JEREMIAH J CRONIN
Jeremiah J. Cronin, of Wolf River township, has been identified with the interests of Doniphan county since an early period in its development. By memory he can recall the days when the greater part of the land was still in its primitive condition, when the site of the now flourishing towns and villages was barren prairie and when this section of the country was regarded as on the very border of civilization. Throughout the intervening years which have passed since his arrival he has watched with interest the progress that has been made and has willingly borne his part in the work of advancement and improvement.
A native of Troy, New York, he was born on the 17th of September, 1840, and is a son of Jeremiah and Ellen (Hurley) Cronin, both of whom were natives of county Cork, Ireland. On the Emerald Isle they spent their childhood days and were married, after which they came to the United States, locating in Troy, New York. The father was a tailor by trade, and died in 1893, at the advanced age of ninety-three years. In his family were the following named: Cornelius, now deceased; Daniel J., of Brooklyn, New York; Ellen, the wife of Joseph C. Clark, of Elizabethtown, Colorado; Jeremiah J.; Dennis J., who was a member of the Thirteenth Kansas Infantry during the civil war and now resides in the Soldiers Home at Leavenworth; and John J., an employee of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York city.
Jeremiah J. Cronin spent the first seventeen years of his life in the city of his birth, and soon afterward, joining his brother-in-law, Joseph C. Clark, came with him to Doniphan county, Kansas. In the fall of 1858, in company with two others, he made preparations for going to the mines of the west. They secured a team, provisions, and miners paraphernalia and started across the plains of Kansas and Nebraska. In what is now Colorado they joined a train in charge of Sam Mechant, an old Indian trader, with whom they went to California Crossing. The little trio then left the party and established their headquarters at St. Brain's Fort, from which point they would make excursions into the country on hunting and prospecting expeditions. They passed thc winter in that untamed region, signed the petition to congress for the organization of the territory of Colorado, and in the summer of 1859 returned to Doniphan county, not having seen a white woman while in the mountains.
On again reaching the Mississippi valley Mr. Cronin sought and obtained a position in a livery stable in St. Joseph, where he remained until the spring of 1859, when he again came to Doniphan county. During the three succeeding years he engaged in farming, and in 1862 entered the government service as a teamster, being assigned to the Army of the Tennessee, with which he traveled through southwestern Missouri and Tennessee. During his two years with that command he was never taken prisoner, but near Memphis, Tennessee, he narrowly escaped capture.
On leaving the army Mr. Cronin returned to the farm and rented land in Doniphan county until 1867, when he purchased a small farm, becoming a permanent resident of northeastern Kansas. He has since devoted his energies exclusively to agricultural pursuits, and his efforts have been followed by very satisfactory results. He has prosecuted his labors with diligence and enterprise, and as his financial resources have increased he has extended the boundaries of his farm, and is today the owner of three farms besides the original tract, aggregating two hundred and twenty-two acres, including the rich Cummings Hooper's place. His well tilled fields, substantial buildings and the neat appearance of his place all indicate his careful supervision, and the passer by would at once designate him as a successful and representative farmer of the neighborhood.
On the 16th of January, 1868, Mr. Cronin was happily married to Miss Jeanette L. Follette, a daughter of Robert and Julia (Turner) Follette. Her father was an early settler of Williams county, Ohio, and his death occurred in Doniphan county. Mr. and Mrs. Cronin have a wide acquaintance in Wolf River township, and enjoy the high regard of many friends.