Crabill Family History

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David Crabill, born April 5, 1772, married Barb Baer, born 1786 or 87 as explained on the family list.  They came of Ohio in 1808 from Virginia to carve a new home out of the wilderness.

Records in the Clark County Historical Museum say that he rode a fine, strong horse through the woods before the time the National Highway was built.  The same records tell of some Land Grants given by the United States Government.

In the Clark County Surveyor’s Office there is a record saying that David had a grant similar to this.  His Grant was located in Moorefield Township, in Section 13.  A Conestoga Wagon is in the historical building at the Clark County Fair Grounds.  It has carved in raised letters:  “David Crabill, C County Ohio 1832”.

The Conestoga Wagon affected the growth of Clark County and Springfield, as many settlers of fine stock and background, as well as culture came here early.  Later more came when the Cumberland Trail brought pioneers from Pennsylvania and Virginia.  Even as today, when this Cumberland Trail was built the government ran out of money.  Because of this, the road stopped right here in Clark County in what was then west of Springfield.  From this time on the states were forced to build roads and bridges.  Thus, the “toll bridge” came into being, s a means of defraying expenses. 

Also in out Clark County Museum, there is a large bone, saved from the wing of a wild turkey, thus telling us that our family fared well on the trip as they saved this from food they had consumed on the way to Ohio. 

About 1817 Champaign County and Green County each gave a piece of their land to form the new County of Clark.  Our present Moorefield Township was already established in the Champaign County end, and when David Crabill first came to that land, he worked for 2 brothers by the name of Voss.  This was a very happy arrangement and later the Crabills named their forth child Thomas Voss Crabill born in 1810.  David Crabill was a soldier in 1812, fighting the Indians who leagued with the English against his native land.

David Crabill had but three months of schooling and when he came to Ohio in 1808 he was a poor man.  After getting a little start by working for the Voss brothers, he took his family to his own land – 88 acres in the northeast corner of section 13 in Moorefield Township – and began to clear the land, building a log cabin with “puncheon floors.”

The trip had been so exhausting and the first years so hard, that it was not so wonderful for the new little family to have their very own place in the wilderness overlooking the beautiful Buck Creek Valley that they decided to name their new home “The Promised Land,” and for many years this farm was knows as such.  They even had this name stamped on their grain sacks.

Before coming to Ohio, David had married Barbara Baer, a native of Pennsylvania.  To them were born 12 children.  They were industrious people and had the true pioneering spirit, coupled with energy, which knew no discouragement.  David Crabill labored hard improving his land and gradually adding more land, some of which was in Springfield Township.  Just as the family began to have a good start, kindness to his fellow man brought David Crabill great misfortune.

He had signed a paper as security, and unfortunately, had it to pay, although his own entire property would not help pay the creditors.  Yet with the assistance of good, loyal friends, and a indomitable energy, he paid every dollar of about $15,000.  This was a very heavy blow for a poor pioneer family and very few would have gone through with it.  However, after it was paid, David Crabill felt he was better prepared to meet the challenge of helping convert the wilderness into our beautiful Clark County than he had even been before.

THOMAS VOSS CRABILL was the forth child of David and Barbara Baer Crabill.  He was born November 2, 1810, in Moorefield Township; grew up and married Sidney Yeazell on January 31, 1833, in this township.  Shortly after their marriage, they moved near the Little Miami River in Springfield Township, on a farm which his father David Crabill owned. 

The first child of Thomas Voss was William Crabill, born March 15, 1834.  This William Crabill was the grandfather of Eldon Crabill.  For a year or two, Thomas Voss took his family to Homer, Champaign County, Illinois.  Here, their second child, David Crabill was born, March 14, 1836.

Then the family moved back to the quarter section of Section 14 Springfield Township, Ohio.  Here Thomas Voss spent the rest of his days.  They first lived in a log house.  They had 13 more children.  This made 15 children in all. The ninth child, being John Crabill, born July 5, 1847.  The youngest of his family of 15 was Joseph Forest Crabill, born February 1, 1859, and later known as Joseph, Sr.  This Joseph F Crabill was the father of Robert Eldon Crabill and Glenna Crabill Roahen. 

Upon the death of their parents, Thomas Voss inherited 100 acres of land and his wife, Sidney Yeazell Crabill inherited $1000.  With this they started a new life.  They raised this large family and by constant toil and rigid economy they accumulated, little by little, more land in Springfield Township. At his father’s death, Thomas Voss brought out all of his sisters and brothers and thus owned the FIRST land his father had purchased in this section.

Thomas Voss and his family worked hard, gradually making improvements to the land and buildings.  After the log cabin days, the grandfather of James and John Reynolds was hired to make bricks, using the clay found on the Crabill Farm and a fine new brick house was built.  Here, Thomas Voss lived until his death, September 5, 1884.  He had inherited much of the pioneer spirit of his parent and at his death he owned 700 acres of land surrounding his home in Springfield Township, and 320 in Moorefield Township.  At his death, this land was divided between his widow and children – so that each had a home or money in equal.  Joseph F. Crabill was to farm the original land and care for the mother until her death.  

In this same house, Robert Crabill was born to Joseph F. Crabill and his wife, Minnie Smith, in 1894.  While Robert did not live on this farm continuously, still he spend 55 years of his life there.  He is the present owner of 253 acres, part of the original Springfield Township land purchased by hard work and perseverance, by the old Grandfather (David Crabill) in 1834.  This land has been passed from father to son for 129 years.

Like his father and two grandfathers, Robert has kept the farm land in a high state of cultivation.  It has always been well stocked over the years.  Black Angus cattle, sheep, Jersey cows and horses were of good blood lines and usually returned an income equal to their grade.  Robert went to the old Congress School for seven years, on year to Crossroads School, and graduated from Springfield High School with the class of 1912.  He lives with his wife, Eleanor, and daughter, Betty in the large, square, two-story frame house which replaced the old brick.  The brick was destroyed by fire on election night in November 1924.

Robert, like his ancestors, keeps his farmstead in a good state of repair, and is a respected citizen of his community.  Many changes, tragedy, sorrows, and much happiness have come about on these Crabill farms since the first David and his wife rode into the wilderness called Ohio.


1.     David Crabill, Jr. (10/25/1961 age 48)

2.     John B. Crabill (10/24/1825 age 16)

3.     Susan Wear (wife of E.H. Wear, died 10/24/1825age 26)

4.     Belinda Thrasher

5.     Joseph I. Crabill (died 5/6/1872)

6.     Barbara Crabill (died 12/19/1863 age 77)

7.     David Crabill, Sr. (died 5/5/1839 age 57)

8.     Unknown

9.     Unknown

10.  Unknown

11.  Unknown

The small cemetery was enclosed within a five or six foot cement block wall and has no gate for entrance.  At a distance it appears to be the foundation of a building.  The tombstones have all fallen from their bases, but the inscriptions were in good condition.

In the summer of 1972, one ALBERT T. MCNEELY from the planning control ranch of the U. S. Army Engineer District of the Louisville, KY Corps of Engineers, came to the area around above farm, together with two workers out of the Army Engr. Lebanon Ohio office.  They gave the above information, together with the fact that his office was in the process of moving the bodies from above burial ground to Moorefield Chaped Cemetery located on the Morris Road, which is a short distance from the original.