A centennial biographical history of Crawford County, Ohio

The Rev. Newell Dwight Hillis, the rising star in the brilliant firmament of the Presbyterian ministry and now the occupant of the pulpit of Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, made famous by the great Henry Ward Beecher, said: "By universal consent biography is the most fascinating of literature. Its charm doubtless grows out of the fact that it is the story of life. At best only a secondary interest can attach to those dead things named stones and stars. But biography has at least three advantages: it concerns life, it concerns human life, and it concerns man in his best form, in the person of earth's best and bravest spirits. For these reasons the books that have ushered in new epochs for society have generally been biographies. Indeed, the very heart of a nation's literature is the history of its heroes."

Crawford County, Ohio, has sustained within its confines men who have been prominent in public affairs and great industrial enterprises for half a century. The annals teem with the records of strong and noble manhood, and, as Sumner has said, "the true grandeur of nations is in those qualities which constitute the greatness of the individual." The final causes which shape the fortunes of individuals and the destinies of States are often the same. They are usually remote and obscure, and their influence scarcely perceived until manifestly declared by results. That nation is the greatest which produces the greatest and most manly men and faithful women; and the intrinsic safety of a community depends not so much upon methods as upon that normal development from the deep resources of which proceeds all that is precious and permanent in life. But such a result may not consciously be contemplated by the actors in the great social drama. Pursuing each his personal good by exalted means, they work out as a logical result.

The elements of success in life consist in both innate capacity and determination to excel. Where either is wanting, failure is almost certain in the outcome. The study of a successful life, therefore, serves both as a source of information and as a stimulus and encouragement to those who have the capacity. As an important lesson in this connection we may appropriately quote Longfellow, who said: "We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while we judge others by what they have already done." A faithful personal history is an illustration of the truth of this observation.

In this biographical history the editorial staff, as well as the publishers, have fully realized the magnitude of the task. In the collection of the material there has been a constant aim to discriminate carefully in regard to the selection of subjects. Those who have been prominent factors in the public, social and industrial development of the county have been given due recognition as far as it has been possible to secure the requisite data. Names worthy of perpetuation here, it is true, have in several instances been omitted, either on account of the apathy of those concerned or the inability of the compilers to secure the information necessary for a symmetrical sketch; but even more pains have been taken to secure accuracy than were promised in the prospectus. Works of this nature, therefore, are more reliable and complete than are the "standard" histories of a country.


Read the Book - Free

Download the Book - Free ( 59.4 MB PDF )

Crawford county as thus organized embraced a scope of territory three congressional townships in width, and extended from the eastern boundary of Sandusky and Cranberry townships to the western boundary of Crawford, Salem, and Mifflin townships in Wyandot county. The Wyandot Indian Reservation covered the larger part of what is now Wyandot county and three miles of the western portion of what is now Bucyrus and Holmes townships, Crawford county. In 1835 the Indians sold to the government a strip seven miles off the east end of their reservation, which was sold by the government publicly in Marion, Ohio. February 3, 1845, Wyandot county was erected, and in the general reorganization of the counties that occurred Crawford lost all territory west of the middle line of townships in range 15 east, and gained from Marion county a strip of territory two miles wide extending to the Richland county line, and from the latter county on the east a tract four miles wide, extending the whole length of Crawford from north to south, some twenty miles. But in 1848 a tier of fractional sections were taken off in the erection of Morrow county, leaving Crawford in its present limits. On the 6th of March, 1845, the county commissioners organized the county into townships. A change was made in the following June, establishing Jackson township, and in March, 1873, Jefferson town- ship was erected, and since then no change has been made in boundary lines of townships. The county, as now arranged, is comprised of the following civil townships: Auburn, Vernon, Jackson, Polk, Jefferson, Sandusky, Cranberry, Chatfield, Liberty, Whetstone, Dallas, Bucyrus, Holmes, Lykens, Texas and Todd.