Joan Bittner Fry

This is the story of Lewis D. Crawford, father of Miss Ethel Crawford, the Thurmont Elementary School teacher who students remember as the owner of “Oscar,” the paddle. Although I never had Miss Crawford for a teacher, I understand she really did dole out punishment with Oscar. Her family’s history follows from Scharf’s History of Western Maryland.

The Hon. Lewis D. Crawford, member of the Maryland Legislature of 1904, principal of the Deerfield public schools, Deerfield, Maryland (now Sabillasville), son of the late George H. and Laura E. (Birely) Crawford, was born in Sabillasville on November 9, 1868. Mr. Crawford’s grandfather, Thomas H. Crawford, was born in Ireland, where his childhood and youth were spent. He came to America in early manhood and settled near Sabillasville, Hauvers district, Frederick County, where he was employed as a laborer. He married, and among their children was a son named George H. Crawford.  Thomas H. Crawford and his wife died at their home near Sabillasville.

The late Lieutenant George H. Crawford, father of Lewis D. Crawford, was born at his father’s home near Sabillasville. He was educated in the public schools of Sabillasville and taught for a short time before the Civil War.

In 1862, Mr. Crawford enlisted in Company D, Sixth Maryland Infantry. This company was drawn from Sabillasville and Thurmont and was in the field for three years.  He took part in a number of severe battles, saw hard fighting in the Battle of the Wilderness, and lost his left arm in the battle of Cedar Creek. He was promoted several times for bravery on the field and was mustered out as lieutenant of his company. After the close of the war, he returned to his profession, but was forced to abandon it on account of failing health, caused by the wound he had received. He was then appointed to an office under the Federal Government at Washington, D.C., but his health was so broken by his wound that he was unable to discharge the duties devolving upon him. Lieutenant Crawford was married to Laura E., daughter of John and Susan (Miller) Birely, whose father was prominent among the elder residents of Sabillasville. Their children are: 1. George M., a farmer of Hauvers District; 2. Blanche S, married to Alfred Taggart, a farmer residing near Smithsburg, Washington County; 3. Maud M. (Mrs. Adam H. Anders) of Sabillasville; 4. Lewis D.; 5. Bruce L. of Blue Ridge Summit.  Mr. Crawford and his wife were members of the German Reformed Church in Sabillasville. He was a liberal contributor and an active worker in the church. He died in February 1872 and is buried in the cemetery of the Reformed Church in Sabillasville. His widow resides in Sabillasville.

Lewis D. Crawford was only three years old when his father died. He received his education in the public schools of the district, and remained on the home farm, assisting his mother until he married. When he was 20, he began teaching in Eyler’s Valley. He afterwards taught in Emmitsburg, and from there removed to Deerfield, where he has been teaching successfully for the last 18 years. He is a prosperous man and owns his beautiful two-story frame dwelling in Deerfield.  Mr. Crawford is one of the leading Republicans of Hauvers District. In 1903, he was elected by the party of the Legislature of Maryland and took his seat in that body in 1904.  He is a member of Acacia Lodge, of No. 155, A.F. and A.M., of Thurmont; of the I.O.O.F. and A.M. of Thurmont; the J.O. of S.M., No. 25, of Buena Vista. Mr. Crawford is highly esteemed as a businessman, a successful instructor and as a good citizen.

Lewis D. Crawford was married to Edna M., daughter of Maurice and Flora (Shafer) Sheffler, whose father is a prominent farmer of Fairfield, Pennsylvania. They have two children: Helen K. and Ethel L. (1906-1983), both at home. Mr. Crawford and his wife are members of Saint Mark’s Lutheran Church in Sabillasville.

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