Born Dec. 6, 1820, Nashville, TN;
died Dec. 23, 1884, Springfield, MO
L.A.D. Crenshaw, described in his obituary in the Springfield Daily Herald as "one of Greene County's oldest and most honored citizens", spent his early youth in Tennessee and was known to have been a "quite young Deputy Constable". Son of William Tate Crenshaw & Susannah Ward Crenshaw. Early settler of Greene County, MO and Springfield, ca. 1841-43. Mississippi River trader with his father. Based in New Orleans 1843-44: Second clerk on steamer Republic between New Orleans and Shreveport in the Red River trade on the Mississippi; clerk on the Hunter for nine months in the Mississippi River trade. Began dealing in mules and livestock in Springfield, ca. 1845-50. In 1849 at the outset of the California Gold Rush, he led 27 men to California with a wagon train carrying provisions, mules, livestock, and merchandise of all kinds; one of several trips as guide and merchant, but not for gold prospecting. Returned to Springfield--one trip noted around Cape Horn with mules and wagons on the boat--and the stock business, 1851-61. Founded Crenshaw Hardware Co. on South Avenue, Springfield; wholesaler in hardware. Farmed successfully until the end of his life; had one of the largest and finest farms in Greene County. Known as an authority on the Mule Market. Land investor. One of the principal developers of the Springfield and Westrern Missouri Railroad ("The Gulf Line"). During the Civil War, although a Southerner, like many Missourians (including Bingham) he was a Whig and did not believe in secession. He courageously freed his slaves and supported the Union and became an effective civilian spy. He notified Union Gen. Frans Sigel of Confederate plans to take Springfield and convinced him to come to Springfield to defeat these plans, and he guided the Union troops around Springfield under Sigel and Fremont. Married twice: first wife Mary Louisa Crenshaw, a cousin, died. Second marriage to Fanny Smith, 1867, lasted until his death (see pendant portrait of Fanny Smith Crenshaw by Bingham, GCBCRS #3). LAD Crenshaw was characterized by Fanny after his death: "Small and wiry, seemed to never tire if he could get to sleep from 2 til 8, but was fresh & good natured all the balance of the 24 hours, and was the best husband I have ever known.....A warm friend & a fearless enemy. A sharp, quick, decisive man, of generous impulses & open heart, yet the last person it would be safe to attempt an imposition upon. A lover of law & order and in the early history of his county no name was more a terror to the lawless than his."