Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 626-28.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Christian Crone

Christian Crone, living in Webb, has resided in this part of Iowa since pioneer times and has not only been a witness of the growth and progress that has transformed this into a populous and prosperous region but has borne his full share in the work of general development and improvement.  As the years have gone by his unwearied industry has enabled him to make considerable investment in property and the rise in property values has made him one of the substantial citizens of this part of the state.  He now lives in Webb and from this point superintends his interests.  He was born in Alsace, France, December 23, 1839, a son of John and Christina (Hartman) Crone, who were also natives of the same country.  The mother was a daughter of John and Catherine Hartman, who likewise lived in the same section of France.  Both John and Christina Crone spent their entire lives in the place of their nativity, the father there passing away in 1868 when sixty-three years of age, while his wife died when her son Christian was but three months old, her death occurring in March, 1840.


In his native province of Alsace, Mr. Crone of this review spent the days of his boyhood and youth and at the age of twenty-one years left his home to cross the sea to America.  After landing in this country he made his way to Walworth county, Wisconsin, his brother John having located in that state on coming to the new world about seven years before.  Seeking employment, Mr. Crone obtained work as a farm hand and was thus engaged until 1861, when he enlisted in defense of his adopted country, espousing the Union cause as a member of Company C, Thirteenth Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteers.  The command was assigned to the Western Army and Mr. Crone, who enlisted at Sharon, Wisconsin, was mustered in at Janesville.  The regiment was afterward ordered to Kansas and for two weeks was stationed at Leavenworth, from which point they were ordered to Mexico.  When they had proceeded as far as Fort Riley the order came for them to cross the plains but later this was countermanded and they were sent instead to Columbus, Kentucky, where they remained for a short time, then went to Moscow and on to Fort Donelson, where they remained for about six months.  From that point they were sent to Nashville, Tennessee, and on to Claysville, Alabama, where they remained for several months or until Hood marched against Nashville for the second time.  The Thirteenth Wisconsin was then ordered to Stevenson, Alabama, and after the battle there was sent to Huntsville, Alabama, whence they returned to Claysville, where they continued for some time or until about the close of the war. At that time Mr. Crone was driving a team and was ordered to Texas.  This was in the early spring of 1865 and on the 22d of June of the same year he was mustered out.  His first term of service having expired, he had re-enlisted at Nashville and was at the front for four years.  He made a splendid military record, never faltering in the performance of any duty that was assigned him as he defended the stars and stripes.


After being discharged from the army Mr. Crone returned to his home in Walworth county, Wisconsin, but two weeks later started for Iowa.  He worked for a short time in Illinois and then made his way on to Blackhawk county, Iowa, where he remained for about six mouths.  On the expiration of that period he went to Marshalltown, Iowa, where he also spent about half a year and later made his way to Ackley, where he resided for six months, returning thence to Blackhawk county.  It was in that county that Mr. Crone was united in marriage to Miss Jane Knowl, a daughter of Valentine and Elizabeth (Bachman) Knowl, natives of Byron [sic], Germany, and of Pennsylvania respectively. The father came to America when a young man in about the year I855 and located in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  Some years later he removed westward to Dubuque, Iowa, and after a short stay there became a resident of Blackhawk county, while eventually he took up his abode in Hamilton county, Iowa, where he spent the remainder of his days.  In the Knowl family were twelve children:  Charles, now living at Griswold, Iowa, where he is engaged in preaching in the Methodist church; Alfred, also a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, living at Cambridge, Iowa; Samuel, a resident of Webster City; John and Andrew, who are farmers of Oklahoma; Mrs. Crone; and six now deceased.  Unto Mr. and Mrs. Crone have been born the following children:  Charles Christian, who was born February 23, 1869, wedded Mary Donaldson, by whom he has three children, Rolla, Jennie and Lawrence, and they reside in Webb, Iowa.  John Valentine, who was born January 16, 1871, and is living at Greeley, Colorado, married Kittie Esgar and has one son, Tinden.  Elva Christian, born October 31, l873, lives near Emmetsburg, Iowa, and has six children:  Everett, Pearl, Britton, George, Rosa and Blanche.  Ida May, born December 18. 1875, is the wife of Christ Peterson, who resides near Albert City and has two children, Christina and Nina. William Christian, born April 5, 1877, is at home.  Emma Jane, born March 1, 1879, is teaching school at Greeley, Colorado.  Lizzie Mary, born September 16, 1881, is the wife of Henry Thieman and is living at Albert City, Iowa.  Evelyn Susan, born June 5, 1884, is the wife of Frank Scott, living near Marathon, and has one child, Esther.  Frank Christian, born August 31, 1887, is at home.  George Harrison, born December 12, 1891, is attending school at Greeley, Colorado.


Following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Crone lived in Blackhawk county for a few months but in 1867 came to Webster City, where Mr. Crone worked in a sawmill with Captain Warner.  He was thus employed through the winter and then moved on to his land seven miles north of the town.  He purchased this property for six dollars per acre and remained there through the summer, after which he again worked in the sawmill.  In March, 1869, he sold his property in that locality and removed to Clay county, taking up his abode four miles northeast of Peterson, where he secured a homestead claim.  After cultivating the place for two years he sold his land and purchased other property in Buena Vista, there remaining until 1903, in which year he removed to Marathon.  After spending a year and a half in that town he came to Webb, where he has since made his home.  As the years have passed he has judiciously invested in real estate and his holdings are now large and profitable, including two hundred and forty acres in Buena Vista county, three hundred and four acres in Palo Alto county, one hundred and forty acres in Clay county and eighty acres in Barron county, Wisconsin, together with two houses in Marathon and property in Greeley, Colorado.  He is a self-made man who, depending upon his own resources, has worked his way upward, proving the force of his character and the extent of his energy and business ability in the splendid success which he has achieved.  He holds membership in the .Methodist Episcopal church and gives his political allegiance to the republican party but has never sought nor desired office, preferring to give his undivided attention to his business affairs, in which he has met with well merited success.