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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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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 Evens; 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.

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Jefferson County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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