Born Mary Linwood Blomeyer in 1907 in Charleston, Missouri, to Edward and Amma (Pottinger) Blomeyer, Mary B. B. Crouch was a notable and longtime Harrisonville resident. She spent her youth in Missouri, Texas, and Illinois. On January 17, 1931, she married Harrisonville native Frank Fowler Byram, an independent oil operator and later vice-president of the National Engineering and Construction Company. The couple lived in Kansas City, Washington, D. C., and Chicago until his death on July 8, 1956. She later married Leslie Milton Crouch, Jr., a well-known local attorney and senior partner in the firm Crouch, Crouch, Spangler & Douglas, on March 12, 1966, and moved to Harrisonville, Missouri.
Known for being very active in community affairs, Mary Crouch played an integral role in the funding and construction of the Cass County Information Center – home to the Cass County Public Library. For this work and her continued support of the library, Crouch received an Honor Award from the American Library Trustees Association in 1985, one of five awarded in the entire country that year. Crouch’s civic engagement included memberships with the Chi Omega sorority, the Cass County Historical Society, the Cass Medical Center Auxiliary, the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce, the Mary Sibley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the University of Missouri Alumni Association.
Mary B. B. Crouch was an avid genealogist, a member of the National Genealogical Society, and always willing to help others with their research. After decades of work, she amassed an impressive collection of more than 1,000 files containing over 180,000 surnames. Each of these surnames has been meticulously transcribed and indexed. This index and others are available to search below. Her collection also includes maps, correspondence, records, family histories, and Mary Crouch’s own personal research.
Upon her death in 1990, Crouch willed an additional $150,000 to the library, as well as her entire personal genealogy collection. When the Genealogy Branch opened four years later, nearly all of the books on the shelves were gifts from her. Our staff has organized and indexed Mary B. B. Crouch’s collection in its entirety, including the maps, family charts, and photographs, all of which can be found below.