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California Genealogy and History Archives

Biographies
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San Bernardino County and Riverside County

 

D. A. CRAWFORD The rewards of toil and patience are perhaps nowhere better illustrated than in the case of D. A. Crawford, whose achievements as an orange grower are in evidence at his home two and a half miles north of Rialto, on North Riverside Avenue.

Mr. Crawford never had any inheritance, and he and his wife constructed their fortune entirely on the basis of thrift and labor. Mr. Crawford was born in Chatham, Ontario, Canada, July 26, 1865, son of Samuel and Mary (Howard) Crawford, his father a native of Canada, of Scotch ancestry, and his mother born in Dublin, Ireland. His father was a Canadian farmer. There were seven children in the family, and Mr. Crawford and his sister, Mrs. Margaret Day, of Los Angeles, are the only survivors.

D. A. Crawford had a grammar school education in Canada. In 1884, at the age of nineteen, he went out to Idaho, and for a number of years worked in the mines of that state, both in the gold and silver mines. Among others he was employed in the famous Anaconda Mine of Senator Clark. He became an expert ore sorter, culling high grade from ores of less value. This was a skilled work that was paid high wages. He continued in the mines of Idaho until the bottom fell out of the silver market. Then, in 1893, he came to Covina, California, where for eight years he tried orange growing. In 1900 he moved to Rialto and was employed by the German American Bank of Los Angeles in looking after some groves owned by that institution. At the time of his marriage Mr. Crawford possessed only one horse and buggy. He had the tremendously responsible and arduous task of caring for from 100 to 200 acres of young groves, and he set out many new orchards in that vicinity. After saving his first hundred dollars he made an initial payment of this sum in 1910 on twenty acres of wild land, agreeing to pay the balance of $1,700.00 for land and water rights. This is his home grove, and he has developed it to a high degree of profitable cultivation in citrus fruits. Later he purchased what is known as the Flint grove from C. M. Flint, one of the best orchards in North Rialto. This orchard is twenty-eight years old, and has long been a show place in attractiveness and in productivity. Thus Mr. Crawford now has forty acres in fruit. Some nine years ago, for the Riverside Company, he set out forty acres of oranges, and has had the exclusive management of this property ever since.

On January 3, 1903, in Pocatello, Idaho, Mr. Crawford married Mary Bolton, a native of England, who came to the United States in 1886. Both Mr. and Mrs. Crawford are people of such energy and judgment as are needed to subdue the wilderness of Southern California. Mrs. Crawford for an entire summer carried water across a ten-acre lot so as to afford the necessary moisture in starting a young Eucalyptus windbreak to their grove. Half of Mr. Crawford's groves are set to Valencia and half to Navel oranges. The water supply is obtained from Lytle Creek. Mr. Crawford built with his own hands a most artistic bungalow, and he has other substantial ranch buildings. He is a democrat in politics, and for years has been a cooperating worker and adviser with his fellow fruit growers for the common welfare.

 

Source:
History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011