Obituary of Robert Crawford


February 23, 1826 – April 13, 1903

Crawford, Robert



From the 4-16-1903 Omro Weekly Journal, p.1

Another Pioneer Gone.

On Tuesday the remains of Robert Crawford, who for some years had been living with his daughter, Mrs. John Tullar of Neenah, were brought to this village for interment beside the remains of his wife who died here years ago. Short funeral services were held, Rev. Roberson preaching the sermon. The funeral was held in Masonic hall, the Masons of which order Mr. Crawford had long been a member, having charge. Those who saw Mr. Crawford in Omro just a week ago when he came here to attend the funeral of Robert Shufelt, little thought that in one short week they would be called together again to attend his obsequies. His death was caused by blood poisoning, caused by the too close paring of a corn, the infection being taken from a colored sock.

Mr. Crawford came to this vicinity in the fall of 1849, and settled on land now included in the town of Omro, and from that time on up to within a few years he has been a resident here most of the time. He was a man of strict integrity and was highly respected by all who knew him. Mr. Crawford was of the make-up that the sturdy pioneers of Wisconsin are made of, and in his death Omro loses another of her very early settlers. He was 77 years old. Four daughters survive him three of whom attended the funeral.

We have not the necessary data to write up such an article as we would like to give our readers.

Crawford, Robert - Obituary 2

November 25, 1901 letter to Sarah Keith from Robert Crawford

November 25, 1901

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Robert Crawford, Neenah, WI

Robert is writing Sarah about general family news and inquiring about her family.

Scan of 1901-11-25 Robert Crawford to Sarah Keith

Neenah Nov 25″, 1901

Dear Sister Sarah

Not hearing from you lately, I thought that I would write you a few lines. I am feeling usually well with the exception of a cough & cold. I have never got over the cold that I took on the Boom.[1] I have a remedy now which I think will break it up. Edna[2] & family are well. Lulu[3] is up from Milwaukee visiting. Expect her here today from Kaukauna. It looks quite wintery here for it snowed yesterday a little. The ground is covered though. I heard by the way of Hiram[4] that Nancy Brown[5] had moved from Hoyne Ave. I wrote to her when I was in Milwaukee but have [not] rec’d a reply. I suppose she is very busy. Now sister dear first write me a few lines & let me know how you are and Luke[6] & Ethan & Hannah[7] and how you get along.

Regards & love to you and yours

Robt Crawford
Neenah, Wis


[1] Lumber companies ran logs down the Wolf River which were then sorted at Bay Boom according to each company’s water mark

[2] His daughter, Edna (Crawford) Henry Tullar

[3] His daughter, Lulu (Crawford) Witte

[4] Their brother, Hiram Crawford Jr.

[5] Sarah’s daughter, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[6] Sarah’s husband, Charles Luke Keith Jr.

[7] Sarah’s son and daughter, Ethan Keith and Hannah (Keith) Towne

(This post was updated on 03-21-2021)

September 26, 1875 letter to Sarah Keith from Robert Crawford

September 26, 1875

To:  Sarah Keith

From: Robert Crawford, Omro, WI

Louisa has gone to Minnesota to visit her folks. He expects her home this week after an absence of three weeks. Mother is getting along about as usual. She cannot keep a cent of money. Will has been coughing this summer and we are getting alarmed about him.

1875-09-26 1875-09-26B 1875-09-26C

Omro Sept 26/75

Dear Sister

I hear from you occasionally by the way of Mother[1] and I thought as I had some leisure moments I would pencil a few lines to you. We are all well. Louesa[2] has gone to Minnesota to visit her folks[3]. Her sister Cynthia Mrs Long[4] went out with her. We re’d letters last eveing from them and expect them home this week after an absence of 3 weeks. I have been engaged at River Work this season but I have not done as well as usual as the Lumbering Business is quite dull this season.

I should like to have come out to Mich this fall but but I dont see my way clear. Money is not plenty here and it is hard to collect but if I live will try and come another fall. I should like to see you Sarah and your Family. It would give me pleasure and to see the old burg[5] and some of my old Friends. I send you my photo. Mabe that will do some good. Sarah you see that I am getting old but I cannot help that. Mother is getting along about as usual. She cannot keep a cent of money. She had a spare dollar the other day went a bought a map of Washington. Her health is quite good. I wish you could come out and see her and us, you and Luke[6]. How is Ethan[7] now? Our Will[8] has been coughing this summer and we are getting alarmed about him but we got some medicin for him and he has got about over it. Please to write Sister and mabe I will find something to write when Louesa comes back. Accept our regard and love to you Sister & Family.

From your affectionate Bro

Robt Crawford

[1] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[2] Robert’s wife, Louisa (McCann) Crawford

[3] John and Rachel McCann

[4] Cynthia (McCann) Long, Louisa’s sister

[5] Galesburg, Michigan

[6] Charles Luke Keith Jr., Sarah’s husband

[7] Ethan Keith, Sarah and Luke’s son

[8] Robert’s son

April 10, 1874 letter to Sarah Keith from Nancy Betts

April 10, 1874

To:  Sarah Keith

From: Nancy Betts, Omro, WI

Her health is quite good this spring; has been taking the electric health restorer. D.C. sent his photograph in a splendid frame and sent Robert and Prosper a photograph each in a smaller size. Robert has trouble with rheumatism a good deal of the time, but his family is well. Received a letter from Eugene a short time ago. Received a letter from David to say that Amanda joined the Episcopal Church. Hiram wrote that they were all well, that they had a dreadful snowstorm a week ago and that Clem Crawford had visited and stayed two days. Edna is still going to school in Oshkosh. They want her to be a teacher. Willie is almost as tall as his father.

1874-04-10 1874-04-10B 1874-04-10C 1874-04-10D

Omro     April 10th 1874[1]

My Dear Daughter

I receive your kind letter and was glad to hear from you and yours. I hope these few lines will find you all in good health. My health is quite good this spring. I have ben taking the Electric health Restorer a Jerman Remedy to cure Dyspepsia and palpatation of heart. It has help me the most of any thing that I hav ever to taking. DC[2] my son sent me his Photograph in a splendid fraime and sent Robert[3] and Prosper[4] each one only a photograph a smaller sise. Robert is troble with the rheumatism a goodeal of the time. His famly is well. The last heard from Prospers folks they was well. I received aletter from Eugene[5] short time ago. He was a gon a way but said he would write a gain before he whent. I received aletter from David to say that Amanda[6] was Baptise and join the a Episcopal Church a short time a go. They they where only the baby.[*] She was quite un well a cutting her theeth and one from Hiram[7]. They wher all well. He said about a week they had a dredfull snow storm. Clem Crawford[8] had ben out there and staid two days. They where all well. The ice is out of the Fox river but boats has not began to run yet. We are having very plesent wether now. The roads is quite dusty. The frost is mostly out of the ground and it is very dry. Som folks has comments a making gardings [commenced making gardens?]. Edna[9] is still agoing school at Oshkosh. The wanto make a teacher of her. Wille[10] is most as tall as his Father. They say he is quite good in figuers. He is a gon to keep tally for his Father this summer. Tell Lousia and Jenne[11] I would like to write to them but I cant do it. I have so meny letters to write. It is quite a task for me.

When I commence this letter I made cuch work I thought I would have to put it a way but I wanted to send it to day so I keep at it tille I finshed it. If you can read it then it will be all right. Write soon and tell all of the news. So I will close. My love to you all.

From your Mother

to S C Keith     N B Betts


[1] It is hard to make out the year; however, it could be 1878

[2] David Crawford

[3] Nancy’s son, Robert Crawford

[4] Lucius Prosper Crawford, Nancy’s youngest son

[5] Nancy’s grandson, Eugene Crawford

[6] D.C.’s wife, Amanda (Thornton) Crawford

[*] Ida Louise Crawford

[7] Hiram Crawford Jr., Nancy’s son

[8] Robert Clement Crawford, Nancy’s grandson, the second eldest son of Henry & Virginia (Worley) Crawford

[9] Edna Crawford, Robert’s daughter

[10] William Crawford, Robert’s son

[11] Presumably Robert’s wife, Louisa (McCann), and Henry’s wife, Virginia (Worley)

May 11, 1871 letter to Sarah Keith from Henry Crawford

May 11, 1871

To:  Sarah Keith

From: Henry Crawford, North Ceres, IN

The children have all had the measles this winter, five at one time and all very sick. Virginia has also been very sick. In the past four weeks she has been up but not very strong. He has a contract making wheels for the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Co. making two hundred sets per week. Henry employs nine hands.

1871-05-11 1871-05-11B 1871-05-11C 1871-05-11D 1871-05-11env

South Bend, May 11th [1871[1]]

Dear Sister,

I will acknowledge that I have not been verry Brotherly In not writing to you before. I will or I can safely say that you have been remembered by me at least once a day for the past year. Your letter was a welcom letter to me. I was glad to hear from you & to know you are all as well as you are at the present time. As I have heard from you in a round about way, I am aware you have sorely afflicted with sickness. I hope your Childeren are all well. I think I can simpathise with you for I believe we have had our share in the past six months. The Childeren have all had the Measles this winter, five at one time & verry sick. Virginia[2] has been verry sickly. In the past four weekes she is so as to be up but not very strong. These trials is hard to bare but if we believe thar are for our good, it makes the burden light.

I have a contract making wheels for the Studbaker Brothers Manufacturing Co[3]. I am making two hundred set per weeke. I employ nine Hands. Thare is over three hudred men employd. It takes Eight Thousand dollers to pay off every two weekes. I will send Luke[4] a paper that will tell you more than I can write. The Boys[5] are with me in the shop. They are almost men.

We would like to make you a viset or we would like to have you viset us. I think if we all keep well this summer Virginia & the Boys will supprise you some time in July. It will bee almost imposable for me to get away. I think Luke would fat on the ribs some if he could see how we make a Waggon every fifteen minuts. Luke, come to South Bend. Bring the whole family. It will do you all good. Sarah, I would like to have a chat with you. I would say things to you in a better light than I can write you. We unite in our Love to you all. Com & see us.

Good By you Brother.

H. C. Crawford

Excuse poor spelling for I presume I have made (Lots) of mistakes.


[1] The year of this letter is not given, however, it is believed that it was written sometime between 1870 to 1872. Prior to 1870 Henry and family were living in Niles, Michigan. His letter refers to all five children having the measles at the same time. Henry’s sixth child, George E. Crawford, was born July 26, 1872. In addition Henry’s description of the level of activity at Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Co. generally corresponds with the growth of the company in the early 1870s (see below)

[2] Virginia (Worley) Crawford, Henry’s wife

[3] In 1852 the Studebaker brothers built their first small business. It was a blacksmith shop located in the heart of South Bend but soon they began building farm wagons and the business grew slowly until the Civil War. Over the years the company’s name changed several times. The Civil War’s demand for wagons, ambulances, etc. put a strain on Stubebaker’s production and they began to look for labor outside of the city. They also moved their manufacturing facilities to the southwest end of town, encompassing an area between Western Avenue and Sample Street, and Main Street to Walnut Street. By the 1870’s the westward migration required sturdy covered wagons and farm wagons and Studebaker was a major manufacturer with sales offices all throughout the West. The need for more workers caused the company to go overseas to find a workforce. Many who came were German or Polish. The company continued to make farm wagons until shortly after 1900 when they began to make automobiles. For more detail on the Studebaker Company see the following web site:                        

[4] Charles Luke Keith Jr., Sarah’s husband

[5] Henry’s two eldest sons, John H. and Robert Clement (Clem), who were both in their mid teens