Born in Frankfort, New York, Cronk enlisted with his father and two brothers on August 4, 1814. He served with the New York Volunteers in the defense of Sackett's Harbor, and was discharged November 16, 1814. For his service, he received a pension of $12 per month. In 1903, the United States Congress increased it to $25 per month. He also received a special pension of $72 per month from the State of New York.
Cronk spent most of his life working as a shoemaker. He married Mary Thornton in 1825, with whom he had seven children. At the time of his death he had fourteen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.