Jefferson County Historical Society

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S. W. Crawford, railroad contractor and retired capitalist, is the
youngest son of Moses and Elizabeth (Wilson) Crawford, and was born in
Lafayette County, Penn., in 1832.  Moses Crawford, a millwright by 
trade, was a native of Scotland, and came to America when a young man;
he died in 1832, and his wife, who was born in New Jersey in 1801, 
subsequently married J. H. Hayden; she died in 1876.  S. W. Crawford was
reared on a farm and acquired his education in the common schools in 
his native State.  At the age of eighteen he was employed on a packet
plying on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, which occupation he followed
about six years, when he engaged to furnish ties and timbers for the
Ohio & Mississippi Railroad, his line extending from Cincinnati, Ohio
to Seymour, Ind.  In 1855 he came to St. Louis and for the following 
two years he was a contractor on the Iron Mountain Railroad.  He then 
went to Davenport, Iowa, bought a farm and engaged in agricultural 
pursuits, but soon took a contract on a branch of the Rock Island Railroad
which company was dissolved, and Mr. Crawford then returned to St. Louis, 
where for the following ten years he was a commission agent, handling 
lumber, wood, shingles, etc.  In 1867-68 he again engaged in contracting, 
and in 1869 located at Silica, Jefferson County, purchasing a farm, which
he devoted to the culture of small fruits.  In 1871 he came to De Soto and
resumed contracting on the Iron Mountain Railroad, furnishing cross-ties 
and wood for its entire line and branches until 1885.  He has since been 
looking after his large landed estate and private business, but has 
recently made another contract with the Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad 
to furnish 5,000,000 ties, with headquarters at Little Rock, Ark.  He is 
one of the most substantial business men and influential citizens of 
Jefferson County, and has been very successful financially.  He owns 1,000
acres of land, several business blocks and the opera house in De Soto, as 
well as a large residence.  His marriage to Miss Mary Hettie Bramble 
occurred in 1853, she was born in Dearborn County, Ind., and is the mother 
of six children: Alice, wife of Winthrop Bartlett; Aletha, now Mrs. Frederick
Evans; Katie, died at the age of three, in St. Louis; Mary, who married Ward
Cunningham; Annie, died at the age of twenty-one, in De Soto, Mo., and
Minnie.  Mr. Crawford is a Knight Templar and a Republican in politics.