Elisha C. Crawford

ELISHA C. CRAWFORD. one of the large mine operators of Cherokee County, and a citizen well and favorably known in the district about Galena, is also an honored survivor of the Civil War. He was born at Strawberry Plains near Knoxville, Tennessee, March 18, 1831, and is a son of William and Matilda (Churchman) Crawford.

The great-grandparents on both sides of our subject's family came from the Highlands of Scotland and settled in Culpeper County, Virginia. William Crawford, one of the descendants and the father of our subject, removed to Tennessee, where he married Matilda Churchman, and in 1838 they removed to Indiana. They had 11 children, eight of whom reached maturity, but Elisha C. and three brothers in Iowa are the only survivors.

Although at present Mr. Crawford's business is far removed from tilling the soil, he was reared on a farm and followed agricultural pursuits for a number of years. When about 23 years of age, he married and shortly afterward moved to Iowa, followed farming there for a time, and then went to Indiana and engaged in the brick business. In July, 1862, he enlisted for service in the Civil War, entering the 70th Regiment, Indiana Vol. Inf., which had Benjamin Harrison for its colonel for three years. He served all through the Georgia campaign and accompanied General Sherman on the famous "March to the Sea." He was one of the scouts mustered out at Raleigh, North Carolina, and subsequently discharged at Indianapolis, Indiana.

Mr. Crawford removed then to Illinois and settled for a few years at Mattoon, and then, in 1875, came to Cherokee County, Kansas. Since 1877 he has devoted himself exclusively to mining interests, at various points, at present being particularly interested in a zinc mine at Empire City. When Mr. Crawford came here first, he found nothing but a great stretch of timber, his cabin being the only one in the bottoms. He was the first marshal of Empire City and has been a prominent man of Lowell township ever since.

In 1854 Mr. Crawford was married to Mary A. Syler, and they have had five children, viz.: Lucian A., a conductor on the Missouri Pacific Railway; William M., a machinist and mechanic on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway; Ada Lincoln, who was accidentally burned to death, at the age of 22 months; and Minnie, who is the wife of Colonel Woodward, of Cincinnati, Ohio. In politics, Mr. Crawford is a Republican. He is quite a violinist and is the proud possessor of a beautiful Stradivarius violin, which he refuses to sell for $500. A portrait of Mr. Crawford, executed from a photograph taken in the fall of 1904, accompanies this sketch, being shown on a preceding page.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 6-27-97


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