George Crow (1821 – )

“George Crow , said to be the oldest living resident of Nemaha county, has enjoyed a life of many years and of much honor.  Being now in his eighty-third year, he has a retrospect which takes in the most important period in the country’s history.  The state of Nebraska was not admitted to the Union until he was forty-six years old and in the prime of his manhood. When he first came to this part of the country the land was still in undisputed possession of the Indians, and his first departure from the trans-Missouri region was caused by the hostility of the redmen.  He has made his name honored in the county because of his best participation in the best movements fro development and progress and because of his worth individual career…

George Crow was born in Burlington county, New Jersey, May 11, 1821, and when a boy of twelve or thirteen was brought to Randolph county, Indiana.  In 1844 he joined a company who were going to Andrew county, Missouri, he driving the wagon of a widow woman for his passage.  One of the reasons for this move was that the young lady whom he afterward married and who in now his honored companion of old age, came at the same time with her parents, and young Crow at the ardent age of twenty-four could not believe otherwise than that it was his duty to go also.  In the same year, however, he left Missouri and went to Nebraska.  The Presbyterian mission among the Pawnee Indians just at this time wanted a farmer, and Mr. Crow went there for that purpose, spending one year there before his marriage, after which he went back and conducted the mission farm until August, when the Indians became hostile and drove the settlers down the Missouri.  This makes Mr. Crow’s residence in the state antedate that of any other living whit man, and he is also the oldest actual settler of this part of the state.

In the Spring of 1850 Mr. Crow was one of the great expedition of argonauts from Andrew county, Missouri, who went across the plains with oxen and horses to California, being from May to September on the journey.  He was fairly successful during nearly three years that he spent there, although he would have done just as well at home, and he returned to Andrew county on December 30, 1852; most of his mining experiences having been in the placers.  In October, 1856, he moved from Buchanan county, Missouri, to Nemaha county, Nebraska, and has been a permanent resident ever since.  He and his good wife have made all they have through the hard work of their hands and shrewd management and business ability.  He has engaged in farming and stock-raising since coming here, and fifteen acres of broken land was the only improvement on the two hundred and forty which he made so profitable during the remainder of his life.  He is now living retired on his eighty-seven acre farm in London precinct.  Brownville post-office.

Mr. Crow married, February 14, 1846, Miss Mary Ware, who was born in Burlington county, New Jersey, December 4, 1823, two and a half years later than her husband, and they first knew each other when she was seventeen years old.  Her parents, Joseph and Lydia (Clutch ) Ware, were of New Jersey, whence they were pioneers to Clermont county, Ohio, about 1828.  Seven years later they went to Indiana, and thence in 1843 or 1844 to Andrew county, Missouri.  Mrs. Crow was the third of twelve children.  Her father was born June 14, 1797, and died in 1879, and her mother was born May 25, 1800, and died September 27, 1887.  Mrs. Crow has four brothers and two sisters living, and she is the eldest.  Her brother James Story Ware died of disease in the army during the Civil war.

Mr. and Mrs. Crow have been the parents of the following children: Lydia Ellen wife of Amos McIninch, of St. Joseph, Missouri; Charles Eliot, who died when five years old; George Ranney, who died at the age of two months; Anna, wife of John Felton, in Auburn; William Allen, of Oklahoma, who has one son by each of two wives; Susan O., wife of John W. Ritchey, a merchant of Brownville, and has two sons; Ida M., wife of David Kite, a farmer near Howe, and has one son and two daughters; Mary Emma died in infancy; Walter P, is in Colorado, and has two daughters and one son; Charlotte L. died at the age of seven months.

Mr. and Mrs. Crow are among the octogenarians who have had the honor of celebrating their golden wedding.  He is a Master Mason, for over fifty years a Mason.  He was formerly a Democrat.  He was sent as a representative to the territorial legislature for about five terms, and he introduced the measure for removing the capital to Lincoln.  While serving in this body he practically gave his time and service to the territory, for the remuneration was so small that it would not hire a man to take his place on his stock farm. He served as justice of the peace for a time, and the only couple who came before his seeking matrimonial bonds he tied free of charge.”

Source:  A Biological and Genealogical History of Southeastern Nebraska, Vol. 1, by Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago and New York, 1904, pages 306-09.


George Crow (1821 – ) — 1 Comment

  1. This is an amazing article of an American settler who struggled with the land, the elements and Indians. He and his wife perservered to find some success in their lives. Touching story.


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