Biography of Robert D. Crawford
Riverside County, CA Biographies





ROBERT D. CRAWFORD
A native of California, his birth having occurred in Downey, Los Angeles county, October 13, 1866, Mr. Crawford is well known as an enterprising and successful citizen of Riverside county, to the development of which since his arrival in the Wildomar section in 1901, he has given his best efforts. His parents, John and Hester Ann (Bidwell) Crawford, natives of Tennessee and Arkansas, respectively, left their home in Texas in 1861 and came across the plains with ox teams, arriving in Los Angeles county in 1863. Their train camped on the spot where the Oatman family were massacred. In their overland trip they had many fights with the Indians and were continually on guard to prevent an attack. On going into camp one night, after everything was made ready, it was noticed that some of the mules were uneasy and as it was known that a mule could smell Indians, after a time it was decided to break camp and move along. This was carried out and it was well that it was, as they avoided the terrible calamity that befell the Oatman family that made camp on that same spot that same night. After many hardships the family arrived in this state and made settlement at Downey, purchasing land from Governor Downey, which was farmed for about ten years. The next location was at San Jacinto, but being unable to get full title to the property he had intended to purchase, Mr. Crawford moved to Los Angeles and lived at the corner of Temple and Broadway, on property owned by a relative, James Potts. For a year Mr. Crawford worked for this man and then went to Ventura county and bought a tract of land along the Santa Clara river, which he farmed for about seven years. He then returned to Los Angeles and five years later he went to San Diego, where he passed away Hips widow returned to Downey, and there she spent her last days. Mr. and Mrs. Crawford were of that pioneer stock that never knew failure and in every place they made their home made and retained a host of friends. Their tales of trying experiences in reaching this state were always entertaining and at their passing, California lost two of her sturdy pioneers.

R. D. Crawford received his schooling in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Later, in 1888-9, he became a driver and conductor on one of the old horse car lines running from the junction of Main and Spring streets to Agricultural park. In 1889 he took up his residence in San Diego county, proved up on a claim and farmed for six years, with indifferent success. His next move was to Cahuilla, where he engaged in mining for two years, but this was another unfortunate move and he returned to Los Angeles county. There he secured employment as superintendent of the McNally ranch at La Mirada, and he continued ranch pursuits thereafter in that county until he came to his present place in 1901 in the vicinity of Wildomar, Riverside county. Here he carried on farming and stock raising with fair success. This enabled him to purchase eighteen acres in 1905, upon which he now resides and which he devotes to alfalfa and fruit. He also leases about three hundred acres of land that he devotes to grain Since taking up his home in his present location Mr. Crawford has prospered and while he has devoted his entire time to his affairs he is never found wanting when it comes to supporting enterprises for the uphuilding of the county in general. He has seen the rapid growth throughout the entire southern part a the state and takes pride in the fact that he is a native son of the Golden West.

Mr. Crawford was united in marriage in 1890 with Miss Mary Jane Willard, a native of Yolo county, and a daughter of John Willard, a pioneer of that county. Of this union four children were born: John Robert, born 1891; Ora Emily, Mrs Earl Timmis, born 1893 and living in Elsinore; Clyde, born 1895, attending the Elsinore Union high school; and Bessie, born in 1898, adopted by Lee Green and wife of San Jacinto. The wife and mother died in 1898 and in 1900 Mr. Crawford married Miss Barbara McDonald, who was born in Scotland, December 25, 1863, and came to the United States in 1886, and who with her husband enjoys the good will and esteem of a wide circle of friends throughout the valley.

From:
History of Riverside County, California
With a Biographical Review
History by Elmer Wallace Holmes
And other well known writers
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1912


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