Tom Crimmons Still Does his Daily Dozen

Tom Crimmons 1938

Tom Crimmons 1938

“Tom” Crimmons, 100, Tells His Reasons for Long Life
(Excerpt from article about 2 old residents)

NEBRASKA may have its off moments of heat and drouth and grasshoppers, but it seems a likely center for longevity…

Mr. Crimmons, born in County Cork, Ireland, found barren prairie when he went to Holt county, with herds of buffalo and other wild game an ordinary sight on the present Atkinson location. White settlers were few; hostile bands of Indians added to the troubles of the scattered settlers.

Born when Martin Van Buren was president of the United States, which was pretty much of an unknown land, Mr. Crimmons has an alert mind; reads with a glass, keeping abreast of current events; has had little dental work done; is erect in carriage. His hearing is somewhat impaired and he walks with a cane, due to a very serious accident.

Does Daily Dozen.
Early risers in Atkinson see Mr. Crimmons doing his daily dozen, lusty wood chopping. Only a few days before his birthday, he felled a huge dry cottonwood, although he admitted it was a bit hot for hewing to the line. His favorite relaxation is to sit in his porch rocker with his newspaper, to smoke. Mr. Crimmons and his brother-in-law, Thomas Hanrahann, who went to the county in 1880, live together, do all the household tasks and make a very good job of them.

Mr. Crimmons served four years in the Irish militia and worked on the Queenstown docks. At the age of thirty-one, in March, 1869, he came to this country, obtained employment on the Salem, Mass., docks, shouldering loads of 300 pounds and more with the greatest of ease. After eight years, he took up residence five miles from Atkinson, where his brother had preceded him by two years.

Haystacker and John Deere Tractor 1929

Haystacker and John Deere Tractor 1929

Years ago, the fork of a haystacker fell on Mr. Crimmons, breaking both legs and arms and mangling and crushing his hands. It was believed that if he did live, he would be a total invalid. He eventually laughed at all the dire prophecies. When he was eighty-eight, Mr. Crimmons had a severe illness, and again his life was despaired of. Again he laughed. He has not had a serious illness since that time.

In early days he was personally acquainted with many interesting pioneer characters. He was well acquainted with Doc Middleton, notorious Nebraska outlaw. When asked what he thought of Middleton, he replied: “I knew him well … regardless of what folks say he never robbed or harmed the poor settlers of this territory. He was a good man … but he traveled with a tough gang.”

A Nebraska Dugout

A Nebraska Dugout

Mr. Crimmons built the first shack in Long Pine and lived later in a dugout on the townsite of the present Bassett.

No special celebration was held for the birthday, but the following Tuesday Mr. Crimmons’ sister-in-law, Mrs. John Crimmons, and Mrs. Joe Corrigan, were present at a birthday dinner. Several old friends called during the day.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Aug 7,  1938

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