William Crook was born June 5, 1773, most likely in Virginia. At the age of 28, he married Catherine See on Sept 22, 1801, in Hardy County, Virginia. In 1802 their first son, John, was born.

In 1805 William, his young son John, six of his brothers, and his father, Ephrain Crook migrated to Fairfield County, Ohio. It is not know when Catherine died; she apparently came to Ohio with them, as a son was born here in 1814.   William settled on land that was approximately three miles south of Lancaster, in Berne Township.  His land grant is dated 1825 and is signed by President John Quincy Adams.

William served in the War of 1812, under the command of Col. John Delong, as a Major in the Ohio Militia. He then served under the command of General John S. Gano, of Cincinnati, were he rose to the rank of Colonel. He served at Fort Meigs and at Put-In-Bay, on Lake Erie. Major William Crook, with his command, after suffering every privation includent to such a service - in the most inclement season of the year, was honorably discharged at Put-In-Bay, about the 1st of March, 1814.  General Gano, on William's discharge letter wrote the following complimentary language: " Major Crook, your conduct under my command was highly satisfactory, and you are justly entitled to my thanks, which please except for yourself"

In 1817, William married for the second time, to Susan Hensyl, born in 1800, in Pennsylvania, and was the daughter of Michael Hensyl, a Revolutionary War Veteran.

William had at the least, two sons before his second marriage, perhaps three, William S., John, George S. Crook. His marriage with Susan resulted in four known children, Mary Elizabeth, Eleanor, Maryann, and Amelia.

William was a Justice of the Peace of Berne Township, most likely one of  the first, as noted in Fairfield County court records. He married his brother, George, to Margaretha Hensyl in 1813, along with many others.

In 1820, he was elected sheriff of the county and served until 1824.  He was a farmer and donated land to Berne Township for a school. It was located at the corner of Eckhart Road and the road that lead to Sugar Grove. The school was known as Eckhart School.

William owned a brick home, which was one of only four in the township.  It sat high on a hill overlooking the valley. In the years during the Civil War, William's Granson, John J. Crook, son of William S., used this property to quarry stone which was shipped by canal to it's destination. The Lancaster Lateral Canal, lock # 7, ran through the property where William had lived.  

In the late 1840's, William was sued, the reason unknown, by a Mr. Hart. The verdict was for Mr. Hart and the court ordered William's property sold at auction. Being a fairly well-to-do gentleman, he gave his son George S. the money to purchase the property, which he did. William and Susan lived there until William's death in 1855. At this time the remaining children petitioned the court to have the property returned to William's estate. After the court decided that William and his son, George,  conspired to defraud the court in the previous action involving Mr. Hart, the property was returned to the estate and auctioned by William's son.

Susan continued to live in Berne Township until her death.

William Crook - June 5, 1773 - August 15, 1855. Buried in Crawfis-Emory

Cemetery, Berne Township, Fairfield County, Ohio.


Provided by Cecelia Crook Inboden