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Cherokee County Biographies

Nelson W. Crippen

NELSON W. CRIPPEN, a successful farmer of Pitcher Township, has been a resident of Cherokee County since 1872.  He was born in Warren County, Pennsylvania, July 4, 1822 and is a son of Stephen and Lucy (Bauer) Crippen, natives of the State of New York. At the age of nineteen years he engaged in the lumber business in his native State on the Allegheny and Ohio rivers; he continued in this line, cutting and sawing pine lumber until about 1852, when he removed to Michigan and again embarked in the lumber business in Branch and St. Joseph counties.  While in Pennsylvania his experience was confined to soft lumber, but he afterward became familiar with all the details of hard wood lumbering.  At the outbreak of the Rebellion he left the saw-mill and took up the musket, enlisting in August, 1862, in the Fourth Michigan Cavalry, Company G.  He soon joined the army at the front, and during the battle of Stone River he was detailed to drive a team; it was here that he received such severe injuries as to necessitate his removal to a hospital, and from December 31, to September 4 the following year he was confined in the hospitals at Nashville and New Albany.  Not being able to resume his work he was discharged and returned to Michigan, where he remained until the close of the war.  Mr. Crippen then decided to seek a home in the West, and accordingly went to Illinois and settled in Stephenson County, where he remained six years.  At the expiration of that time he came to Iowa and purchased raw land which he at once began to improve.  He has a pleasant home with tasty surroundings, and eighty acres of land under cultivation.  He is a popular man, and has been repeatedly asked to serve in the township offices, where he makes a careful and efficient hand.  He has worked under such physical disability that a man with less nerve and determination would have been discouraged.  About six years ago he suffered the loss of his right arm; while hauling a heavy load with a spirited team he was thrown from the wagon and was caught under the wheels, his arm being broken or crushed so as to necessitate amputation.  Despite this serious drawback, he attends to his farm work, and accomplishes as much work as most men.  Mr. Crippen was married in Warren County, Pennsylvania, when twenty-six years of age, to Miss Betsey Long, a native of Warren County.  Their family consists of Ernest D., Stephen G. and Delaven, all of whom are married and living near the old home.  Mr. Crippen is a member of the G.A.R., and Uncle Sam recognized his services by allowing him a small pension.  He is recognized as a stauch and true man and his word is respected, his energy admired and his kindly heart and manly traits beloved by all his neighbors and acquaintances.

Source:   Biographical History of Cherokee County, IA, W. W. Dunbar & Co Publishers, 1889

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