SOURCE: History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties. (Chicago, IL: Lewis, 1893), p. 443-445.
Crawford and Crawford, proprietors of the Milam County Bank, Cameron, Milam county, Texas.
With the exception of the railroads probably no single industrial or financial facto has contributed so largely to the advancement of the material interests of Milam county, and particularly to the commercial interests of the town of Cameron, as the Milam County Bank, owned and operated by Messrs. Crawford & Crawford, brief biographical mention of whom, together with a sketch of the bank, is here given.
This institution was founded ten years age, or speaking by date, in 1883. It was the conception of Wilbur F. Crawford, then as now senior member of the firm of Crawford & Crawford. Mr. Crawford is a Maine man and made his advent into Texas in 1882, as a banker, but being a shrewd man of affairs he was not long in seeing the advantages offered by several town in the State for baking business, nor was he long in deciding to take up operations in that direction. A careful canvass of the situation resulted in the selection of Cameron as the place for the enterprise.
He gathered together all of his own funds, and enlisting the interest of his brother, Henry T. Crawford, who was than at Bloomington, Illinois, they launched the Milam county Bank, as stated, in 1883, on a capital of $30,000, furnished by themselves. The conditions were favorable, as had been believed, and the enterprise started off well. The deposits for the first year amounted to about $20,000 and the net earnings to $2,000.
Each year brought increased prosperity, the business growing at a steady pace, until 1888, when the bank entered on a period of growth not theretofore known, and which fortunately continues to this time. Its working capital has been increased to $125,000, its average deposits have risen to $100,000, while its earnings have been correspondingly satisfactory. From a small loan and discount business of a local nature it has come to handle a large volume of general commercial transactions, and has facilities and equipments for carrying on safely and expeditiously all kinds of legitimate banking.
It numbers among its patrons a majority of the leading business men of Cameron, is the specially designated depository of valuable public and trust funds, and has on its list of correspondents such well known and conservative institutions as the following: The Continental National Bank of St. Louis, in which Messrs. Crawford & Crawford are stock-holders, the First national Bank of New York City, the Southern-National Bank of New Orleans, the Gardner Saving Institution and the Maine Trust and Savings Company of Gardiner, Maine, Ball, Hutchings & Co. of Galveston, the First national Bank of Houston, the City National Bank of Dallas and the Austin National Bank of Austin.
The bank is owned exclusively by Messrs. Crawford & Crawford, in addition to which they own a majority of the stock of the First national Bank of Lagrange, this State, of which they were the organizers, Wilbur F Crawford, being a member of its board of directors. They also own a controlling interest in the Cameron Cotton Oil Mills, started in April, 1892, on a capital of $40,000, and an interest in the Riverside Brick Works, which last represents an investment of $15,000. During the past ten years the firm of Crawford & Crawford, in addition to their banking business, have placed over a half million dollars in real-estate loans in Milam county, the bulk of which has gone to buy lands and improve homesteads and otherwise add to the prosperity and comfort of the community and to the taxable wealth of the county.
The growth of this business has been repaid, astonishing to many and most gratifying to those who have had it in charge. These gentlemen, although coming to Texas within the past ten years, have made a vast deal more history in that time than many who have resided here a life-time; and in view of this the following personal mention of them is warranted in this connection.
Wilbur F. Crawford, Henry T. Crawford and Frank M. Crawford were born in the city of Brunswick, Maine, in 1852, 1858 and 1862, respectively. They were reared in their native place, and in the schools of that place and of that vicinity received their education. Their father, the Rev. George C. Crawford, a prominent Methodist minister, was for years, connected as trustee with the Maine Wesleyan Seminary at Kent's Hill, Maine, and with Bowdoin College at Brunswick, Maine, and being himself a gentleman of exceptional attainments, as a scholar, was enabled to give his sons the advantages of two of the best schools of the State, and what was of more moment to them to "enter with spirit and understanding" into the matter of their education and proper, training for the discharge of the duties of manhood.
In this labor he was ably assisted by a devoted wife and mother, one who was qualified by her gifts of mind and heart and graces of person to arouse in her sons the best impulses of their nature and to direct them in a way to make them count for most in the after struggles of life.
In 1880 the three brothers came West and for a time were residents of Bloomington, Illinois, where Henry T. Crawford and Frank M. Crawford were engaged the newspaper business. In 1882, as already noted, Wilbur R. Crawford came to Texas and laid the foundation of their interest here. The same year, but later Henry T. Crawford came, he died at Cameron in 1885, at which date his place in the bank was taken by Frank M. Crawford, who took up his residence at Cameron for that purpose.
Of the career of these gentlemen in Texas, outside of what has been given in connection with their business interests, but little more need be said than that as citizens they have interested themselves in all matters pertaining to their town and county--have been foremost, in fact, in calling attention to the resources of this locality and have unhesitatingly put their money into every enterprise that has given promise of legitimate private returns or lasting public good. They have confidence in Texas and pride and confidence in their own town and county. They believe in the future of the State and in the grand march to that future they desire to see their town and county assume the place that belongs to them.
They are Republicans in politics, active in State and national affairs, and generally make their influence felt. Wilbur F. Crawford has been a delegate to every State convention held since he came to Texas. He was also a delegate to the national conventions of 1884, 1888, and 1892.
Wilbur F. Crawford and Frank M. Crawford are members of the Masonic fraternity, the Odd fellows, Knights of Pythias, the Elks and Red men, as was also their brother, Henry T. Crawford, to each of which they accord a generous support as well as to all benevolent purposes.
We must say a special thank you to Sylvia Turner of Georgetown, Texas, for typing the above biographical sketch for use on the Milam County TXGenWeb site.
Created on 28 Nov 2004 and last revised on ____________