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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of David Crawford

SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, Illinois," Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1887

SURNAMES: CRAWFORD, FRANCIS, GRAHAM, HICKMAN, MEHARRY, TONER


Rev. DAVID CRAWFORD, who was connected with the ministry of Northwestern Indiana Conference for many years, has since 1872 employed himself in agricultural pursuits. He owns and occupies a fine farm on section 31, in Philo Township, where he has built up a comfortable home, and enjoys the confidence and esteem of his friends and neighbors.

Mr. Crawford was born in Salem, Washington Co., N. Y., Dec. 23, 1811, and is the son of James CRAWFORD, also a native of the Empire State, and of Scotch ancestry. He was bred to farming pursuits, in which he was occupied during his youth and early manhood, and was married in his native county to Miss Mary GRAHAM, a native of New York State. They located on a farm in Washington County, N. Y., and accumulated a competency. They were excellent Christian people, and widely known for their hospitality and kindness to the afflicted and distressed. Both parents had been fairly educated, and were above the average in intelligence. They spent their entire lives in Washington County, the mother dying in middle life, and the father at an advanced age.

On the nine children in the parental family, consisting of three daughters and six sons, one daughter and two sons only are now living. Of these the record is as follows: John, who followed farming pursuits, after arriving at the age of eighty-eight years, departed this life in 1885; William died when a young man before leaving home; he was a youth of great promise and much beloved by his family and a large circle of friends; martha became the wife of Daniel Rice, and died near East Camden, Oneida Co., N. Y., when about seventy years old; Isaac, who was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church for many years, died in Indiana, leaving a wife and three children; David, of our sketch, was the next in order of birth; a daughter died in infancy; James, who was connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church the greater part of his life, died at Hope, Bartholomew Co., Ind., in 1872, leaving a wife and two sons; Thomas C. is living in Cincinnati, Ohio, and actively engaged as a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church; he has a wife and seven children; Mary E., the widow of Mr. Jameson, is a resident of Rising Sun, Ohio Co., Ind., having two children who maintain her in ease and comfort, her son being a practicing physician in that city.

The subject of our sketch was educated principally at Casenovia, N. Y., and Kent’s Hill, Me. He was licensed to preach by the Williamstown Conference in New York, July 4, 1840, and later admitted on trial during the Annual Conference at Terre Haute, Ind., in 1840. He was appointed to Knightstown Circuit by Bishop R. R. Roberts; his labors also included the Morrisville Circuit. He was ordained Deacon by the Indiana Annual Conference, Nov. 21, 1842 by Bishop Thomas A. Morris. Afterward he was transferred, at his own request, to the Arkansas Conference, by which he was ordained Elder in November following, at its session at Little Rock. Three years later, desiring to go to Iowa, Mr. Crawford was transferred to the Iowa Conference, and labored in the vineyard there for a period of six years. In the meantime he had met with a severe affliction in the loss of his excellent wife. This lady was formerly Miss Elizabeth TONER, who was a native of Indiana, and married to our subject at Shelbyville, that State. She possessed all womanly virtues, and was ever the active sympathizer and helper of her husband in his religious work. The one child born to them died in infancy.

The second marriage of Mr. Crawford took place at Pleasant Hill, Montgomery Co., Ind., Aug. 23, 1854. His wife, Miss Mary A. MEHARRY, was the daughter of James MEHARRY, the latter born in Adams County, Ohio, of Scottish parentage. He married Miss Margaret FRANCIS, of Irish and Scotch descent, in 1827. In the spring of 1828 they removed from Ohio to Fountain County, Ind., and thence three years later to Montgomery County, where the father followed farming, and where both parents spent the remainder of their lives. Their four children consisted of two daughters and two sons, of whom the wife of our subject was the eldest: Green C. is farming in Tippecanoe County, Ind.; he married Miss Letitia MEHARRY, of Canada; Cornelia B. is the wife of James HICKMAN, a farmer of Iroquois County, Ill.; A. W., a mute, lives with his sister, the wife of our subject. Mrs. Crawford was reared and educated mostly in Montgomery and Allen Counties, Ind., completing her studies at the Ft. Wayne Methodist Episcopal College. Afterward she returned to her parents and remained with them until her marriage. Of her union with our subject there have been born ten children, of whom three—Charles G., M. L. and an infant—are deceased. Those surviving are C. M., Jesse C. E., Ella M. F., Allen J., Anna L., Emma G. and John W. W. All these are at home with the exception of Allen, who is attending college at Onarga.

Mr. and Mrs. Crawford soon after their marriage settled in Crown Point, Ind., where our subject had charge of a congregation one year. He was thence removed to Pine Village, and afterward to Pleasant Hill. He was placed on the superannuated list four years before coming to Illinois. Since 1872 he has given his time principally to farming, and is the possessor of over 1,000 acres of land, half of it being in Indiana. His homestead in Philo
Township is finely improved, with good buildings, and the land is under an advanced state of cultivation. His stock and farm implements compare favorably with those of the other prosperous and intelligent farmers of Champaign County.

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