Charles Lawson Crosby

Biography courteously provided by Joyce Riedinger, Delaware County Coordinator.


CHARLES LAWSON CROSBY, now a prominent resident of Griffin's Corners, Middletown, was born in the town of Halcott, Greene County, on September 16, 1873. His father was Emerson M. Crosby, who married Mary Lawson, daughter of Joseph Lawson, a prosperous farmer in Olive, Ulster County. Benjamin L. Crosby, the father of Emerson M., was born at Kelly's Corner on December 8, 1797, and married Huldah Hull. Their wedding took place in 1819, and she died in 1843.

The children of this true and happy union were as follows: Lavinia Crosby was born October 18, 1820, and is now a resident of Margarettville. Thomas Crosby, who first saw the light of day on September 29, 1822, is at present living in the West. Edward Crosby was born September 2, 1824, and makes his home in Kingston, being a retired merchant, and the father of nine children. Eli Crosby, born in April 1826, married Deborah Kelley, and died in 1873, leaving seven children; and his widow now lives in Halcott. David Crosby was born two years later, on Independence Day, 1828, married Bethia Brown, has three children, and lives on the old homestead at Halcott. Sally Crosby, whose birth was on the last day of September 1830, is living in Shelby County, Iowa, having married John Vanderburg of that town. Ann Eliza Crosby, born May 2, 1832, became the beloved wife of Allen Lasher. Emerson M. Crosby was born on March 9, 1834. Mary A. Crosby, now the widow of Mr. Kelley, was born September 2, 1836, and continues to live at Griffin's Corners with her two sons. Esther H. Crosby, the youngest of this well-known family, was born March 8, 1839, and is the wife of W. H. Blish, of Griffin's Corners. After the death of his first wife Benjamin L. Crosby married Elizabeth Dickson, and was again made a widower in April, 1887. Until his death, on the first day of April, 1893, he then being in his ninety-sixth year, Grandfather Crosby continued to live in Halcott, where he will long be remembered, not only as a reliable Justice of Peace, but as a man of unimpeachable integrity.

Emerson M. Crosby was born on the old homestead, and grew to manhood there, being educated in the district school, and finishing at the Delhi Academy. He commenced his business career as a clerk for a well-known firm in Kingston, but left them to join his brother, Edward Crosby, in his store. A little later, however, when the old firm started a branch store at Griffin's Corners, he accepted a desirable offer, and once more became a clerk in their employ. It was not till after his marriage with Mary Lawson that he went to Halcott, where was born their son Charles. Mrs. Mary Crosby lived but three years after marriage. When she had passed away, Emerson returned to Griffin's Corners, where he took his position, and remained in charge of the branch store until death, at the age of fifty-nine years, nine months, and fourteen days. Sorrow most genuine was felt at his decease; for the town had lost a friend, as well as a respected gentleman and enterprising citizen. Emerson M. Crosby was President of the Griffin's Corners Water Company, and was leader in the effort to establish this village aqueduct. In 1880 he built the store now occupied by his son, a structure four stories high, and fifty by sixty-four feet in area, the upper part being used as a dwelling. He owned the flats between the two creeks, was a dealer in timber land, and the first subscriber for the Episcopal church, for which he furnished the lumber.

Emerson M. Crosby returned to Griffin's Corners when Charles was a babe of fourteen months; and the child's home was thenceforth with his aunt, Mrs. W. H. Blish. At the age of thirteen Charlie became a student at the Delaware Academy in Delhi, but finished his education at the Rochester Business University. He came home in 1890 for a stay of six months; and then he went to Georgia, where he remained a year. On his return to Griffin's Corners he obtained the position, which he now holds, of clerk with Faulkner & Laurence, who occupy Mr. Crosby's building for general trade. In addition to this and his inherited real estate, Mr. Charles L. Crosby is connected with the water company, has stock in the Griffin's and Fleischmanns Herald, and in the Halcott Telephone Company. As the only child and representative of his father, he has proved himself a man of excellent capacity. He is the owner of fine timber land, and has sold the largest tract of hemlock in the county. Like his father and grandfather, he is a Democrat, and very liberal in his religious views. Though he has not yet entered the bonds of matrimony, we may be sure, if his life is spared, that Charles L. Crosby will not allow the family tree to perish for want of fruit and culture. Well said an ancient Greek philosopher,-

"It is with youth as with plants; from the first fruits they bear we learn what may be expected in future."


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