Crawford, H. mss., 1895-1978

Papers of Various at the Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Finding aid created by Kristina Krasny

Title: Crawford, H. mss.
Collection No.: LMC 1229
Dates: 1895-1978

Quantity: 3.1 linear feet

Quantity: 2 boxes; 2 volumes; 3 folios; 591 items.

Abstract: The Crawford, H. mss., 1895-1978, consists primarily of the papers and memorabilia of businessman Hanford Crawford, 1854-1930, of St. Louis, Missouri.
Location: Wells - Map Case; Lilly - Stacks; ALF (Auxiliary Library Facility) - OVFlat
Language: Materials are in English .
Repository: Lilly Library
1200 E. Seventh St.
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-5500
Business Number: 812-855-2452

Biographical Note

Hanford Crawford, 1854-1930, businessman of St. Louis, Missouri.

Crawford was born in Ossining, New York, Feb. 12, 1854, the third son of Morris D'Camp and Charlotte (Holmes) Crawford. He left school at age 14 to obtain business experience and joined the New York haberdasher firm of Fisk, Clark, and Flagg. He left the firm in 1870 to return to school and in 1871 entered the freshman class of the College of the City of New York. Following graduation in 1875 Crawford took a teaching position at Grammar School no. 35 in order to earn money for study in Europe. He sailed for England in July 1877, and spent the next three years studying at the universities of Leipsig, Berlin, Geneva, and Paris, as well as travelling throughout Europe. Crawford returned to New York in 1880 to begin a business career. He joined the firm of James McCreery & Company in 1885 and became superintendant of their large Broadway department store a year later. In November 1886 he married Mary Gertrude Smith, 1859- . The couple had one child, Ruth.

In 1899 Crawford decided to accept an offer of part ownership and management of Scruggs, Vandervoort and Barney Dry Goods Company in St. Louis. He became active in all phases of St. Louis business and civic affairs and in 1902 was chosen as a director of the forthcoming Louisiana Purchase Exposition, as well as chairman of the committee to entertain foreign exhibitors. Meanwhile his company prospered and by 1906 Crawford was head of one of the largest commercial corporations west of the Mississippi. He had become a board member of the St. Louis Symphony Society shortly after moving to that city, and in 1907 was elected president of the Society. He held that office until 1914, and then served as vice-president until 1920.

Because of poor health and a weakened heart, Crawford retired from business in 1910 and spent the remaining years of his life in travel and Methodist Church activities. He died January 24, 1930 in Los Angeles, California.

Scope and Content Note

The Crawford, H. mss., 1895-1978, consists primarily of the papers and memorabilia of businessman Hanford Crawford, 1854-1930, of St. Louis, Missouri.

The larger part of the collection falls into three basic groups: 1) Hanford Crawford correspondence and memorabilia; 2) memorials to Crawford, planned or donated by his brother Frank Lindsay Crawford, 1856-1950, and his daughter Ruth Crawford Mitchell, 1890-1984; and 3) Crawford family histories. Included in the correspondence files are more than seventy letters from Hanford to his older brother, Morris Barker Crawford, for the years 1924-1929. Other correspondents include Lewis Sayre Burchard, Charles Herrick Compton, James Edwin Crowther, Wesley H. Hager, Harris Grafton Hale, David Dallas Jones, William McKinlay, Charles Nagel, Frank Mason North, Jacob Van Vechten Olcott, Harold James Sheridan, Ralph Washington Sockman, and William Burnet Tuthill.

Hanford Crawford writings and memorabilia include diaries for the three years he studied in Europe and for the six months of 1911 that he and his wife traveled through Europe, the Near East, Scandanavia, Russia, Manchuria, and Japan; autobiographical notes, "begun in July 16, 1922"; articles and speeches on Methodist unification; college medals, course books, and certificates, as well as CCNY "class of '75" reunion memorabilia; Methodist Church and Methodism material; and photographs, primarily from travels, but including some family portraits, and two albums of photos from the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1904. These albums were created by female photographer Jessie Tarbox Beals.

The Hanford Crawford memorials include notes toward a biography and a typed draft of the biography by younger brother Frank Lindsay Crawford; a reminiscence, Whenever I think of Father, by William Hung; plans for and photographs of the Hanford Crawford Memorial Bookmobile of the St. Louis Public Library (1940); and plans, blueprints, and photographs of the Hanford Crawford Memorial Chapel of Grace Church Methodist in St. Louis (1955).

The Crawford family histories include a printed Crawford genealogy, 1913; Scissors, An account of the early life of Sarah Merritt Crawford... ; transcripts of oral history interviews with Mary Merritt Crawford, 1962-64, and Lucy S. Crawford, 1962. A small group of note cards with etchings by Gilbert H. Crawford, 1974-1980, complete this section.

Note on Indexing Term - "Religion": Included are articles and speeches on Methodist unification and the Methodist Church.


This collection is arranged into seven series: I. Correspondence; II. Diaries & Writings; III. Memorabilia; IV. Photographs; V. Memorials; VI. Crawford Family Materials & Writings; VII. Miscellaneous.


Access Restrictions:

This collection is open for research.

Many collections are housed offsite; retrieval requires advance notice. Please make an appointment a minimum of one week in advance of your visit.

Usage Restrictions:

Photography and digitization may be restricted for some collections. Copyright restrictions may apply. Before publishing, researchers are responsible for securing permission from all applicable rights holders, then filling out the Permission to Publish form.

Indexed Terms

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Item], Crawford, H. mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Acquisition Information

Gift: 1986

Collection Inventory

box 1



Physical Description: (16 folders)

box 1


II. DIARIES & WRITINGS , 1877-1930

Physical Description: (8 folders)

box 1


III. Memorabilia

Physical Description: (11 folders)

box 1


IV. PHOTOGRAPHS , 1860-1920s

Physical Description: (4 folders, 2 volumes)

Scope and Contents: The 2 photograph albums are housed separately.

box 1



Physical Description: (9 folders)

box 1



Physical Description: (5 folders)

Scope and Contents: Contents of this series extend into Box 2 of the collection.


box 2
Miscellaneous Materials

Physical Description: (3 folders)

ovflat 11
Leipzig diploma , Aug. 1878
ovflat 11
Bulgarian declaration , 15 May, 1905
ovflat 22
Blueprints, drawings, plans, etc. for Hanford Memorial Chapel, Grace Church Methodist, St. Louis
file 3
St. Louis, MO. Louisiana Purchase Exposition Map of the fairgrounds , 1904