Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 408] a retired locomotive engineer, living at No. 105 Court Street, New Castle, also interested in a stone quarry and in operating a farm, was born in the above city Feb. 27, 1835. He is a representative of one of the oldest families of New Castle, and is a descendant of one of the early settlers of Jamestown, Va., in the seventeenth cenutry [sic]. Our subject's father, David Crawford, was a son of David Crawford, Sr., who was descended from one of five brothers, who came to Jamestown, Va., in 1672. David Crawford, our subject's father, was born in the year 1798 in Westmoreland County, when it was still a part of Virginia, and when he was two years old was brought by his father with the rest of the family to Mercer County, where he lived until he became of age. His father took up a farm of 1,600 acres at Wheatland on a soldier's land warrant, he having served in the Revolutionary War; later in life he moved to Newark, Ohio, where he died of paralysis at the advanced age of ninety-two years. He was a relative of the famous Col. William Crawford, who was killed by the Indians. Our subject's father learned the printer's trade, and published the Western Press of Mercer County for many years. In 1827, he came to New Castle, and established the Register, which was for many years the leading paper of the city, and identified with all the business and financial interests. Our subject still has in his possession, as articles of some little interest to him at least, the press, which is of the old Franklin type, the composing stone, and screw. These articles were all of the most primitive kind. He purchased forty acres in the city on the east side of the Neshannock Creek, and continued farming on this tract until his death, Aug. 31, 1874. The land on which the Lawrence County Court House was built was donated by him. When he first came to New Castle, and decided upon locating there, only about a dozen houses were where hundreds upon hundreds are now. He was a drummer-boy in the War of 1812. He married Rebbeca Hosack, daughter of Col. Thomas and Mary (Ewing) Hosack, the latter a daughter of Col. Ewing of Hollidaysburg, Pa. Col. Thomas Hosack commanded a regiment at Fort Crawford on Lake Erie in the War of 1812; the regiment returned home in the winter on sleds. To our subject's parents were born the six following children: Matilda, deceased; Lafayette, deceased; Emeline, deceased; Walter S., our subject; Arabella; and Florence.

Until he was fifteen years of age, our subject attended the subscription schools and academy of his native place, and then went West, first visiting Toledo, Ohio, then looking over Chicago, Ills., finally locating himself at Burlington, Iowa, where he learned the printer's trade, and worked two years on the force of the Gazette, the Telegraph, and the Hawkeye. He next spent three summers in rafting, and in the winters followed steamboating on the lower river. He learned how to run an engine—in short picked up a little knowledge here and a little there, and after a little practice was skilled engineer, and followed this occupation on the packets until the spring of 1862. In that year he crossed the continent, and followed agricultural pursuits in Oregon for six years. On Sept. 16, 1868, he re-entered New Castle after an absence of about eighteen years, and for the two years following his return was a grocery clerk. He then followed railroading as engineer on the line road for a number of years, but is now retired from active work in that vocation, and operates a farm and stone quarry.

Mr. Crawford was married in Burlington, Ia., to Mary E. Hill, a native of Chilicothe, Ohio, and a daughter of Francis and Nancy (Hukill) Hill, both of Fayette Co., Ohio. One child, William Francis, was born to our subject, but he is since deceased. Mrs. Crawford was taken to her home on high April 13, 1896. Mr. Crawford is an active member of the M. E. Church, as was also his wife during her life. Mr. Crawford was married again Aug. 17, 1897, to Mrs. Hannah G. Dice. He is a stanch Republican, and a zealous supporter of the party, and has served two years in the common council.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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