Biography of Cornelius C. Corss of Bureau, Illinois

The Corss family was probably among the Puritan settlers of Massachusetts, at least they were residents of Deerfield, Massachusetts. At the time of the French and Indian massacre in 1703 and 1704, and only two of the family escaped, one of whom was the great-grandfather of C. C. Corss. The family still continued to reside in Massachusetts, and at Greenfield, Massachusetts, our subject was born, October 13, 1897. His grandfather, Asher Corss, was among the early settlers of Greenfield, known as one of the old proprietors, he having taken up a large tract of land in that vicinity. Asher Corss Jr., our subject’s father, lived and died on the farm which his father had settled. Both he and his wife Lucy Grennell, died in May, 1814. She was born April 7, 1775, and he June 5, 1775. They were the parents of three sons and six daughters, three of whom are living: Charles C. Corss, a minister of Bradford County, Pennsylvania; Cornelius C., our subject; Sarah, widow of Henry Newton, resides at Greenfield, Massachusetts. Christopher G. Corss, another son of Asher Corss, Jr., came to this county previous to the Black Hawk war, and settled southeast of Princeton in Princeton Township, and lived there until his death, June 9, 1867.

Cornelius C. Corss was reared in Greenfield, Massachusetts, and resided in that State till 1833, when he came to Bureau County, Illinois, arriving here in October. He first laid claim to what is known as the Deacon Caleb Cook farm in Princeton Township, and resided there one year, when he sold his claim to Deacon Cook and then settled on his present farm in Bureau Township, Section 34, where he has lived since the fall of 1834. He and his son now own 480 acres. Mr. Corss has helped raise and handle fifty-one crops of corn in Bureau County. He was the first purchaser of any article of merchandise in Princeton, when in the spring of 1834 he bought a horse collar at a store opened by Mr. Haskill.

Mr. Corss was married in Peoria County, Illinois. June 1, 1837, to Mehitable Hill. She was born in New Hampshire, January 25, 1817, and is the daughter of Isaac and Mehitable (Bancroft) Hill, both of whom were natives of New Hampshire. They moved to New York when Mrs. Corss was small, and in 1833 to Peoria County, Illinois, afterward to Bureau County in 1838, where they lived until death. Mr. Hill died in 1846 and his wife August 3, 1870.

Mr. and Mrs. Corss have one son and two daughters, viz.: Henry, born June 15, 1838, lives in Bureau Township; Mrs. Lucy Thomas, of Princeton, born January 27, 1843; Climena, born April 8, 1850.

In politics Mr. Corss is Republican, and has held various township offices. He was the first Supervisor of Bureau Township. He is a member of the Congregational Church of Princeton.

Source: History of Bureau County, Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor. World Publishing Company Chicago 1885

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