Published in The Garland Daily News in 1980 as part of a series by Betty Roberts



George William Crossman came to this are in October, 1880, 100 years ago.  He explained his arrival by saying he “landed” in Dallas County and “wandered” to Duck Creek.

George was born near Santiago, Chile, in 1858 where his father was in the building industry.  His parents had migrated from England with many other English families who thought South America was an area with a great future.

When Mr. Crossman died in 1872, Mrs. Crossman was left with five children.  Instead of taking the family back to Bristol, England, Mrs. Crossman went to live near relatives in Massachusetts.

George was 15 when he moved to the united States.  He soon entered Valparaiso University in Illinois but left before completing a degree in commercial law.  He came to Duck Creek when he was 22.

George’s first job was in a small factory that make bedsprings for people in the area.  During the next few years he farmed, audited books for various business firms, and returned to Illinois to complete his degree.

In 1885, George was back in old Duck Creek teaching commercial classes.  He also kept books for the firm of Beaver and Embree and the firm made up of Mewshaw, Thorpe and Hunter who owned a store selling hardware and implements.

George left Duck Creek in 1886 and went to El Paso where he was bookkeeper for the El Paso Tribune.

He returned in February 1887, just in tie for the Duck Creek-Embree battle.  George was allied with EMbree and was the editor of the Embree Enterprise.

In 1888 George and R. A. Crossman as Crossman Brothers bought a grocery business in Embree.  They moved their business to the newly incorporated city of Garland and added general merchandise, grain, coal and cotton seed.  In 1890 they added fire insurance.

The fire in Garland on November 30, 1899, destroyed their building and stock.  They went back into business with real estate, farm loans and insurance.  For many years, Crossman Insurance was the only fire and cyclone insurance in the area.

George served as Postmaster for Garland for many years.  He was mayor in 1916 and 1917.

George married Ella Lee Sparks whose parents were early day settlers in the area.  Their first house was on the southeast corner of Glenbrook and Avenue, now the parking lot for the First Baptist Church.  George died in 1942 at the age of 84; Ella died in 1965.

George and Ella were the parents of three sons:  George Wilson Jr., Curtis D. and Robert Nathan.  G.W. lived in Dallas and was the manager of Caruth Enterprises during his later years.  R.N. lived in Jacksonville, Texas where he was associated with A.& P. foods.

Curtis stayed with the family business.  Crossman Insurance has been writing policies for 90 years.  Curtis and Curtis Jr. work together in the business.

Curtis Crossman Jr. has two daughters in Garland.  His four grandchildren attend the Garland schools.  Their great-great-grandfather taught the children of this area before there was a Garland.