December 15, 2012

Samuel Cooke Crawford Family

Story from Our Island History, Vol. 3, 1978, compiled by Sophie Haley and Mickie Smith:

Samuel Cooke Crawford was born on December 14, 1869 near Wesson in Copiah County, Mississippi to William Martin and Melissa Graves Crawford.  On November 18, 1897, he married Rachel Victoria Seal  and they began their married life as farmers in the hill country of Copiah County.

Tales of good farmland to be found in the bottom lands of Franklin and Catahoula Parishes in Louisiana led the Crawfords and several of their neighbors (Evans and Conn families) to this area in the Fall of 1915.  Samuel rented farmland for three years in Franklin Parish just across the line from the Sicily Island community; then he bought a farm in Catahoula Parish near Sicily Island.  After six years, he sold this farm and moved his family to the Gillis Place where he farmed for many years for William Smith Peck, II.

By the standards of his day, when farming was done with horses, mules, and hand tools, Samuel Crawford was known as a very successful farmer.  He believed in and practiced diversification, and besides the regular crops of cotton and corn, he raised sugar cane from which he made his own syrup as well as for market.  He also raised watermelons for market.  He was quite a resourceful man, recognizing and grasping opportunities for making money for his growing family.  When the Conservation Department needed someone to rid Lake Louie of unwanted harmful fish, he became a commercial fisherman under their guidance; he operated a boat rental service on the lake also.  When the floods of 1927, 1933, and 1937 came, he built and operated a ferry which carried traffic from Sicily Island to near Foules.

Samuel Crawford never held a public office but was always vitally interested in local political matters.  He was an avid sportsman--loved both to hunt and to fish.  On January 26, 1935 he died in the woods doing what he liked best to do--deer hunting.

Victoria Crawford was a dedicated housewife and mother to their twelve children.  She was a devout Christian who for many years was a staunch supporter of the Methodist Church.  The Crawford home was always open and often served as a place for the visiting evangelists to stay.  Rachel died on November 21, 1969, at the age of ninety.

Samuel Cooke Crawford and Rachel Victoria Seal Crawford are both buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island.

Record of death for Samuel Cooke Crawford:

The following children were born to the marriage of Samuel and Victoria Seal Crawford: 

William Marcus "Dub", 1899-1949 (m. Faye McCarthy); buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery.

Franklin Adolphus "Bud", 1902-1985 (m. Ella Mae Smith, 1914-1994)  Bud and Ella had the following children:
Richard Wayne, 1924-1993 (m. Dorothy Humphries)
Sidney Ray, 1926 (m. Daisey Seffens)
Samuel Cooke, 1928-1995 (m. Evelyn Breland)
Franklin Adolphus, Jr., 1929-1932
William Mark "Billy", 1932-1950
Records of birth for Franklin Adolphus, Jr. and William Mark "Billy":

Bud and Ella are both buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery.

Eva Dell, 1903-1991 (m. James L. Meadows); buried in Midway Cemetery, Meadeville, Franklin, Mississippi.  (Editor's note:  tombstone photograph is courtesy of Rodney A. Arnold at

Margaret, 1905-1990 (m. Clyde Stutson)

Addie Bell, 1905-1980 (m. Elmo Reed); buried in Odd Fellows Cemetery, Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.  (Editor's note:  tombstone photograph is courtesy of John Christeson at

Ernestine, 1907-1997 (m. Ralph Smithe)

John Henry, 1909-1995 (m. Rosemary Wilkinson)  John and Rosemary had the following children:
Record of birth for Larry:

John Henry and Rosemary are both buried in New Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island.  (Editor's note:  tombstone photograph is courtesy of Karen Klemm Pinckard at

Sophie Lee, 1910-2002 (m. Claude Haley) Sophie Lee and Claude had one son, Charles Michael.

In front of old Sicily Island Post Office
Sophie Lee Crawford Haley taught school for more than 45 years.  She taught in Sicily Island, Wisner and Huntington School in Ferriday and was honored as Retired Teacher of the Year. She earned several degrees from Northwestern University.  She was a member of First Methodist Church in Sicily Island, serving on the administrative board and teaching Sunday School. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Order of First Families of Mississippi 1699-1817 and was a charter member of the Governor George Harlan Chapter Colonial Dames Seventeenth Century.

Sophie Lee Haley, 2nd row, center; Rosemary Crawford, 2nd row, left

Sophie Lee and Claude Haley are both buried in Highland Park Cemetery in Sicily Island.  (Editor's note:  tombstone photograph is courtesy of Dorothy S. Tiser at

Flora Kathryn, 1912-2001(m. Kermit C. Eschenburg)

Anna Forest "Dot", 1915-1992 (m. Joe Lambert)

Samuel Victor, 1920 (m. Edna Sandifer)

Helen Maxine, 1923-1997(m. Cecil Cox) Maxine and Cecil had one son, Cecil Marcus.  All three are buried in the Harrisonburg Cemetery, Harrisonburg, Catahoula, Louisiana.  (Editor's note:  tombstone photograph is courtesy of Chiquita Richison Thompson at


  1. Very interesting to find these historic facts so easily, thank you

    1. You're welcome! Thank you for reading my blog and for leaving a comment. I appreciate it!

  2. This is way cool to find.