A prominent 19th century resident of Tolland County, Connecticut, Ingoldsby Work Crawford's political claim to fame rests on his near decade of service as a Representative in the Connecticut Legislature. The rare portrait of him shown above was located via Charles Hammond's History of Union, Connecticut (published in 1893) and is very likely the only portrait you'll ever see of Mr. Crawford. This book offers up the only available biography on him and also gives an alternate spelling of Crawford's first name in the above picture. The rest of his biographical notice spells his name as "Ingoldsby" (other variations on his first name spell it as "Inglesby" and "Ingolsby") but the majority of the sources I've found spell it as it is written in the title of this article!
Crawford was born in Union, Connecticut on August 7, 1786, the eighth child born to Deacon Samuel Crawford and his first wife, Sarah Work. Samuel would have a total of 13 children during his life (including three with his second wife Olivia Eddy) before his death in 1824 at age 75. His son Ingoldsby is recorded in the aforementioned History of Union, Connecticut as receiving "a fair education, mostly by his own study" and is also listed a being the owner of a farm given to him by his father.
Crawford is recorded as marrying in May 1810 to Ms. Rhoda Taft, and this union eventually produced nine children over twenty-three years time. They are listed as follows: Calista (1811-1890), Daniel (1813-1867), Caroline (born 1816), Sarah Ann (1819-1838), Logan (1822-1910), Marcia (born 1824), Ossian (born 1827), Harriet (born 1831) and Alonzo (born 1834).
Throughout his long life of over eighty years, Crawford earned a reputation as one of Union, Connecticut's most prominent citizens, and involved himself in various aspects of public life in his native town. He is listed as being a member of the local Universalist Church as well as a high ranking Mason. Crawford is also recorded as having an interest in the Union school system and served as a member of the examining board that licensed teachers.
In addition to the above activities, Ingoldsby Crawford was also elected to numerous political offices, both at the local and state levels. In the mid 1810s, he served as an Associate Justice on the Tolland County Court and in 1818 was a delegate to the Connecticut State Constitutional Convention.
Crawford's name was featured in the above roster of Connecticut State Senators in 1826.
In 1816 Ingoldsby W. Crawford was elected to the first of many terms in the Connecticut State House of Representatives. He represented Tolland County in the legislature from 1816-1820 and again in the years 1822, 1824 and 1825. In 1826 he was elected to his first term in the Connecticut State Senate (serving until 1827) and was subsequently reelected to that body in 1830 and 1848. During the 1830s Crawford was appointed to the position of Collector of the Port of New London under the administration of then-President Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) and is recorded as holding this post for eight years.
Nearly a decade after his last Senate term, Crawford was named to the post of Union Town Clerk and Treasurer, serving in this position from 1857 to 1865. This was the last public office Crawford held, as he died two years afterward on November 24, 1867, at age 81. He was preceded in death by his wife Rhoda, who had died three years previously at age 74. Both were subsequently buried in the Rindge Cemetery in Union, Connecticut.
In a recent political name discovery, another Connecticut politician has been located who also has the unusual first name "Ingoldsby", albeit with a slight variation in spelling. Read on to find out more!
Following on the heels of the preceding Mr. Crawford is Ingoldsbee Work Trowbridge. While both men bear the same first and middle names, it is not believed that they are related, and like Mr. Crawford, Trowbridge's first name is listed as being spelled in a number of ways, including "Ingoldsby" and "Ingoldsbee". The Modern History of Windham County (where the above portrait was located) lists his name as being spelled with a "bee", and it is that spelling that is listed here.
Ingoldsbee Trowbridge was born in the town of Eastford, Connecticut on March 9, 1845, one of five children born to Philander and Harriett Durfee Trowbridge. He received his education in the schools of Eastford and also worked on the family farm when he was a child. The Trowbridge family eventually left the confines of Eastford and removed to the village of Pomfret, where Ingoldsbee took over the management of the family homestead after his father retired.
The Modern History of Windham County lists Trowbridge as an "energetic and progressive farmer, constantly looking for chances to improve his land, to enhance its productiveness and make his farm more valuable." Trowbridge's farm gained distinction as being the first in Windham County to have a silo built on its property, and this addition is listed as being constructed by Trowbridge himself. In 1879 he married in Pomfret to Caroline May Perrin (1848-1917) and they eventually became the parents of two children, Lucia Perrin (born 1880) and John Work (born 1886).
In the years after his marriage, Trowbridge continued to make improvements to his farm (referred to as Owaneco Farm) and is also remarked as being a major breeder of high-grade Guernsey cattle, "having a fine herd of these cows upon his place." While still an active farmer, Trowbridge also began treading the political waters in the mid-1890s, mounting an unsuccessful candidacy for the Connecticut State House of Representatives in 1894. Trowbridge ran as a Republican in that year's contest and received a meager 14 votes! A result of that election is posted below.
Trowbridge ran again for the Connecticut legislature in November 1896 and was this time successful. He was reelected in the following year and served in the sessions of 1897-1898. His legislative service was remarked as being of "excellent record" by the Modern History of Windham County and after returning home to Pomfret continued to farm until turning over its management to his son John.
Ingoldsbee Trowbridge died at age 73 on July 13, 1919, in Putnam, Connecticut and had been preceded in death by his wife Sarah, who had died two years previously on June 18, 1917.