Crosby, Stephen (1808–1869)

By: Charles G. Davis

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: December 1, 1994

Stephen Crosby, General Land Office commissioner, was born in South Carolina in 1808. He moved to Alabama about 1830 and worked as a steamboat captain on the Alabama River. In Alabama he married Eliza Green; they had one child. Crosby settled in Texas in 1845 and in 1848 became chief clerk in the General Land Office. He was elected commissioner in 1851 as a Democrat. He served in that office until 1858, and it is to his credit that clear titles can be proved for most landholdings in Texas. Crosby then joined the Know-Nothing party (see AMERICAN PARTY) and was defeated in the next election. He returned to the Democratic camp in 1862 and served in his former post until he was removed from office in 1867 by the Reconstruction military government. He died in Austin on August 5, 1869. Crosby County is named for him. In 1930 the state placed a monument at his grave.

Crosby County Pioneer Memorial Museum, A History of Crosby County, 1876–1977 (Dallas: Taylor, 1978). Zachary T. Fulmore, History and Geography of Texas As Told in County Names (Austin: Steck, 1915; facsimile, 1935). Nellie Witt Spikes and Temple Ann Ellis, Through the Years: A History of Crosby County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1952).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Charles G. Davis, “Crosby, Stephen,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 05, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994