My children have often asked me to provide them a history of the Crawford Family, so here goes. I arrived in the Crawford household on a frigid night on Jan 4, 1922. The doctor had come from Napoleon in a horse and buggy and waited several hours for my arrival. He told my dad (Charlie Crawford) that it was a very difficult delivery, and not one for amateurs. I was told that these were the doctor’s exact words.
My Parents were Charles (Charlie) Lynch Crawford and Linnie Blanche (Barton) Crawford. They were married 67 years. I also had 5 brothers, 4 were older and one was younger. We were all born over a period of 19 years.
James Cloyce Crawford
Gale Leonard Crawford
Ray Orville Crawford
Byron Gerald Crawford
Ruth Ann Crawford
Bernard Cyril Crawford
It is interesting to note that my brothers’ middle names taken were from hired hands on the Crawford farm. My home was a large farmhouse located on Sandy Ridge Rd. in Henry County, Napoleon Ohio. When I was growing up our farm was considered the largest in Henry County Ohio. The farm had been purchased by my grandfather, James Crawford, and his wife Catherine (Lynch) Crawford, when they arrived from Coshocton Ohio by covered wagon. My father, Charles, was 4 years old when they arrived in Napoleon. The house was a white wood frame on a hill surrounded by 12 to 15 pine trees. I remember, when I was a little girl the wind would whistle through the trees and it sounded like someone was moaning.
My grandparents, James and Catherine Crawford were deceased before I was born. So I don’t know much about them. Their resting place is in the Forest Hill cemetery, Napoleon Ohio. This cemetery is also the final resting place for my father, mother, cousins and aunts and uncles.
My dad, Charlie, also had a half brother, Jacob. My grandfather was married twice. The first wife, the mother of Jacob died during childbirth. Jacob became the city law director of Cleveland Ohio. He married Elizabeth and they had 2 sons, Clifford & Walter. Charlie also had a sister Mary, who married Lon Blue and they lived in Deshler Ohio.
Aunt Mary Blue and Uncle Lon had 3 children: 1 son named Ford passed away before I knew him, and 2 daughters, Consouella (Connie) and Mercedes (Dee). Both girls attended college and taught school. Mercedes was closest to my age and I always envied her because she lived in town in a big home and got to go to college. She was always so nice to me. When I was 2 1/2 years old I got another brother: Bernard Cyril Crawford. my brother Jim always took care of me. My brother Byron was not happy to have a sister because I replaced him as the baby of the family.
I can’t remember when all of my brothers lived at home. In my younger years I vaguely remember Ray, and I can’t remember Gale, I was never very close to him.
James (Jim) Crawford
Jim never left the farm. He refused to go to high school and became the farmer. Jim married Mary Louise Renneckar and they set up housekeeping in the second house on the farm, which was approximately 1 mile from the family home. Jim & Mary never had children.
Gale attended business school and married Naida Harriet Knipp from Napoleon. As a young man Gale worked for the railroad and later in life for General Motors. Naida’s father Harry, owned a local grocery store. Gale and Naida had 3 children: Jean Marie, Norman J. and Maryann.
Jean Marie married Richard Yingling and had 3 sons: Richard Jr. (Skip), Tim Alan (not THE Tim Allen) and Jay Charles. All 3 live in the Toledo area.
Norman attended from Bowling Green State University but graduated from the Umiversity of Toledo. He married Alice J. Waldo from Toledo. Norman & Alice had 2 daughters: Lynn & Carol. Norman, Alice and their 2 daughters reside in South Eastern Wisconsin.
Maryann married Jack Hinger. They lived in Toledo for a short time and then moved to California. Maryann & Jack had 3 boys and 1 girl: Scott, Randy, Michael & Jacque. They all reside in California.
Ray married Valeria Kelly from New Bavaria Ohio. Their first born child was still born & is in the Crawford Cemetery in Napoleon, Ohio. They had a second child, Orville. Ray began working for Chevrolet in Toledo and in his career he held several management positions in General Motors. Each position was a promotion for Ray and involved a move. He and his family have lived in many cities in the United States, from Maryland to California.
Byron married Ruth Pauline Leifer from Napoleon. They lived in Toledo and had 2 sons: Jasper Lee (who changed his name to J. Lee) and Jay Bruce. Byron worked for Shaw Kendall for years and after they closed he worked for the Lucas County Highway Department. They built a home on the side of Toledo 50 years ago. Ruth is the only living person from my siblings and their wives.
Ruth Ann Crawford
Ruth Ann married Gerald Donnelly Jr. Gerald was living in Toledo, but the Donnelly’s had roots in Napoleon Ohio. Jerry worked as the executive secretary of St Vincent DePaul Society in Toledo, and later in life became the Welfare Director for Henry County in Napoleon, Ohio. They had 3 children.
Gerald III (aka little Jerry) was the first born and married Barbara Feyedelum DeVaughn. Jerry III adopted Barbara’s baby daughter (Jennifer) and they had 2 daughters; Caitlin Ann and Abigail Ruth. They lived 17 years in Illinois and now live in St Clair Shores MI.
Timothy Michael was the second born. Tim resides in New Jersey.
Moira Ann is the baby of the family and married Ronald Kempf. They lived for a time in Troy Michigan and then relocated to San Diego California.
Bernie was the only son of Charley & Linnie that served in the military. He served our country in Germany. Bernie attended business school in Toledo, a short time before going into the army. He married Mildred Annabelle Wilson. They had 5 children and lived on the South side of Toledo. The first born son was Jeffrey. Jeff was married 4 times and had 8 children all by his second wife, Mary. Jeff is recently passed away. Sue Ellen was the second child. Sue married Willard Kapes and lives in Euclid Ohio. Sue and Willard have no children. The third child is Joan Marie. Joan joined the air force as a young woman and became a drill sergeant. She attended Old Dominion College in Virginia. Her last semester was interrupted by the illness of her mother. Millie had developed and later succumbed to lung cancer. Joan returned home to help care for her mother. After her mother passed away she returned to college and earned her Bachelors degree. Joan is living in the family home in Toledo. Joan works for the Wood County Court in Bowling Green Ohio. Joan is very generous giving support to others in need. The fourth child is Richard (Rick). Rick attended Macomber HS in Toledo, Ohio. Rick purchased and lives in a home a few blocks from his childhood home. Beth Ann is Bernie & Millie’s fifth child. Beth arrived several years after Rick and was always a princess in the eyes of her father. Bet graduated from a Catholic HS and after working a year married Charles (Chuck) Miller. Beth and Chuck lived a short time in Toledo and moved to Pennsylvania then to Richmond Virginia and now reside in Little Rock Arkansas. Shannon is their only child and is graduating high school in the spring of 2008.
The Barton Family
The story of the Crawfords wouldn’t be complete unless I gave some background on my mother’s side of the family. Samuel L. and Annie L. Barton lived on a farm and had 7 children.
Linnie Blanche (my mother) was the first born and married Charles Crawford.
William married Laura Fahringer and had 3 sons: Paul, Clyde and Byron. They all lived in Napoleon Ohio and were farmers.
Mabel was the 3rd child She married Charlie Kelly and lived on a farm in Greton Ohio. At that time Greton was a small town consisting of a gas station and a silo. They adopted a girl and named her Mary Jane. Mary Jane married.
James was the fourth child and he married Hazel They had 3 children; Stella, Robert (Bob) and Virginia. Bob married but I can’t recall her name. All 3 children married & as I recall they all live in Blissfield Michigan, in town, and were factory workers. Virginia, Dutch as she was called, retired and is living in Florida with her husband.
Charles was also known as Pat, and was the “black sheep” of the family. He lived in Toledo in the Adams St area. and was involved in bootlegging. It seemed like he was always in trouble. He was also known to have many lady friends. He was thought to be married & had twins.
Maude was the 3rd daughter, and married Vilas Eiseman. They had 2 sons: Barton (named for his mother’s maiden name) and Vincent who lives in Chicago and is a self educated evangelizing minister. Eileen the eldest married Merlin Bush, live on a farm & was a Tupperware lady. Cleo the other daughter married a farmer and also became in volved with selling Tupperware. She was very successful & won a car. They lived in Leipsic Ohio and as far as I know she is still living today.
Julian ( Jude) was the baby of the family and married Viola (?). They lived in Toledo. Uncle Jude owned a spring factory on Monroe St. They had 2 sons & 2 daughters-Jean was the oldest & married Denman. They are living (?) in Toledo in the Trilby area. Jack was the first son, and I can’t tell you very much about him. Ted was the other son and became high up in the union. When he died there was a big article about him and the union in the Toledo Blade. June is the other daughter and married a well to do farmer in Archibald Ohio.
My Barton Grandparents were elderly and I was probably around 8 years old when they passed away. I do remember some things however. Sometimes at holiday times the Barton Clan would gather at their home. This was about the only time I had contact with my cousins. Grandfather Barton was tall, slender and had a white moustache and white hair. Grandma was very pretty-always dressed in a beautiful dress and wore beads. I still have some of the beads today. I remember the parlor, it had an organ which we kids were not allowed to touch. I can’t remember who was the organ player. I also remember a long kitchen window seat with storage space. It was a great place to sit and play. Grandma was adopted as a child and raised by a family named Engle. There was also talk about a relative named Bixby. She came from Pennsylvania and that’s all I know about her. Sam had sisters: Mary Meta & Jan. Mary was married to Mr. Rhoades and he was quite wealthy. They never had children but their niece Linnie was their favorite. My mom was devoted to them and spent a lot of time visiting. This was her chance to get away from the other siblings and help care for them. My mom’s aunt Mary saw to it that she had nice things and clothes. At that time Linnie was being courted by my father Charlie Crawford and a wedding was in the offing. Aunt Mary helped my mom get material for the wedding dress. My mother made her own dress, sewn by hand. It was beautiful cotton, white on white and to this day it’s in good condition. I still have this dress & treasure it. As far as her siblings, mom was the oldest and depended upon very much to help with her brothers & sisters. Her brother Jude looked to her as a mother. The Barton’s were not very prosperous so Linnie marrying Charlie did quite well for herself. I do not know when Mary and Mr. Rhoades (he was always called Mr. Rhodes) passed away. Sam’s sister Meta married Samuel Travis and I do not know very much about their early life. I do remember them living in Napoleon across from the South Side Primary School. They had children, Jess, Lulu & Harley and Frank. I spent many nights with Uncle Sam & Aunt Meta. I’ll talk about them later.
Jenny was married to Mr. Boyer. They had children, Guy & Gaston. Guy became the owner of the mortuary in Napoleon and to this day it is known as the Boyer Funeral Home. My Barton Grandparents are resting in the Hoy cemetery on route 109, about a mile from Sharon Methodist Church. Some of my aunts & uncle are there also.