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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 2
William Crawford

William Crawford, who was long identified with the railroad service and later became a speculator in real estate, in which field he most carefully and sagaciously directed his interests, so that success in substantial measure came to him, is now living retired in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil and is accounted one of the highly esteemed residents of Medicine Hat. He comes to this section of the country from Ontario, where his birth occurred on the 7th of April, 1864, his parents being John and Mary (Kerr) Crawford, both of whom were natives of Scotland. Leaving the land of hills and heather, they came to the new world in early life and were married in Ontario, where the father followed the occupation of farming and thus provided for his family, which numbered twelve children, six of whom are living, William being the seventh in order of birth. The parents held membership in the Presbyterian church and John Crawford always gave his political allegiance to the Liberal party.

The public schools of his native province accorded William Crawford his early educational opportunities. He passed through consecutive grades and eventually became a high school pupil at Park Hill, Ontario. His educational training thus constituted a sure foundation upon which to build success and he started out in the business world in a clerical position in a bank. The year 1884 witnessed his arrival in Medicine Hat and he obtained employment with the Canadian Pacific Railroad as a brakeman. After working in that capacity for a time he was advanced to the position of conductor and continued with the railroad company for a quarter of a century—a fact plainly indicative of his faithfulness and capability. Just when the boom at Medicine Hat was at its height, however, he left the road and began speculating in property. His sound judgment enabled him to make judicious investments and he disposed of the major part of his property before the boom died out. He had thus realized a handsome fortune and his success was sufficient to enable him now to live etired, save for the management which he gives to his investments. He is a stockholder and director of the J. H. Tabor Candy Company, has been president of the Medicine Hat News for several years and is a director of the Medicine Hat Steam Laundry Company.

In 1900 Mr. Crawford was united in marriage to Miss Eva Edwards, who was born in Ontario, a daughter of Samuel Edwards, one of the pioneer farmers of that province. Mr. and Mrs. Crawford have four children: George Maxwell, who is a student in the Alberta University at Edmonton; Hugh Wilfrid, also a university student; Dorothy Mary, a high school pupil; and Edith Jean, who is also in school. That Mr. Craw- ford's life has been guided by high and honorable principles is indicated in the fact that he has long been a consistent member of the Presbyterian church, of which his wife is an equally faithful representative and both take active and helpful interest in all branches of the church work, Mr. Crawford serving at the present time on the board of managers. Fraternally he is a Scottish Rite Mason and member of the Mystic Shrine and is a past master of the lodge. He also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is a past noble grand. Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise he has always voted with the Liberal party but has never sought nor desired office, preferring to concentrate his efforts and attention upon his business and personal affairs. He had nothing but the clothes which he wore when he came to Medicine Hat. He was one of a large family and his parents were not in affluent circumstances, so it was necessary that the sons should early begin to provide for their own support. Like his brothers, he started out when a Youth in his teens and from the beginning his course was characterized by indefatigable industry and perseverance. Steadily he has worked his way upward, improving every opportunity that has come to him, and with the passing years he has accumulated a most substantial fortune, so that he is now able to enjoy all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. He has a nice home at No. 9 First street in Medicine Hat and is able to surround his family with much that goes to make life worth living. His example should serve to inspire and encourage others, showing what may be accomplished through individual effort, persistency of purpose and straightforward dealing.


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