Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


CHARLES W. McCROSKEY. "Earn thy reward; the gods give naught to sloth," said the old Greek sage, Epicharmus, and the truth of the admonition has been verified in human affairs in all the ages which have rolled their course since his day. Charles W. McCroskey, county superintendent of public schools of Greene county, and a scion of an old family of the Ozarks, has, by ceaseless toil and endeavor, attained a large degree of success, while yet young in years, in his chosen calling and has gained the confidence and respect of those who know him.

Professor McCroskey is a native of Christian county, Missouri, where his birth occurred on the 12th day of July, 1878. He is a son of Matthew Duff McCroskey and Sarah E. Barnett McCroskey and is one of ten children, an equal number of sons and daughters, all still surviving but two. The father, M. D. McCroskey, was born, reared and has always lived on the old homestead in Christian county, Missouri, which the paternal grandfather of our subject entered from the government in 1846 and which he developed from the wilderness by hard work and persistent efforts, and there spent the rest of his life, through many trying scenes of the early days in that county. His death occurred in 1869. The farm consists of three hundred acres, and there the father of our subject is carrying on general farming and stock raising on an extensive scale, raising and shipping to the markets probably as much live stock as any other farmer of his county. He has long been known as one of the leading citizens of that county, where his influence has been exerted all his life for the general good. His wife came from Tennessee in her youth, her family locating in Christian county. She received a good education and taught school for a while. She is not only a woman of strong mind but a devoted worker in the interest of her family.

Professor McCroskey spent his childhood and youth on his father's farm amid the stimulating influences of nature, which are conducive to a well-rounded physical development. Here he learned the habits of industry and matured plans for the future with the object in view of becoming something more than a mere passive agent in the world which calls for men of strong will and well-defined purposes to direct and control its affairs. Possessing a keen and naturally inquisitive mind and a liking almost akin to passion for books and study, he made rapid progress in the country schools he first attended. His rural school work was supplemented with high school work at Ozark. Mr. McCroskey then decided to teach, so he entered the old Springfield Normal and finished the teachers' course there. Desiring further training he entered the Warrensburg State Normal for two years, at the close of which the Springfield State Normal was established, so he entered this, his home institution, and received the degree of Bachelor of Pedagogy in 1907. He then attended the Wisconsin University for a short time, and spent two summers in Chicago University, and one year in Drury College, Springfield, Missouri, where he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1913.

During all these years he continued teaching at intervals. Professor McCroskey taught in a number of rural schools, and in 1907 became principal of the schools at Willard, Missouri, where he stayed only one year, being promoted to the head of the schools at Walnut Grove, Greene county. His work in these two towns caused the board at Republic, Missouri, to call him to head its schools, and he served as superintendent for four years, during which time he inaugurated a modern system of education, which was admirable and effective. From Republic he was called to the superintendency of the Ash Grove, Missouri, schools, where he labored with the same zeal and courage, boosting the schools to the front rank in this part of the country. At the close of his first year of work in Ash Grove, in 1915, he was elected to head the schools of Greene county as superintendent, in which position he is now serving. Professor McCroskey's work as a student and as a teacher has largely been in Greene county, and here he is doing a work that will long be remembered and felt. Although a well-rounded man and scholar, history and science are his favorite lines.

Professor McCroskey owns and operates a valuable, well-improved and productive farm, ten miles south of Springfield, paying particular attention to the raising of live stock and grain. He believes in scientific farming, as was indicated most forcefully in 1912, when he took the first premium in the corn exhibit at Columbia, for southern Missouri.

Politically, Professor McCroskey is a Democrat. Fraternally, he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Masons. Religiously, he affiliates with the Methodist Episcopal church.

[1904-1906]


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