Saturday Tidbit

Railroad Attracts Emigrants to Kansas

The Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas)
19 Feb 1878
page 2

Coming to Kansas
They are coming ti Kansas in gangs and droves; they are coming by wagon and railroad; single-handed and with families; some with children enough to found an orphan asylum and others with not enough to pick up chips; the rich and the poor and the sick and the well — they are coming father Abraham, three hundred thousand strong, and we have a section of land for every mother’s son of them — land that will grow corn so fast you can see it coming; so rich and fertile that the harvest is gathered by machinery, and so tillable that the farmers hardly consider it recreation; with a climate that has earned it the name of the Italy of American.
Yesterday morning three hundred and fifty excursionists or land buyers went out on the Santa Fe road, ticketed to Kinsley, Kansas, with the privilege of stopping at any point this side of there. Of this number Gen. M. Solomon the agent of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, road at Chicago, had general supervision of two hundred and twenty-five, he being assisted by Dr. Williams, and L. H. Wilson, of Iowa, and local agents of Michigan and Wisconsin. This party came in on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific road.
Mr. Peter Hitty, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, assisted by H. Kahlo, of Toledo Ohio, was in charge of a party of one hundred and twenty-five, which came by Hannibal & St. Joseph road.
The Santa Fe train which took them out consisted of seven passenger coaches, in charge of conductor Lew Head.
The very great majority of this body of excursionists were well-to-do intelligent looking men — just such as will make desirable citizens for Kansas. There were one hundred and ninety-two pieces of luggage accompanying them. — Atchison Champion

A Railroad Family

In honor of National Train Day, I thought I’d share some info about our railroad heritage. One of first documents I have regarding railroad employment is a letter of recommendation for Judson Crawford. Based on the condition of the letter, I’m guessing that Judson carried it with him.


(Original in possession of author)

Atchison, Top[ek]a & Santa Fe Railro[a]d Company.
Dodge Cy, Kan. Station July 22 1889

The Bearer Mr.
J.F. Crawford has been employ-
ed by this Co. as Brakeman
and yardman for eleven months
He is a sober industrious young
man, and is now off on account
of force being reduced, and any
favors shown him in ways of
transportation or employment will
be appreciated by himself and
the undersigned conductors of the
Santa Fe. Respy C. M. Borkur
Jno McCabe Condr
William Ril[ey]
WE. Weaver [Zmsm] B.H.P.

In March of 1900, Judson was assigned as a conductor on a freight crew between Dodge City and Coolidge on car 81. (Globe Republican, 15 Mar 1900 on


The Globe-Republican reported that J. F. Crawford filled in as yard master in Aug 1907. (found on


The 1920 Dodge City directory indicates that J. F. Crawford was a switchman for the AT&SF railroad.


Judson’s sons Leon and Marion joined their father in working for the railroad after returning from their service in the U.S. Army during World War I. Marion Crawford lost his life in a railroad accident in June of that year when he fell under the wheels of an oncoming switch engine.


As a member of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Judson would serve as a member of the AT&SF Joint General Committee ORC. (Copy of photo purchased from Boot Hill)


Judson retired from the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad in 1936.


Judson’s son, Leon Crawford stepped down from a switch engine for the last time in 1960.








Judson Foster Crawford – Josie Winifred Hammond


Judson Foster Crawford was born in April 1866 in Warren County, Indiana. He was the second child born to Washington Marion and Mary (Foster) Crawford. Judson’s father had only been home from the war for a year when Judson was born.

At the age of 14, Judson was living with his parents in Warren County, Indiana. Family tradition says that as a young adult, Judson

  • was a cook’s helper on a cattle drive
  • worked on a ranch
  • worked in a grocery store

Even though these stories are hard to prove, they could all be true. Judson’s uncle, James H. Crawford migrated from Indiana to the Dodge City area where he owned both a ranch and a grocery store. Thus, Judson could have worked for his uncle on the ranch or in town at the store. The 1885 Kansas census indicates that Judson did work in a store since his occupation is listed as clerk.

At the age of 23, Judson went to work for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad in Dodge City.

A little over a year later, he married Josie Winifred Hammond on Christmas Eve in 1890 in Dodge City. Josie was born in Knox County, Illinois in 1874, the daughter of Richmond Fisk and Sarah (Ralston) Hammond. By 1880, the Hammond family was living in Hardin County, Iowa. By 1887, Richmond purchased land in Ford county and moved his family to the Dodge City area.

Judson and Josie welcomed their first child, Bernice Crawford,  in 1892. Having been transferred to Newton, Kansas, their first son, Leon Russel Crawford, was born in 1894. The following year, they were living back in Dodge City when Marion Richmond Crawford was born.

Family stories indicate that the family moved to Oklahoma to live near Josie’s sister. These stories indicate that life was not easy in Oklahoma and that the children almost died. Other than records involving Josie’s sister, Stella Root, the 1900 census is the only source that might support this family tale. The 1900 census indicates that Judson was working as a carpenter — and NOT for the railroad. By 1905, Judson is again working for the railroad.

The family was living in Dodge City in 1900 when a daughter, Helen Marjorie Crawford, joined the family. The youngest son, Hugh Judson Crawford, joined the family in 1902. The youngest daughters, Esther Stella and Lois Elida Crawford were born in 1905 and 1909 in Dodge City.

crawford-judson-b1866-1919-atsf-joint-general-committee-brotherhood-railroad-trainmenBy 1915, Judson was identified as the night yard master for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. In 1919, he was a member of the AT&SF Joint General Committee. Judson continued working as a switchman for the Santa Fe railroad and retired in 1936.

Judson was active in the community. As a young man, Judson was a member of the fire department and served as the assistant secretary in 1891. At the age of 54, Judson was a school board member for the Dodge City Schools.

crawford-judson-b1866-1945-portrait-josieJudson and Josie celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1940.

Judson passed away at the age of 82 in Dodge City. He was buried in the family plot in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Dodge City.




Leon Russell Crawford

Leon Russell Crawford was born in Newton Kansas on the 6th of Feb 1894.

According to Leon’s wife, Winnie Crawford, the family lived in Oklahoma when Leon and his sister Bernice were young. Winnie stated:

Judson Crawford worked on a ranch in Oklahoma because Josie’s sister and husband were there. The family all almost died. Judson was extremely ill. The children, Bernice (over 2) and Leon (1) almost died because of poor diet.

Documentation for this story has not been found. However, Josie’s sister and husband did live in Oklahoma.


The family was living in Dodge City by his 6th birthday. As a child, Leon attended the Third Ward School that was located on Boot Hill.


wwiLeon and his brother, Marion, served in the U.S. Army during World War I. Leon served as a 2nd class gunner in the 25th AA Battery of the first AA. In April and May 1918, his unit was at St. Misner during the 2nd Battle of the Marne. The unit then served as part of the outer defense of Paris. (Pictured: Homer Short & Leon Crawford on back row, Russel Horton (brother-in-law) and Marion Crawford (brother) on front row.)

On March 15, 1919, Leon sent a telegram to his parents stating that he had arrived in Camp Stuart, Virginia and that all was well.


Leon was honorably discharged from the military on 28 March 1919.

redrosesLeon married Winnie Currey on Christmas Eve 1919 at her sister’s house. After their marriage, the couple lived at 504 Avenue G. Ever the romantic, Leon purchased a red rose for Winnie for their 1st anniversary. Each year he added a rose until he was purchasing a dozen roses. Each subsequent year, Winnie would receive a dozen red roses from her husband on Christmas Eve.

1960-Crawford-Leon-Switchman-retires-web2After serving during WWI, Leon returned to work with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad working as a switchman in the railroad yard. Leon did not appear on the payroll for the AT&SF Railroad during Oct. 1923. According to his wife, Winnie Crawford, there was also a time during the depression when he was also laid off. She said that the railroad would call Leon in to work when needed. Thus, the family had to maintain a telephone so they could receive those phone calls. By 1953, Leon had been promoted to foreman for the AT&SF. Leon retired from the railroad in May of 1960. During his employment with the railroad, Leon was a member of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and received his 50 year pin in Feb of 1967.

By 1953, Leon and Winnie were living in the Crawford family home at 911 Second. This home was the nucleus of Winnie and Leon’s family. The home boasted a large room for the kitchen that housed a long pine table. Family gatherings took place around this table, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Often times Winnie’s friend, Mary Hoffman, or a lone college student who couldn’t go home would join the table. These celebrations always involved a lot of food – most of it cooked in that kitchen. One of the rules for the children at the table is that we had to try everything. At some point, that rule was relaxed to ‘you have to try everything but the oysters’. The scalloped oysters were a favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas dish of the adults but disliked by the children at the table. By not requiring the children to try the oysters, the adults discovered that it left more for them.

Even though I never witnessed Leon cooking, he was at home in the kitchen. He would often set the table while his wife was preparing the food. One of his favorite sayings in the kitchen was in regards to clean-up when he would say ‘I’ll do the plates’ – referring to the paper plates that had been used for the meal. Ironically, Leon often helped with the dishes – even when paper plates weren’t used.

If one listened closely at that table, Leon would sometime talk about his family. Unfortunately, as a child, I wasn’t always paying attention. I do remember two of his stories.

The first family story involved the land south of the river (Arkansas River) in what was known as South Dodge. Leon would talk about helping his ‘Uncle Jimmy’ farm that land. At the time, I had no idea who ‘Uncle Jimmy’ was. It was only after working on the family history that I realized that the ‘Uncle Jimmy’ from Leon’s youth was his great-uncle, James H. Crawford. James H. Crawford did own a lot of land south of the Arkansas River.

The second family story was told at a Sunday dinner. It was girl scout Sunday and I had attended church with my girl scout club instead of going with the family. That Sunday, we attended the First Presbyterian church in Dodge City. During dinner, we were talking about my experience and I remember Leon saying that his family was Presbyterians. This little tidbit has not been verified – but many of the Crawford families in early Kentucky were Presbyterian.

crawford-leon-b1894-1969-winnie2Leon and Winnie celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1969. For their anniversary, Winnie gave Leon a wedding ring. Leon wore this ring until his death in October 1976.

Who Is Jenny Neal?

This weeks Finally Get Organized checklist deals with applying the Genealogical Proof Standard to four generations on my Crawford line. Basically this involves evaluating the quantity (reasonably exhaustive search) and quality of sources for these four generations. The second part of the task is to re-evaluate how those sources support the events in each life and whether a source or sources raises additional questions about that persons life.

Conducted a Reasonably Exhaustive Search? That should be easy, right? After all, I have  75 footnotes on my dad, over 90 on my granddad and 54 on my great-granddad. Shouldn’t that be enough?

Since I have participated in the Genealogy Do-Over,  I was reminded of the basic research skills that I used when I first started. Knowing that I hadn’t completed a ‘checklist’ on these men since the early days of my research, I elected to resurrect that skill and complete ‘checklists’. Low and behold, I discovered that I hadn’t found my great-grandfather in the 1925 Kansas Census after it became available. I had the 1930 and 1940 census records for him but not the 1925.

Some would argue that since he and his wife lived in the same town, same house for most of their lives getting the 1925 census wouldn’t be necessary especially since I had the 1920 and 1930 records. However, reasonably exhaustive search (and my previous experience) says that every source is an important source and that the 1925 census might shed additional light on the family.

So, I set off on my trek to find the 1925 census records. In the early days of my genealogical research, this would have meant a trip to Topeka to view the microfilm. However, most of the Kansas census is now available on Ancestry, including the 1925 records. So it was off to Ancestry for a quick search to locate the record and then record the info in my database.


Not only did I find Judson Crawford exactly where I expected (504 Avenue G in Dodge City), but I found the younger children still at home. But WAIT! Who is this Jenny Neal, a twelve year old female born in Kansas? Since NEAL sounded like a surname I had data on, it was off to RootsMagic to try and figure out who this young lady might be.

I did find some NEALs in my data but from over 100 years earlier. Could she be descended from them? It’s possible since a lot of the family migrated to Dodge City. Could she be related to Judson’s wife, Josie. That’s another possibility but I don’t have anything to indicate that relationship. Could Jenny’s father be a deceased railroad worker that the Crawford family took in? That’s another possibility since Judson worked for the railroad and was an active member of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen.

So, the next step is to try and learn more about Jenny Neal so I can answer the question:

Who is Jenny Neal?


Cowtown Masons 1973



Transcription of Names

List of Officers & Members
St. Bernard Lodge
No. 222
A F.& A. M.
Dodge City, Kansas
December 28, 1973

Russell Snyder W.M.
Jimmie Beye S. W.
Arthur Hall J. W.
Ed Hess Trea
Homer H. Jones Sec
Lee Nichols S. D.
Sherman Kirby J. D.
Douglas Smith S. S.
Robert Elder J. S.
Lloyd Crall Tyler

Acre, Morrison Lee
Adams, Glenn Chester
Adams, Howard Spencer
Adams, Jimmie F.
Adams, Wayne Le Vern
Adams, William Wilson
Addison, Clyde E. E.
Akin, George Harrison
Albright, Gaylon D.
Alger, Oak J.
Anderson, Delpha D.
Anderson, Woodrow E.
Appling, Wayne Wesley
Arnold, Lee W.
Arthur, Luther A.
Augerot, Charles E.
Austen, William Jacob
Bailey, Milton Lee
Ballou, Robert Edwin
Barbre, Harold Monroe
Barnes, ,Floyd H.
Barnes, John Guy
Barnes, Glenn Earnest
Barnes, Marvin E.
Barnes, Merle Ivan
Barnes, Wayne Riley
Barton, George H.
Baum, Arnold Harvey
Beck, George A.
Beebe, Eldon Leroy
Beezley, George A.
Beguelin, Robert F.
Bell, Billy Gene
Berry, Arthur F.
Beye, Clarence John
Beye, Jimmie Dean
Beyer, Sanford F.
Slack, Ralph W.
Blaine, James Warren
Blume, Willis Lee
Boles, Robert Dale
Bonus, Norman L.
Bourk, Julius Michael
Boyle, James Donald
Bradberry, James Ray
Bredfeldt, Melvin H
Brian, Ray Vernon
Broadbooks, Ray
Brockhausen, dale A.
Broughton, Ray Alfred
Brown, Jack Lee
Brown, James Lewis
Brown, Max Jacob
Brown, Melvin Leroy
Brown, Pliny F.
Bruner, Bernard P.
Brunk, Rollin Emmett
Burdue, Emmet Earl
Burke, Harrison F.
Butcher, Gale dean
Caileff, Warren D.
Calder, Carter E.
Carrier Joseph
Carter, Robert Edwin
Casterline, Fred J.
Catlin, Harold M.
Caughron, Samuel
Caughron, Thomas M.
Chipman, Roy Vernon
Chittenden, Raymond W.
Clark, ben Jr.
Clark, Glenn William
Clevenger, David N.
Cockran, Ailif Niel
Cockrell, Carl Huston
Cole, Larry Neal
Collier, James Edward
Collier, Robert Lavern
Colliver, Richard E
Collns, Marvin Boyd
Conard, Clair C.
Coolbaugh, Morris J.
Cooper, Ronald Ersie
Copelin, John E.
Cordry, Paul W.
Cormack, John Coridon
Cornelious, Joseph W.
Covalt, Marvin T.
Cowles, Fred Howard
Craig, Curtis Hugh
Craig, Robert Le Roy
Crall, Lloyd David
Crane, Clifford D
Crane , George E.
Crawford, Elwood E.
Crawford, Leon R.
Cromwell, Norman A
Curtis, Allan S
Dahl, Lawrence W.
Daniel, Jack Allen
Davis, Cecil E.
Davis, Donald Eugene
Davis, Donald Lee
Davis, Frank E. Jr.
Davis, Harold Norman
Davis, Homer A
Decker, Stephen E
De Garmo Jerry Allen
De Hoff, Frank
Dessenberger, Ray A.
Devorraux, Laurence
Dick, Ray Emmerson
Dillard, Andrew J.
Dittman, Joe Lee
Dodson, Creed
Donavan, Edward Rudd
Dow, William Eugene
Dover, Chester R.
Dover, Eugene Calvin
Drake, Melvin Albert
Drehmer, Lawrence E.
Dunsford, John C. Jr
Durr, Victor Leroy
Eash, Howard E.
Eakin, Richard E.
Eckert, JohnLawrence
Edwards, Robert A.
Edwards, Harry Chappy
Edwards, Theron E.
Elder, Robert Harmon
Emery, Madison Chase
Emery, Paul Lewis
Factor, Leonard Frank
Falk, Darrell L.
Fansler, Harold
Fay, William C.
Fields, Ivan Keith
Findlay, Everrett F.
Fitzsimmons, Donald E.
Fleming, Norman C.
Flodder, Paul David
Foster, Charles S.
Faulkin, Charles W.
Foulks, Charles
Foulks, Noah Eugene
Freasure, Andy Lee
Fraser, Kenneth E.
Frauen, James Edward
Frazier, Eugene Allen
Freshwater, Ira G.
Freund, Floyd Edwin
Frisbie, George C.
Fromm Fredrick
Gifford, Bruce O.
Gilbert, Forest C.
Goddard, Earl M.
Goertz, DaveJ
Goff, William Lewis
Good, Darrell ay
Gould, George R Jr
Green< Bert S.
Groder, Karle
Gum, Lloyd Lee
Gum, William Taylor
Gwinner, Donald M.
Hall, Arthur Max
Hamilton, Kenneth D
Hamilton, Oscar M.
Hamilton, Willis Z.
Hammer, Carl Ewald
Hancock, Richard Dean
Harman, Clifford L.
Hastings, John K.
Haug, Olin Lawrence
Hawk, Mortimer A.
Hawkins, Marvin E.
Hefner, Oscar Warren
Heft, Jimmie Harmon
Henderson, Jack Glenn
Henderson, Richard E.
Hendrickson, Jesse A.
Henry, Edward Frank
Henry, Norris Scott
Henry, Warren
Hess, Wayne Edgar
Hester, Harold Glenn
Hicks, Dave
Higbee, William H. Jr
Hitt, Goerge D.
Highley, Harold Oscar
Hobble, Theodroe F.
Hoffman, William J.
Hogue, Floyd Emmit
Holman, John E.
Homan, John E.
Holmes, David Wylan
Holman, William Jay
Honnald, Robert Jack
Hoover, Robert Leroy
Hopkins, Loren Albert
Houf, Gorden Bradley
Houston, Roy Charles
Howard, Marvin W.
Howarter, Roy J.
Huff, Kenneth O.
Hyde, Perry Gordon
Imel, Donald Eugene
Ince, George Walter
Isaacson, Carl F. J.
Johnson, Clifford W.
Johnson, James Sherman
Jones, Glen T.
Jones, Henry Carroll
Jones, Homer Harold
Jones, John Williams
Jones, Leland Herman
Jones, Richard Thomas
Josserand, Guy Dulin
Keller, William M. Jr
Kennedy, Kenneth K
Kennedy, Leland Keith
Kennedy, Norman Dale
Kidd, Milton Cebern
Kimball, Vaughn A.
Kimbrel, Paul Kenton
Kimes, Wayne
Kinard, Kenneth D.
Kirby, Lavern Sherman
Kirkpatrick, Fred
Klover, George W.
Klein, Alexander
Knapp, Walter G.
Koehn, Keith Eugene
Koogle, Harry Richard
Krambeck, Claus F.
Kraxberger, Cletus F.
Kreger, Carl Julius
Krug, Harold Williams
Kruger, Virgil E.
Kunkle, James W.
Larson, Byron G.
Leonard, Bernard A.
Lesley, LeMoyne Earl
Lloyd, Vernon Clyde
Lobdell, J. Dwight
Lollar, elby Otis
Longenecker, Johnnie
Longton, Gerald E.
Lopp, Billy Joyce
Lowe, Whitten M.
Lowman, Harold E.
Lowry, Earl Jr
Maddox, Harold J. Jr
Main, Earnest C.
Mallonee, Guy Jr
Martin, Henry Myrl
May, Roland Lee
Meade, Ralph W.
Melencamp, Noble E.
Miller, Larry Thomas
Mitchell, Ronald Roy
Monger, Ralph
Moon, Arthur Ellis
Mooney, James A.
Mooney, James John
Moore, Edward V.
Myers, Claude M.
Myers, Lloyd Roscoe
McCollough, Carthell E.
McCosh, Harlow D.
McCoy, Ralph T.
McCoy, William f.
McCreary, Earl Denton
McGrew, Robert A.
McKee, William
Neal, William Walter
Nevins, Ralph G.
Nevins, Robert D.
Nevis, Z. Arthur
Newman, Fred R.
Nichols, Lee William
Nickelson, William T.
Norris, Cleo Virden
Olson, Lenord M.
O’Neill, John Emmett
Orbaugh, Harold W.
Oringderff, Ralph
Orr, John R.
Orrison, Alfred
Ott, William E.
Page, Isaac William
Pebworth, Louis Aaron
Perkins, James Harold
Phillips, Willis L.
Phipps, Ernest Gilbert
Pippitt, John Franklin
Poarch, Ross E.
Prather, orval J.
Prunty, Darrell Eston
Purdom, Kenneth
Rathbun, Doral Gene
Redfield, Charles M.
Renner, Johnie
Rensimer, Reginald W
Rhynalds, Ralph J
Rice, Harry LeRoy
Richomond, Scott F
Ridgway, Harmon Lyle
Ridgway, Robert Lyle
Reiman, Max E.
Ripple, David Edgar
Ripple, William Earl
Robb, Jimmie L
Robbins, Henri Agle
Robinson, Carter Airs
Rose, Donald Leigh
Rosebrook, Robert L
Rucker, Jess Homes
Rumford, Orland W.
Rutter, Samuel Edward
Safford, Albert James
Saffry, David
Salem, William
Sappenfield, James W
Schooley, Arthur Earl
Schweitzer, Howard r.
Scoggins, George F.
Scoggins, George F, Jr
Sellers, Ray Victor
Semeyn, Leonard A
Sharpless, James H
Shawley, William H
Shelton, Phillip m.
Shipe, Glenn Allen
Shira, Hugh Earl
Sidebottom, Robert V
Sinclair, S. T.
Sinks, Monty Bell, Jr
Slabaugh, Roy J.
Slocum, Wayne B.
Slusser, Hayden C.
Smith, Donald Creston
Smith, Douglas James
Smith, James W.
Smith, LeRoy
Smith, Raymond Leslie
Smith, Sheldon C.
Snow, James Marcus
Snyder, Angus E.
Snyder, Charles
Snyder, Russell S
Sollitt, Dean Paremly
Sorenson, Arthur V.
Speelman, Victor F.
Stanley , Rex Elmo
Starks, William Melvin
Starosta, Allen E.
Stauth, Claude
Stuath, Daniel Joseph
Stauth, Frank D. Jr
Stauth, James Clarence
Stauth, John Powers
Steele, Robert Dale
Stephens, Woodrow A.
Stevens, Jackson L.
Stipe, Herbert E.
Stockdale, Robert G
Stoltz, Jack Edward
Stone, Noble Reed
Stotler, Edwin Clare
Strickland, Boyd Leon
Sturgeon, Earnest C. Jr
Sullivan, Gale Albert
Sutton, Stanley L.
Swaim, Harold L.
Swart, Fred Arnold
Switzer, Paul William
Thomas, Tommy Lee
Thompson, Ben A.
Thomson, Paul Eugene
Turpen, Comer Edwin
Vang, Jerry Joe
Van Pelt, Garth Leroy
Vile, Roy E.
Von Schriltz, Burrell
Walker, Alex H.
Walker, James L.
Weaver, Jess Lenord
Warshaw, Leo A.
Ward, Robert Lee
Warshaw, Max W
Webb Ivan Verle
Wells, Clarence W
West, Emerson C.
White, Wyman McKhendry
Wilhelm, Charles L.
Wilhelm, Lester Pete
Wilkerson, Arthur J
Wilkerson, Charles Jr
Wilkerson, Ervin Lee
Williams Joseph Reed
Williams, William Davis
Williamson, David L.
Wilson, John Carl
Windmiller, Alfred H.
Winters, John Frank
Wiseman, George H. Jr
Withrow, William r.
Woods, Benjamin
Woodruff, James l
Wooley, Lester G
Wormington, Howard C
Wycoff, Charles B
Yakshe, Howard J.
Young, Donald P
Young, Howard Arthur
Youse, Clarence C
Zollars, Vernon R
Zweig, George M



2nd Generation Railman

1942-Crawford-Leon-Railroad-Picture-webTrains played a large role in my life growing up. Sometimes watching the trains was a form of entertainment. The words ‘switch engine’ and ’roundhouse’ were parts of our vocabulary at a young age. I’m sure this is because my grandfather, Leon Crawford, was a second generation railroad worker.

In our world, granddad worked for the Santa Fe. In adult terms, he was employed by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. According to granddad’s railroad retirement records, he started work as a yard helper, switchman and engine foreman in December of 1916. However, his compensation record indicates he also worked for the railroad from April thru November of 1916.


Crawford-Leon-b1894-1917-WWI-Portrait-webThe same compensation record indicates that he wasn’t working from May 1917 thru March 1919. This would coincide with granddad’s military service during World War I. Leon Crawford enlisted on 26 April 1917 in Dodge City, Kansas. He served in the 25th A. A. battery 1st A.A. Sector as a wagoner. He was discharged at Camp Funston, Kansas on 28 March 1919.

One of the stories my grandmother told me about my granddad’s career was about the need for a telephone during the depression. Because of the economic downturn, granddad had been laid off. Some days, the railroad would need the extra workers. On those days, they would call (as in phone call), the laid off employees asking them to come back in. Grandma said that even though they didn’t have much money, they had to have that telephone. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have known about the chance to earn money day to day. For grandma and granddad, that phone was a life line

One of my early memories of my grandfather and trains is of an opportunity that I missed out on. One Saturday morning, my brother(s) and I were promised a chance to ride on a train. Dad told us he had some errands to run and when he got back he would take us to the railyard where granddad would give us a ride. In the meantime, I was supposed to help mom with the laundry. When dad got home, I didn’t get to go with him since I hadn’t helped mom. My brother(s) got to go for a train ride that day.

1960-Crawford-Leon-Switchman-retires-web2Granddad retired from the railroad in May 1960. He was a member of Lodge No. 217 of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and awarded his 50 year veteran’s pin in Feb 1967.