Josiah Crowley lived in Titusville, Illinois until his death in December 1929.
Josiah was very intelligent, had many different interests, and was very rich. Josiah built a lot of contraptions in his carriage house, at least six clocks, a game for the Lilac Inn lobby and even his own miniature golf course. He set up a lot of puzzles just to find his will, and they were so clever that it remained undiscovered until Nancy visited town in May 1930. In the meantime, a fake will was drawn up by Richard Topham (the man who Josiah was paying for lessons in harnessing paranormal power), in which Josiah left everything to him. In truth, he wanted to leave a lot of his money to Gloria Crandall to help her run the Lilac Inn, and to Jim Archer.
Josiah also had a ham radio with which he used to communicate with others. As a lover of the play A Midsummer Night's Dream (which he directed and starred in for only two days), he gave three people on his radio clues to finding his will that they would recite if given a certain line from the play. He also loved playing tricks on people and dressing up as others, such as Emily's great aunt Harriet or a woman named Clara Pickford (used to keep the safe deposit box containing his will).