Rufus H. Crosby

Hannibal Hamlin (1809-1891)

The most famous son of Hampden, Maine, Hamlin represented Maine in the House and Senate and was Lincoln's Vice-President in the first term.
[Harpers Weekly]

Rufus Hallburton Crosby (1834-1891) was born in Hampden, Maine and brought up on the family farm. He attended the common schools and Hampden Academy. In 1854, he went west to Minnesota and on to Kansas in 1855. With his brother William, he first opened a store in Oceana in Atchison County before relocating to Grasshopper Falls and building a store on the corner of Louisa and Sycamore streets in 1856. On September 8, 1856, the store and all its contents were burned in a raid by a group of South Carolinians who came from Hickory Point to avenge the death of a pro- slavery man named Jackson who had been killed by free-state men. [Cutler, History, Jefferson County, Part 8]

Crosby taught school in Missouri that winter and in the spring, rebuilt the store in Grasshopper Falls which continued until 1879. When the Grasshopper River (from its French name, Soutraille) was renamed as the Delaware River, the town name was changed to Valley Falls. In 1863, Crosby was briefly publisher of the Valley Falls Jeffersonian and in 1879 he bought the Valley Falls Bank of Deposit. [Oskaloosa Times, May 21, 1891] An earlier bank had gone bankrupt in the town and Crosby bought its building, furniture and fixtures. [] For a number of years Crosby Brothers traded cattle across the state. In 1872, Crosby was elected county commissioner and he was active in the movement to build a high school in Valley Falls. Politically, he was a "radical Republican" and an "active Prohibitionist." [Oskaloosa Times, May 21, 1891]

Notable at the Topeka convention as its youngest member, W. A. Phillips remembered him as coming from "way down in Maine, but [had] recently been in Wisconsin (sic). A republican, young, earnest, and enthusiastic, he received some sharp twitting from the older and more experienced politicians." [Phillips, Conquest, 136]

Charles Clark