U.S. Marshal William Crawford
William W. Crawford, Serg’t. At Arms, House of Representatives, 23rd Montana Legislature, 1933
Courtesy of Montana Historical Society – Photographic Archives

William W. Crawford, 21st United States Marshal for the District of Montana

A native of Leadville, Colorado, William W. Crawford was born on March 26, 1887, where his father was the manager of the Big Johnny silver mine. He moved to Butte, Montana with his parents when he was six years of age. After his schooling, Crawford worked in the Butte mines for several years and then moved to Great Falls on October 17, 1910, working in the engine service of the Great Northern Railway as a fireman and then later as an engineer. In August of 1914 Crawford was married to the former Anna Marie Gerke of Great Falls, this union lasted for over 40 years.

In 1933, Crawford served as Sergeant At Arms of the Montana House of Representatives during the regular and special sessions. In July 1934, Crawford was appointed a deputy U.S. marshal by Marshal Sid Willis and served in that capacity until he was appointed (recess) by President Franklin Roosevelt as United States Marshal for the District of Montana on August 17, 1938, replacing Sid A. Willis. A troubled nomination within the local Democratic Party; Crawford failed to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1939 and he was replaced by Chief Deputy Engelhart Lieberg (Court Appointee) on August 7th. Crawford was then appointed Chief Deputy by Marshal Lieberg and held that position until 1941, when he resigned. He returned to the Great Northern as an engineer, retiring in 1952 with 43 years of seniority on that road. 

Marshal Crawford died on December 24, 1954 in Great Falls and was buried at Mount Olive Cemetery; he was 67 years of age.

Great Falls Tribune: 8/1/34:10; 8/18/38:12, 8/21/38:8; 8/9/39:1; 9/21/39:1, 12/25/54:1