Contra Costa County












JASPER NEWTON CROW, a rancher of the Sycamore valley, Contra Costa county, was born in central Missouri, January 22, 1833, the second son of his parents, Lewis and Nancy (Zumalt) Crow, both of whom were natives of the same state.  The father eventually located in Lee county, Iowa, from which place the entire family crossed the plains with ox teams, arriving in California in September, 1853.  The first winter was spent in the Santa Clara valley, after which they located in what has since been known as Crow canyon, where the father and his five sons each took up a quarter section of land.  The father became the owner of two hundred and ninety acres, which is now in possession of John Lewis.  Mr. Crow died at the age of sixty-two years, while his wife lived to the ripe old age of eighty-seven.  Besides Jasper N., they were the parents of the following children:  William C., John J., Armilda J., Francis M., Lewis A., and Olivia A.


Jasper N. Crow pre-empted a quarter-section of land at the same time that the rest of the family located in Crow canyon, and improved and cultivated the same for some time.  He finally sold out and since then has rented property in various locations, among them being Haywards, Livermore, San Ramon, Tassajara, Pleasanton, and in Sycamore valley is now conducted the Owens ranch.  Mr. Crow has been married twice, his first wife being Adelaide Cline, a native of Oregon, who died at the age of twenty-one years.  In 1868 he married Josephine Williams, who was born in Oregon, the daughter of David Williams.  She died at the age of forty-six years, leaving six children, namely:  Lewis D., a farmer, who married Nellie Babbitts, by whom he has two children, Irving Lewis and Earl; Nancy Jane, who married Henry Christmann, by whom she has two children, Gertrude and Henry; William, who married Maggie Jones and lives in Oakland; Leonor, who married Lewis Eddy and has one child, Lola Evelyn; and two who died in youth.



[Inserted by D. Toole]

1964 Oct 18, Daily Review, P13, Hayward, California

Crow Canyon

A good friend of Daniel Culp was Jasper Newton Crow, whose father and mother preempted a quarter section of 160 acres in what became known as Crow Canyon.  Each of the five sons of Lewis and Nancy Zumalt Crow also preempted a quarter section adjacent to each other until they owned nearly 1,000 acres on both sides of the Crow Canyon road.  The elder Lewis Crow died at 62, but his widow survived until she was 87.  Most of the Crow family sold their land in the canyon, and Jasper Crow later moved his farm to a home built in Hayward proper.  Jasper Crow in 1868 married Josephine Williams and their family consisted of six children.  The oldest, Lewis Crow, married Nellie Babbits, the next, Nancy Crow, married Henry Christmann, and another daughter, Leonor, married Lewis Eddy. 


The Crow family of Crow Canyon is sometimes confused with the Clinton Pike Crow family who founded Crow’s Landing in Stanislaus County.  However, the two families were not related.  Clinton Pike Crow came to California in 1854, driving a herd of 800 cattle from Missouri to Stockton, Calif.  Here he engaged in the grocery business and as a sideline operated the “Clara Crow,” a steamer which traveled the San Joaquin river from Stockton to river towns like Riverbank, Empire City, Crow’s Landing and  Stanislaus City.


Grazing Land

Clinton Pike Crow acquired land for grazing and grain growing near the confluence of the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and San Joaquin Rivers and there operated a trading store called Crow’s Landing.  In later life Clinton P. Crow retired to San Jose but still operated his 1,300 acre wheat and barley ranch at the landing.  His family home, surrounded by a fruit orchard, was on Saratoga Avenue in San Jose.




Transcribed by Donna Toole.

­­­­Source: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 994-995. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

© 2016  Donna Toole.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library