GEORGE W. CROSSLEY. - By the death of this estimable and useful citizen of Kansas City on April 14, 1911, Wyandotte county suffered a distinct loss, and the testimonials of respect at his burial freely admitted the fact. He was useful during the whole of his mature life to the community of his home, and gave the people around him an impressive example of good citizenship both in prosperity and adversity, for he suffered serious reverses in business through circumstances beyond his control, but they neither soured his nature or diminished his nerve. He began life over as soon as the fruits of his first venture were swept away, and by persevering industry and economical living soon retrieved his fortunes.
Mr. Crossley was a native of Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, where he was born on January 23, 1840, a son of Charles and Elizabeth Crossley, and allied with families long resident in that state. He was reared in his native state and obtained a limited education in its district schools, attending them from his father's farm. After leaving school he continued working on the farm until his marriage, which took place in June, 1860, when he was but twenty years of age. In this he was united with Miss Elizabeth Keim, a native of Perry county, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of George and Christina (Long) Keim, who were born in Northampton county in the same state and passed the whole of their lives within the borders of the commonwealth, of which they were representative citizens.
After his marriage Mr. Crossley learned the carpenter trade and worked at it in his native state until 1882. In that year he yielded to a yearning that had long possessed him to try his fortunes in the great and rapidly progressing West. He came to Kansas and located at Clay Center in Clay county, where he remained three years, working laboriously and with judgment as a farmer and prospering at the business. At the end of the period mentioned he moved to Kansas City in Wyandotte county, and again went to work at his trade.
Tiring of mechanical pursuits after some years, he opened a general store, which he conducted successfully for a time, then sold it and turned his attention to merchandising in feed. He was doing well in this venture when the great flood came in 1903 and bore away in its mad and destructive course everything he owned, home, business and resources of every kind except his indomitable will and defiance of adversity. He had no other resort in that day of disaster but to go back to his trade, but this he did with a cheerful heart and a still aspiring hope.
As soon as he got on his feet again he started a grocery on Kansas avenue, erecting a building for the purpose. He flourished in this undertaking, as he had in his former mercantile efforts, and saw prosperity smiling on him with benignant face. But his health began to fail and he was obliged to retire from business. He sold his store and stock in October, 1910, and passed the few remaining months of his life at rest from labor but with the end manifestly approaching. He died on April 14, 1911, as has been noted above.
Mr. Crossley and his wife were the parents of seven children: John, a resident of Melbourne, Missouri; Calvin, who lives in Independence in that state; Aaron, whose home is in Kansas City, Missouri; Ann, the wife of Jacob Wentworth; and Harry, George and Burt, the last four residents of Kansas City, Kansas. The father was an ardent Democrat in politics and a man of great public spirit.
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