The Vidette-Messenger Centennial EditionThe 1936 special edition celebrating Porter County's centennial year . . . .

The following article has been transcribed from the August 18, 1936, issue of The Vidette-Messenger, published in Valparaiso, Indiana. This particular special edition focuses on Porter County's centennial celebration and contains a 94-page compendium of Porter County history up to that time.

Return to the index of articles from The Vidette-Messenger's Porter County Centennial special edition.

Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 18, 1936; Volume 10, Section 4, Page 13.


Edgar Dean Crumpacker Had Brilliant Career As Lawyer and Solon

One of Porter county's most distinguished sons is Edgar Dean Crumpacker, who sat through eight terms of Congress, was a member of the Indiana Appellate Court and was known as one of the foremost lawyers in northern Indiana.

Mr. Crumpacker's family was founded in this country before the days of the Revolution by a hardy Dutch pioneer, John Crumpacker, who came from Holland in 1752 and settled in Bedford county, Virginia. A son of John Crumpacker, Owen Crumpacker was born in Virginia in 1783, fought in the War of 1812. His wife was Hannah Woodford, and his third son, Theophilus Crumpacker, was the father of Edgar Dean Crumpacker.

Theophilus Crumpacker was born in Virginia on Jan. 17, 1823, and came to Indiana in 1832. He served in the Indiana state legislature for three terms from Porter county, and also as a member of the Valparaiso city council.

He was married to Harriet Emmons, who was born in Montgomery county, Virginia, on Dec. 23, 1822.

Edgar Dean Crumpacker was born on May 27, 1852, in LaPorte county, and grew to manhood on his father's farm. He received his education at the Valparaiso Male & Female college (Valparaiso university) and later at Indiana university. At the latter institution he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1876.

He located in Valparaiso in the practice of law. From 1884 to 1888 he served as prosecuting attorney of the 31st judicial circuit. In 1891 he was appointed by Governor Hovey as a member f the newly created Indiana appellate court. In the 1892 election he went down to defeat in the democratic landslide.

In 1896 he was nominated for congress on the republican ticket in a sensational contest at Michigan City in which he defeated J. Frank Hanley, later governor of Indiana. He was elected in that year and served until 1912 when the Bull Moose split caused a division in the republican ranks and enabled John B. Peterson, of Crown Point, to win the office.

While in Congress, Mr. Crumpacker was one of the outstanding members of the lower House. He was chairman of the important ways and means committee, and the committee on insular affairs. The Valparaiso man probably was better known in the South than any other northern member of Congress. This was due to the fact that he introduced numerous bills in Congress to reduce southern representation in Congress because of their disenfranchisement of the negro. Crumpacker received thousands of letters from southern people who resented his attempts to change congressional representation.

Mr. Crumpacker returned to Valparaiso in 1913 and resumed his law practice with his brother, Grant Crumpacker, and son, Owen L. Crumpacker. He followed this until his death on May 19, 1920.

Mr. Crumpacker was married in April, 1879, at Westville to Charlotte Ann Lucas. To this union were born, Owen L. Crumpacker, a practicing attorney in Valparaiso; Frederick C. Crumpacker, a practicing attorney at Hammond, and Maurice E. Crumpacker, a practicing attorney at Portland, Oregon, and a member of Congress in Oregon for two terms before his death six years ago.

Mrs. Crumpacker while in Washington was one of the organizers of the Congressional club. She was a fine platform speaker and was called upon frequently during campaigns for political talks. She was also prominent in the activities of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and served as regent of the William Henry Harrison chapter of this city. She died in 1925.

Article transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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