Jeptha Crouch | Inducted by 1920
Founder of the famous and influential Lafayette Stock Farm that featured draft and coach horses.
1843-1927 | Artist: Robert Wadsworth Grafton (1876-1936)
Impact & Accomplishments
One of the largest importers of draft horses in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Jeptha Crouch was born in Owen County, Kentucky, and moved to Indiana at age ten. As a young man, he worked in horse sales, but also spent several years operating a general store.
In 1879, he settled in Lafayette, Indiana, and again entered the horse trade. Crouch began importing horses in 1882 and by 1885 had established the famous Lafayette Stock Farm. Doing business with his sons, as J. Crouch & Sons, they expanded land holdings throughout the West, including an extensive ranch in South Dakota.
Specializing in Percheron, Belgian, Shire, German coach, and Hackney stallions and mares, Crouch earned top honors in the early years of the International Live Stock Exposition, and his exhibit at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair was widely celebrated. In 1912, the Crouches extended their interests to Hereford cattle, buying the famed Van Natta herd.
Did You Know?
When Jeptha Crouch died at 83 in 1927, his obituary called him a man who had “done more to advertise Lafayette throughout the United States and Europe than any other institution except Purdue University.”
“He was a master of details, possessing rare executive ability and business acumen of high order. With duties that would crush the ordinary man he has his labors so systemized that he experiences little or no trouble doing them.” - excerpt from a 1909 book profiling Jeptha Crouch
Tippecanoe County’s rural school system acquired about an acre of Stock Farm land and in 1901 built and opened the two-room Jeptha Crouch School on Union Street. Crouch School became part of Lafayette School Corp. in 1963. It stays in use today as a commercial building off East Union Street. Photo courtesy of Tippecanoe County Historical Association