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Lewis E. Crawford Collection

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: 2004-012

Scope and Contents

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.


  • Creation: 1877-circa 1960


Conditions Governing Access

The Lewis E. Crawford Collection has no restrictions and is available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Lewis E. Crawford Collection is the property of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Materials, even if owned by the NCWHM, may be protected under third party copyright. It is the patron’s responsibility to research and secure any such additional copyright and pay any required fees or royalties. It is not the intention of the NCWHM to impede upon any third party rights, and the NCWHM cannot be held responsible if the patron is involved in legal action due to violation of third party copyright claims.

Biographical / Historical

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.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 document box)

Language of Materials



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


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 on the item description. The estimated date of all copy images is circa 1960.

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.

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).


Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the NCWHM Special Collections at Dickinson Research Center Repository

1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City Oklahoma 73111 United States