The Valley of Heart's Delight
EDWARD D. CRAWFORD
City Attorney of Gilroy
Owner of the Gilroy Gazette
HISTORY OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY 512
SURNAMES: BLAIR, HILTON
An energetic, successful, representative and influential dealer in land
and insurance broker, who also has the advantage of being an
attorney-at-law, is Edward D. Crawford, who came to Gilroy in the late
nineties, when there were no paved streets nor concrete sidewalks here,
and business in general was very slack in this part of the Valley.
Being naturally, however, a far-seeing pioneer, Mr. Crawford perceived
in Gilroy its roseate prospects, and decided to locate here, was born
at Mt. Vernon, Iowa, on February 3, 1859, the son of Rev. Samuel P.
Crawford, who was for years a pillar of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
and continued active pubic work in the ministry of that organization
until failing voice led him to retire. In the declining year of his
life, however, he lived in South Minnesota, where he was again active
as a church leader and rounded out a life of great usefulness at the
age of sixty-two years. This professional occupation and standing of
the father of our subject afforded him advantages from the start; and
he was able to attend the Evansville Academy, in Indiana, at which he
began to show his native ability as a writer.
Edward Crawford early desired to become a lawyer, and the opportunity
to satisfy his ambition was presented soon after he left school, when
he went to Colorado and joined his brother-in-law, who was a successful
attorney. Under his able guidance he read law; and in 1883 he was
admitted at Republican City, Nebr., to the practice of law in that
state. For three years he followed legal practice, and he also edited
and published the Republican City Topics. During his journalistic
career, he was a reporter of court proceedings and he proved one of the
veritable "live wires" of the staff. On coming to Denver in 1880, Mr.
Crawford entered the employ of the Denver Rio Grande Express Company,
as clerk in the auditor's office, and it was during this time that he
read law with his brother-in-law.
In 1892, he came to San Francisco, and there he joined the staff
of the San Francisco Chronicle. On coming to Gilroy, pressure was
brought to bear to induce him to devote himself entirely to the
practice of law, and hence he gave up journalistic pursuits.
Mr. Crawford was appointed by the mayor and council the city
attorney of Gilroy, and one of the results of his taking that office
was a complete revision of the law statutes. Several large bond issues
were also carried with the subsequent acquiring of the gas works and
provision of a water system. Ever since that date Mr. Crawford has been
identified with ideal legislation for the city, although he retired
years ago from all public offices and civic service. As a Republican,
he has been prominent in the councils of that great party, has often
been a member of the Republican State Committee and of the County
Central Committee, and has served as chairman of the latter
After opening his offices in Gilroy, Mr. Crawford began to afford a
superior service in real estate and insurance brokerage; and so well
did he succeed, that he was able to train one after another assistant,
each of whom has since established himself independently, all working,
however, to the mutual benefit of everyone concerned. In October, 1919,
Wellburn Mayock, a promising young attorney, joined Mr. Crawford in
forming the law firm of Crawford & Mayock, and this firm has been
retained as the attorneys of the Gilroy Branch of the Garden City Bank
& Trust Company. In addition, the firm does a splendid business in
under-writing insurance, effecting loans and in caring for estates. When Mr.
Crawford came to Gilroy in the fall of 1897, he acquired by purchase
the Gilroy Gazette, then owned by B.A. Warell, the father, now
deceased, of J. S. Wardell, the internal Revenue Collector of San
Francisco; and this early identification with the life of the growing
town, through journalistic activity, has enabled him easily to keep in
close touch with the community, and to exert an enviable influence.
During the World War, Mr. Crawford practically gave up his practice and
devoted his entire time to war work as chairman of the War Work
Committee, which had charge of all the drives, and did valiant service.
In 1879, Mr. Crawford was married at Sedalia, Mo., to Miss Claudia
Blair, the daughter of Milo Blair, deceased, a prominent newspaper man
and a politician, of Sedalia; and she died at Gilroy, mourned by a wide
circle of devoted friends, in 1913. The next year, at San Francisco,
Mr. Crawford married Miss Lillian Hilton, a native daughter of Gilroy,
whose father was Thomas Hilton, a prominent and well-to-do orchardist
of Santa Clara County. One child, Miss Esther Crawford, now a pupil of
the Gilroy school, blessed this second union. The family enjoy a very
desirable estate, with a fine residence and a well-improved orchard of
about twenty-five acres of rich creek-bottom lands, and other acreage,
situated in the Bodfish Creek district, west of Gilroy, and there, to a
large circle of devoted friends, they dispense a generous hospitality.
Mr. Crawford is not only prominent as a Mason, but he enjoys the esteem
of all who admire him for his ambition to do the work he sets out to do.
Transcribed by Marie Clayton, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922, page 512.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY-The Valley of Heart's Delight
July 17, 2005