GERSHOM CRABB

  BIOGRAPHY OF GERSHOM CRABB

1818­1851

 Biography and photos submitted by: Joyce Crabbe Maxwell
(Copied from The History of Toledo and Lucas County)

 

 

 

Homestead of GERSHOM CRABB

 

 

 

Gershom Crabb was born in the county of Cornwall, England, May 8, 1818. His father, Edward Crabb, was a native of the same county. His mother, Hannah (Tavernor) Crabb, was born in the County of Devon. The father, dying when the son was eight years old, the latter went to live with William Tavernor, an uncle. In 1831, Mr Tavernor and Mrs. Crabb decided to remove to the United States. The emigrating party, besides these, embraced the nine children of Mrs. Crabb, and her mother.

They took the Brig Susan at Torquay, March 31, 1831, and after a stormy passage, reached St. Andrews, New Brunswick May 3rd. At that point, the party separated, all except Mr. Tavernor, Gershom, and an aunt, going to Boston. Mrs. Crabb finally settled in Rhode Island, where she died. Mr. Tavernor and party soon left St. Andrews for New York, and thence went to Chittenango. New york, expecting to settle there, but soon hearing about the wonderful advantages of the west, they came on by Canal and Lake Steamer to Detroit. From that point, by the little steamboat, Gratiot, they came to Port Lawrence, landing at the foot of Monroe Street, at the house of John Baldwin. A little back of that was a little shanty occupied by Mr. Crane. Still further out, and near the corner of Jefferson and Fourteenth Streets, was another small house and shanty combined, owned by John Bartlett. These were all the families then living near the River. Still farther back were four or five families, near the Major Keeler farm. The old block-house (unoccupied) stood on the bluff between Monroe and Jefferson Streets. Mr Tavernor soon decided to locate on the Northeast quarter of Section 11, Town 9, South of 7 East, and purchased the same of the Government.

In the Spring of 1832, the party moved into a log-house, built on the place during the preceeding Winter. Mr. Tavernor was the first purchaser, as he was the first settler of that section, and with the exception of Dr. Worden, there were no settlers West of him, all being an unbroken wilderness, inhabited only by wild animals, deer being very plentiful. Thus settled, the next step was the preparation of the forest for crops, which was a slow and most arduous job, especially for those wholly unused to such experience. Added to all this were fever and ague, bilious fever, diseased incident to the locality and entirely new to them. On the other hand, there was nothing of a social nature, as an offset and encouragement--no schools, no church, no neighbors--a contrast with their former condition most keenly felt. In due time, however, these conditions were gradually changed. More settlers came--slowly at first, but rapidly ere long, whose presence and co-operation soon greatly mitigated the severity of pioneer life, and fully reconciled the first comers to their American home. Mr. Crabb's School privileges after coming to this country, were imited to seven months, but these were well improved, and greatly aided him through
subsequest life. Mr Tavernor lived on the farm for 19 years, dying February 3, 1851, aged 67 years. Mr. Tavernor, by will, gave Mr. Crabb the farm home, which the latter still occupies.

Politically, Mr. Crabb was at the outset a Whig, voting for General Harrison for President in 1840; and has acted with the Republican Party since its organization. Never a seeker for public position, he has served as Township Trustee, and for about 20 years as member of the Board of Education; while he has at all times sought to bear his full part in responsibilities and duties of the citizen. He was a volunteer in the 113th Ohio Infantry, serving in 1864, during which time he was in hospital with typhoidal fever, the effects of which yet continue with him.

On May 5, 1844, Mr. Crabb was married to Sarah A., daughter of Philo M. and Hannah L. Stevens, who also were pioneers, having come from Genesee county, New York, in 1833. They have had 10 children, of whom seven now survive, Eliza A. born August 30, 1845, the wife of Wm. Jackman of Ida, Michigan; Mary J., born December 5, 1847, now at home; Ada M., born September 17, 1851, wife of John W. Baldwin, Washington; Alice G., born February 3, 1854, wife of Abram Keagle, Barry County, Michigan; Susan H., born November 30, 1859, wife of Edrue Parke, Bronson, Michigan; Laura L. born July 12, 1863, wife of Arthur Ruple, Bronson, Michigan; and George E., born February 17, 1866, at home. Mrs Jackman now having a grandchild and her grandmother Stevens yet surviving, there are now living in the family a succession of five generations.

(Note: This article was written before 1898 when Gershom died. No one mentioned in this article is still living.)

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