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The Crow Connection

Grover Cleveland Crow &
Martha Rosa Lee (McCain) Crow

     Grover was born on 5 September 1983; he died on 28 December 1965.  He was the son of James Levi and Mary A. (Mann) Crow.

     Martha Rosa Lee McCain was born on 30 March 1897 and died on 2 March 1974.  She was the daughter of John Robert and Sarah (Shelby) McCain.

     Grover and Rosie were wed on 13 April 1913 in the Sugar Tree community at the home of the Rev. Gus Williams, with Dave Keller and Pearl Jackson as witnesses.  Grover and Rosie lived most of their married life in the Bernie area.  Grover was two years old when his father died, and was fourteen when his mother died.  He was raised by relatives and friends, but was on his own at an early age.

     Rosie lost her father when she was six years old.  Rosie's mother died at the age of 88.

     As has been stated many times, it seemed that Rosie and Grover tried to make up for not having excellent memories of growing up.  They were good parents and displayed lots of forethought.  "They excelled in showing love, hope, and charity".  Due to being a large family, they all learned to share and help each other.  The advice that Grover and Rosie gave their children as each one would marry and leave home was "always be good to each other". 


     When writing the history, background, and close family ties, it is hard - if not impossible - for a person to put warmth and personal feeling into what is recorded.  Therefore, Lois Griffin used the works from the oldest daughter (Nettie Lee), as provided to her in the initial family history, to capture the true feelings, love, and devotion of a great mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, and great-grandmother.  To those too young to have know Rosie, you missed meeting and appreciating an outstanding lady!  The following is a quote from Nettie:


     "As I child, I remember Mom as always working - cooking, washing, working in the garden, a new baby ever two years.  You know, Loreda was only two years old when I got married.  Mom was always tired, never complained, but she really had a hard life.  She cooked 3 hot meals a day, except on Sunday.  We went to church and Sunday School at Sugar Tree when I was small.  I remember a rubber-tired wagon to ride in and a few Sundays when they have dinner on the Church grounds and singing in the afternoon.  Mom would pinch your arm if you didn't sit quiet, and one pinch was enough to last quite a few Sundays!  She sewed after supper, made all of her clothes and mine, and all the boys shirts.  She also put in quilt comforters in the winter months.  We always had a large garden and were out there early in the morning while the dew was still on the ground.  I hated washing lettuce and spinach, pumping water - and seems like we used a wash tub.  We churned butter every night and I've seen the top top freeze as we were washing it off!  In the summer months, the midnight train would by just as we finished the canning.  Dad would only make one or two trips to the orchard, and would come back with five bushels of peaches and three bushels of apples.  We would can and everybody would help peel.  The small containers were half-gallon jars!

     When it was time to slaughter the hogs, it was at least 4 or 5 that they would kill - a two day job.  They smoked and sugar-cured, canned sausage, ribs and tenderloin.  We would make kraut in wooden barrels and also put pickles up the same way.  Mom would make sheets and pillow cases out of unbleached muslin.  She would make baby clothes and hid them while we were at school.  I knew we were going to have a new baby - but she never one told me!

     She made me three new dresses every fall for the new school year.  It was 25 cents a yard - nice material - and she even made me a new dress for Easter.  We got shoes when we had to have them and it seems as if Dad was carrying home a pair of shoes for someone quite often.  I don't know how Mom kept going and I'm sure we never appreciate her and told her that we loved her half as much as we should have.  You know, I remember going to Grandma Ellsworth very seldom.  I was afraid of her when I was small and never wanted to stay over.  I did one time, and I cried and begged to go home.  I can't ever remember staying again until I was in high school. She too had a very hard life.  After I married, I only got home one week out of the year  I'm sorry to say.  Until we moved to Chester, Illinois in 1970 and then I tried to come every time I possibly could."


     After the three oldest children (Shelby, Denzil and Wenzil) were born, Grover, moved to Arkansas and worked for a while as a timber logger.  During this time, the bottomland east of Bernie was swampy and there was a lot of timberland throughout the surrounding area.  Grover moved to California near his younger brother (Lee) and worked in the oil fields.  Work was not that plentiful so he returned to Missouri.  He farmed his own place near Sugar Tree for several years and eventually moved east of Bernie where he farmed for a number of years.  He also worked for the Wood Taylor Gin Co. of Bernie for several years while continuing to farm.

     Grover loved the game of boxing and could whip anyone who would be brave putting on a pair of boxing gloves with him.  They had a boxing ring set up in a back alley in Bernie, and people gathered to see this Bantam Rooster take on all challengers.  Several years ago, Bernie had a movie theatre and Grover loved his cowboy movies and those continuing serials which he looked forward to seeing each Saturday (very seldom did he miss one).  He also liked the game of dominoes and checkers.  You could always tell when he was winning as he clicked his teeth.  (Oh yes, he would occasionally let one of his children or grandchildren win a game - but Rosa did not believe in spoiling them.  She played for keeps! Ha!)

     Grover always fed the baby and Rosa fed the next little one(s) sitting next to her.  When a new baby arrived, you graduated from the bench to a chair.  Rosa always fixed their school lunches, which consisted of peanut butter, jelly, biscuits, and sow-belly, in a gallon bucket.


     To have had such a hard time in his early years, Grover was a tremendous neighbor (a friend's friend), a loving husband, and a caring father.  He was highly respected in the community, and when you mention Grover Crow to anyone in Bernie, you hear nothing but praise for a great individual.  The following is the list of children:

Shelby Crow Wenzil Crow
Denzil Crow Paul Crow
Ken Crow Nettie "Crow" Fralick
Robert Crow Cleo Crow
Grover Crow Jr. Lorene "Crow" Parris
Glen Crow Louis Crow
Clyde Crow Loreda "Crow" Low

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