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 Alexander Fonnereau Crookshank of Drumhalyr & Bierrenagh.

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PostSubject: Alexander Fonnereau Crookshank of Drumhalyr & Bierrenagh.   Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:53 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Alexander Fonnereau Crookshank of Drumhalyr & Bierrenagh.   Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:57 pm

Lake Valley, New Mexico was a town few people had ever heard of until 1878. That was the year a blacksmith named John Leavitt took a lease on a claim and two days later discovered the most fabulous lode of silver the world has ever known. The subterranean mine produced 2.5 million ounces of silver ore so pure it was shipped unsmelted to the mint. A stage stop, and railhead, Lake valley grew to 4,000 people with 12 saloons, three churches, two newspapers, a school, stores and hotels. The town's heyday was from 1881 to the 1893 silver panic which wiped out the town. Today Lake Valley is a ghost town.

I think I know what drew Crookshank to this remote part of New Mexico. Don't know yet what caused his death. Gunfights, Cattle Wars, Apache Indians, Rustler and Bandits, and mine accidents were all frequent reasons why one's life would be cut short.

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PostSubject: Re: Alexander Fonnereau Crookshank of Drumhalyr & Bierrenagh.   Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:26 pm

Hi All

This site shows a few photographs of the cemetery that may hold Crookshank's body scratch

http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~gulino/ghosttown/lake_valley_nm.htm
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PostSubject: Re: Alexander Fonnereau Crookshank of Drumhalyr & Bierrenagh.   Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:33 pm

On December 13th I had the opportunity to be in El Paso, Texas, so I took advantage of the situation and drove the short 116 miles from El Paso to Lake Valley, New Mexico in search of clues to the death of Midshipman Crookshank, and possibly to the location of his grave.

1859 Born, 31 October
1872 Received nomination to Royal Navy when he was 13 ½ years old. His patron was the Dowager Duchess of Somerset.
1873 Entered the Navy 15 January as a Naval Cadet on HMS Britannia (Training Ship for Naval Cadets).
1875 14 January, on board HMS Pearl (Australia Station).
1876 19 June, promoted to Midshipman.
1877 10 July, Crookshank assigned to HMS Pearl (Flagship of the Mediterrean Station).
1878 3 June, assigned to HMS Boadicea (Bound for Cape of Good Hope& West Coast of Africa Squadron to replace HMS Active as Flagship). After a delay caused by the outbreak of smallpox, ‘Boadicea’ arrived at Durban 15 March, 1879. Here Midshipman Crookshank becomes one of the officers of the ‘Boadicea’s’ naval brigade which is going to the Lower Tugela and will become part of the Eshowe Relief Column for which he is awarded the South African General Service Medal with clasp “1879”.
1880 Crookshank withdrew from the Navy and returned to England.
1881 18 January, Crookshank is in Cornwall where he went out in the St. Ives life boat and aided in the rescue of all five crewmen of the French Schooner ‘Rosa Joseph’, which had wrecked in the St. Ives’ Bay during a storm. For his part Crookshank received the thanks of the National Life Boat Institution (on Vellum). Unable to locate his name on the 1881 Census.
1887 15 September Alexander F. Crookshank died.

When I arrived at Lake Valley, I met one of the two caretakers. She had not heard of Crookshank, but she did have a list of all known persons buried in Lake Valley Cemetery. Of the 77 names all but two were buried in the 1900’s. Only two were from the 1800’s. Crookshank’s name does not appear on the list. I went over to the Cemetery which is not being kept. It is overgrown with weeds and grass. Luckily the day was a little cold so I wasn’t worried about the rattle snakes. The only permanent markers are on graves from the 1900’s. Older graves have no marker at all, or old wooden planks from cactus trees, which are now so worn that nothing is left to read.

If Crookshank Is buried in this cemetery, he is in an unmarked grave. At the time of his death New Mexico was not yet a state (not until 1912). There were few records kept at the time, and what was the county courthouse was later burned down.

I was quite disappointed as I had hoped at least to find Crookshank’s grave, if not the cause of his death. (Sorry 1879graves)

Petty Officer Tom
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PostSubject: Re: Alexander Fonnereau Crookshank of Drumhalyr & Bierrenagh.   Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:58 pm

Hi Petty Officer Tom

Now thats what I call one bloody good try old chap Idea I never though that anyone would ever get to the cemetery to check, so well done old chap Idea

So he could be buried there but with an unmarked grave.

I have found a Ref to his fathers memorial in Dublin Cathedral

In Memory of
Deputy Commissary General
ALEXANDER CROWDER CROOKSHANK C.B.
who died at Dublin on the 14th April 1877
Whilst in charge of the Commissariat as District Commissary General
he served throughout the Eastern Campaign of 1854 – 6
In Commissariat Charge of the Cavalry Division
he was present at the engagements of Bulganac and McKenzies Farm
and at the battles ofThe Alma, Balaklava, Inkerman, and Tchernaya,
also throughout the Siege of Sebastopol
He likewise served on the China expedition of 1857 – 8
in Commissariat Charge of the Expeditionary Field Force and was present
at the capture of Canton
He had the Crimean War Medal with four clasps, the Turkish Medal, the 5th Class of the Medjidie, and the China War Medal. with one clasp.
This Tablet is erected by 145 of his brother Officers as a
mark of their esteem for his character and respect for his memory.
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PostSubject: Re: Alexander Fonnereau Crookshank of Drumhalyr & Bierrenagh.   Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:16 pm

Hi Petty Officer Tom

Reading this post again, I asked myself why would a young man like Crookshank go to the Americas scratch

I think I have found the answer scratch

This sister was Rosa Anne Fonnereau Crookshank, she married Claude Arthur Monypenny Lillingston of Glen Rosa Ranch, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, California.

The American Connection (Maybe) scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Alexander Fonnereau Crookshank of Drumhalyr & Bierrenagh.   Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:33 pm

1879graves,

Good find on the sister. Maybe Crookshank was following his sister and brother-in-law to the States when he stopped off at Lake Valley.

Additional information on Crookshank’s sister’s husband:
Name: Claude Arthur Moneypenny LILLINGSTON
Birth: 27 Jul 1861 in, Deptford, Kent, England
Christening: 28 Aug 1861 St John, Deptford, Kent, England
Death: 3 Jun 1925 in Of Glenn Rosa Ranch, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, California

Another possible English connection was James Whitaker Wright (9 February 1846 - 26 January 1904) an exceptionally wealthy English mining company owner. On the death of his father in 1870, the family emigrated to Toronto, Canada. Wright then travelled to Philadelphia, where he met and married Anna Edith Weightman in 1878. Wright made a fortune by promoting silver-mining companies in Leadville, Colorado and Lake Valley, New Mexico, although none of the companies made money for the unfortunate shareholders. (From Wikipedia)

Though J. Whitaker Wright, became a multi-millionaire promoting mining stocks, he was later convicted of stock fraud in a London Court in 1902 and committed suicide in the courtroom.

There were several English immigrants in New Mexico in the late 1800’s. John Tunstall was a cattle rancher in Lincoln County, NM, site of the infamous Lincoln County Wars. (Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, John Chisum.)

Sadie Orchard came from London in 1886 via Kingston. Madame Sadie owned the Ocean Grove Hotel and provided miners with wine and women, running brothels in both Hillsboro, on Shady Lane, and in Kingston on Virtue Avenue. Later, with her husband, she ran more respectable establishments, including the Kingston, Hillsboro, Lake Valley stage coach line.

Additionally many of the miners who worked the silver mines in Lake Valley were from England.

The lure of a better life, and riches, drew many people to the ‘Wild West in the 1800’s.

I think I must keep on researching Mr. Crookshank.

Petty Officer Tom
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PostSubject: Re: Alexander Fonnereau Crookshank of Drumhalyr & Bierrenagh.   Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:38 am

Tom. Is this the Cemetery inquestion.

http://www.interment.net/data/us/nm/sierra/lakevalley/lake.htm

1879Graves was Katherine Nona Fonnereau Crookshank related to him in anyway
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PostSubject: Re: Alexander Fonnereau Crookshank of Drumhalyr & Bierrenagh.   Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:16 pm

Hi Chard1879

I am unable to check on Katherine Nona Fonnereau Crookshank at the moment, but I have read her name before, so she could be related somewhere.

I do know she died on 11th June 1895 and was a Spinster.
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PostSubject: Re: Alexander Fonnereau Crookshank of Drumhalyr & Bierrenagh.   Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:59 pm

Hi Chard1879

Katherine Nona Fonnereau Crookshank was his other sister.
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PostSubject: Re: Alexander Fonnereau Crookshank of Drumhalyr & Bierrenagh.   Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:41 pm

Chard1879,

Yes, that is the cemetery. The link in the first posting by 1879graves has a few photographs of the Lake Valley Cemetery taken about 10 years ago. Its condition hasn't improved any.

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PostSubject: Re: Alexander Fonnereau Crookshank of Drumhalyr & Bierrenagh.   Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:23 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Alexander Fonnereau Crookshank of Drumhalyr & Bierrenagh.   Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:44 pm

ALEXANDER CROOKSHANK, Deputy-Assistant Commissary-General

http://crimeantexts.russianwar.co.uk/sources/reports/mntev012.html#p046crookshank
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PostSubject: Re: Alexander Fonnereau Crookshank of Drumhalyr & Bierrenagh.   Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:53 pm

A further update on Alexander F. Crookshank. This establishes that he was at Lake Valley no later than 1883.

From “The Cornishman, Thursday, December 6, 1883

“The Mining Regions of New Mexico
By William Trembath, of Penzance”

“As I am travelling through all the great mining regions of this country and constantly meeting so many of our Cornish boys, I thought a few lines about them, and the country as well, would prove interesting to your many readers. I have been travelling around the mines which begin to show “pay-dirt,” as it is termed out here, first of all in the vicinity of Albuquerque. From that town, right away to Deming, in the Black Mountains, mining-camps and towns are in abundance. Wages are very good all over the country, miners receiving an average of from three to three-and-a-half dollars a day, equivalent to 12s. to 14s. per diem at home. Below Albuquerque occurs the flourishing town of San Marcial, famous for its coal-mines, where there is always good work in abundance and very reasonable charges in lodging and board. Further south again come Socorro, which besides it mines, has a large smelter in operation, employing a good many hands. On the principal mine, named the Toorance, were two of our “Cousin Jackies,” as the people down here term us, both from St. Just, who enquired eagerly after the old home, and how the old folks were getting on. They had made quite a “pile,” as a lot of money is termed here, and are shortly going home to settle down for the rest of their days. From there I came to Nutt Station, on the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe railroad – a distance of 129 miles west of Socorro. From Nutt I took the stage to the magnificent mining camp of Lake Valley (from which I am now writing) – the veritable Bonanza ground of the miner.

The ground here is simply bristling with high-grade silver-ore, and, as a natural consequence, money is very “comfortable,” to use another Yankee expression. Here I found quite a little colony of our Cornish boys, and a very happy, contented lot they were, living well up to the good old Cornish motto of “One and all.” They were quite excited when I told them of my speedy return to the old country, and one of them – a St. Ives man called Alec Crookshank, who is a great boy amongst them – charged me with all kinds of messages to some people in St. Ives, if I chanced to go there; - only two names of which I remember, one that of a gentleman rejoicing in the name of “Mr. Mathey Muddler,” who he told me was the great St. Ives politician, whilst another claimed the equally pleasing name of “Tom Bum, Esq.,” who owned some part of the St. Ives pier, called “Tom Bum Island.” I am afraid, however, they are both mythical personages. However, young Crookshank, who by his manner and address seem far above his present position of miner, took me all over the camp, and explained the different ores and shafts and such other things pertaining to mining.

And now that I am writing of this young fellow, his comrades here were telling me about some of his experiences. Last year he shot and killed an Irishman in the State of Indiana, for robbing him of all his money. He was acquitted, however, having killed the man in self defence. He immigrated out West here, like many another young fellow, and is doing well. Another man from the West of Cornwall, - William Glasson, from Connor Downs, near Hayle – with two young fellows from Camborne, I also met and spent a very pleasant evening with them, talking over old time, and extracting all the news out of an October Cornishman which one of them possessed. They all speak loudly in favour of these New Mexico mines and the good times and the pay they are having. Most of them have written home for other friends to come out, and I expect, by the commencement of next year, we shall find quite a quantity of Cornishmen in this locality.

The climate is charming down here, cold weather being almost unknown and snow very rarely making an appearance.

I must wind up this already-too-long epistle, so as to catch the post. From here I go on to Deming, and from there I hope to start home in January, and, on arrival, trust to have the pleasure of bringing to your office some addition details of this most charming country.

Lake Valley, New Mexico, U.S.A., November 12th, 1883”

I still have not been able to find out the cause of Crookshank's death in 1887, but will continue looking.


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PostSubject: Re: Alexander Fonnereau Crookshank of Drumhalyr & Bierrenagh.   Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:36 pm

Born 31 Oct 1859 [1]
Christened 22 Dec 1859
Brompton, , Kent, England
Gender Male
Died 15 Sep 1887
Lake Valley, , New Mexico

Notes
EDUCATION: Hillmorton, Warwick; Dr. Burney's, Gosport, Hampshire.
MILITARY: Royal Navy, on the "Britannia", 1873; Midshipman of the "Nymphe", 1875; retired, 1880.
MILITARY: Battles and Wars: Served with the Naval Brigade in the Zulu War, 1879; present at battles of Gingihlova and Ekowe.

MEDALS AND AWARDS: Medal with clasp.

RESIDENCE: Of Drumhalry and Birrenagh.

Died unmarried.

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PostSubject: Re: Alexander Fonnereau Crookshank of Drumhalyr & Bierrenagh.   Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:48 pm

I recently came across the following newspaper article from a New Mexico newspaper published about 7 miles from Lake Valley.  The quality of the digital copy of the newspaper prohibited making a copy, so I transcribed the article. The author of the letter indicated he was a business partner of Crookshank.  His comment “I dearly bear in mind the little graveyard, and am thankful I do so” seems to indicate that Crookshank might be buried in Lake Valley.  I browsed the local newspaper for the 4 weeks after Crookshank’s death, but could find no mention of his death or burial.  However I could find no mention of any deaths or burials in the newspaper.

Tom

SIERRA COUNTY ADVOCATE
Hillsborough, New Mexico
Saturday, Jan 27, 1888

FROM ACROSS THE DEEP BLUE SEA

Bristol, England, 1, Alma Road,
Clifton, Nov. 19, 1887

Editor Advocate:

To those who subscribed toward Alex. Crookshank’s funeral expenses:

My Dear Friends:

    I have heard from friend Morgan that you most kindly contributed to the expenses upon my late friend and business partner, Alex. Crookshank’s funeral.  I cannot thank you for your kindness and respect to him, and I can assure you that very deep thanks go to you from his sister, Miss Crookshanks, who deeply and sincerely sorrows for her lost brother, although she willingly resigns him to his master – the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Some of you will perhaps remember me, and I should probably remember some of you, but whether you or I do so or not, I again repeat my sincere thanks to you.  I dearly bear in mind the little graveyard, and am thankful I do so.
    Believe me sincerely yours,
J. W. E. Jacques
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