LEVI F. CRISMAN, who farms the old Peter Fair place in Washington township, is a member of the fourth generation of his family to live in Armstrong county, where he was born Feb. 21, 1857, in Madison township. Frederick Crisman, his great-grandfather, came to this region from east of the mountains and located in what was then Sugar Creek (now Washington) township, on land still owned by the family, obtaining about two hundred acres. There he reared his family and continued to live until his death. He was of German extraction.
John Crisman, son of Frederick, remained all his life on part of his father's homestead, and became quite prominent in the locality, holding various local offices. In politics he was a Republican. He and his wife Catherine had a family of ten children: Philip, Esther, Lavina, Frederick, Eliza, Hamilton, John, Catherine and Henry and Adam, twins.
Frederick Crisman, son of John, was born March 20, 1838, on the home farm, where he grew to manhood. He settled on a farm in Washington township and followed agricultural pursuits throughout his active years. He now lives among his children, his wife having died Aug. 23, 1901. Her maiden name was Catherine Crisman, and she was born in 1838. Mr. Crisman served in the Civil war, and he has been a Republican from the early days of the party. He has never taken any active part in public affairs. To Mr. and Mrs. Crisman were born fourteen children, ten sons and four daughters, whose names and dates of birth are as follows: Levi F., Feb. 21, 1857; Sarah Jane, July 10, 1858; Adson Somerville, Aug. 10, 1860; John Walter, Jan. 21, 1862; Malissa May, July 9, 1864; Henry McClure, July 14, 1866; Frederick Ross, May 6, 1868; Laura Luella, April 9, 1872; Charles Calvin and Edward Alvin, twins, Aug. 26, 1874; William Harrison, Oct. 9, 1877; James Burt, Oct. 18, 1879; Jesse Merril, Jan. 12, 1882; May Priscilla, May 15, 1885 (died when eighteen months old).
Levi F. Crisman lived in his native township, Madison, until he was a youth of fifteen or sixteen, meantime attending the common schools and assisting with the work at home. Then he accompanied his parents to Clarion county, this State, where he remained until twenty-one years old, at which time he went to McKean county, Pa. He was there for five years, working in the oil fields, and from there came to Washington township, Armstrong county, locating on a farm. He worked for Mr. Wilkinson five years, and then bought a piece of ground in the township, near Mahoning. After a residence of seven years thereon he came to his present home in Washington township, the old Peter Fair homestead, having sixty-eight acres where he carries on general farming most successfully. He is a good business man and an excellent manager, and has found his work very profitable. Mr. Crisman has served his township as overseer of the poor, giving the highest satisfaction to his fellow citizens in the discharge of his duties as such. In politics he is a Republican.
Mr. Crisman's first marriage was to Ida John, who died leaving one child, David Erwin, born Jan. 18, 1884. His second marriage was to Mary Adaline Fair, who was born Jan. 4, 1857, on the farm where she and her husband now live, and they have had two children: Verda Ethel, born Oct. 2, 1891, and Millie Fair, born July 7, 1895.
Peter Fair, Mrs. Crisman's grandfather, was of German descent. He settled in Washington township on a tract of about three hundred acres then all in the woods, built a log cabin on the hill and made a permanent home there. He was a Lutheran in religion and a Republican in politics.
Leonard Fair, son of Peter and Sarah Fair, was the father of Mrs. Crisman. He was born Nov. 12, 1821, grew up on the home place, and remained there all his life, improving it greatly; he erected the brick buildings still standing and in good condition. He was one of the best known citizens of the township in his day, having served his fellow men as clerk, overseer of the poor, tax collector and for twenty years as justice of the peace. Like his father he was a Republican and a Lutheran. He died April 16, 1900. On Feb. 16, 1843, he married Mary Magdalene Helms, who was born Dec. 14, 1819, and died May 20, 1872. His second marriage, which took place Oct. 14, 1873, was to Catherine Martin, who died Sept. 3, 1890. His children were all by the first marriage, viz.: Jeremiah, born Nov. 16, 1844, who died aged fifty-four years, six months, twenty-one days; Eliza, born June 9, 1846; Peter, born Feb. 5, 1849; Emily, born Aug. 19, 1850, who died Dec. 20, 1866; Amos T., born March 23, 1853; Augustus C., born April 7, 1855; Mary Adaline, Mrs. Crisman, born Jan 4, 1857; and Malinda, born Jan. 9, 1861.
Source: Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed January 2012 by Sara Stewart for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)
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