Born in Zanesville, Ohio, Jan 16, 1861, N J Crooks received a liberal education in the schools of his native state, and early evidenced those sterling qualities naturally to be expected from his parentage and ancestry. His father, W B Crooks, a captain in the Civil War, was captured on North Mountain in this state, and died a prisoner of war. His great-uncle, Gen Crooks, the famous Indian fighter achieved honor and fame in the service of his country. Mr Crooks' talents and energies have been devoted to more peaceful pursuits but the soldier like quality of surmounting all obstacles and dimenities, is apparent in his extraordinary business *?.
  Coming to Keyser eighteen years ago, he entered a mercantile house as a clerk, and for six years, remained in that position. A position with Baer Sons Wholesale Grocery Co, of Wheeling W V, was then offered and accepted, and he subsequently became a stockholder in that company. He is still with that firm as traveling representatives, acting also as manager of a branch house or distributing depot at Piedmont.
  Economy and prudence together with shrewd investments have brought him considerable means, and he is prominently identified with several manufacturing concerns of Keyser. He is manager and treasurer, as well as a stockholder, of the Keyser electric Light Col, a director in the Keyser Bank, president of the Crooks Tobacco Company, secretary and treasurer of the Keyser & Burlington Telephone Co, and manager of the W VA Building Company, besides having interests in other enterprises and industries. A member of the I O O F, K of P, and national Union, secret orders, being secretary of the last named, he is also a member of the Town council and possesses to the fullest extent the confidence and esteem of his fellow-townsmen.
  N J Crooks came to Keyser a poor boy, and has attained his prominence not us, ? speculator, but as an industrious , wealth-making toller, seeking to build up all around him, and anxiously endeavoring thereby, to be become a benefit to all who come in contact with him. He has always been quick to see the future possibilities of investment in this locality, and throughout this section, and, by a masterly display of judgment, has rarely, if ever, been mistaken in his conclusions. The means acquired has been the natural sequence of patience, ability and a fixed determination to succeed. No temporary embarrassments or likely hindrances have caused him to yield one jot or tittle of his expectations or desires. He has gone forward to every work undertaken, simply for the reason that he never has worked haphazard, but has always followed well defined plans, that had their conceptions in shrewd foresight and excellent judgment.
  Sept, 1882, he married Mrs Emma Lee, the union being blessed with five children, three girls and two boys.
  The family resides in Keyser. Mr Crooks' handsome brick residence being one of the finest in town. It is two stories, with sixteen rooms, including his private office, lighted by electricity, has telephone connections, hot and cold water, sanitary plumbing, etc, in short, being modern in every detail. The office is equipped after a ?, which leaves nothing to be desired for the convenient transaction of business.