The Crawfords are an
ancient Scottish family, among the loyal supporters of Wallace and Bruce
in the Wars of Independence and distinguished in history throughout
succeeding centuries. Members of the family who have come to America have
been prominent in the religious, professional and business life of the
Mr. William Crawford, who
is widely known as a successful business man, not only ranks among the
great dry goods merchants of the United States, but on account of his
business sagacity and genial disposition, enjoys the warm friendship of a
host of influential men.
Mr. Crawford is a native of
East Kilbride, near Glasgow, the son of William Crawford, and was born in
the year 1845. He received a good education in the parish school.
He came to America in 1866,
settling first in Boston, where for three years he was employed in the
store of Hogg, Brown & Taylor. He then opened a dry goods store of his own
in Nashua, N. H., and conducted it successfully for seven years. He
also operated stores in Taunton, Mass., and Manchester, N. H.; after three
years of prosperous business, selling out the latter to his partner, Mr.
Anderson, a native of Perth.
In 1877; Mr. Crawford moved
to New York and established a dry goods business at the corner of
Nineteenth Street and Sixth Avenue, in partnership with Richard Meares. A
few years later, when Mr. Meares retired from the business, Mr. Crawford
bought him out and formed a partnership with Thomas and James Simpson,
under the name of Simpson, Crawford & Simpson. Mr. Thomas Simpson
died a few years afterward, and Mr. James Simpson died in the nineties,
and Mr. Crawford assumed the entire responsibilities of the firm. Here his
fine abilities and splendid personality met with their fullest reward. In
1877, the store was 50 by 100 feet: in 1902, the store was in its own fine
new building, occupying the entire block front on Sixth Avenue.
Since that time, Mr.
Crawford has not engaged actively in any business, though his large
interests are varied. He has an office with Judkins & McCormick Co., who
were formerly associated with him in business.
Mr. Crawford has been a
member of the St. Andrew’s Society of the State of New York since 1885. He
is a member of the Union League Club. He travels extensively in this
country and Europe, spending his winters usually in California.. His home
is in Munroe, Orange County, N. Y., where he has an extensive farm.