Michael F Crowe

Born: June 11, 1850

MICHAEL F. CROWE, a retired pioneer locomotive engineer, residing at 836 Superior street, Antigo, Wisconsin, was born in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, on June 11, 1850, the son of Cornelius and Mary (Garvey) Crowe. He was the fifth of eight children. When he reached the age of twelve he was taken out of school to begin work in the anthracite coal mines. The Civil War was then raging and due to the shortage of manpower the boys were used in menial work about the mines. It was Mr. Crowes duty to haul coal from the mines on a cart to which a mule was hitched. At the close of the war, 1865, he moved with his parents to Neenah, Winnebago County in 1866. A half-year later, Cornelius Crowe took up a tract of land in Grand Chute township, near Appleton, Wis. When Mr. Crowe had worked for three years on the farm he started out to seek his fortune, going to Cheyenne, Wyoming, which then consisted of nine buildings, eight of which were saloons and the ninth a trading post. English traders were there at the time purchasing buffalo hides. Mr. Crowe hired out to a Mr. Van Dueren, cattle owner, of Red Oak, Iowa, as a cattle herder. The equipment consisted of two bronchos, a revolver and a sawed-off shotgun, used to blind cattle in a stampede.

He stayed in that service for two years, being stationed between Cheyenne and Ft. Larma, Wyo. He returned to the farm in Grand Chute and a little while later hired out as a brakeman on the old M. L. S. & W. R. R. Co. Gerry Donohue was then Superintendent and the road went as far as New London, Wis. He first braked for Conductor Vet Graves. Accidents among brakemen were numerous and therefore Mr. Crowe entered the firing service in 1877. Three years later he was promoted, 1880, to the rank of an engineer. He first piloted Engine No. 1, called the Ben Jones. He served as an engineer on the old Lake Shore road until it was purchased by the Northwestern road in 1893 and thereupon Mr. Crowe was in the employ of the latter concern in passenger service for nearly thirty years and for eight years on the Wolf River Branch out of Antigo, Wis. He was pensioned after nearly fifty years of railroad service on December 1, 1921. May 14, 1922, Langlade Division, B. of L. E., of which he has been a member for over forty years, presented Engineers H. Darton and George Watson, together with Mr. Crowe, with a Badge of Honor, which they prize very highly.

Mr. Crowe was united in marriage August 12, 1884, to Mary Hickey, daughter of Michael and Mary Hickey, of New London, Wis. To this union three children were born, as follows: George, deceased, was born May 27,1885, in Antigo, Wis. He attended the public schools and graduated from the Antigo High School after which he was employed as an accountant in the C. & N. W. offices of Antigo. He enlisted when the World War broke out and served as a Lieutenant in the Medical Detachment of the 81st Field Artillery. He died in service at Camp Mills, N. J., on October 30, 1918, and was buried with military honors at Antigo, Wis.

Niel Crowe, the second son, was born April 27, 1889. He is a physician and surgeon at Delavan, Wisconsin. He served in the World War as a Captain, being stationed at Manchester, England, in the Western General Hospital there.

John Earle Crowe, the third son, was born December 27, 1896. He is now a student in the College of Medicine of Marquette University, from which he graduates as a dentist in 1923.

The Crowe family has resided in Antigo since 1882. M. F. Crowe has been identified with much of Antigos public work, served for thirteen years on the City Council from either the Third or First wards, was Chairman of the Board of Public Works for four years when the sanitary sewers were laid in Antigo, was for two years Chairman of the Board of Public Property and was a member of the Council Committee selected at one time to investigate the feasibility of a municipal gas plant.

p. 278, History of Langlade County Wisconsin Dessureau. Berner Bros. Publishing CO. 1922.