Thursday, January 16, 2014

W.E. McCrosky 1801-1856

William McCrosky was a prominent and influential businessman in early Livingston County, Kentucky. He and John Bayliss were partners in a mercantile business and saddler shop in Salem. He never married, but named a daughter, Mary C. McCrosky, in his will [Livingston County Will Book B:167]. Also mentioned in his will were Sarah M. Corbitt, daughter of John Bayliss; sister Sarah Wilson; brother Joseph McCrosky and William Vaughn, son of Julina Vaughn and a half brother to my ancestor, David Vaughn. What relationship, if any, existed between William McCrosky and William Vaughn is unknown.

 W.E. McCrosky
 born in Scott County, Ky.
 Sept. 22, 1801
 October 23, 1856

I was thrilled to find the name of William Smith and H. Staub on the H.F. Given Tomb in Smithland Cemetery. That monument was probably constructed in the 1860s so imagine my excitement to find that William Smith also constructed the tombstone of William McCrosky, who died in 1856 and is buried in Mills Pioneer Cemetery. This makes two tombstones constructed by the same local stone carver prior to the Civil War.

Notice it states Wm. Smith - Smithland, Ky. Since William Smith moved to Port Gibson, Mississippi before 1860, the McCrosky tombstone definitely predates the H.F. Given Tomb.

The following artwork on the McCrosky tombstone is unusual. The handshake signifies a welcome into heaven and the star may symbolize the achievement of the highest level (heaven).

The symbol of McCrosky's Masonic membership is barely visible in the following:

The following is a testament to his character:

He was benevolent
Charitable and
an honest man

The McCrosky tombstone is impressive and fitting for one who was a prominent businessman of Salem. He and John Bayliss were in business together when Salem was the Livingston County seat and even after 1842, when most of the businessmen moved to the new county seat in Smithland.

All photographs by Jerry Bebout.
Published 16 January 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

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