Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
A. B. CRAWFORD. This biographical memoir has to do with a character of unusual force, for A. B. Crawford, whose life chapter has been closed by the fate that awaits all mankind, was for many years one of the best known and enterprising citizens of Springfield and Greene county. He was a representative of one of the oldest and most popular of pioneer families of this locality, members of which, including himself, assisted in many ways in advancing the interests of the community with which his life was identified. He was practically a self-made man, having fought his way to success in the face of obstacles that would have discouraged men of less courage and grit; and while he carried on special lines of business in such a manner as to gain a comfortable competency for himself, he also belonged to that class of representative citizens who promote the public welfare while advancing individual success.
Mr. Crawford was born April 10, 1859, on the old Crawford homestead, now the McClure farm, just east of Springfield. He was a son of Charles W. and Sally (Jernegam) Crawford, both natives of Tennessee, and both of good old Southern families. They grew to maturity in their native state, received such educational advantages as the early days afforded, which indeed were meager, and there they were married, and from there made the overland journey in pioneer days to Greene county, Missouri, establishing the future home of the family on a farm and here Charles W. Crawford became an extensive farmer and well-known citizen. For several years after his arrival here he engaged in teaching school during the winter and developed his farm during the summer months. During the Civil war he enlisted for service in the Union army and became quarter master, a position which he filled with credit and satisfaction. His family consisted of seven children, five of whom are still living.
A. B. Crawford grew to manhood on the home farm and assisted with the general work during the crop seasons. He received his education in the Springfield schools, but a large portion of his education was gained by actual contact with the business world and by wide home reading, until he was eventually known to his friends to be an exceptionally well informed man.
Mr. Crawford was married on October 6, 1892, to Agnes M. O'Day, who was born in Springfield, where she grew to womanhood and was educated in St. Charles county, Missouri. In Springfield she has long been a favorite with a large circle of the best families, and her beautiful home on West Walnut street is often the gathering place for her many friends. She is a sister of John O'Day, one of Springfield's most prominent men of a past generation, a sketch of whom appears on another page of this work. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Crawford was without issue.
Mr. Crawford turned his attention to various lines of business and by close application and the exercise of sound judgment he became one of the financially strong men of the city. For many years he was an official in the Holland Bank, later engaged in the loan and insurance business and for years he carried on an extensive business in this line of endeavor. He owned considerable valuable property in Springfield. He took an interest in public affairs and he was the principal factor in locating the new magnificent county court house at Center and Boonville streets. Politically he was a strong Republican, and while he took much interest in local public affairs he was never a candidate for office, preferring to give his attention to his home and to his extensive business interests, being best contented when by his own fireside. He was a member of the St. Agnes Catholic church, as also is Mrs. Crawford.
The death of A. B. Crawford occurred on June 6, 1913, at the age of fifty-four years.
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