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Biographical entry Crawford, Alexander (1857 - 1935)

Born
5 May 1857
Belfast, Ireland
Died
8 November 1935
South Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Occupation
Agriculturalist

Summary

Alexander Crawford was a chief inspector on rabbit and vermin for the Western Australian Bureau of Agriculture (1896-1920c). He was also employed by the Victorian Government to promote and educate people in dairy production and was manager of the ill-fated Victorian Creamery and Butter Company (1891-1895 c.).

Details

Soon after graduating from Ireland's Albert Agricultural College, Glasnevin, Alexander Crawford migrated to Australia for health reasons. It is though he spent some time in Queensland, then surveying routes through Western Australia for the transcontinental railway and finally managing a butter factory in Ballan, Victoria. In 1881 took over the part-ownership of a sheep run in Moorarrie, Western Australia, but left for Perth the following year.

Crawford then travelled to Europe to observe dairy farming practices and upon his return was appointed manger of a travelling Victorian dairy. This job entailed travelling by rail to thirty-eight centres providing practical demonstrations and lectures on cheese and butter production and hygienic operation of equipment. He also wrote several reports and articles on a wide range of subjects within the field of dairy farming and production.

In 1891 he took over the management of the Victorian Creamery and Butter Company which folded in 1895 after Crawford had left. A Royal Commission found irregularities in the accounts of the company, and although no official blame or charges were laid against Crawford his reputation was said to be irreversibly damaged. From 1896 to around 1920 Alexander Crawford worked for the Western Australian Bureau of Agriculture. As part of this position he was appointed chief-inspector under the Rabbit and Vermin Acts and travelled across the outback checking the rabbit proof fences. He was also an active member of the Wesley Church in William Street Perth and is commemorated there by a plaque.

Events

1870s
Life event - Migrated to Australia
1881
Career position - Part-owner of Moorarrie sheep run
1888 - 1890
Career position - Manager of the travelling dairy throughout Victoria
1891 - c. 1895
Career position - Manager of the Victorian Creamery and Butter Co.
1896
Career position - Bureau of Agriculture in Perth
1899 -
Career position - Councillor of the Royal Agriculture Society of Western Australia
1903 - 1905
Career position - Acting Director of the Bureau of Agriculture in Perth
1905 - c. 1908
Career position - Acting Undersecretary for the Bureau of Agriculture in Perth
1909 - 1919
Career position - Chief Inspector under the Rabbit and Vermin Acts
1916
Career position - President of the Royal Agriculture Society of Western Australia

Archival resources

Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science

  • Australian Botanists - Biographies, MS 064; Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science. Details

Published resources

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Maiden, J.H., 'Records of Australian Botanists', Journal and Proceedings of The Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. lv, 1921, pp. 60-132; 150-169. Details

Online Resources

McCarthy, G.J.