W. M. Crawford, pumper for the St. Clair Oil & Gas Company is now active in that connection on the C. Weavel farm, six and a quarter miles northeast of Delaware. A native of Van Buren County, Iowa, his birth occurred on the 19th of September, 1876, a son of J. H. and Susan (Smith) Crawford.
W. M. Crawford received his education in the schools of his native County and also in Missouri and Iowa, but when thirteen years of age he put his textbooks aside and came to Indian Territory with his parents. For three years they resided on Big Creek, about twenty-eight miles south of Coffeyville, Kansas, where the father engaged in farming and then removed to the Jim Martin ranch, six miles southeast of Coffeyville, on which place they resided two years. At the termination of that time Mr. and Mrs. Crawford returned to Iowa, W. M. following them eighteen months later. He remained in Iowa but eight months, however, when he returned to Indian Territory and located on John Thornbrugh’s farm, seven miles southeast of Coffeyville, where he lived for two years. In 1896 he was married and soon afterward moved to the Morrison farm, about seven miles west of Lenapah, farming there with gratifying success for two years. The following year he went to the Jim Gordon farm, about five miles east of Nowata and subsequently removed to the Little Stout farm, six miles north-west of Nowata. He farmed there for one year, moving into Nowata for the winter, and then for two years resided on the Johnson Push place, next spending one year on the Johnson Nelson farm on Salt creek. After two years on the William Ewers farm, two miles north of Ruby, he determined to give up farming, and entered the oil business, becoming a teamster for a company at Coodys Bluff for eighteen months. Finding the oil business to his liking, he has since been active along that line and is now engaged as a pumper with the St. Clair Oil & Gas Company, now operating on the C. Weavel farm, six miles east and a quarter mile north of Delaware, Charles Schuman, being the Superintendent of the company.
On the 27th of August, 1896, Mr. Crawford was united in marriage to Miss Minnie Thornbrugh, a daughter of John and Eliza (Martin) Thornbrugh, both of whom are deceased. Her father was one of the early pioneers of Indian Territory, having gone there some fifty years ago. At the time he located there the country was so sparsely populated that one could travel fifty miles without meeting or seeing anyone. He later located near Cleveland and at the time of his demise in 1913 was one of the largest farmers in the state. He likewise fought in the Civil war. Mr. and Mrs. Thornbrugh were married in Kansas, the latter being a native of Kentucky. Her demise occurred at Copan, Oklahoma, in 1921. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Crawford six children have been born: Clarence Earl, who married Lucy Ball, a daughter of one of the pioneers of this section and a sister of J. T. Ball, who owns and operates a farm close to Mr. Crawford’s, and they have become parents of two children-one two years of age and another child who died in infancy; Ora C., twenty-four years of age, is living at home; Johnnie is deceased, and is buried at Happy Hill; Delbert, aged nineteen, graduated from the high school at Delaware in 1918 and is now taking a course in bookkeeping at Jackson University, Chillicothe, Missouri; Grace Ray; and Annie Bell. The latter daughter graduated from the grade schools last year and is now a student in the high school. Clarence Earl, who is but twenty-six years of age, is a veteran of the World war, having seen twenty months of service with the United States army. He received his training at Camp Travis, Texas, and was transferred from a company of the Three Hundred and Fifty-eighth Infantry to Company F, One Hundred and Fortieth Infantry, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. From there he was sent to Mineola, New York, and on the 24th of April, 1918, sailed for France. For forty-five days he was in Alsace-Lorraine with the Thirty-fifth Regiment and was in the Meuse-Argonne drive, six days and nights. For some time he was on the Verdun front, holding trenches, and was several times held in reserve before he went over the top. He was held in the reserves at the Flanders drive for three weeks and for some time in the Metz drive.
Although the greater part of his time is devoted to his business interests Mr. Crawford is never too busy to give his aid in the furtherance of any movement for the up-building of the community and Delaware is proud to number him among her public-spirited and representative citizens.