Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
WILLIAM J. CRAWFORD. William J. Crawford was born on June 18, 1862, at Coshocton, Coshocton county, Ohio. He is a son of Robert Crawford, who was born in Steubenville, Ohio, and he grew to manhood and attended school in his native state. When a young man he engaged in the cooperage business at Coshocton, making barrels in large numbers, later he was in the real estate business there, owning considerable land, and was a successful business man. He engaged in farming on an extensive scale, not only operating his own vast acreage but rented some land and worked it on the shares. At times he employed over one hundred hands. He was a prominent and influential man in his community. Politically, he was a stanch Democrat of the Jackson type and took much interest in politics, holding numerous offices, such as that of overseer of roads, township treasurer, a member of the school board in his district, of which he was president for a period of twelve years, during which he did much for the educational uplift of the township. He was at one time urged to become candidate to the state legislature but declined. He was a man of fine personal character. His word was as good as his bond and he enjoyed the confidence and respect of all who knew him. He loved his home and was best contented when by his own fireside and was never known to neglect his family in any way, which was a mutually helpful and happy one. He was a well-read man and a good debater, and was in deportment quiet and unassuming. He reached an advanced age and was active up to the last, dying in 1903 when past his eighty-first birthday. He married Evelyn Daugherty, a daughter of George Daugherty, of Belmont, Ohio. Her death occurred in 1904 at the age of seventy-seven years. She was a woman of fine Christian sentiment, helpful and neighborly. To these parents five children were born, namely: George died in infancy; John M., who was in the employ of the Frisco system, died in 1912; Lenore, who taught school for some time, died in Ohio; William J. of this sketch; and Harriet E., who is the wife of J. N. Edwards, a traveling salesman of Springfield.
James Crawford, paternal grandfather of the subject of this review, engaged in the cooperage business at Steubenville, Ohio, for many years, making iron-bound barrels which he shipped to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and he was very successful as a business man. He lived at Steubenville until his death.
William J. Crawford grew to manhood at Coshocton and there he attended the common and high schools, leaving school when seventeen years of age to enter the milling business at his home town, serving, an apprenticeship of two and one-half years in the Empire Mills there. He then came to Topeka, Kansas, where he had charge of the Shawnee Mills for a period of nine years, being head miller, and he was responsible for the prestige and general popularity of these mills during that period. Next we find him at Newton, Kansas, where, for fifteen months he operated the Newton Mill & Elevator Company's plant. He came to Springfield, Missouri, in the latter nineties and while here enlisted for service in the Spanish-American war on August 20, 1898, in Company A, Thirty-second United States Volunteers, and served in the army until 1901 with a most creditable record, having seen active service in the Philippine Islands, taking part in several campaigns on the island of Luzon, and fought in the battles of Tarlac, Orami, Colcobin and others, also was in many skirmishes. He was injured while in the service and was for two months in a hospital in San Francisco, in which city he was mustered out in May, 1901. Soon after he went to his old home in Ohio, and from there returned to Springfield and entered the employ of the Frisco railroad, first as check clerk in the freight department, then became chief of the delivery department in the inbound freight department which responsible position he still holds.
Mr. Crawford was married in 1902 to Mary E. Voorhees, a daughter of George W. and Elizabeth (Bretz) Voorhees. He was a captain in the Union army during the Civil war, having enlisted at Scio, Harrison county, Ohio. Mrs. Crawford's uncle, Richard Voorhees, is at this writing circuit judge in Ohio, his circuit embracing the counties of Coshocton, Muskingum and Summit. The Voorhees has long been a prominent family in Ohio and Indiana. Mrs. Crawford was born in Ohio, grew to womanhood there and was educated in the common schools.
The union of our subject and wife has been without issue.
Politically, Mr. Crawford is a Democrat in principle, but he votes independently. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, and he belongs to the Presbyterian church. He resides on Washington avenue in a pleasant Home.
Springfield-Greene County Library