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 Hiram Edwin Crowley

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Hiram Edwin Crowley

Birth
Tarrant County, Texas, USA
Death 28 Oct 1942 (aged 78)
Lake Worth, Tarrant County, Texas, USA
Burial Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas, USA
Plot Masonic 42
Memorial ID 15523371 View Source

Son of H Crowley and Saleta Leonard. Retired attorney

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Please note Mr Crowley died the 6th of October not the 28th as inscribed on his marker. The death certificate [Texas death certificate # 46776] reads that Mr Crowley died on the 6th and his burial in Greenwood was the 7th of October. [This information provided by O B Haley Jr]
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Suggested edit: Left fatherless when an infant, his mother a widow, and the estate consisting of stock and slaves dissipated, all by the ruthless fortunes of war, Hiram Edwin Crowley was forced to make his own way in the world as soon as he was able to work. He was born in Tarrant County, Texas, in November, 1863, and is now a successful cattleman of Midland, Texas.
His parents were Hiram Crowley, of Irish descent, and Seletia Leonard of Scotch-Irish ancestry, a daughter of Col. A. F. Leonard one of Tarrant County's first representatives, and a wealthy stockman. Three children blessed the marriage: Dizania, who died in her third year; Archibald F., residing at Midland, and Hiram. After his marriage he accumulated a small lot of horses and cattle and started life in Tarrant County. He built the first water-mill in that county, below Fort Worth on the Trinity River. He was a slave owner and one of the heaviest stockmen in that part of the State when the war broke out. He took an active part on the Confederate side, organizing a company of which he was elected captain, and served up to the time he was killed-at the battle of Yellow Bayou in 1864. He left a widow and two infant sons. In 1873 Mrs. Crowley married Dr. J. B. McMurray at Birdville, Texas, and died on the 24th of June, 1879. Captain Hiram Crowley was one of the pioneers of Tarrant County, and a resident of Birdville when that place was the county seat of Tarrant County.
When the father was killed at Yellow Bayou in 1864, Hiram was a mere baby, only eighteen months, and his brother but three years old. The boys being left fatherless at this early age, they were compelled to shift for themselves, and make their own way in the world before boys of the present time are out of their knickerbockers. Educational opportunities were of a very imperfect nature in that part of the State and very little time was permitted the boy to take advantage of even such as there were. A short session of school was held at the little town of Grapevine, each year, and this he attended whenever he had the opportunity, during the months when work was slack.
Being compelled to work as soon as he was old enough, he became a farm hand, as that was the only occupation available, and worked for others until he was thirteen years of age. When he reached this extremely mature period, himself and Frank, his brother, then fifteen, determined to engage in business for themselves, and accordingly, in the year 1877, having collected together nearly 100 head of cattle, they started for Palo Pinto County with the intention of locating a ranch. In due time they succeeded in getting their cattle satisfactorily located, and laid the foundations of a prospective fortune. The enterprise of these two lads soon made them a reputation throughout all the surrounding country, and gained for their ranch the sobriquet of the "Orphan Boys' Ranch." They held their cattle in this one spot for six years, increasing their holdings year by year until they had at the end of that time 500 head of cattle.
They divided the work of the range in the true style of the cattlemen, Frank doing the buying and trading in the locality, while Hiram took the trail and drove the cattle to market. Their shipping point at that time was Fort Worth, and young Hiram soon became well known in this cattle mart among the large dealers. In 1883 they merged their interests into the Liberty Cattle Company, and operated for one year longer in the original locality, when they sought a better and larger range in Fisher County, on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River. Here they handled and improved the herds of the Liberty Cattle Company for two years, when, a good opportunity presenting itself, they sold out, receiving a good round sum for their interests. After this transaction they returned again to Palo Pinto County and bought and stocked a ranch at the head of Walnut Creek, and also made buying and handling young steers a prominent feature of their business. In the fall of 1886 they made another change, moving to Gaines County, 100 miles north of Midland, where they opened a ranch with 750 stock cattle.
This location was highly satisfactory, and they remained here and operated successfully for three years. At the end of that time Hiram decided to abandon the stock business, and in 1889 sold to his brother all of his holdings except his steers. The flourishing city of Midland attracted his attention as presenting excellent business opportunities, and he, accordingly, with the proceeds realized from the sale of his cattle, started a mercantile business at that point. His venture was a success from the start, and the fact that he cleared $l0.000 in three years showed conclusively the correctness of his judgment in selecting Midland as a point for commercial operations. But with success almost within his grasp he was overtaken by bad luck when a fire in 1891 burned out his establishment. Being without insurance, and owing $8,000 on his stock of goods, which he felt in duty bound to pay, he was left financially stranded and was compelled to begin life anew.
After this disaster he determined to enter a professional life and at once took up the study of law, bringing to it the same earnestness and determination to succeed that had characterized his other undertakings. So well did he apply himself that he was admitted to the bar in 1892, and the same year ran for, and was elected, county attorney for his own and the three adjoining counties, only four votes being polled against him. This shows as nothing else can, the popularity of Ed. Crowley, the "cowboy" lawyer, who, in the very short space of two years, has built up a practice of large proportions, which might well be the envy of older and more experienced men.
Only a few years ago a penniless orphan, he has gained a place among his fellowmen, and is surrounded by his wife and an interesting family, and all the comforts and luxuries of an elegant home. In 1888 he married Miss Katie Moore, daughter of Robert Moore, a contractor and builder of Chattanooga, Tenn., and they have three children: Hiram Franklin, Mackey Ruth and Henry Grady. (Source: Historical and Biographical Record of the Cattle Industry and the Cattlemen of Texas by James Cox, Published by Woodward & Tiernan Printing Co, St Louis, 1895 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)
Contributor: Kerry Szymanski (49782268)


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