Crabb, A. Richard (Alexander Richard) (1911-1999) | Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections
The Crabb family travelled to the Military Tract to claim land which had been set aside for the soldiers of the War of 1812. The land was claimed by John Crabb, his wife and children, John having enlisted in Virginia. The farm was located in McDonough County about forty miles east of the site which Joseph Smith selected six years later for Nauvoo.
Richard Crabb, born in 1911, grew up on that farm, which remained in the family more than 150 years. An uncle, Daniel M. Crabb, travelled in the McDonough Militia to meet Governor Thomas Ford on June 21, 1844, and travelled with him as a member of his special guard to Nauvoo during the week which ended with the murder of Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum.
Crabb attended Western Illinois University, majoring in history. During the years of the Great Depression he worked his way through college as a regional reporter for the Peoria Star and the Quincy Herald Whig. While in college he was editor of the college's yearbook, the Sequel. With a itinerant printer, Crabb organized a weekly newspaper in Macomb, Ill., the McDonough Times, which was published for many years until it was combined with another publication. Crabb has been in the business of communications and associated with the newspaper business ever since, he was the former consulting editor for the Daily Journal in DuPage County.
Richard Crabb has written several books that have been distributed nationally. Each of them documents a major American development with a constant focus on the key people who made it possible.
One of Crabb's most recent is Radio's Beautiful Day, a documentary of the first five decades in broadcasting in America based on the experience of Everett Mitchell, who more than sixty years ago began a radio broadcast with these famous words: "It's a beautiful day in Chicago, and I hope it is even more beautiful wherever you are." The book earned a special citation from the American Association for State and Local History.
Birth of a Giant spotlights the men and incidents that gave America the motorcar. The book earned the 1971 award of the American Antique Car Association for the best book written on the automobile that year.
Empire on the Platte, the book commissioned to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the State of Nebraska, documents the big scale operations of the Olive family on the historic Chishold Trail.
The Hybrid Corn-makers is the story of the development of hybrid corn--seen as the greatest development in agriculture. Hybrid corn had more to do with the escalation of corn production than any other development, including pesticides. Originally published by Rutgers in 1942, an new updated version was published by the author in 1992.
Richard Crabb died May 12, 1999. He was survived by his second wife, Joan Hiser and two children, Owen L. (Anne) Crabb and Ann (Daniel) Crabb, as well as four grandchildren.