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From the Garland Local History & Genealogical Society, Volume 2-Number 1, March 1973

 

BIOGRAPHICAL  SKETCH OF GEORGE WILSON CROSSMAN

Author:                  Curtis W. Crossman

George Wilson Crossman, Mayor of Garland, 1916-1917, was born near Santiago, Chile, of English parentage.   His parents were in the Great English migration to Chile as were many Englishmen due to the lucrative sheep, mineral, and whaling industries then developing in South America.  The Crossman family entered the ship-building industry and were quite successful.

The father died in 1872, leaving a widow and five children.  Due to family connections in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Mrs. Crossman decided to come to the United States rather than return to the family home in Bristol, England.   The voyage around Cape Horn was attended by a massive storm which made a lasting impression on the fourteen-year-old George.  He often related incidents of the voyage in his later years.

George Crossman graduated from Valpariso University at Parton, Illinois, majoring in Commercial Law.  Upon graduation, he became a teacher for a short period of time.  He wandered to Duck Creek in October, 1880, where he audited the books of Dr. K. H. Embree and A. J. Beaver, and of the firm composed of J. T. Newshaw, H. N. Thorpe, and W. L. Hunter.

Mr. Crossman acquired land near Richardson where he engaged in farming and auditing the books for firms in surrounding towns.  In 1885, Crossman was hired to teach commercial classes at Duck Creek, then in charge of W. W. Shepherd.  The next year he went to El Paso, but he remained there only one year.

On his return to the then-emerging town of Embree, he opened a grocery business, and for many years, he had the only fire and cyclone insurance agency for the surrounding area.  Over $100,000 had been paid in claims prior to 1912.

George Crossman was one of the first recognized Republicans in Garland, and was appointed postmaster of the community by Presidents (Theodore) Roosevelt and (William Howard) Taft.  His neighbors also recognized his political acumen by selecting him as mayor in 1916.

The Crossman family belonged to the Methodist Church.  To the union of G. W. Crossman and Ella Lee Sparks was born G. W. Jr., Curtis D., and Robert Nathan.