Hiram & Nancy Crawford’s Children

Hiram and Nancy had eleven children, all boys except for their oldest and youngest, which were girls. The youngest daughter, whose name is believed to be Nancy, died in childhood, as did two boys whose names are believed to be Walter and Francis. The rest of Hiram’s and Nancy’s children are as follows:

SARAH CRAWFORD was born December 26, 1821 in Beamsville, Ontario, Canada. On November 14, 1849 she married Charles Luke Keith Jr. in Comstock, Michigan. She died November 18, 1902 in Comstock and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Galesburg, Michigan. She and Luke had the following children: Ethan, Nancy, William (died in infancy), Hannah, Louese and James. She also raised Luke’s two children by his first wife, Minerva Payson: Lois and Henry Keith.

EDWIN CRAWFORD was born May 23, 1825 in Beamsville, Ontario Canada. On January 9, 1848 he married Louisa Hall in Kalamazoo, Michigan. They had a son, Eugene Crawford. He then married Mary Hamilton on January 6, 1854 in Dowagiac, Michigan. They had two children: Edna Alice and Emmet Patrick Crawford. Edwin died October 4, 1866 in Burlington, Iowa.

ROBERT CRAWFORD was born February 23, 1826 in Beamsville, Ontario, Canada. He married Louisa McCann and they had the following children: William, Edna, Katherine, Melissa, baby girl who died in childhood, Cynthia and Lulu Crawford. Robert died April 13, 1903 in Neenah, Wisconsin, and is buried in Omro Cemetery, Omro, Wisconsin.

Robert was born in Canada, one of 8 surviving children (and 7 sons) of Hiram and Nancy Comfort Crawford.  The family moved to the United States  around 1846 and settled for a time in Galesburg, Michigan. Robert Crawford settled in the now Town of Omro in the fall of 1849, and was, consequently, there at the very beginning of the village, in the building up of which he has taken an active part. (Source:Harney, Richard J. / History of Winnebago County, Wisconsin, and early history of the Northwest  (1880) Page 296). According to the 1853 issue of the Wisconsin Gazetteer, Omro was “pleasantly situated on the south side of the Neenah River, 11 miles west from Oshkosh, and 75 miles northeast from Madison.  It has a heavy body of lumber on the north and has excellent facilities by water for obtaining pine logs from the immense pinery of Wolf River, a great quantity of which is here manufactured into lumber. The Wolf River was used for floating timber down the river to sawmills in Oshkosh. As travel increased, the river had to be cleared of rocks and debris and a dam constructed to maximize the floating of logs downstream. There were as many as five companies running logs down the river at once and each cut their own “water mark” on each of their logs which were then sorted at Bay Boom.  Robert would hire out to various lumber companies to search out and harvest lumber from the pine forests of Wisconsin. In the February, 1875 issue of the “Wisconsin Lumberman”, Robert was described as foreman for Jones, Wellington & Co., and tall enough to lead a logging  brigade or any  other and does not lack for  energy nor industry.  He is considered one of the best foremen on the west branch.  Some twenty-five years he has been in the logging camps and thought he knew this country pretty well.  He has 53 men, 12 horse teams and 6 ox teams in his camp. Source: The Wisconsin lumberman, devoted to the lumbering interests of the northwest: Volume III. Number 5 (February, 1875) “Trip to the woods. Mayor Pulcifer’s expedition and its results, pp. 438-445”
Robert continued in this line of work throughout his adulthood.  After his wife, Louisa, died in 1883 he  moved to Neenah, WI where he lived with his daughter Edna until his death in 1903.

JAMES CRAWFORD was born about 1828 in London, Ontario, Canada. On April 28, 1852 he married Ann Rogers and they had two children: Alice and Rollin Crawford. James died December 15, 1858 in Wisconsin.

HENRY CLAY CRAWFORD was born April 12, 1833 in London, Ontario, Canada. On January 4, 1855 he married Virginia Worley in South Bend, Indiana. He died March 10, 1925 in South Bend, Indiana and is buried in Highland Cemetery in South Bend. He and Virginia had the following children: John Henry, Robert Clem, baby boy who died in childhood, Clara, Lillian, Emma, George and Virginia.

Henry Clay Crawford (“HCC”) was born on April 12th, 1833 in London District, Ontario Canada. He was one of eight surviving children of Hiram and Nancy Comfort Crawford.  Hiram and Nancy were married on July 25th, 1820 in Beamesville, Ontario. Some time after their marriage, Hiram bought land six miles east of London on the Thames River and built a tannery.  According to local records, Hiram served on the County Council of London District representing the township of Westminster. In 1843, he accompanied his parents and six brothers and older sister to Michigan, stopping temporarily at Fort Huron, Michigan.  However, within a few months, the family moved to Galesburg with the intent of reaching Grand Rapids.  But while there, the family encountered an old Ontario acquaintance, Henry Scramlin, who preceded them, and he prevailed upon them to change their plans and locate in the vicinity.
The first residence of the family was in what was known as the “Old Castle”,  standing at the time where the local lumber yard now is. Later moving to Yorkville, the family had the charge of a tavern while residing there, but subsequently returned to Galesburg where Henry’s father became landlord of what has since become familiarly known as the Bennett House.
In the early 1850s, Nancy Crawford (Henry’s Mother) had a sister, Jane Comfort Nelles, who was living in LaPorte, Indiana.  It is assumed that during one of Nancy’s visits to LaPorte, Henry met Virginia Worley. They were married in LaPorte, Indiana on January 4th, 1855.  After their marriage, they remained in LaPorte, where their first child, John H. was born toward the end of 1855. Their second son, Robert Clement Crawford, was born in 1857.  In 1860 they moved to Niles, Michigan where HCC engaged in a number of businesses including roofing and wagon wheel manufacturing.  At the time of the 1860 census, the household also included John Worley (age 16 – Virginia’s younger brother) who worked as an apprentice wagon maker. For a time in 1862 Henry considered moving to Yorkville, Michigan.  He enjoyed visiting family and further the man that he learned his trade from had left leaving a vacancy that needed to be filled.  Ultimately, he remained in Niles where four more children, a son (who died shortly after birth) Clara, Lillian and Emma were born. In 1868 after returning from LaPorte, Indiana, where he had spend 10 weeks roofing houses, he was awarded a contract to build 100 sets of wagon wheels. By 1870 HCC had moved to South Bend, where he began working for the Studebacker Bros. Manufacturing Co., as a contractor.  In 1871, he wrote his sister that he had a contract with Studebacker making two hundred sets of wheels per week and that he was employing nine hands.  In 1872, however, Henry’s shop burned down and he went through a period in which work was scarce.  In due course, his business recovered, but in 1876 Henry’s hand was caught in a piece of machinery and his thumb was amputated close to the hand and the hand was badly bruised.  He suffered a great deal of pain and was unable to work for a period. But by the beginning of 1877 he was awarded new contracts and was making 300 sets of wheels per week. Although not active in politics, he served one term as a city councilman from the 3rd ward in 1877.  For most of the 1870s the family lived at 44 General Taylor Street.  During this period Henry manufactured over 100,000 sets of wheels while associated with Studebacker. By 1880 he had begun working for the Coquillard Wagon Works in South Bend.
Sometime in early 1881 he moved to Auburn, NY where he worked as superintendent of the E.B.Clapp Wagon Company. In April 1884 the following announcement appeared in the Auburn News & Bulletin: “Henry C. Crawford, of 48 Clark street, lately superintendent of the Clapp Wagon Works left at 4:20 to-day, with his family, to return to his former home in South Bend, Ind”.  He returned to South Bend to become superintendent of the Coquillard Wagon works.  He worked in that position until the death of Alex Coquillard in 1890, at which time he retired.  At the time of the 1910 census the only children still living at home were Virginia (music teacher) and George E. (clerk for Standard Oil Co).  After his retirement, both Henry and Virginia became active in the affairs of the First Presbyterian Church, which seemed to play a dominant role in their lives until their deaths

DAVID CALEB (D.C.) CRAWFORD was born September 5, 1835 in London, Ontario, Canada. On December 21, 1870 he married Amanda Jane Thornton in Golden, Colorado. He died May 2, 1901 in Denver Colorado and is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Denver. He and Amanda had the following children: Ida, Allie (who died in childhood), Mamie and Harold Valentine.

Unless otherwise noted, all information on D.C. and his descendants came from Howard “Lee” Garrett
At the age of 10, D.C. went to work in a hardware store until 1860 when he was hit with “Pike’s Peak Gold Fever.” He headed west, toiling behind a mule team and reached Denver in May 1860. In 1865 he bought a farm on Clear Creek in Jefferson County and in 1867 was elected County Clerk and Recorder, holding that position for six years. In December of 1870 he married Amanda Jane Thornton, the first couple to be married in Golden’s Calvary Episcopal Church. In 1872 he entered into a Title Company partnership with Alex D. Jameson (husband-to-be of his sister-in-law, Sarah Thornton). In 1873 he joined the Excelsior company of the Golden Fire Department and was the Chief Marshall of the first parade organized by the fire company. In 1875 he built and became the proprietor of the “Crawford House.” In 1876 he became the first auditor of the State of Colorado (his picture hangs in the Capitol). He owned a house on 12th Street in Golden, Colorado, where many social gatherings were held, one being a dance in honor of his niece, Edna Crawford, daughter of his brother Hiram. In later years he engaged in mining in Leadville and Cripple Creek. He died in Cripple Creek and is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Denver.
From Images of America: Golden, Colorado, 2002, Golden Pioneer Museum: David Caleb Crawford came to Golden City from Canada during the formative period of the Colorado Territory. He and Alexander Jameson opened the county’s first abstract office. Simultaneously, the Crawfords operated the Golden House, a local hotel and eatery. In 1870, he helped found the neighboring town of Mt. Vernon to the south of Golden. The staunch Republican would eventually become Colorado’s first state auditor.

HIRAM CRAWFORD JR. was born December 26, 1837 in London, Ontario, Canada. He married Katherine Atcheson in 1867 and they had three children: Harry, Jessie and Blanche Crawford. Hiram died in Chicago, Illinois, on November 29, 1920 and is buried in Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago.

Hiram enlisted in the army as a private on 22 July 1861 and was mustered into E Company, Indiana 20th Infantry. It left the state on 2 August, being ordered to Cockeysville, Maryland for railroad guard duty. At the end of September it sailed for Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina and was attacked on 4 October by the enemy’s fleet. It was compelled to retreat and embarked for Fortress Monroe where it remained until March 1862. It was at Newport News during the engagement between the CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack), USS Cumberland, and USS Congress, and prevented the enemy from taking possession of the USS Congress after she had struck her colors. It participated in the capture of Norfolk, fought at Fair Oaks, was in the battle of Oak Grove, and covered the rear in the Seven Days’ battles, participating in all of them and being heavily engaged at Frazier’s farm. In August 1862 it moved to Yorktown, Alexandria, and onto Manassas, where it was engaged in the Second Battle of Bull Run. It participated in the battle of Chantilly, after which its division was ordered to rest, having lost heavily in its campaigns. In October it was engaged at Fredericksburg and then on November 21, 1862 Hiram was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in charge of Company E, 20th Reg’t Indiana Volunteers. In May 1863 the 20th Regiment was in the battle of Chancellorsville, where it captured the entire 23rd Georgia, which outnumbered it, and when the 11th corps broke and the enemy turned the right of the Union forces, the regiment made a bayonet charge and reestablished communication. The Regiment pursued Lee through Maryland and Pennsylvania, reaching Gettysburg in time to participate on the second, third, and fourth days. Overtaking Lee’s rear-guard at Manassas Gap, it aided in an attack and defeat of the enemy, and was then sent to New York during the draft riots. It was engaged at Locust Grove and Mine Run in November. A portion of the regiment reenlisted as veterans on 1 January 1864, Hiram included, and received a furlough. The 20th participated in the battles of the Wilderness, Todd’s Tavern, Po River, Spotsylvania, Totopotomy, and Cold Harbor. It was engaged at Deep Bottom and Strawberry Plains, and was then in the trenches at Petersburg under fire daily. The regiment was engaged in the various movements around Petersburg, participating at Peebles’ Farm, and Hatcher’s Run. It was in the advance division of the 2nd corps in the pursuit of Lee. After the Battle of Peeble’s Farm (Sept 30-Oct 2), Hiram reached the end of his term and was mustered out October 8th, 1864. After Lees surrender in April, 1865, the Regiment moved to Louisville and was mustered out 12 July 1865.
Hiram first appears in the Chicago City Directory in 1868, where he his is listed as a clerk for the N. Chicago City Railway Co.  At that time he was living at 444 Sedgwick.  By 1873 he had moved to 406 Dayton and he was listed as a receiver for the railway.  In 1878 he was listed as secretary/treasurer for the railroad.  In 1880 Hiram and family were also living at 409 Dayton.
The following appeared in the Chicago Herald:
July 22nd, 1889 Chicago, IL Hiram Crawford Has Resigned
Chicago Herald – July 22, 1889 announcement that Hiram Crawford had resigned as Secretary and Treasurer of the North Chicago Street Railroad Company
Hiram Crawford Has Resigned
Chicago Herald – July 22, 1889
President Yerkes Loses His North Side Car Line’s Secretary and Treasurer
Hiram Crawford, after twenty-three years of active service as employee, stockholder and officer of the North Chicago Street Railroad Company has retired. He handed his retirement to President Yerkes on the 1st of July, and since then his old duties as secretary and treasurer have been performed by W.D. Meeker, who was promoted from the position of assistant. Mr. Crawford’s connection with the street car company dates back as far as 1865, when he entered its service as a conductor, immediately after his return from the battle fields of the south. He collected fares for two years and then was promoted to the position of receiver. In the fall of 1877 he succeeded H.N.Townes as secretary and treasurer, and he continued to perform the functions of that important office until ill health compelled hi to retire from active service. Mr. Crawford will retain his stock in the company, and will probably officiate in the capacity of director both for the North and West Side roads, but for several months to come he will spend most of his time in searching for recreation and amusement. His retirement from the office of the North Side company, where he has probably met and become known to half the people of the North Side, will be a source of regret to all his friends. During the twenty-three years that he was manager and treasurer he probably handled as much money as any man in Chicago. In fact he did little else besides count money from the time he took off his coat in the morning until he donned it again in the evening. He sat within a fortification of green paper all of the time. It was no uncommon sight to see him carrying an armful of bills in and out of the company vault just as a small boy carrying an armful of wood. Mr. Crawford all through the Turner-Rehm management, and when President Yerkes took hold four years ago he was promptly tendered his old position, with the understanding that he could have it as long as he pleased. His retirement was only by [President Yerkes with] protest.
According to his death certificate, Hiram came to Chicago in 1853 at the age of 15.

LUCIUS PROSPER (PROS) CRAWFORD was born March 8, 1843 in Canada. in 1872 he married Isabella Steele and they had four boys: Leo, Byron, Ernest and Albert Crawford. Pros and Isabella divorced and Pros married Laura Hands on September 30, 1901 in Tacoma, Washington. Pros died May 4, 1920 in Berkeley, California.

(This historical account was written by Jay Crawford)
According to the obituary of his sister, Sarah Crawford Keith, in 1843 Prosper’s parents and siblings moved to Michigan from Canada, the family stopping temporarily at Fort Huron, but within a few months, continuing on to Galesburg with the intent of reaching Grand Rapids. While there, however, the family encountered an old Ontario acquaintance in Henry Scramlin, who preceded them, and he prevailed upon them to change their plans and locate in the vicinity of Galesburg. By 1850, however, Prosper and his parents were living in Cass County, Michigan, in the house of his brother, Edwin W. Crawford. He was listed in the 1850 census as Lucius.

After his father died in 1852, Prosper and his mother moved to Wisconsin to live with his brother, James H. Crawford (1856). He and his mother moved to Omro, Wisconsin, that same year to live closer to another brother, Robert. Pros continued living at home after his mother remarried in 1857. In 1860, Pros was living in Utica Township, Winnebago County, Wisconsin, in the home of George E. Nash, a farmer. Pros was working as a farm laborer. When his stepfather died in 1861, Pros quit school to help care for his mother. In 1863 he moved to Dowagiac, Michigan, to help run his brother Edwin’s farm. An entry in Charles Luke Keith Jr’s (sister Sarah’s husband) 1864 diary for April 27 reports that Pros went to the county house.” By 1865, Pros had moved back to Wisconsin where he worked as a lumberman on the Wolf River. In 1866, he was living in Oshkosh and worked at various jobs including a stove factory. At the end of 1867, Pros moved to Chicago, hoping to get a job working on the trolleys. While working in Chicago, Pros lived with his brother, Hiram; however, in April 1868, Pros left Chicago in poor health. The irregularity of meals and sleep was too much for him. He concluded that it did not pay for a poor man to be sick in Chicago. When he returned to Wisconsin, he found his mother in poor health and rather despondent. Back in Wicsonsin, Prosper and Robert formed a partnership to purchase a house, but the transaction did not work out. In 1869, Pros left for Michigan hoping to find work making boxes for peaches, but he returned again to Wisconsin in 1870 to work as a lumberman. By 1871, Pros had married Bell and they settled in Omro, Wisconsin, but had run deeply into debt with the purchase of a team of horses, a stove and chairs in spite of the advice of his brother, Robert.

By 1874, Prosper was living in a shanty among the pines about 70 miles from Winneconne (home) and four miles from Shawano. His business was to scale the loads, keeping account of the same and the company books. The total number of feet rafted during the previous season amounted to 213 million. The highest estimate for 1874 was 80 million. This great reduction owed party to the money panic and partly to the depletion of the pine forest in that section of country. It was estimated that in three years the pine forests on the Wolf River and its tributaries would be exhausted and in 12 years all the pine forests on this side of the Rocky Mountains would be no more. Many lumbermen were looking to Puget Sound as their next “place of rendezvous.”

In the latter part of the 1870’s, the depletion of the pine forests resulted in fewer jobs and Pros was forced to move with his family to Chicago to seek work. By 1880 the family was living in Lake View, Illinois; however, they lived in such an out-of-the-way place that his brother, Hiram, didn’t seem them very often. The 1880 census records listed his occupation as a railroad conductor. Pros had suffered quite a decline financially but seemed to take it quite philosophically. They ended up living at 3750 Dearborn Street, where they had four boarders besides Bell’s father and mother.

Pros and Bell had four children: Leo, Byron, Ernest and Albert. The first three were all born in Wisconsin; Albert, the youngest, was born in Chicago.

At some stage thereafter, whether due to financial strain or for other reasons, Prosper and Bell separated. Prosper moved west to the Port Angeles, Washington, area and in 1891 and again in 1894 purchased land, which are recorded in the Bureau of Land Management. The 1900 census shows Pros living in Glenwood, Kitsap County, Washington, working as a lumberman and living and/or working for The Cooperative Brotherhood. Research into The Cooperative Brotherhood turned up Burley, Washington, also located in Kitsap County, which was established in 1898 as a cooperative socialist colony, by a group called the Co-operative Brotherhood, an offshoot of the Brotherhood of the Co-operative Commonwealth that had established Equality colony elsewhere in Washington state in the previous year. Both communities were part of an attempt to plant socialist colonies in Washington in order to convert first the state, and then the entire nation, to socialism. In its earliest years the community achieved a maximum population of approximately 150 people; but like some other planned towns of the era such as Equality Colony, its population endured a long decline through the ensuing years. The local economy was dominated by the lumber industry; other businesses never flourished, though a cigar-manufacturing effort did achieve some short term success.

On September 30, 1901, Prosper married Laura Hands Blake. They moved to California, where they settled in Berkeley and Pros worked as a newspaperman for the Cal-Post. They both continued to live at 3041 Deakin Street in Berkeley until their deaths; Pros on May 4, 1920 of heart failure, and Laura, also from heart failure, on November 20, 1928.
According to Dave Crawford (grandson of Albert Eugene Crawford), Prosper abandoned the family leading to hardship for Bell and the four sons. Albert was forced to drop out of school and work to help support the family. Dave also said that Isabelle Steele Crawford was very strong willed and aptly named.
From the May 5, 1920 edition of The Oakland (California) Tribune:
Funeral Arranged for Lucius P. Crawford
BERKELEY, May 5. — Last rites will be said tomorrow for Lucius Prosper Crawford, identified for many years with the circulation departments of bay city newspapers, whose death occurred yesterday morning at his home, 3041 Deakin street. Crawford had just passed his seventy-seventh birthday. He had been in California eighteen years, coming from Chicago, where he was also identified with newspaper activities. He is survived by a widow, Mrs. Laura Crawford, and two sons, Albert and Leo, the former of whom is engaged in newspaper work in Oakland.

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