This photograph of Jack Grantham was taken at the home of Tom and Diana Williams. The photographic portrait he was holding is assumed to be of Isham Crowley. In a note which accompanied some documents he sent us, Jack wrote, "Many years ago I saw a picture of Isham, hanging on the wall of a farmhouse at Crowley Prairie. That was in 1939 and everyone wanted me to see that picture." Jack's research convinced him that the original photograph from which the portrait was made was taken by Adolphus Gouhenant.
In 1989, I read Jack's transcription of a family letter written during the Civil War. It had been published in the May 1986 Footprints which I stumbled on in the Weatherford Public Library Genealogy Room. The introduction to the text said, "The original of this letter is in the possession of Jack Crenshaw Grantham, Jr. He is the great-grandson of Frances L. Crowley Geeo, daughter of Richard C. Crowley, son of Isham Crowley." There was a reference in the letter to one of George's great-grandfathers, Hiram Crowley. My husband and I wrote to Jack, thanking him for sharing the letter and inquiring if there were other family correspondence in his collection. He responded with a telephone call and shortly afterwards sent us a large packet of information with this attached letter:
4 Oct 1989
My research took me along paths which are not always explored by those who do genealogy as a way to fill out pedigree charts with names and dates. My efforts included that, but it also included a study of the history of their times, and a probe into the background of their neighbors, and the people who purchased things at the estate sales of our forefathers.
This has brought to me a much larger pile of papers than is normal to an expedition into the past. I have not sent all of this background material to you, because it needs to be sorted out and organized into a structured landscape, into which, we place Hiram, and those who went before Hiram, but who shaped his mind, and yours and mine.
Please return these papers to me, but copy them. What you now think is not important will show up later to be a key to that door into the realm where Hiram once dwelt, with Elizabeth and Isham.
Transcribed by Pat Crowley, January 9, 2002
We took Jack's advice seriously and tried to follow his example. During the years that followed, he supplied keys that opened many doors to the past. With words, Jack painted pictures of Crowley Prairie and the people who settled along the banks of of Bear Creek. We benefited from his dedication to accurate research and his willingness to share his knowledge. He was an inspiration to us and we valued his friendship.
Pat & George Crowley
Photograph and content © 2002 to present by Pat Crowley