John Harold Crawford 1928-2019


John Harold Crawford, 91, a former owner of the Wood County Democrat, died Friday, July 28, 2019, at Chandler Way Skilled Nursing Facility in Dallas.

He was born and raised near Trenton, the son of the late Clarence and Lilly Crawford. In his early years, John helped his father on the farm. Part of his work included raising hogs. After graduating from Trenton High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he attained the rank of sergeant and was trained as a photographer stationed in Spokane, Wash. He then attended East Texas State Teachers College (now Texas A&M-Commerce) on the GI Bill, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture.

On Nov. 18, 1950, he married his wife of 69 years, Mary Ellen Roach. Other survivors include a sister, Mary Ann St. Clair of Campbell; a daughter, Susan Wheeler of Dallas; a son, Billy Crawford of Oregon; three granddaughters; and two great-grandchildren.

After a brief stint at the newspaper in Vernon, John accepted a reporter/photographer position at the Denison Herald, where he eventually became editor. After about 30 years, he and Mary purchased the Wood County Democrat in Quitman and soon decided to establish the Pottsboro Press in Pottsboro. They also operated the Whitewright Sun for a period of time. After running weekly newspapers for a period, he decided to enter politics and was elected as county judge for Grayson County. Upon retiring from politics, he and Mary ran a print shop in Denison and he sold advertising for the Denison Herald.

A consummate fan of the English language and its misuse, he took particular joy in a good pun, a double entendre, or typographical error. He was active in the Lions Club, Rotary Club, Grayson County Frontier Village and Texas Press Association, where he served as president in 1983-1984. He received the distinguished Sam C. Holloway award from the North & East Texas Press Association 1981.

Crawford also taught a beginning journalism course as an adjunct professor at Austin College in Sherman in 1981. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and was an elder at Hyde Park Presbyterian Church in Denison. He embodied the 12 points of Boy Scouting: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

Memorials may be sent to Hyde Park Presbyterian Church, 1708 S. Hyde Park Ave., Denison, TX 75020.