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Crosby Family Papers

Identifier: MsC0054

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Scope and Contents

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.


  • Creation: 1865-1925

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical / Historical

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.

A. Neville, September 2005


0.25 Linear Feet (Shares a box with MsC0053)

Language of Materials



Family papers, including adoption papers, a civil war discharge, and information on the Crosby Sliding Door Jack, including a patent application.

Physical Access Requirements

The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, usecoll Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials

Method of Acquisition

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

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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)