William A. Crooks

1849 - 1922

“William A. Crooks is now living retired at Sioux Falls, enjoying a rest which he has truly earned and richly deserves. A native of Canada, he was born in the province of Quebec, October 22, 1849, a son of John N. and Caroline Crooks. The father was a farmer by occupation and in 1875 came with his family to Dakota territory, where he homesteaded and thereafter engaged in farming until his life’s labors were ended in death. In the meantime, however, he had removed with his family from Canada to Wisconsin and from that state made his way to South Dakota.

In the public schools of Wisconsin William A. Crooks pursued his education and during the periods of vacation and after his school days were over he assisted his father in the work of the home farm. The year 1877 witnessed his arrival in Dakota territory, at which time he took up his abode on the present site of the town of Crooks, homesteading the northeast quarter of section 3, township 103, range 50. He also secured a tree claim, after which he devoted his time and energies to general farming until about six years ago, when he sold his property and took up his abode in Sioux Falls, where he now has some valuable realty. While upon his farm he converted the land into productive fields, working diligently and persistently year after year to make the place a profitable property. He added to it many modern improvements and equipments, using the latest farm machinery to facilitate the work of the fields.

In 1867 Mr. Crooks married Miss Sarah Emery and they became the parents of five children: David N., living at Lyons; George, who is living at Crooks and who is mentioned elsewhere in this volume; William H., residing in Montana; Alma N., deceased; and Arthur, who died in infancy.

Mr. Crooks has always been a believer in the teachings of the Methodist church, in which he holds membership. In politics he was formerly very active and has always supported the republican party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. He has filled a number of public positions of honor and trust. He was deputy sheriff for six years and for eight years was at the state penitentiary as assistant deputy warden, but was obliged to give up that position on account of ill health. He served for one term as sergeant-of-arms in the state legislature and for one term represented his district in the general assembly, covering the years 1894 and 1895. He has also been assessor and justice of the peace at Crooks and in these different positions has discharged his duties with a promptness and fidelity that have won for him confidence and high regard. His record at al times has been that of a progressive business man, a loyal, public-spirited citizen and a faithful friend.”

George W. Kingsbury, History of Dakota Territory, Vol. 5 (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1915) pp. 1146 – 1147.

The Town of Crooks, South Dakota, originally known as New Hope from 1876-1904, was renamed after the Crooks family.

William A. Crooks lived to the age of 72 years and was buried on August 11, 1922, in Block 28 – Lot 1 of the cemetery. He rests in the family lot along with his parents, wife, and several children.