by Norma J. (Sauer) Campbell (September 2002)
Crump was a saw mill settlement in Garfield Township. Crump had several stores, a blacksmith shop, an ashery (collected ashes from mills to make lye soap), a post office with William R. Stevens the first postmaster on August 30, 1898, a large hardware developed as did a bank. There even was a millinery shop. The three Rogner brothers built the Crump Hotel. The saloon did a roaring business as well as the ladies lounge in the rear, which had a separate side entrance.
Eight sawmills in a three mile radius produced general construction lumber as well as lathe, shingles, hoops, railway ties and mine props. Michigan Central and Detroit and Mackinaw Railroad lines ran to the east of Crump area about seven miles and many a load of lumber was pulled down Anderson Road by steam engines to the railway station at Lengsville.
Lengsville was a settlement formed around the P.L. Sherman Lumber Mill. It was located north of Linwood on Elevator Road between Anderson and Prevo roads.
The north branch of the Kawkawlin River runs through south western Garfield Township and had the Soper Mill, Karbowski and Deuford Mills on its banks. LaForest, Confer and the Skelton Mills were not on a water way. The Saginaw Division Lumber Company at Crump was the largest and Princing Mill, one mile west and one mile north, was most famous for the tragic saw mill explosion in 1910.
The night watchman had neglected to check boilers and they were not double checked by the day men. The cold water hit the flues in the dry boiler, just after the day's operation began. The tremendous amount of steam formed within the boilers caused the fatal explosion. Seven men were killed and many injured on this tragic day. People came from everywhere to witness the devastation. The mill was never rebuilt, but a portable sawmill took its place. Many of these portables became prevalent for they could be easily moved to the timber site. After timber was cut off, the land became farm land, a crossroads settlement.
Crump was name after Rousseau O. Crump, a native of New York, who with family in 1881, toured Northern Michigan, stopping in Bay City to visit relatives, and was impressed with the push and business energy of the two Bay Cities. He moved his Planning Mill from New York here and formed the Crump Manufacturing Company, located at Randolph and Henry Streets.
R.O. Crump was elected to Congress from the 10th District of Michigan in 1894. He also was the Mayor of West Bay City for the years of 1893-1895.
R.O. Crump's son Shelly married Josephine Eldridge. Josie was the daughter of Theron Agard Eldridge and Margaret Sauer. Margaret Sauer is the gr-gr-aunt of Norma (Sauer) Campbell.