CRISSEY, STEPHEN T. - Agricultural conditions in Sangamon county, Ill., have changed greatly during the past twenty-five or thirty years, and even the farmer of a decade ago is surprised by the innovations he finds when he makes a trip to a farm, the operation of which he has turned over to other hands. Methods, machinery and ideas have improved, with the result that better crops are grown and the farmer's work becomes more and more a thing of machinery, to replace the hard physical labor of a few years ago. One man who has seen the various changes in the calling of farming is Stephen T. Crissey, a venerable citizen of Springfield, and a veteran of the Civil War, who was for thirty years engaged in agricultural pursuits in the county. Mr. Crissey was born in Westchester County, N.Y., March 20, 1838, and is a son of Alva and Julia A. (Tuttle) Crissey, natives of Bedford, N.Y., where the former was born in 1797 and the latter in 1807. The family resided in Westchester County until 1854, at which time they moved to Bates, Ill., sixteen miles west of Springfield, and after spending two years there moved to a farm near Springfield, where Mr. Crissey's parents died. His paternal grandfather fought during the American Revolution.
Stephen T. Crissey received his education in the country schools of his native locality, after leaving which he went to learn the printer's trade in New York City, and worked there for a short time. He came West with his parents in 1854, and there continued to farm for many years, retiring in 1899, when he came to Springfield. He owns a comfortable home at No. 1227 West Lawrence Avenue, in addition to a large farm and fruit orchard, and is considered one of the substantial men of his community. Mr. Crissey has always been a stanch Republican and has served a number of terms as School Director. In 1860, while living in Loami, Ill., a member of the "Wide Awake Marching Club," which went from that town to Springfield, the delegation carrying a rail, which was deposited in the yard of Abraham Lincoln's home, and serenaded Lincoln at the ratification of his nomination. He showed his patriotism later by enlisting in Company B One Hundred Thirtieth United States Infantry, from Bunker Hill, Ill., and was a prisoner at the Confederate prison in Smith County, Tex., at the time of the assassination of President Lincoln. In August, 1865, he was mustered out of service, his time having expired. He is a member of the Stephenson Post No. 30, Grand Army of the Republic. His religious affiliation is with the Methodist Church.
On April 2, 1870, Mr. Crissey was married in Springfield to Emma Duey, who was born in Chippensburg, Pa., in 1850, and whose parents, Philip and Catherine (Dunbar) Duey, natives of same place, were farming people, and came to Sangamon County, Ill., in 1866. Both died there. Of the eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Crissey the following are living: Warren, a pattern maker at Ides foundry, residing on South Eleventh Street; Lula, wife of Harry Roundtree, in the employ of the Bruce Searles Piano Company; May, wife of George Henze, a cigar manufacturer of Jacksonville, Ill.; and Florence, wife of Frank Williams, in the employ of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company at Springfield, Ill. Mr. and Mrs. Crissey have thirteen grandchildren.