Benjamin Franklin Crawford
Ben circa 1910
Benjamin Franklin Crawford was born in 1876 in Scioto Co., Ohio. His parents were Macdonald and Rachel Radabaugh Crawford. He was only ten years old when his mother died. He learned to work in the Iron Furnaces with his father in the area known as the Lower Ohio River Valley.
Ben was a large man for this era. He was 6' 1" and weighed about 200 pounds. When Ben was about 20 years old, he moved to Missouri to find work and start a new life. He met Margaret E. Ellis almost immediately upon his arrival and soon married her. They moved to the Cooper Hill area of Gasconade Co., Missouri and he worked doing odd jobs. There were many wealthy farmers that always need 'hired help' and this is how Ben supported his family until they moved to St. Louis around 1925. In St. Louis, Ben worked at a Rock Quarry and used a "fifty pound" hammer to break rock. Shows just how strong he was!!
Although he was not an educated man, Ben could read. He read the bible to his family on many occasions and his home was always filled with music, story-telling, and laughter. He loved to play the fiddle and his children would dance and sing. The children of Benjamin and Margaret were as follows:
Anna Mae Victory Crawford
Charles Donald Crawford born June 17, 1905
Ruth Crawford born September 15, 1917
Relaying a story that one of my cousins (the daughter of Ruth) told me..."When Margaret Ellis first saw Ben, he was stepping off of a train and she was there with her friend watching the passengers as they moved around. Margaret told her friend, 'That is the man I will marry someday....' and she did." Margaret Ellis said that when she first met Ben he had long black braids. I am not sure why he had long braids except that ALL of the Crawfords were unconventional people...never really worrying about what anyone else thought.
The Crawfords were big "story-tellers" and for many years I believed that Ben was an Indian, of course after the genealogical research of his ancestors, I KNOW that he didn't have a speck of Indian blood. It is possible that his wife Margaret Ellis was part Indian. I have had NO luck in finding her ancestry.
Here (on right) is a picture of my great grandfather Ben when he was around 65 years old--this picture was taken circa 1940
<<With his sister, Belle at a family reunion when he was about 80 years old
Ben died on June 16, 1950 in St. Louis, Missouri and is buried there.
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