H. H. (HOD) AND ELIZABETH DOONAN CROSBY
From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
By Helen Badgett
Elizabeth Doonan was born in Ontario, Can. on June 14, 1877, to Alexander Doonan and Charlotte (Kingsley) Doonan. Alexander Doonan died when Elizabeth was seven years old. Charlotte Doonan brought Elizabeth and Edward to Montana in May, 1891. Another daughter, Emma, came from Canada later. Charlotte's remaining daughter, Carrie, continued to live in Ontario. Elizabeth attended school at St. Labre's Mission at Ashland. She moved to Miles City and finished elementary school and passed the examinations to teach school and taught at Decker and at Fallon. Frank Crosby then hired her to teach school on Powder River. She married H. H. (Hod) Crosby in December, 1899. Hod Crosby was born at Menominee, Wis., to E. F. and Martha Crosby. He spent the first years of his life at what is now Estelline, S. D. The family migrated to the lower Powder River country in 1890 when Hod was 12 years old. He rode roughstring for the
Roundup wagon for several years and freighted wool from the North side into Miles City driving a jerk-line string of 16 horses.
Elizabeth was alone with her children at their outfit on the lower Mizpah during Roundup and Freighting seasons. She cared for her own team and visited her neighbors on the creek with Marie and Ethel, travelling by buggy. Hod and Elizabeth separated when Helen, the third daughter, was born. Their first born child, a son, died in infancy.
Hod married Laura Hill Watkins and had four children by his second marriage, a son, Dick, and three daughters, Dorothy, Dixie and Betty.
Elizabeth often spoke of her terror of rattlesnakes during the ranch years; on more than one occasion discovering that a snake had made its way into the log house while her little girls were yet too tiny to recognize the danger. She raised we three girls in Miles City.
Mother moved to Missoula and I, Helen, graduated from high school but returned to Miles City and made our home with my sister, Marie Olander, during the last few years of her life. She died in late August, 1964. During Mother's lifetime she was a housekeeper and "adopted" Mother in many homes. The numerous children she helped to raise affectionately called her "Crawby."
Hod Crosby died in June, 1946, after moving from Mizpah to Trail Creek, to Crow Agency, a brief sojourn at Drummond in western Montana and back to Mizpah Creek where he had a ranch at the time of his death. My stepmother, Laura, is still living as are the seven of us, Hod's children.