Biography of Oliver K. Crew
Buchanan County, IA Biographies





OLIVER KENNETH CREW.
Forest Lawn, one of the excellent farms of Washington township, is the property of Oliver Kenneth Crew, who devotes much of his time and attention to the development and improvement of his place, yet also has other business connections establishing him as one of the enterprising citizens of his community. Hem was horn in Belmont county, Ohio, February 10, 1852, a son of Aquilla and Rachel (Farmer) Crew. Both were representatives of old American families. The father was born in Virginia in 1816 and died in 1888, at the age of seventy two years. The mother was born in South Carolina in 1820 and passed away in 1893, at the age of seventy three years. In early manhood Aqnilla Crew, who was a farmer by occupation, removed from Virginia to Ohio, where he became the owner of a tract of land and carried on general farming, specializing in the production of tobacco and also in the raising of sheep. Both he and his wife were of the Quaker faith and, unlike most people of that religious persuasion, he took considerable interest in politics and filled the office of justice of the peace. He also had two sons who were members of the Ohio State Militia and thus showed their independence in regard to the teachings of their church concerning military service. In the year 1862 Mr. Crew left Ohio and made his way direct to Linn county, Iowa, where he was the owner of two hundred and twenty acres of good farm land. Throughout his entire life he engaged in sheep raising, ever making that an important feature of his farm work.

Oliver K. Crew was the seventh in order of birth in a family of eleven children and is the only one who came to Buchanan county. He acquired his early education in the public schools of Ohio and was a youth of ten years at the time of the removal of the family to Iowa, where he continued his studies in Linn county. He remained with his father upon the home farm until he had attained his majority and afterward worked as a farm hand for four years. He was then married and began farming on his own account in Linn county, where he invested in land. In 1902 he removed to Buchanan county, where he is also a landowner. He had previously lived in Keokuk county for eight years after leaving Linn county.

His place, known as Forest Lawn, comprises one hundred and fifteen acres of rich and arable land and is one of the splendidly kept farms of Washington township. Since starting out in life on his own account Mr. Crew has engaged quite extensively in the raising of Chester White hogs. He has also handled standard bred horses and is today the owner of some high grade stock. He won two prizes with a driving team at the Cedar Rapids State Fair, also carried off the blue ribbon at the Linn County Fair and the Keokuk Fair, where he displayed five horses and captured five first prizes. He has won prizes on both his horses and hogs in every county fair where he has exhibited. No higher indication of the value of his stock could be cited. He has ever believed in holding to the highest standards in stock raising and he has done much to improve the grade of stock produced in this section of the state. He has also handled Shropshire sheep, and while he never exhibited them but once, on that occasion he took a second prize. He devotes the greater part of his time and attention to his farming and stock raising interests, but is also a stockholder in the Buchanan County Fair Association and in the Western Iowa Land Company of Waterloo.

On November 25, 1877, Mr. Crew was united in marriage to Miss Harriett Hodgin, who was born in Morgan county, Ohio, in 1856, a daughter of Robert and Martha (Rhodes) Hodgin. The father's birth occurred in Morgan county, Ohio, in 1828, and in early life he learned the tanner's trade. He also conducted a hotel when in the east, and on coming to Iowa in 1.862 he began farming in Linn county, where he purchased a farm and in connection with its cultivation engaged in the raising of Berkshire hogs. In the later years of his life he retired from active business and lived in Springville, Iowa, until his death, which occurred in 1878 when he was fifty years of age. His widow resided at Belle Plaine, Iowa, where she passed away in August, 1914, at the advanced age of eighty six years. Mr. Hodgin filled the office of justice of the peace and served in other minor positions, being thus active in public life for many years.

Mrs. Crew was the second in order of birth in a family of three children and is the only one who has ever become a resident of Buchanan county. By her marriage she became the mother of eight children, but Maude, the third in order of birth, died in 1903 at the age of twenty four years. She was the wife of C. E. Walden, of Council Bluffs, an engineer on the Rock Island Railroad. The children still living are as follows. Ora is the wife of S. S. Barkley, a farmer owning one hundred and sixty acres of land in Holyoke, Phillips county, Colorado, and they have three children: Bernard, born in 1902; Oliver Kenneth, in 1907; and Cecil, in 1913. Bertha is the wife of John Heald, a machinist of Mora, Minnesota, and they have three sons: Virgil, born in 1898; Merle, in 1904; and Donald, in 1907. Lulu is the wife of Milton Whitcher, a farmer living near West Union, Iowa. Olive is the wife of Hobart Pierce, a carpenter of Sae City, Iowa, and they have one child, Quentin, born in 1913. Roy and Ray, twins, born in 1890, are now upon the farm with their father. Cecil, born in 1894, is a graduate of the Waterloo Business College and is now bookkeeper in the First National Bank of Independence. The twin sous attended the high school of Independence and they are members of the Mystic Workers.

Mr. Crew holds membership with the Royal Highlanders in Keokuk county. In politics he is a republican but not an active party worker. He belongs to the Methodist church and his life has been ever upright and honorable, winning for him the high respect of those with whom he has been brought in contact. His has been an active and useful life and through his persistency of purpose, capable management and recognition of opportunities he has worked his way steadily upward until he has become one of the prosperous farmers of Buchanan county.

From:
History of Bachanan County, Iowa
And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1914


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