Nelson Penwell - Whiteside County Illinois
- Asa Crook (Sr) was born in Rutland county, Vermont, in (9 April)
1790. When nineteen years of age he moved to Erie county, New York,
where he remained until 1831, when he came to Indiana, staying there
only a year, and then moving to Michigan. His residence in the
Wolverine State was of three years duration, and in May, 1834, he
came to Prophetstown, and made a claim adjoining the present village.
He then returned for his family, and going by the way of Knox county,
engaged a Mr. Benjamin Brown there to go up to Prophetstown to do
some breaking for him. He arrived with his family on the 4th of June,
and as the breaking had been completed, planted it to sod corn, which
produced a good crop. Mr. Crook erected a log house that season, and
lived in it until 1839, when he built the large two-story frame house
now owned by W.A. Taylor. In this house, he entertained many
travelers. He was probably the first Justice of the Peace in the
county, having been elected to that office in August 1835. He was
also Postmaster early in 1836. He was always a farmer, but like many
other of the early settlers, made some money in selling claims. Mr.
Crook's family was a large one, and endowed with strong
constitutions. The children are all still living, and enjoying
excellent health. Mrs. Crook (Mary Dustin Crook b 23 April 1791) is
with her son Timothy D., in Nebraska, and is now eighty-four years of
age. Mr. Crook died in Sharon, Henry county, in 1854. Mr. and Mrs.
Crook, the latter being a Miss Mary Dustin, were married in 1811.
Their children have been: Theron, who married Miss Nancy Hamilton,
and lives in Oregon; Timothy D, who married Miss Elizabeth Barker,
and lives in Nebraska; Charles, living in Iowa; Asa, Jr., who married
Miss Lucy Cole, and lives in Henry county, Illinois; Lydia, who
married Norman B. Seely, and lives in California; Mary, who married
Mr. Penwell, and after his death, Andrew T. Bracken, and lives in
Portland; Cynthia, who married David Brown, and lives in Iowa; Lucy
who married Robert Woodside, and lives in Portland; Sarah, who
married P. Baachus Besse, and lives in Portland; Laura, who married
Benjamin Mattson, and lives in Henry county, Illinois; and Caroline,
who married David Vader, and lives in Iowa.
Mary S Crook, born 8 September 1814, & her second husband Andrew J
Bracken, married 15 November 1840 in Whiteside Co IL, Book A # 38.
They were living in District 37 of Whiteside Co. per the 1850 Census
with three children listed; Nelson 12, James 6 and William age 4.
Nelson was actually a son from her previous marrige to a Mr. Penwell,
who I can't find a marriage record for and who I have to assume was
deceased by 1839/1840. Nelson is listed as a Bracken but its unknown
whether or not he used that name permanently. Mary was born 8
September 1814 in Erie Co NY.