Ohio Biographies

E.D. Crookshank

E.D. Crookshank, M. D., of Cheviot, and a well known citizen and physician of the county, was of Scotch descent and born in New York city April 28, 1807. His father, Nathaniel C., was born in Scotland September 27, 1772; was a physician; a man fond of letters and scientific researches, making the subject of natural history a specialty. He gave the subject of geology particular attention, and prepared manuscripts that should be put into book form. The inconveniences of the printing business in his day precluded the luxury of making many books, otherwise we would have something probably more tangible relating to the man. He also became proficient in mathematics, and after his coming to Hamilton county we hear of his making scientific surveys. He also surveyed the ground for the Cincinnati, Brookville and Harrison pike.

About the year 1800 he left Scotland and settled in New York city, where he married a Miss Mary Dickerson, of Ulster county, Pennsylvania. The fruits of this union were seven children: Jane Wiley, whose husband, now deceased, was an old resident of the county; Fidelia, now dead; William Cullum, a soldier in the Mexican war, but now dead also; Nathaniel, a lawyer in Sullivan, Illinois; Erasmus D., subject of this sketch; Martha (dead), and Juliette, wife of Dr. Williams, of College Hill - both dead. Jane, Juliette, and Erasmus D. were born in New York, Erasmus being about four years of age when his father removed to Cincinnati, coming to Pittsburgh in wagons and from there to the city in flat-boats. The family did not remain long in Cincinnati, but again removed, going to a farm twenty-two miles from Harrison, where they lived five years, and in 1817 moved into the town where Dr. Crookshank spent most of his early life. He attended the schools of Millville and graduated in the high school course under David D. Monfort, after which he took a course of medicine under the instruction of his father, and was examined and authorized to practice his profession by the board of medical examiners of Cincinnati - a method then in vogue, but abolished during the latter days of the society and just before the advent of the Ohio Medical college of Cincinnati.

About this time - April 4, 1833 - he was married to Miss Mary Lincoln, daughter of Rev. Henry Lincoln, of Harrison, Ohio, and moved to Dorr Town, where, after a period of about five years in pursuit of his practice, he removed to Fairfield, Franklin county, Indiana, and there continued his profession also. This was about the time of the exciting political contest of 1840, and in which it was not strange to find a man like that of our subject - of strong will - of determined purpose - and marked traits of character, longing for a tilt in the affairs of our government with those who sought the downfall of the party favoring his convictions. The opportunity for developing the strength of the man resulted in his election to the legislature of that State by the Democratic party, which was in 1844. There was an exciting contest for United States Senator. It was the session of 1844-5. The candidates before the Democratic caucus which had the majority were James H. Lane - afterwards of Kansas notoriety - and the Hon. Jesse D. Bright, now both deceased. The caucus was so evenly divided that Dr. Crookshank had the casting vote, which he gave to Mr. Bright who was a senator for eighteen years afterwards. In view of the course pursued by Lane subsequently, Dr. Crookshank always congratulated himself on his choice.

In 1849, shortly afterwards, he removed to Green township, Hamilton county, Ohio, and settled near Cheviot and again pursued his practice of medicine; but in 1859 the Democratic party in the county convention nominated him for the then lucrative office of county treasurer, supposed to be worth twenty-five thousand or thirty thousand dollars a year, and elected him over able and strong competitors. The county had been Republican the year before, having elected Henry Kessler sheriff by some twelve hundred majority. Nevertheless Dr. Crookshank was chosen treasurer by an equally large majority, and served with great credit. His personal integrity was high and he carried it into his official relations. He was the soul of honor; he was brave and chivalrous, and sensitive to the highest degree to any point that affected a moral derelection of duty. He was ever true to principle. He was a Democrat in adversity as well as in prosperity, and always stood staunchly by its organization. He was an unselfish and most liberal man, and charitable to the needy in his professional relations. He kept up with the progress of the age; was known to and most highly respected by the Democrats of this generation, as well as those who had preceded it. He was more than a physician; he was a highly cultivated and accomplished man of the world. His death, which occurred March 5, 1876, was undoubtedly hastened by a mishap on the cars while on his way to Illinois in 1865, since which time until his death his rugged nature and elastic step gave way to something less firm and buoyant. His practice in his profession was large, lucrative, and laborious. His death occurred just one year previous to that of his estimable wife. The fruits of this marriage were three daughters - now living: Mary, Florence, and Adelaide; and four other children now dead - Genevieve, Katie, Henry Lincoln, and Lurtone. The first named was the oldest, and who is now the wife of George B. Tait, formerly commission merchant, 196 West Sixth street, Cincinnati. He is at present a resident of the homestead property in Cheviot. Florence, is the wife of Mr. C. E. Laws, a wool merchant, who resides at Richmond, Indiana. Adelaide, the youngest, married George B. Mayer. They reside near Cheviot on part of the homestead.

The history of Dr. Crookshank is one worthy of chronicling. He was a well known and highly esteemed citizen in his day, and came of the earliest pioneer ancestry, making his life border on the earliest period of western history. Himself and father were also distinguished physicians of the county.


From History of Hamilton county, Ohio, Henry & Kate Ford, L. A. Williams & Co., Publishers, 1881