Born in Oregon, Holt County, Missouri, on 19 December 1861, Edward was the sixth of seven children of George Washington and Elizabeth Hopkins (Barnes) Crow. He graduated high school in Carthage, Jasper County, and, while young, he served as a member of the Carthage Light Guard, which later became the 2nd Missouri Militia. Edward moved to St. Louis to study law at Washington University, graduating in 1880. He was admitted to the Missouri bar the following year. He had a brief annulled marriage while still in school, and then, on 14 September 1889, he married Gustavia “Gussie” Hanna, in Marshall, Saline County. In 1893, he began his long career in politics and the law.

He was appointed to complete a term as city attorney in Webb City, in southeast Missouri, and then was elected to that same post. Following his term, he was appointed circuit judge for Jasper and Lawrence Counties and served as an attorney for Anheuser-Busch. In 1896, Crow was nominated as attorney general for the state of Missouri, a position he won and then held for eight years, from 1897 until 1905. During his time as Missouri’s twenty-third attorney general, he was widely acclaimed for his skills as the state’s highest-ranking lawyer.

After his tenure as attorney general, Edward Crow settled in St. Louis, opening a law office in the Wainwright Building. He and Gussie bought a mansion on Magnolia Avenue, overlooking Tower Grove Park where they began raising their family. The 1910 federal census shows them living at 4549 Magnolia with son Edward Hanna, age nineteen, working as a farmer; daughter Margaret Elizabeth, age eighteen; daughter Tannye Celeste, age sixteen; daughter Gussie Madeline, age thirteen; son Rector, age nine; son Robert Coke, age three; and twin boys, Donald Kelly and Ronald Barnes, age two. Shortly after the census, the family added another daughter, Dorothy Frances, and, in 1911, another son, Richard. By then, they had moved to Eureka, Missouri. City directories show they lived in Eureka, Missouri, for a few years before moving to a mansion at 83 Vandeventer Place.

Edward Coke Crow
Edward Coke Crow
Photo in the Public Domain

By 1920, the family had moved to Los Angeles, where Edward and Gussie rented a home along with five of the younger children, daughter Margaret, her husband, and young son. The federal census indicates that Edward was not working, but Margaret’s husband was a stockbroker. Subsequent censuses reveal that Edward continued to practice law and travel between St. Louis and California, while his family remained there.

Edward Coke Crow died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the Los Alamitos Sanitarium in Orange County, California, on 9 May 1945. He had been in the sanitarium for two years prior to his death. Three years later, Gussie died in the same sanitarium. Both were cremated and now share a vault at the Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, Los Angeles County, California.

(Sources include the federal census, death certificates, city directories, and numerous short biographies published in books and online)

Written by Ilene Kanfer Murray
December 2019
© 2019, St. Louis Genealogical Society

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Last Modified: 25-Feb-2020 20:35