Josiah Crosby, of St. Francis, Kan., president of the St. Francis Telephone Company, and a dealer in grain and broom corn, was born in Belmont county, Ohio, August 12, 1856, son of Oliver H. P. and Margaret (Trott) Crosby, of Maryland, the former being a farmer and stockman of that State.
Josiah Crosby was raised in Belmont county, Ohio, and received his early education in the common schools. His father died when the boy was but ten years of age, and immediately he started in life for himself. He farmed and raised stock until twenty-six years of age. In 1884 he left Ohio and came to Kansas, locating in Jewell county in the spring of 1885, where he purchased a farm and remained two years. In 1887 he removed to Cheyenne county, took a homestead and farmed until the spring of 1892. In the fall of 1891 he was elected sheriff of Cheyenne county and served two terms. He then purchased a ranch and engaged in stock raising, continuing in this business until 1907.
In 1896 Mr. Crosby was elected representative from Cheyenne county to the State legislature, and served three successive terms, during all of which time he was a member of the educational committee and was a member of that body at the time the textbook law was drafted. During his first term he was chairman of the claims and accounts committee. In 1904 Mr. Crosby was elected county attorney, and served two years, after which he devoted his entire time to his ranch, until 1907, when he sold it and removed to St. Francis. Since 1892 he has been engaged in broomcorn buying and shipping. For five years Cheyenne county was the banner county of Kansas for broomcorn. Since moving to St. Francis Mr. Crosby has added grain and hay to his broomcorn business, and has three warehouses on the Chicago Burlington & Quincy tracks. The firm is known as Josiah Crosby & Son. In 1904 Mr. Crosby, with other local parties, bought the St. Francis Telephone Company, which at that time had a very small system. He has since extended its lines to connect with the Bell system and with the Consolidated systems, but the St. Francis Telephone Company still is an independent concern, owned and operated by local capital, Mr. Crosby being its president. He is also a stockholder in the St. Francis "Herald," a local newspaper. Mr. Crosby is a Democrat, a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
In October, 1877, Mr. Crosby was married to Malinda Miller, daughter of A. J. and Margaret (Shuman) Miller, of Batesville, Ohio. Both her parents were born in Ohio, but the family came from Pennsylvania, and is of German origin. Mr. Miller was engaged in farming and stock raising. Mrs. Crosby was born in Batesville, Ohio, raised on a farm with her parents and attended common schools. Mr. and Mrs. Crosby have nine children: Homer M., Clarence M., Laura, Margaret, Elizabeth, Florida, Gail, Theda and Marie. Laura is married to William Linning; Margaret married R. R. Turner; Florida is married to Fred Hammers; Elizabeth is married to Frank Confer, and they all live in Cheyenne county. Clarence M. is married to Minnie Lockard. Gail is now in the high school at St. Francis and Theda and Marie are attending the common schools. Mr. Crosby has always been identified with educational affairs, serving on the school board of his district, also having organized a number of districts.Pages 91-92 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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