saddle attempting to draw his gun.

. . .Born in Hardin County, Kentucky, in a portion of the state where everyone "swore by Henry Clay", Crutcher's interest was torn between law enforcement and a political career. After graduating from the Elizabethtown Academy in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Crutcher crossed the plains and made his way to Placerville in 1853. The next year, he began mining at Wisconsin Hill on the Foresthill Divide where rich diggings were discovered. After mining for three years, he moved to Iowa Hill and in 1857 settled in Auburn. Crutcher married Mary Elizabeth Currier, daughter of, John B. Currier of San Francisco.

Appointed a deputy sheriff by Sheriff Charles King in 1857, Crutcher continued as a law enforcement officer under Sheriff's L. L. Bullock and Henry Gooding. Crutcher was named undersheriff by Gooding in 1867. J. H. Neff defeated Crutcher in the election for sheriff.

During Crutcher's career as a deputy sheriff, violence was prevalent in the county. On June 11, 1857, eight indictments for murder were returned by the grand jury, making a total of 10 first degree murder cases awaiting trial in the county. Before the year ended, there four other murders. During the next two years, there were 14 more homicides.

Appointed sergeant-at-arms of the California Assembly, Crutcher ran as an Independent two years later and was elected a member of the Assembly, defeating Republican Daniel Hogins.

In 1885 Crutcher was appointed Deputy Internal Revenue Collector in California retaining the position during the first term of Pres. Grover Cleveland. When Cleveland returned to office in 1893, Crutcher again was appointed to the. . .position and held it until the time of his death.
His home was a residential showplace in Auburn. It was located on a ten-acre parcel and was surrounded by fruit trees. Water from a spring jointly owned by George W. Reamer and Crutcher was used to irrigate the orchard. The spring also supplied water for railroad steam engines passing through Auburn.

Crutcher died in his residence on March 16, 1896 and his funeral was held in his home. His long-time friends, former Placer County Sheriffs John Boggs and G. W. Applegate, Thomas J. Nichols, M.D. Lininger and A. J. Bailey were pallbearers. . .


1850 United States Federal Census
about Margaret Bibb
Age: 36
Birth Year: abt 1814
Birthplace: Kentucky
Home in 1850: District 3, Hardin, Kentucky
Gender: Female
Family Number: 148
Household Members: Name Age
Margaret Bibb 36
William Crutcher 21
Martha Crutcher 16
Ellen Crutcher 14
Henry Crutcher 11
Ben Bibb 8
Margaret Bibb 6

Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1953
about Ellen Watts Name: Ellen Watts
[Ellen Crutcher]
Death Date: 17 Jul 1920
Death Location: Hardin
Age: 85
Gender: Female
Ethnicity: White
Birth Date: 27 Jun 1835
Birth Location: Kentucky
Father's Name: Willis Crutcher *****
Father's Birth Location: Kentucky
Mother's Name: Margaret Mcdowell
Mother's Birth Location: Kentucky

Kentucky, Marriage Records, 1852-1914
about Ellen Crutcher
Age: 21
Est. Birth Year: abt 1835
Birth Location: Hardin
Residence: Hardin
Spouse Name: Felix R Watch
Ellen Watts
Find A Grave Memorial# 59443993
her husband: F. K. Watts
Find A Grave Memorial# 59443969

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