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Patrick & Catherine Crook, Elba Twnshp, Dodge Co., Wisc.
Posted by: Patrick Russell (ID *****4024) Date: July 25, 2008 at 15:22:19
  of 1849

The following information was kindly conveyed to me by a person in Dodge County. I am trying to tie down the relationship between Wm. Crook (or Crooke) and John Crook of the same area. Its quite probable that Wm.'s parents are noted above, based upon 1850 census data. Wm. lived most of his later life (from about 1860-1880 in Buffalo Co., Wisc and Winona, Minn. area and then the remainder in Pipestone, Minn., dying November 5, 1928). Would be interested in any obits published in Pipestone, as he was living with his son in So. Dakota when he died.

We also have more information on John & Ellen Crook of Elba, who we think is closely related to Wm. John died December 15, 1889 (born about 1825 in County Dublin, immigrated to NY 1843 and his wife, Ellen [nee Lavery, originally of County Limerick of Ireland]). We believe our Wm. contested John's Will as all the assets went to his wife. Ellen died December 3, 1904 in Dodge Co. and left her possessions (including the 160 acres farm in Elba)to her nephews and nieces and nuns in Milwaukee.

I am trying to get more information on Patrick Crook (or Crooke) who was incarcerated for life for brutally murdering his wife in Elba on February 20, 1860.

Here's the account, which I copied from an online publication:

US 1850 Census:
Elba, Dodge Co., WI, in 1850.
786 Patrick Crooke 38 Ire farmer
Catherine 37 Ire
Richard 15 Ire
William 11 NY
Henry 9 NY
Catherine 7 NY

Vincent’s Semi Annual United States Register
A Work In Which
The Principal Events of Every Half-year Occurring in the United States
Are recorded, each arranged under the day of its date
This volume contains the
Events Transpiring between the 1st of January and 1st of July, 1860
Edited and published by Francis Vincent
“The story of our lives from year to year”
Published by Francis Vincent
No. 50 North Fifth Street

662 pages
Original from Harvard University
Digitized Aug 3, 2006 by Google Inc.

[Excerpt from book, Page 121]
“Monday, February 20 [1860]
A horrible murder was committed in the town of Elba, near the village of Columbus this day. The Columbus ‘Journal’ says:--

A woman, named Catherine Crook, was brutally murdered on the night of the 20th inst. about two miles from this place, on the Danville road, by her husband, Patrick Crook, an old man, now being in his seventieth year.

The murder was discovered by a boy, who gave the alarm; and those who visited the house, says that paper, found upon entering, no other person except Crook and his murdered wife, who was stretched upon the floor weltering in her own blood. Mr. Crook was in his barefeet, mopping up the blood and wringing it from the mop into a pail, apparently very unconcerned. They went to the body and found it lifeless, and began to interrogate him. He told them that he had laid down on the lounge about 7 o’clock and went to sleep, and when he awoke, he found his wife, Catherine, as they now beheld her; that probably she had fallen from her chair against the stove or logs, and had died from the effects of the fall; and that he was not aware that any person had been in the house till little Michael Traynor came.

The head of the murdered woman was mangled in the most shocking manner; the scalp was clove from the skull; the forehead was cut and bruised horribly. The hand and arms were wounded, as if she had raised them to prevent the blows from falling on her head. Upon the post-mortem examination, it was found that there was seventeen blows struck,--thirteen on or about the head, and four on the arms and hand. Two or three blows on the head were sufficient to produce almost immediate death. The skull was not fractured. From the appearance of blood in various parts of the house, it would indicated a severe struggle on the part of the deceased to escape the attack: pieces of flesh, locks of hair, and blood were upon on the wall of the house, on the table, on the lounge, and on a pile of bags that were in the room. It was indeed a sickening scene.” [end quote]

Patrick appears in the state penitentiary in Waupun in the census for 1860, 1870, and 1880.

I haven't been able to run down the information and records of the trial and when Patrick died.

Thank you in advance for any leads and information.

The family information passed down also indicated that Wm. was a plantation manager in the Memphis, TENN area overseeing slaves, probably sometime around the late 1850's to early 1860's. He was also known to trade horses in this area. He was on the Mississippi R. during 1864 where he and his wife had to stop off at Cairo, Ill. to have their first daughter born.

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