Like branches on a tree, we all grow in different directions yet our roots remain the same.
Fletcher Crawford was born on November 30, 1885 in Ringhold, Louisiana. He was one of 10 children born to Henry and Victoria Crawford. Fletcher was a provider and hard worker for his family. He worked 50 hours per week as a farmer and was employed at the Tree City Grocery Store. Most of all, Fletcher also loved God. “Deacon” as he was called served as an ordained Baptist minister for many years. This is our Grandpa.
Anna Buckner was born on an Ouachita Indian Reservation near Chidester, Arkansas to Peter and Lula Buckner on September 10, 1895. Anna was one of 8 children. Her father, Peter Buckner was an American Indian of the Choctow Tribe. Anna served her family and also worked mornings during the week caring for an aged wealthy white female neighbor. Anna served in many capacities including as Worthy Matron of the local Eastern Star Chapter. This is our Grandmother.
On February 5, 1916, Fletcher Crawford and Anna Buckner were married in Jefferson, Marion County, Texas. Despite lives that began in slavery and little eduction, they wanted to leave a successful legacy. Together, they raised 9 girls and 9 boys. Fletcher and Anna were both principled and well respected in the community by their neighbors, both black and white. They served God at Mission Chapel Baptist Church. In the shadow of slavery, they left an inheritance of an unshakable faith in God, a commitment to give your best in every task, and the courage and survival instincts to stand for what you feel strongly about. They also taught their children to never spend unnecessary time on regrets of the past and use that energy to create the most for the future. While racial discrimination and segregation were evident throughout the country, the Crawfords were never subjected to any such overt acts. Fletcher and Anna shared their lives together for 50 years until Anna’s death in 1966. Fletcher passed away 15 years later. Both are buried at Bethlehem Cemetery in Jefferson Texas.
These are the names of The Crawford children: Robert, Liza, Edmond, Fletcher Jr, Clemmie, Olivia, Willie, Carrie, Archie, Eddison, Lula Mae, Mildred, Dennis, Milton, Mozelle, LeeAnne, Helen and James.
There were times of triumphs, joy, sickness, tragedies and need but we still have a great bond that will live on through the ages with the help of God. We are not only high school graduates but college graduates with bachelors, master and doctorate degrees. We are a family of servicemen. We are proud that seven of the Crawford brothers served in the United States Armed Force. We are a family of lawyers, engineers, entrepreneurs, loan officers, electricians, mechanics, mental health counselors, directors, pastors, photographers, film writers, flight attendants and the list goes on and on.
We have crossed the rivers of race relations and are equipped with knowledge to rise above poverty, debt and ignorance. Although each generation may see things differently or approach things differently, we still are guided by the principle carried down from generation to generation: Let us FOREVER onward strive. Our life style demands hope in God. The path is blazed for us to continue to follow with LOVE. Let us LOVE each other as God has and continue to truly Love and Bless us.