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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Crosby Family Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1865-1925
Creator: Crosby Family (1836-1917)
Extent: .25 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0054
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Family papers, including adoption papers, a civil war discharge, and information on the Crosby Sliding Door Jack, including a patent application.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: These papers were collected for the University of Iowa Libraries by George Sheets in the late 1950s.

Preferred Citation: Crosby Family Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

The Crosby Family Papers include documents concerning Leonard Ezra Crosby (1836-1917), Abbie (Lake) Crosby (?-1903), and their son Frederic C. Crosby (1862-?). Leonard lived in Painesville, Ohio, for one year as a child and moved to Janesville, Wisconsin, where he lived for much of his young adult life. He was married to Abbie L. Lake in 1857 and the couple had two children, a daughter and a son, Frederic. Frederic, also a resident of Janesville, was adopted by the Crosbys in 1869 at the age of seven. In 1864, one year before the end of the Civil War, Leonard enlisted in the 42nd Wisconsin Volunteer Army and received an Honorable Discharge when the fighting ended. The Crosbys moved to Iowa in 1875, living in Austinville, Aplington, and Cedar Falls. As an adult, Frederic eventually settled in Coggon, Iowa, and invented The Crosby Sliding Door Jack, a device for opening and closing the sliding doors of railroad cars, securing a patent in 1925.

The Crosby Family Papers contain a certificate of adoption, a United States patent, and a certificate of honorable discharge from the volunteer army. Also included are photographs and advertisements for The Crosby Sliding Door Jack, an obituary for Leonard Crosby, a small American flag, and miscellany.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Certificate of adoption for Frederic(k) J. Coste (?) with letter from Rock County, Wisconsin judge, July 12 - 1869
  • The Crosby Sliding Car Door Jack materials, including two photographs
  • Miscellaneous
  • Small silk American flag
  • Card with political song (Goodbye, Grover, Goodbye) and mathematical figures on the reverse
  • Obituary for Leonard Crosby, The Parkersburg Eclipse, November 1 - 1917
  • Patent certificate for door jacks with patent application, Frederic C. Crosby, March 17 - 1925
  • Soldiers discharge certificate for Leonard E. Crosby, June 29 - 1865

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Genre/Form of Materials:

Family Names:
Crosby family