GEORGE B. CRAWFORD
History of the Pan-Handle, West Virginia.
J. H. Newton, G. G. Nichols, & A. G. Sprankle, 1879; pages 352-353.
[Typed & presented by Linda Cunningham Fluharty, 2002.]
George B. Crawford is a native of Wellsburg, Brooke county, West Virginia. He received such school training as the town afforded during his youth. At an early age he developed a taste for books, newspapers and writing. As he advanced in years he more plainly saw the necessity of a good education, and discovered that the limited training that he received at three dollars per quarter (the price of schooling prior to the free school system) was not sufficient; therefore he set about to gather such information as he desired and required, and is still a close student in those things that pertain to a plain practical every-day life. About eight or ten years of his youth was spent in working in the cotton factory at Wellsburg, where he had the advantage of receiving occasionally instruction in the different branches of mechanics from some of the best workmen in the country, among whom was Mr. John Carle, one of the original proprietors of the mill, who was unsurpassed in turning in both iron and wood, steam engineering, pattern making, carpentering and a general knowledge of mechanics. In 1860, the subject of our notice quit the cotton mill and engaged with Harvey, Manser & Co., as a finisher of straw wrapping paper in their mill on Fleet street. This position he held until the spring of 1861, when the mill suspended operations.
When the call was made for soldiers for a three months campaign our subject enlisted in the U. S. volunteer army, and was assigned to Company "G," 1st Virginia Infantry. Between the time of his discharge from the three months' campaign and August 1862, he was engaged in various pursuits. When he again enlisted in the U. S. volunteer army "for three years, unless sooner discharged," being assigned to Company "G," 1st Regiment Virginia Volunteer Infantry. On the 11th day of September, 1863, at Moorefield, Hardy county, W. Va., while he was on duty, with five companies of his regiment, (the remaining five companies of the regiment, and the one to which he belonged to (G.) remained at a place called Petersburg,) the battalion was surprised by Capt. McNeil's Confederate troops and the most of them captured, including our subject. They were taken to the City of Richmond, Va., and temporarily lodged in Libby Prison, afterwards transferred to Belle Isle - where Mr. Crawford remained until the 6th day of March, 1864, when he was paroled. During the spring he was exchanged and joined his regiment, with which he remained until his discharge by General Army Orders, June 25th, 1865, at Clarksburg, W. Va.
Returning home, he engaged in various pursuits until December, 1867, when he engaged with Messrs. Barclay & Lloyd, wholesale and retail grocers in Wellsburg, as salesman; also, as deputy to Mr. W. C. Barclay, who was sheriff of the county, for four years, term beginning January 1, 1868. After serving the above firm four years and a half, he left and went to Pittsburgh, where he engaged with J. S. Dilworth & Co., wholesale grocers, as a general worker about their establishment, remaining with them until February, 1872. He returned to Wellsburg, and soon afterwards engaged with Thomas B. Litton, as a grocer clerk. In a short time he and Little formed a partnership which was short lived. In 1873, he bought the stock of Litten and launched our for himself, continuing in the business until the summer of 1876, when he quit, turning his attention to the general repair business, making household effects a specialty at which he is at this time, January, 1879, actively engaged. During the winter of 1875-76, he designed and executed what he called a Centennial Memorial Bracket, which is composed of seventy-two varieties of wood, native of West Virginia, and containing over two hundred pieces. The work is of an oblong oval shape, and is six feet in length, by thirty-five inches in width at the widest point. It contains the names of the signers of the Declaration of Independence engraved in the wood, a piece of wood being assigned to each state. Below this, on a shield shaped section, is the names of the Presidentsf of the United States from Washington to Grant. There are stars for each state, and circles for the territories. The thirteen original states are represented, as well as many other mottoes and patriotic devices. The work was sent to Philadelphia during the Centennial exhibition of 1876, and placed on exhibition in the West Virginia state building, where it was admired and commented upon by thousands of visitors. The press throughout the country, at that time, paid glowing tributes to this piece of work. It is now in the hands of Mr. Crawford. Mr. Crawford, a number of years since, acquired a taste for newspaper writing. He has contributed to the Steubenville Herald, the Odd Fellows COMPANION, American ODD FELLOW, Hancock County, W. Va., COURIER, and is now the regular correspondent,at Wellsburg, of the Wheeling Daily INTELLIGENCER, occupying that position since 1875.
During the early part of 1876 he wrote up the history of Brooke county for the INTELLIGENCER, which is said to be quite interesting. During the summer of 1878 he furnished the INTELLIGENCER with the extracts from a diary kept by his father during a series of years of piloting on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, which were well received by the public. His father, Cornelius Howard Crawford, was a son of Thomas Crawford, Esq., who resided on a farm near Bethany, W. Va., now owned by Wm. Rodgers, which he disposed of in 183- and removed to Illinois. Soon afterward he moved to Lawrence county, Missouri, where he died in 1837. C. H. Crawford remained in Brooke county, locating at Wellsburg, where he married Maria S., daughter of John and Mary Moren. There were born to them seven children, George B., Oscar F., Mary Helen, Narcissa, Eliza, John M. and William M. Mary Helen, Narcissa and Eliza died in infancy, the remaining four still survive, three residing in Wellsburg and one, John M., in Steubenville. C. H. Crawford died in Wharton, Wharton county, Texas, August 1859, his widow survives him, and resides with her son George. Oscar F., John M. and Wm. M. are are married.
John Moren came to Wellsburg in 1806. He was born in Washington, Washington county, Pa., March 14, 1790. He learned the cabinet making trade with a Mr. McConnell at Wellsburg. In 1810 he married Mary Newhouse, who was born in Montgomery county, Md., January 20, 1793. Mr. Moren enlisted as a private in Captain Moses Congleton's company of Virginia troops recruiting at Wheeling during the war of 1812, and marched with the company to Norfolk, Va., and back. He always resided in Wellsburg after locating there in 1806. He died on the 24th day of January, 1876. At the time of his death there was not remaining in Wellsburg a living soul who was there when he came. His wife survived him but a short time, passing away July 12, 1877. They were blessed with ten children, five boys and five girls, viz: Eliza, Caroline, maria S., Narcissa D., Hariett D., George W., John T., William, James and Robert. William died in 1871, Eliza died in 1849, Caroline died in 1871, Eliza died in 1879, James went to California in 1852. After being there a few months he never was heard of again by his friends at Wellsburg.
History of the Upper Ohio Valley,
Vol. I, pages 608-609. Brant & Fuller, 1890.