Crisenberry, Robert G. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
Robert G. Crisenberry was born in Paris, Tennessee, on September 19, 1882. After completing high school in Creal Springs, Illinois, he obtained a degree from Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana. Crisenberry began his career in education in 1903 as a high school teacher, and in 1915 he retired from the profession as Superintendent of Carterville schools. After Crisenberry left the arena of education, he pursued a career in journalism as the editor and publisher of the Williamson County News in Johnston City, Illinois. In 1926 Crisenberry began holding political appointments, including, Chief Deputy Sheriff of Jackson County, 1926-1930, and Federal Court Bailiff, 1930-1932.
In 1932 he was elected to represent Jackson County in the Illinois House of Representatives. Crisenberry held this position until 1936 when he was elected to the Illinois Senate. Crisenberry remained a senator until retiring from office in November 1960. Among Crisenberry's contributions was the creation of the Illinois Youth Commission which served as a model for the prevention and correction of juvenile delinquency. He also sponsored legislation enabling SINU to be transformed from a teacher's college to a University. Crisenberry's aid to SIU over the years was so prominent that his colleges dubbed SIU "Crisenberry's University".
Following his retirement from the senate, and before his death in 1965, Crisenberry held several civic positions, and remained very involved in the community.