Frank J. Crawford – Editor and proprietor of the Polo Semi-Weekly Visitor, was born in Delhi, Delaware County, New York, on November 10, 1843.  He is the son of William S. and Orra A. (Sweet) Crawford, the former a native of Connecticut, the former a native of Connecticut, born September 7, 1801 and the latter born in Green County, New York, September 19, 1810.  They were married November 16, 1831.  In his native state, William S. Crawford was made a Mason in 1828, and the principles of the order were ever dear to him.  His wife died in Delhi, Delaware County, New York, on  April 18, 1888, aged seventy-seven years and seven months.  He is still living in his native state.  The maternal grandfather, Cyrus Sweet, who was a soldier in the war of 1812, died in 1861, at the age of eighty-four years.
In his native county, our subject obtained his education in the public schools, which he attended in the winter months until he was thirteen years old.  When seventeen years old he went to Franklin, New York, and commenced to learn the printer’s trade, at which he continued until in August, 1862.  He was now in his eighteenth year, and the war for the union had been in progress for a little more than one year.  He could resist the call of his country no longer, and as a private he enlisted in Company D, one Hundred and Forty-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, on August 13, 1862 at Franklin, Delaware County.  After enlisting he went into camp at Delhi, where the regiment was thoroughly drilled, and on the 8th of October, following, having received marching orders, they set out for the seat of war.  At Elmira, New York, they stopped long enough to receive Enfield rifles and accouterments and then proceeded on their journey.  In February  1863, they were brigaded with the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh, One Hundred and Forty-second and the One Hundred and Forty-third New York Volunteers.

The first engagement in which Mr. Crawford participated was near Suffolk, Virginia, May 3, 1863.  His next engagement was on John’s Island, South Carolina, July 2, 1864, followed by another July 9th at which time they were charged by the Confederates, whom they repulsed, and then fell back to their line of earthworks.  The enemy soon following, again charged them, attempting to capture the two guns attached to their brigade, but was again repulsed with a loss of five to seven hundred men.  Mr. Crawford was promoted to corporal April 10, 1863, also promoted to sergeant May 30, 1865.  While on their way from Washington to Frederick City, Maryland, July 12, 1863, their train was run into, a portion of it wrecked, and many soldiers stationed on Folly Island, Seabrook, Kiowa, James and other island they suffered very much from sickness.
Mr. Crawford was so fortunate as to keep a diary while in the service.  From this record we find that he stood guard fifteen times, was corporal of the guard one hundred and sixty times, and sergeant of the guard forty-four times. The following extract from his diary shows what a soldier’s life used to be: “Sunday, July 19, 1863, marched twenty miles and cross the Potomac river at Berlin on pontoons: Monday, marched fifteen miles; Thursday, called into line, and marched twenty miles without rations; Saturday, we marched eighteen miles.”  Among his most intimate comrades while in the service were Lieutenant Boyd, J.H. Cobine and Giles M. Tiffany.  After serving three years, save one month, he was honorably discharged from the service at Elmira, New York, July 13, 1865.

On receiving his discharge, Mr. Crawford returned to his old home at Delhi, New York, and for a few weeks worked in a printing office at that place.  For several years following he worked as a journeyman printer in various offices of the east, and in 1876 came west and located in Dixon, Illinois, where he continued to work at his trade.  In May 1877, he came to Polo and found employment in the office of the Polo Press, where he continued for nine years.  He then went to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he remained one year, and then returned to Polo and went into the clothing business in partnership with W.R. Miller continuing in that line until 1890 when he sold his interest in the establishment and purchased the office of the Polo Semi-Weekly Visitor, since which time he has been sole editor and proprietor.  Under his control, and Visitor has taken front rank among the local papers of the state.  While the paper advocates the principles of the Republican Party, it gives special attention to local affairs, espousing all measures tending to advance the local interest of Polo and vicinity.

On the 19th of March, 1869, Mr. Crawford was united in marriage in Franklin, Delaware County, New York with Miss Aggie D. Field, a native of Andes, New York, born February 4, 1851 and daughter of Henry and Aseneth (Ferguson) Field, the former born in Green County, New York, June 11, 1821 and the latter in Andes, New York, September 15, 1824.  They were married December 5, 1842.  Mrs. Field died August 16, 1857, while her husband is still living in the east.  To Mr. and Mrs. Crawford two children were born: Lulu May, born in Delhi, Delaware County, New York, June 12, 1872, died at Walton, New York, December 17, 1874; Earl F., born in Polo, Ogle County, Illinois, October 2, 1877, is now assisting his father in his printing office.

Fraternally Mr. Crawford is a charter member of Polo post, No. 84, G.A.R., and has held office in the post continuously since its organization, a period of eighteen years.  He is past commander, and for some six or eight years has been serving as adjutant of the post, a position that he still holds.  He is past master of Mystic Tie lodge, No. 187, A.F. & A.M., and past high priest of Tyrian chapter, No. 61, R.A.M., of Polo, Illinois, and is a member of Dixon commandery, No.21, K.T., also a member of the Eastern Star.  Politically he is a Republican, being a stanch advocate of the principles of the party, his views being plainly expressed through the columns of his paper.  From 1881 to 1885, inclusive, he served as city clerk to Polo.  Before coming to Polo he was a member of the Congregationalist church, but is now a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and one of the official members, holding the office of steward.  In the work of the church he takes considerable interest.  As a citizen he is held in high esteem.

Transcribed by Denise Border

Biographical Record of Ogle County


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