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L. E. Crawford Collection

Lewis E. Crawford Collection
Creator: Lewis E. Crawford
Dates: 1877-c1960
Quantity: 5 inches
Accession: 2004.012


This collection of papers and photographs primarily documents cattle ranching and the Crawford family of Oklahoma Territory and Texas.


In the late 1800s, Thomas Alexander Crawford and his wife Martha Neal Crawford established a cattle ranch in what would eventually be Roger Mills County, Oklahoma. They had five sons: Carlous, Lee, Neal, Milton, and Lewis. The family worked the ranch until 1918 when it was sold. Lewis Crawford became a writer who focused on cattle and ranching topics, and he also collected branding irons.

Scope & Content Note

This collection has been arranged in three series: Ephemera, Manuscripts, and Photographs. The collection had no discernable order when accessioned. The arrangement was created during processing. All photographs from this collection have been digitized and can be viewed on the online image database.

It includes three short manuscripts by Lewis E. Crawford on ranching and cattle brands as well as 43 original and copy print photographs. In addition to documenting the Crawford family, the photographs illustrate cattle ranching and ranch life in No Man’s Land and Oklahoma Territory in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Other photographs of interest include images of the cairn over a cowboy grave in the Texas Panhandle and two mining wagons hitched to an eight-horse team, photographed near Cornucopia, Nevada.

Series 1: Ephemera (not dated)
Consists of a few miscellaneous items related to Lewis E. Crawford and the Crawford family. Included are two examples of his letterhead stationary and some handwritten notes about the cattle trade in Texas, including a reference to a Crawford ancestor.

Series 2: Manuscripts (not dated)
Includes four Lewis E. Crawford article manuscripts about cattle brands and cattle ranching in Texas. The article “Old Time Ranchmen of the Southwest” is present in two iterations, one of which includes photo captions that refer to collection photographs. It is unclear whether any of these articles were ever published.

Series 3: Photographs (1877-circa 1960)
This series contains 43 photographs arranged in three subseries: Crawford Family, Ranching, and Western History. In the container list, when a photograph is a copy print, the original date of the image is stated first and the probable date of the copy print is indicated in parentheses.

The Crawford Family subseries primarily focuses on Thomas Alexander Crawford and Lewis E. Crawford. The family photographs include both original and copy prints. Notable images include a portrait of Thomas Alexander Crawford as a young man, Lewis Crawford posing with his large branding iron collection, and a group portrait of Lewis Crawford and his brothers. The Ranching subseries includes 17 photographs, both original and copy prints, which document life on the Crawford Ranch in Day County, Oklahoma Territory and other ranches. Included are images of branding, herding, and trailing cattle; cowboys and ranchmen; and cattle shipping pens. One unusual photograph shows two bulls fighting while a mounted cowboy scrambles to get out of the way. The Western History subseries includes a dozen vintage, contemporary, and copy prints documenting various aspects of life in the West. Included are four photographs of sites connected with landmarks on the cattle trails, two bear hunting photographs, and copy prints of a cowboy funeral. Notable images include an 1885 photograph that shows the cairn over a cowboy grave in the Texas Panhandle and an 1877 mounted albumen photograph that shows two wagons hitched to an eight-horse team near the mining town of Cornucopia, Nevada.

Subject Terms

Personal Names:
Crawford, Lewis E.
Crawford, Martha Neal
Crawford, Thomas Alexander
Rynearson, W. C.

Corporate Names:
Crawford Ranch
Ewing Ranch
YL Connected Ranch

Subject Headings:
Cattle brands
Cattle herding
Cattle trails—Oklahoma
Cattle trails—Texas
Horse-drawn vehicles
Oklahoma Panhandle (Okla.)

Processing Information

The Lewis E. Crawford Collection was donated to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 2004 by Cathy Crawford Hardy (granddaughter of Lee Crawford).

Preferred Citation

Lewis E. Crawford Collection, Box ##, Folder ##. Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Container List

Series 1: Ephemera

Box Folder Folder title/Description
1 1 Ephemera, n.d.

Series 2: Manuscripts

Box Folder Folder title/Description
1 2 “Cattle Brands of Years Ago,” n.d.
1 3 “Old Time Ranchmen of the Southwest,” n.d.
1 4 “Outlaw Roundup in South Texas,” n.d.

Series 3: Photographs

1877-ca. 1960
Box Folder Accession Folder title/Description
Crawford Family
1 5 2004.012.41 Crawford gravestone, c1950 [1]
1 6 2004.012.12 Half-dugout where Lewis E. Crawford was born, c1893 (copy print c1960) [1]
1 7 2004.012.27 Lewis Crawford, Vic Smith, and unidentified people at Old Hamburg Picnic, c1900 [1]
1 8 2004.012.21 Lewis Crawford and his branding iron collection, c1945 [1]
1 8 2004.012.36 Lewis Crawford and his branding iron collection, c1945 [1]
1 9 2004.012.20 Thomas Alexander Crawford and two men. Crawford is identified as the man in the back with a vest and black hat with a cup in his hand, c1890 [1]
1 10 2004.021.14-15 Thomas Alexander Crawford and Ben Stedman in Dodge City, Kansas, 1885 (copy print c1960) [2]
1 11 2004.012.05, 2004.012.07, 2004.012.23 Thomas Alexander Crawford (L) and unidentified person, c1890 (copy print c1960) [3]
1 12 2004.012.40 Thomas Alexander Crawford and Martha Neal Crawford (daughter-in-law), c1925 [1]
1 13 2004.012.42 Thomas Alexander Crawford portrait, c1890 [1]
1 14 2004.012.43 Crawford brothers portrait, c1930 [1]
1 15 2004.012.16 Branding calves, Crawford Ranch, Kerr County, Texas, 1890 (copy print c1960) [1]
1 16 2004.012.32 Branding on the range, Crawford Ranch, Day County (later Roger Mills County), Oklahoma Territory, 1899 [1]
1 17 2004.012.25 Clyde Young, Y+ brand, taken at the old ranch house on Dead Indian Creek, Day County (later Roger Mills County), Oklahoma Territory, 1895 [1]
1 18 2004.012.06 Man hearding cattle, c1890 (copy print c1960) [1]
1 19 2004.012.18 Crawford trail herd, near Beaver City, 1887 (copy print c1960) [1]
1 20 2004.012.31 Crossing the Washita River, 1895 [1]
1 21 2004.012.26 Jack Preston, Pecos River Ranch near Iraan, Texas, 1938 [1]
1 22 2004.012.13 Ewing Ranch house near Cheyenne, Oklahoma, 1889 (copy print c1960) [1]
1 23 2004.012.29 Mr. Rynerason, horse ranch, Beaver River at mouth of Kiowa River, c1885 [1]
1 24 2004.012.19 Copy print of possible cover for unpublished manuscript “Old Time Ranchmen of the Southwest” by Lewis E. Crawford, c1930 (copy print c1960) [1]
1 25 2004.012.28 Round Up on the Cimarron, No Man’s Land, 1887 [1]
1 26 2004.012.17, 2004.012.38 Trail herd horses, No Man’s Land, Crawford and Jones Ranch, 1887 (copy print c1960) [2]
1 27 2004.012.08 “Doc” Anshutz and “Irish” McCovern, c1890 (copy print c1960) [1]
1 28 2004.012.34 Bull fight on Ewing Ranch, Day County (later Roger Mills County), Oklahoma Territory, 1900 [1]
1 29 2004.012.33 YL Connected Ranhc, line camp on the Cimarron River, 1887 [1]
1 30 2004.012.30 YL Connected Ranch, last large shipment of cattle, November 25, 1893 [1]
Western History
1 31 2004.012.09, 2004.012.37 Bill Kent with his bear, c1955 [2]
1 32 2004.012.24 Cowboy grave in the Texas Panhandle, 1885 [1]
1 33 2004.012.01, 2004.012.39 Cowboy funeral, 1890 (copy print c1960) [2]
1 34 2004.012.11 Doan’s Store, c1960 [1]
1 35 2004.012.10 Doan’s Store Trading Post on the Texas side of the Red River, c1960 [1]
1 36 2004.012.03 Historical marker: Doan’s Crossing on the Red River by herds on the Western Texas-Kansas Trail, c1960 [1]
1 37 2004.012.04 Historical marker: The Longhorn Chisholm Trail and the Western Trail, 1876-1895, c1960 [1]
1 38 2004.012.02, 2004.012.35 Mr. Rynearson working at Cornucopia, Nevada, Santa Fe Trail, 1877 (c1960) [2]
1 39 2004.012.22 Three men standing with windmill in the background, c1900 (copy print c1960) [1]

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