Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


A broad-minded, sympathetic and exceptionally experienced executive, whose administration of an important trust has commended him alike to all classes of citizens is Benjamin Franklin Crews, the efficient and popular superintendent of the County Hospital. He was born on a farm in Monterey county, about four miles south of Watsonville, September 20, 1870, the son of B. F. and Annie (Dunning) Crews, and enjoyed a boyhood enlivened by the stirring stories of his father, who had come to California soon after the discovery of gold and spent a number of years in mining ventures on the line between Virginia City and Sacramento. After the close of the Civil war, that rocked even distant California, the father came to Pajaro valley in 1865 and here followed agricultural pursuits. He had crossed the Great Plains with teams of oxen, and had undergone many of the privations of the real pioneer to enter into and to help develop the Golden state. At his death he was laid to rest in the little cemetery at Watsonville. Mrs. Crews who was beloved by all who knew her, is also deceased.

Young Benjamin attended the rural schools of his district and what he did not succeed in getting through that training, he acquired in the larger school of actual experience. At the age of thirty, he left the farm and for years was identified with mercantile enterprises. In 1919 he was appointed superintendent of the County Hospital; and that position of peculiar delicacy and responsibility, calling for a deep insight into human nature, plenty of common sense, and a genuine sympathy with unfortunate mankind, he has held ever since, instituting many reforms and improvements. A republican in matters of national politics, and desirous of doing what he can to safeguard American institutions, Mr. Crews is public-spirited to a marked degree and interested in forwarding, in every legitimate way, any movement for the general good. Naturally, he belongs to the Native Sons of the Golden West, and he is also connected with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.

On October 6, 1903, at Santa Cruz, Mr. Crews was married to Miss Elsie Detlefsen, a native of Santa Cruz county, and the daughter of an old settler, and two children, Orien Stanley and Mildred Marian, have blessed their union. Mrs. Crews is matron, or general manager of the hospital, and also renders her husband and the institution efficient aid.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.