Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


CHARLES CROWDUS. That the dairy cow can be the means through which agriculture can be put on a permanent and profitable basis is clearly shown by the history of Denmark. Forty years ago that country was on the verge of bankruptcy. The land had been run down through years of continuous grain farming. The people were poor and dissatisfied and were leaving the country for America as fast as they could get the money for their passage. A few of the far-sighted men of the country saw a possible solution of their national problem in the dairy cow. Dairying was introduced into Denmark, and now the little nation once poverty-stricken is pointed out as an example of what can be done when the proper system of farming is followed. The country is prosperous. The production of the soil has been increased to more than double what it was forty years ago. People no longer have a desire to leave, and, as a whole they are considered among the best educated and intelligent of the world. The country exports annually over seven million dollars' worth of dairy products, to say nothing of the enormous amount consumed within its borders, and all from an area much less than one-fourth of Missouri. No country in the world is better adapted for dairying than the Ozark region, and yet it is surprising how few have become aware of this fact. Here is a fine rolling country, a good black limestone soil, an abundance of pure spring water, a long growing season and the center of an unlimited market. Among the Greene county men who have had the sagacity to see this opportunity and take advantage of the same is Charles Crowdus, proprietor of the Crowdus Sanitary Dairy and Poultry Ranch in Campbell township, in the outskirts of Springfield, in which city he has long been well known, having for years been connected with the Heer Dry Goods store prior to taking up his present line of endeavor.

Mr. Crowdus was born at Weatherford, Texas, April 5, 1878. He is a son of William B. and Mary (Heer) Crowdus, the latter a daughter of C. H. Heer, of Illinois. He was a native of Hanover, Germany. William B. Crowdus was born in Kentucky, from which state he came to Springfield, Missouri, when a young man, and for a number of years engaged in the grocery business on the public square and South street. This was in 1873, forty-two years ago. In 1877 he went to Weatherford, Texas, and there his death occurred in 1879, when his son, Charles Crowdus was only a year old; his only other child, a daughter, died in infancy unnamed. William B. was a brother of J. C., J. B. and R. L. Crowdus of the Crowdus Hide & Wool Company, a widely known concern, engaging in business at Fort Worth, Texas, Oklahoma City, and St. Louis.

Charles Crowdus was brought back to Springfield by his mother soon after his father's death, and here he grew to manhood and was educated in the parish schools, later attending Christian Brothers College at St. Joseph, and Jesuits College at St. Mary's, Kansas, also studied at Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana. Applying himself assiduously he took advantage of this excellent opportunity for education and became well equipped for life's serious duties. After leaving school he was with the Heer Dry Goods store in Springfield for a period of about ten years, where he did much to make the business a success during that period. Finally tiring of the exactions of this line of endeavor he moved just south of the city limits and turned his attention to dairying and poultry raising and has made a pronounced success in both. He runs a retail route and has built up a good business in this city, finding ready sales for all his products. He is well equipped in every respect for the dairy business, having a modernly appointed dairy barn, convenient, up-to-date and sanitary in every respect, and he keeps a superior grade of cows. He makes a specialty of raising White Wyandotte poultry and has built up a-good demand for his fowls and eggs. He keeps well posted on all phases of the dairy and poultry business and gives his close attention to each line. He has a cosy home on South Jefferson street.

Mr. Crowdus was married on October 2, 1909, to Mary Ethelyn Lawing, a daughter of R. J. Lawing and wife, an influential family of Ozark, Christian county, this state. Mr. Lawing is a farmer in that vicinity and was for a number of years postmaster at Ozark. His wife was known in her maidenhood as Mary Clark, and to their marriage eight children were born, all of whom survive at this writing. Mrs. Crowdus grew to womanhood in the vicinity of Ozark and received a good education in the local schools.

To Mr. and Mrs. Crowdus two children have been born, namely: William Robert, born on June 10, 1912, and John Paul, born on June 1, 1914.

Politically, our subject is a Democrat, and he is a member of St. Agnes Catholic church of Springfield.

[1645-1647]


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