Robert Crudup was born August 10, 1801, to John and Rebecca (Temple) Crudup, and was raised in Wilson County, Tennessee. Crudup chose a life of extensive public service, serving as chief justice of McLennan County, Texas, in the House of Representatives of the Texas State Legislature, in the House of Representatives in the Tennessee General Assembly, and as a justice of the peace.
Crudup married Mary J. "Polly" Guill on June 24, 1820, and they had a son. A later marriage to Caroline Steele Harkreader on September 28, 1835, resulted in four children. Crudup was a farmer and teacher while living in Beardstown, Perry County, Tennessee. He was active in the community, and served as a juryman and as a justice of the peace. Elected to the House of Representatives in the Tennessee General Assembly in 1843, Crudup served until 1845. At that time he moved to Dryer County, Tennessee.
In 1855 Crudup moved to Waco, Texas, and married for a third time, to a widow named Almedia Olivia Barron Cunningham. They had five children. Crudup served as chief justice of McLennan County, Texas, from 1868 until 1870. He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, and took the oath of office on April 26, 1870. Crudup, a Republican, was appointed to the Immigration Committee. Crudup was one of small segment of the legislature composed of former slave owners who had not supported succession from the United States. As Republicans, these men were willing to seek support from African American voters. Crudup only served in the Twelfth Legislature for about three months, as he died on July 13, 1870. The legislature passed a resolution of respect to Crudup and relayed it to his family. The Texas House of Representatives was asked to cover the expenses of his funeral, and voted on July 18, 1870, to pay $486.58 to cover fourteen vouchers for that expense. Crudup is buried in the Texas State Cemetery.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Randolph B. Campbell, "Grass Roots Reconstruction: The Personnel of County Government in Texas, 1865–1876," Journal of Southern History 58 (February 1992). House Journal of the Twelfth Legislature, State of Texas. First Session. (Austin: Tracy, Siemering
and Company, State Journal Office, 1870).