Kane in McKean County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Hailed from Kane — Co-Founded Erie Insurance
During his time growing up in Kane and shortly after the Spanish-American War, O.G. entered into a minority enlistment in the U.S. Navy on board the USS Michigan (later Wolverine) in Erie on December 5, 1900. He was 15 years and 11 months old. He would spend the next five years serving on eight ships at sea, from ancient wooden-hulled sailing ships to armored cruisers and the latest battleships. Seaman Crawford was honorably discharged the day before his 21st birthday, December 24, 1905. In the following two decades, he relocated to Erie and worked as a passenger car brakeman for the Pennsylvania Railroad on its Erie to Emporium run. It was in Erie that he met H.O. Hirt in 1917. Their acquaintance would lead to the founding of Erie Insurance Exchange in Erie, Pa., now the principal
From 1922 to 1925, the two men were working as salesmen for the Philadelphia-based insurer Philadelphia Indemnity Exchange, when they decided to strike out on their own and take advantage of the booming insurance market for personal automobiles. In 1925, just four years before the onset of the Great Depression, the entrepreneurs organized the Erie Insurance Exchange and its managing corporation, Erie Indemnity Company, on April 20, 1925, after raising $31,000 in start-up capital.
The partnership of O.G. Crawford as Vice-President and Assistant Manager and H.O. Hirt as Secretary and Manager (CEO) lasted until 1933, when O.G. decided to retire from Erie Insurance. Although his time with Erie Insurance was but eight years, his impact during the company's foundational years was significant.
H.O. Hirt would go on to lead Erie Insurance for more than 50 years, but he always praised his friend and one-time business partner. Their relationship was based mutual respect for each other's sales ability, values and individual strengths, all of which were a winning for launching The ERIE. On the occasion of The ERIE's 40th Anniversary, Mr. Hirt remarked "There never would have been an ERIE without Ollie. For Ollie was more of a promoter than I ever could be...Ollie's chief contribution to The ERIE was NERVE. He was the promoter. I was the balance wheel. He was the Father. I was the Mother."
On December 21, 1961, O.G. Crawford passed away just short of his 77th birthday and was buried at the Veterans National Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. O.G.'s legacy at Erie Insurance is honored by their generous donations toward this amphitheater in his beloved childhood town.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • War, Spanish-American.
Location. 41° 39.666′ N, 78° 48.657′ W. Marker is in Kane, Pennsylvania, in McKean County. Marker is on Fraley Street (U.S. 6) 0.1 miles north of Field Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Kane PA 16735, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 16 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Thomas L. Kane (approx. ¼ mile away); Patrolman Steven M. Jerman Memorial Park (approx. 0.6 miles away); Seneca Spring (approx. 0.6 miles away); Dr. Edward H. McCleery (approx. 5.1 miles away); Nebo Lutheran Chapel and Cemetery (approx. 9 miles away); First State Game Lands (approx. 13.7 miles away); Kinzua Dam (approx. 15.8 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. ERIE Cofounder‘s Legacy Honored in Hometown . (Submitted on August 30, 2019, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.)
2. Oliver Grover Crawford at FindAGrave.com. (Submitted on August 30, 2019, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 8, 2019. It was originally submitted on August 30, 2019, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 88 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 30, 2019, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.