I always get excited when, as I review an obituary with an eye to sharing it here, I find a personal connection. I glanced at this several times and it always made me pause. Now, reading it more carefully I find that I knew this gentleman's son. Guy was a member of my church when I was a teen, and he was (it seemed to me) older than the hills. I always get goose-pimply to find connections. And not only did I know his son, Holly lived just 2 miles from where I now live.
From the 20 N0vember 1913 Fremont Times-Indicator.
Holly W. Crawford.
Holly W Crawford was born in Montcalm county June 24, 1837 and died at his home near Sitka, Sheridan township, Sunday, Nov. 9, 1913.
When the civil war broke out Mr. Crawford was one of the first to respond to the call of his country and enlisted April 30, 1861 in the Eleventh Ill. volunteer infantry where he served faithfully during the entire period of the war. He was wounded at Fort Donelson and also in another engagement and was honorably discharged as sargeant July 29, 1864.
Immediately after the close of the war Mr. Crawford came to Newaygo county, then a wilderness, and settled upon the homestead in Sheridan townshi where he has ever since resided.
On April 1st, 1869, he was married to Luella Nelson and to this union seven children, viz., Mrs. May Ferguson who resides at Corey; Chester, who teaches school in the Upper Pensula; Reuben, living at San Pedro, Cal; Perrie, guy and Mrs. Lydia Nash, all of whom live on adjoining farms on the same section of land; and George, the youngest, with his family lives at home. His wife and children, except Reuben, were all with him during his last hours.
In the early days Mr. Crawford served his county and township in many capacities, being at various times county clerk, township supervisor and for 20 years justice of the peace. he was postmaster at Sitka for 16 years.
In the winter for many years he taught school, often walking long distances through the woods in order to be at home with his family as much as possible.
Mr Crawford had been in poor health for several years but was never found wanting in giving his time or means towards what ever tended to the betterment of his fellowmen. His influence for good has been and will be felt for many years and he will be greatly missed by many for none knew him but to respect and honor him.
In 1869 Mr. Crawford joined the Christian church, continuing a member of that body until the M.E. church was built at Sitka, at which time, November 29, 1908, he united with that denomination. Besides his wife and children he leaves 25 grandchildren, two sisters, Mrs Maria Brown of Grant, and Mrs Dennis Miller, of Fremont; and one brother, Lewis Crawford, of Grant.
He was a member of Dahlegrew Post, No. 149, G. A. R. Of this post, only 17 survive him.
Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday from Sitka church. Rev. J. P. Durham, pastor of the Holton M. E. church conducted the services. The remains were laid to rest in Holton cemetery.
An interesting note is about the Sitka M. E. church. We have an article here in the local history room about the church's centennial, in which they say the church was completed in December 1908. He joined before it was completed. And it was practically across the road from his home. I notice the pastor was from the Holton Methodist church. I wonder if the two churches actually shared the same pastor then, as they have for much of their existence.