Recently I found some old tucked-away notes that my boy cousins, John and Bill Crow had written about their family, the Crows of Camden, who had lived on Aldrich as long as I could remember. Rosa, or Rose Crow, their mother was a beautiful singer and soloist in the choir at North M.E. as it was called then. She was so inventive, chatty and full of fun. It was her who thought up all the games to play, and activities when all the relatives got together. She kept us kids busy. Her husband, Paul Crow, was good natured, good looking and a good dad.
Here are some of their son, Bill’s, recollections, written in 1998:
“Best I remember of my parents they were married around 1913. Dad’s father had died the week before, but they married and moved into 3838 Aldrich the same day as the wedding. The house was partially furnished and dad did all the rest. Paid
$2400 for the lot and house. Also bought the lot next door for $500 and raised a garden. He worked for an investment advisor, John Lane, who in 1927 was accused of embezzlement and sent to jail, where he died. Dad had nothing to do with it, but even so, suffered a nervous breakdown. When well, he started an insurance business and also took over a men’s clothing store that had gone bankrupt. He also bought out a ladies hat store, brought the hats home and sold them for $1 each. Lots of people came to the sale at the house.
I remember our Grandma Crow, a very religious lady, who lived with us for a while but had to be moved because of her preaching. Her parents had lived in Ireland (where the Crows originated) and were Catholic. The church required a donation of 10% from all members and if you couldn’t pay it, they took your land. Old Crow got mad, took his family to Canada and from there to Minneapolis where he wrote a book, The Denunciation of Catholicism. I’ve never seen it but Dad’s sister, Aunt
Maybelle, may have had a copy. She was an old maid, lived in Chicago and died around the age of 67 in 1946 of cancer. Dad’s other sister, Myrtle Morrow, was very poor, with lots of kids.” Those were the recollections of Bill Crow.
His older brother, John Crow, remembered this: “Annie (Grandma Crow) went to live with Aunt Myrtle’s family in northern Minnesota for a few years, but didn’t get along well because Grandma was so religious. When Aunt Maybelle took a trip up to visit them she found her mother (Annie) living and eating in her bedroom.
Maybelle was so furious with her sister she took Annie away and took Myrtle out of her will, except for $1. Maybelle was rich, for she worked for a philanthropist, Mrs. Emmot James McCormick of the famous McCormick-Harvester Reaper Co., multimillionaires and nationally prominent. Maybelle’s job was to find worthwhile people to receive donations for various reasons, and when she found them, travel all over the world to get special expensive gifts for them. Fascinating job she had, with a lot of prestige and she was paid about four times what the average citizen got paid in those days. But one thing she did that helped our family was to always encourage us brothers, John, Bill and Bob to be good and to amount to something.” These were observations from John Crow in 1998. Strangely enough, the youngest brother, Bob Crow, had nothing to say!
Rosa Meyer Crow–December1890-July 1984
William Paul Crow (Paul)–March1889-February1959
John Meyer Crow–April 1914-June 2002
William Arthur Crow (Bill)–February 1920-June 2004
Robert Paul Crow (Bob)–February 1925-December 2011