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Guide to the The Misselwitz and Crawford family papers, 1870-1968
Special Collections M0276  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: The Misselwitz and Crawford family papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1870-1968
    Collection number: Special Collections M0276
    Creator: Crawford family Misselwitz family
    Extent: 3 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions


    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item] The Misselwitz and Crawford family papers, M0276, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Biographical Note

    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.