Robert Alexander Crabb, general attorney for the Laclede Gas Light Company, has been a representative of the St. Louis bar since 1895, and moreover has been a lifelong resident of St. Louis, his birth having here occurred January 31, 1868. His father was Robert McKenzie Crabb who was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and came to America in 1849. After a brief residence in Davenport, Iowa, he removed to St. Louis, and for many years followed the printing business, having learned the trade in early manhood. He wedded Mary L. Mannix, whose father started for California in 1849, but the wagon train with which he was journeying was never heard from and it is believed that he and the others of the party were killed by the Indians. He was a brother of Bishop Mannix of Cincinnati. The death of Robert M. Crabb occurred in 1919 and the mother is now residing at 3121 Sheridan avenue, this city.
In the public schools of St. Louis Robert A. Crabb pursued his early education and afterward attended Washington University. Having determined to make the practice of law his life work he gained his LL. B. degree in 1895 upon graduation from the St. Louis Law School and then entered upon practice in his native city alone. He has been successful to a marked degree. While advancement at the bar is proverbially slow no dreary novitiate awaited him. He has made steady progress as the result of his comprehensive knowledge of the law and his thorough preparation of his cases. He has always specialized in insurance corporation law and has become an authority on law relating to employers and employe. In 1903 he became connected with the Laclede Gas Light Company, which he has since represented in his official capacity, being now general attorney for the corporation.
On the 17th of July, 1897, Mr. Crabb was married to Miss Louisa Donnelly, a daughter of Thomas Donnelly of St. Louis and a representative of a family that came to this state from Canada, but had first settled in Delaware. To Mr. and Mrs. Crabb have been born two children: Dorothy A., the wife of William Evans Wood of St. Louis, who has been of great service to the government as a wireless expert and had charge of the station at Belmar, New Jersey, and afterward at Bar Harbor, Maine. He is also the inventor of several devices along the line of his specialty and has become an expert and an authority upon everything relating to wireless. The son of the family is Thomas Garland, who made three attempts to enter the navy during the World war. First at St. Louis, then at Belmar, New Jersey, and afterward at Brooklyn, New York. He was finally accepted conditionally after he should undergo a slight operation. Only a day or two after he was discharged from the hospital the armistice was signed, so that his hope of entering the service was frustrated. He is now, at the age of twenty years, manager of the Liberty Bond department of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and is a young man who seems to have an exceptionally bright future.
Mrs. Crabb is well known by reason of her activity and prominence in connection with the woman’s suffrage movement and her earnest and effective efforts in political affairs. She is now a member of the executive committee of the Woman’s Suffrage League and worked with potent effect toward securing the passage of various laws giving the vote to women. She is now a member of the Woman’s Democratic State Committee, also of the congressional committee for the tenth district of Missouri and also is chairman of the Woman’s Democratic City Central Committee. She organized all the wards in St. Louis to such an effect that the women’s machine rivaled in effectiveness that which has been built up by the men. She is also on the executive committee of the Armenian and Far East Association. Mr. Crabb has always taken a keen and helpful interest in political affairs as a supporter of the democratic party but has consistently refused to accept public office, preferring to concentrate his efforts upon his professional service, although he has several times been urged to become a candidate. He and his wife are communicants of the Roman Catholic parish of St. Roch. Mr. Crabb is a member of the St. Louis and Missouri State Bar Associations. He is a great hunter and fisherman, belonging to the Gilead Hunting and Fishing Club composed of St. Louis citizens and owning its own grounds in Calhoun county, Illinois.