Jack Crouse and Paul Harris’s Hike East

Jack Crouse Paul Harris

Jack Crouse, Paul Harris, 9/19/21. , 1921. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2016831402/.

The above photograph was taken September 19, 1921.  It shows two young Mansfield men, Jack Crouse and Paul Harris, sitting with their Knapsacks inscribed with the words “Mansfield, O to the U. of Penn. Pennsylvania, PA. 700 Mi.”  The photograph is available through the Library of Congress’s digital archives and can be downloaded here.  Little information is given other than names and the date of the photograph.  Digging a little deeper in Newspaper articles, we discover that Jack and Paul left for their “hike” on the morning of September 17, 1921.  According to the article, they hoped to reach Zanesville, Ohio on the first evening staying with former Mansfield residents Mr. and Mrs. Gaumer.  Next going to Wheeling, West Virginia, Washington, PA and Hagerstown, MD, before making their way to Washington D.C. where they planned to sightsee for two days, before making their way to the University of Pennsylvania.[i]

Another article, about a week later on September 23, 1921, mentions they will have their picture on the front page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and that the “picture was taken at the White House after they had paid their respects to President Harding.” [ii]

Library Document Station_2

Paul Harris from the 1918 Manhigan

Paul Harris was born on June 5, 1900 to Ralph and Pearl (Beilstine) Harris.  In the 1910 Census the family is living in Mansfield, Ohio and Paul now has a brother Roger (b. abt. 1902).  In the early morning of October 2, 1913, Margaret Pearl (Beilstine) Harris killed herself by hanging in the basement of the family home.  According to news reports, she had been ill for some time.  Her husband, Ralph, found her body and it was the opinion of the coroner that she was “mentally deranged” at the time of the incident.[iii]  At some time after the incident, the family moved in with Ralph’s mother, Hannah, according to the 1920 Census.

On June 20, 1927, Paul married Bessie M. Jardine in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.  The marriage record shows Paul living at 1258 E. 86th St. and working as a statistician.  By 1930 the family had moved to Caldwell, New Jersey and had their first son, Robert, who was born in 1929.  In 1940 they were in Chatham, New Jersey and the family had grown with the birth of Nancy (b. 1932) and Paul Jr. (b. 1936).  After that, the family’s whereabouts are unknown until Paul’s father, Ralph, dies on September 20, 1967.  Ralph’s obituary states both him and Paul were living in Deland, Fl.  Paul Eugene Harris died on October 13, 1994 in Los Angeles, Ca.

Library Document Station_1 - Copy

Jack Crouse from the 1919 Manhigan

John Oliver Crouse, or Jack as he was called, was born October 16, 1901 to Oliver Perry and Harriet Viola (Hall) Crouse.  In the 1910 and 1920 Censuses, Jack is living in Mansfield with his parents and brother, Frank.  On January 18, 1930, Jack married Helen Clare Crouse (no relation) in El Paso, Texas; the couple had two children John, Jr. (b. abt. 1931) and Hugh (b. abt. 1933).[iv]  The family lived in Texas until at least 1935, where Jack was a manager of a furniture store.  By the 1940 Census, Jack is back in Mansfield with his family.  According to a brief biography by the Citizens Historical Association in 1948, Jack attended Columbia University and an Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.  He was a draftsman and later a deep-sea fisherman.  He then became an interior designer in Mansfield, El Paso and Salt Lake City, Utah before taking over his father’s business, The Richland Auto Parts Co., which Oliver started in 1910.[v]  Jack and Helen divorced in 1948[vi] and, according to Jack’s obituary, she died in 1970.[vii]  Jack continued to live in Mansfield and live and adventurous life.  In the November 15, 1951 edition of the Mansfield News Journal, he is pictured with his Jaguar XK-120, considered by some at the time to be one of the finest sports cars.[viii]  Jack Oliver Crouse died on January 6, 1989.[ix]


[i] The Mansfield News.  16 SEP 1921, pp. 15.
[ii] The Mansfield News.  23 SEP 1921, pp. 24.
[iii] The Daily Shield.  02 OCT 1913, pp. 2.
[iv] The Mansfield News Journal. 25 MAR 1948, pp. 13.
[v] Citizens Historical Association.  J. O. Crouse. 14 AUG 1948.
[vi] The Mansfield News Journal. 25 MAR 1948, pp. 13.
[vii] The Mansfield News Journal. 08 JAN 1989. Pp, 4.
[viii] The Mansfield News Journal. 15 NOV 1951, pp. 6.
[ix] The Mansfield News Journal. 08 JAN 1989. Pp, 4.

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