John A. Crippen served in Captain C. S. Dennis' Company
D of the 37th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He was enrolled at Cedar Rapids
[Iowa] on 30 Aug 1862, to serve three years. He was mustered into
service that same day at Muscatine, Iowa, as a private. He was officially
discharged at Cincinnati, Ohio, on 3 Nov 1864, for disability. His
Certificate of Disability for Discharge, dated 3 Nov 1864, reads "the
said soldier was taken sick at Memphis Tenn in June 1864 with diarrhea
which has continued unabated ever since he has performed no
duty since that time. Being advanced in years and broken down in
health he will not likely render any more service to the government." John
A. Crippen died at the Post Hospital Cincinnati, Ohio, Nov. 4, 1864.
This certificate also gives some interesting information about John himself:
he was born in Cayuga County, N.Y., 45 years old, 5 '2" high, light complexion,
gray eyes, dark hair, and at enlistment was a laborer.
On 7 July 1886, William A. Crippen, youngest son of John A. Crippen stated
that he was the custodian of the family Bible of his father John A. Crippen,
with the following entries:
"John A. Crippen and Nancy Bidwell married June 21, 1849. George R. Crippen
born December 27th 1852. David G. Crippen born August 8th 1855. William A. Crippen
born February 23rd 1857. Mother Crippen died March 29th 1864."
This file also gives some interesting background information on him. John A.
Crippen was granted a divorce in Clayton Couny, Iowa, from Nancy (Bidwell)
Crippen on 21 Sep 1859, on the grounds of adultery (his testimony was also
included in the file, but will not be transcribed here). His wife did not
appear in court. John received custody of the three children. This divorce
record also tells us that John and Nancy were married "on or about the
21st day of June 1849 in Pennsylvania."
A marriage certificate from Linn County, Iowa, states that John A. Crippen
and Adelia L. Sills were joined in marriage on the 27th day of July A.D. 1861,
by E. H. Dobbs, J.P. Adelia's maiden name is given as Warren. There were no
children from this marriage.
Adelia (Sills) Crippen and John Hodge applied for, and were given, a license
to marry on 11 Sep 1865 in Linn County, Iowa, but the license was never returned
to the county office. An affidavit signed by a Mary Jane Belmer stated that
she was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Adelia and John Hodge in September of
1865 in Cedar Rapids. That they lived as man and wife for only a few weeks
before they separated. She also stated that Adelia resided with one James Sweeney
and that about September 1870 she married Mr. Sweeney. Adelia Crippen died
in Cedar Rapids 9 Aug 1872.
The following affidavit was found in John's file:
"State of Iowa
Linn County On this 2d day Feby 1885 before me a Notary Public in & for
the county and state aforesaid personally appeared George R. Crippen, David
G. Crippen and Wm. A. Crippen residents of said county & state who being
duly sworn state each for himself as follows that they are applicants for
pension in supplemental certificate No. 45923 that they are the only living
children of John A. Crippen late of Comp. D. 37 Ia. Vol. and Nancy Crippen
who was wife of said soldier John A. Crippen.
"That our said Mother was remarried to one Frank Wright in some Eastern
state but we are unable to give the date or place or any record of same nor do
we know of any one by whom said facts can be proven."
George R. Crippen
David G. Crippen
William A. Crippen
In 1888 the children of John and Nancy Crippen were all living in Center Point,
Linn County, Iowa.
This pension file for John A. Crippen is located at
the National Archives in Washington, DC. The pension application
number for the Widow's pension is #76333/45923; for the minor children:
#323719/243169, 32 legal size pages complete the file. Copies may
be obtained from the National Archives or I will be glad to provide
copies to interested persons for $10 which covers my copying and
here for Robert Eugene Crippen's web page - a descendant of
John A. Crippen