Harry L. Crumpacker, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Harry L. Crumpacker

HON. HARRY L. CRUMPACKER, now serving a second term as judge of the Superior Court of Porter and LaPorte counties, was admitted to the bar in 1905, and has accumulated many distinctions in the brief period of his professional work. Judge Crumpacker's home since beginning practice has been at Michigan City.

It is doubtful if any family has contributed more names to the substantial citizenship, the farming and business and professional activities of Northwestern Indiana. The thirteen American colonies were hardly organized when John Crumpacker emigrated from Holland in 1762 and settled in Bedford County, Virginia. The family lived in Virginia many years. Owen Crumpacker, a son of John, was born in Botetourt County, Virginia, in 1783, and was an American soldier in the War of 1812, serving with the Seventh Virginia Regiment. He married Hannah Woodford.

The third son of this couple was Theophilus Crumpacker, grandfather of Judge Crumpacker. Theophilus was born in Botetourt County, Virginia, January 17, 1823.

About 1828 Owen Crumpacker brought his family west to Indiana, first locating in Union County, in 1832 coming to Porter County, and Owen was a farmer there until his death, when about sixty-five years of age. His wife, Hannah, reached the advanced age of eighty-six.

Theophilus Crumpacker was a small boy when brought to Indiana. He lived in Porter and LaPorte Counties, and for a year or so during the Civil war had his home on a farm near Kankakee, Illinois. He then returned to Porter County and established his home on a farm three miles east of Valparaiso. In 1890 he retired from his farm and made his home in Valparaiso until his death November 27, 1908. Theophilus Crumpacker married Harriet Emmons, who was born in Montgomery County, Virginia, December 23, 1822, daughter of William and Elsie (Kirk) Emmons. The Emmons family was of Scotch-Irish descent and they moved West from Virginia at an early date, William Emmons establishing a home in Cass County, Michigan, in 1832. He died at the age of sixty-eight, and his widow, Elsie, survived to the age of eighty-one.

Theophilus Crumpacker and wife had eight children, namely: John W., father of Judge Crumpacker; Edgar D., who was born May 27, 1852, was admitted to the bar in 1876, and for many years has been a prominent figure in the public life of the state and the nation, representing the Tenth Indiana District in Congress from 1897 to 1913; Daniel W, long in the railway mail service; Eliza A., who married Melvin W. Lewis'; Peter, for many years a lawyer at Hammond; Dora A., who married Iredell Luther; Charles, of Valparaiso ; and Grant, a prominent Valparaiso lawyer. Nearly all the Crumpackers have had a tendency to go into politics. Theophilus was one of the early day republicans, and for three terms represented his district in the State Legislature and was a factor in local politics in Porter County.

John W. Crumpacker, father of Judge Crumpacker, was born in New Durham Township of LaPorte County, March 9, 1849. He spent most of his youth in Porter County on his father's farm, was educated in the rural schools and the Northern Indiana Normal School, now the Valparaiso University, and at one time was a teacher. In 1872 he was appointed deputy county treasurer of Porter County, serving until 1879. In the fall of 1878 he was elected county treasurer and by re-election in 1880 filled that office with the confidence and efficiency familiarly associated with the Crumpacker family until August, 1883. In 1884 he became cashier and manager of the Hobart Bank of Valparaiso. Then, in February, 1885, he assumed his duties as cashier of the LaPorte Savings Bank, and was a well known LaPorte banker from that time until his death, which occurred in 1913.

January 3, 1877, John W. Crumpacker married Anna J. Smith. She was born in Norwalk, Ohio, a daughter of Hiram and Harriet (Ashley) Smith, both natives of Massachusetts. Mrs. John W. Crumpacker now makes her home with her only son and child, Judge Crumpacker. John W. Crumpacker was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

Harry L. Cumpacker was born at Valparaiso, Indiana, May 6, 1881. He acquired a liberal education, graduating from the LaPorte High School in 1899, and then entering the University of Michigan. He received his A. B. degree in 1903, and continued his studies in the law department until attaining the LL. B. degree in 1905. In the fall of the same year he began active practice at Michigan City and enjoyed a large business as a lawyer until entering upon his duties on the bench. He served as city attorney, and in 1914 was elected judge of the Superior Court for the district of LaPorte and Porter counties. He was re-elected in 1918.

In 1907 Judge Crumpacker married Miss Blanche E. Bosserman, a native of LaPorte and daughter of Charles and Emma (Webber) Bosserman. Her father was of early Pennsylvanian ancestry and was long prominent in the business affairs of LaPorte, where he lived many years, until his death. Mrs. Crumpacker's maternal grandfather, Leroy D. Webber, was a native of Chautauqua County, New York, and a son of Stebbins P. and Emeline (Pope) Webber, the former a native of Massachusetts and the latter of New York. Leroy D. Webber located at LaPorte as early as 1851, and in the same year engaged in the hardware business. That business is still continued under the name the Webber Hardware Company. He served as mayor of the city and as a member of the school board.

Judge and Mrs. Crumpacker had three children: John W., Helen, and Louise. Mrs. Crumpacker died in 1914. Judge Crumpacker is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and he is affiliated with Theta Delta Chi fraternity, Acme Lodge No. 83, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Washington Lodge No. 94, Knights of Pythias, is a member of the Potawattomie Country Club, of the Michigan City Chamber of Commerce, and the Young Men's Christian Association. Like his father and practically all the family, he is a steadfast republican.

Source: Dunn, Jacob Piatt. 1919. Indiana and Indianans: A History of Aboriginal and Territorial Indiana and the Century of Statehood. Volume V. Chicago, Illinois: The American Historical Society. 2291 p.
Page(s) in Source: 2079-2080

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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