Scope and Content
Title: The Misselwitz and Crawford family papers,
Date (inclusive): 1870-1968
Collection number: Special Collections M0276
3 linear ft.
Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain
permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.
Gift of Carolyn Misselwitz, 1975.
[Identification of item] The Misselwitz and Crawford family papers, M0276, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University
Libraries, Stanford, Calif.
This collection concerns two American families, related by marriage, who chose not to remain in their native Kansas, but sought
opportunity wherever it took them. Their individual perambulations are reflected chiefly in their collection of photographs;
very little correspondence is contained in their papers.
Levi R. [K.?] Crawford lived in Warren, Maine, until around 1862, when he moved to Ottawa, Kansas, near Topeka, bringing his
skills as a carpenter and cabinet maker with him. He became a successful businessman in Ottawa, reportedly serving as contractor
for several buildings on the Ottawa College [now University] campus. Inez J. Crawford, Levi's wife, cared for their three
[?] children, Ralph K. Crawford, Inez Mabel, and C.B. Crawford, and was very active in the Ottawa Baptist Sunday School.
Ralph K. Crawford graduated from Ottawa College as a civil engineer in 1901, a career he followed from that time to around
1915. His ventures took him to California in 1906-1907, where he was an engineer on the Los Angeles Aqueduct. He also traveled
to Idaho and to Fairbanks, Alaska, pursuing mining enterprises. In 1913, in Riverside, California, near Los Angeles, he married
Dorothy Maude Frink, a professional photographer from Ottawa, Kansas. In 1915, they moved to Burlingame, California, south
of San Francisco, where they made their home and operated a photographic studio and gift shop. Later they made their home
in San Carlos, California, a few miles south of Burlingame. Ralph and Dorothy Maude Crawford were childless, but enjoyed close
relationships with their families in Ottawa.
The Crawford portion of the collection contains many photographs of Ottawa, Kansas, Los Angeles and other parts of California,
Idaho, Alaska, and Japan and China. Among the photographs are many of residents of Ottawa, Kansas, in the early 1900s.
Inez J. Crawford (Mrs. Levi R. Crawford), and her daughter, Inez Mabel, came to Burlingame to live at some point. Miss Mabel
Crawford became the first librarian for the City of San Mateo (California).
Sometime in the mid-1920s, Dorothy Maude Crawford's niece, Carolyn Converse, came to live with the Crawfords in Burlingame.
She attended Stanford University and graduated with an A.B. in English in 1928. Shortly thereafter she went to China to accept
a teaching post. By 1931, she was a representative for Far Eastern Commerce Advertising in China and Japan, working in their
office in Shanghai, dealing with commercial and credit information.
Henry Francis Misselwitz, newspaperman, foreign correspondent, commentator, and author, was born in Leavenworth, Kansas, on
July 24, 1900. He was involved with journalism before and after graduation from the University of Missouri with a degree in
Journalism in 1922. He worked first on the Kansas City Star and then on the St Louis Post-Dispatch. During this period, one
of his stories, about a lynching, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He was later on the staff of the Japan Advertiser,
an American newspaper in Tokyo. Following this position, he became correspondent for the New York Times and the United Press
in Japan and China from 1923 to 1936. As New York Times correspondent in the 1920s, he covered Chiang Kai-Shek's Koumingtang
Rebellion against the warlords of Peking. After returning to New York to work with the United Press, he was assigned to be
the White House correspondent during President Herbert Hoover's administration. Henry was also the author of The Dragon Stirs,
an account of his experiences in China. He then moved to Los Angeles, becoming a radio commentator and screenwriter.
Heney Misselwitz first met Carolyn Converse in the late 1920s in Shanghai. They became reacquainted some twelve years later,
following his divorce from Ted Constance Lowrance in 1931, and his return to the U. S. mainland. Henry and Carolyn were married
in 1941. Two years after their marriage the couple move to San Carlos, California, from Los Angeles, where Henry resumed his
news commentary and became editor of a local newspaper. In San Carlos, Carolyn continued her Aunt Dorothy's gift and frame
shop in the building she inherited from her Uncle Ralph Crawford. Both Henry and Carolyn were active in civic affairs and
traveled widely in the United States and abroad. (See also, H. F. Misselwitz Collection at the University of Oregon, and H.
F. Misselwitz, Who's Who, 1951.)
Both Henry and Carolyn recorded urban and rural scenes in China and Japan before World War II. Their photographs of China
and Japan are supplemented by those of Barney Allen Cogsdell, U. S. Marine Corps (Fourth (Regiment), a friend of the Misselwitz's,
stationed in China in 1935-1936.
Scope and Content
Primarily photographs, some correspondence, ephemera, and rock samples.