Crofton Family




The Robert Oliver Crofton family of Biloxi, Mississippi had its origins in Eire and England.  R.O. Crofton (1835-1914) was born in April 1835 in Dublin, Ireland.  Circa 1857, he married Maria Willis Sterling (1841-1921), the daughter of two Scots, Robert Sterling and Jane McAlister.  Marie was born in Liverpool, England and came to America in 1855.  She was a female physician at Biloxi in 1900.  Robert O. Crofton was an 1857 émigré.  William Sterling (1831-1900+), native of Ireland, a widower and brother of Maria S. Crofton, was living with the Crofton family at Biloxi in 1900.  He made his livelihood as a ship caulker.(1860 Orleans Parish, La. Federal Census M653_419, p. 28, 7th Ward and 1900 Federal Census Harrison County, Mississippi R808, p. 4B, ED 30) 

New Orleans

The Crofton family lived in New Orleans until their move to Biloxi, Mississippi circa 1891.  Robert O. Crofton and Maria Sterling Crofton had thirteen children born in New Orleans.  Seven children were alive in 1900: Emilie Crofton (b. 1858); Daisy M. Crofton (1876-1906) m. Charles H. Hill; Elizabeth Crofton Criswell (b. 1859); Dr. Henrietta Crofton (1860-1947); Florence Crofton (1871-1952) m. Cassius M. Duncan (1846-1917+); Julia Crofton (1873-1944 ) m. Frank H. Richter and Royal F. Johnson (1887-1954); Robert O. Crofton II (1881-1937) m. Rita Gilbert; and Charles Edwin Crofton (1884-1936) m. Birdie May Breithaupt (1885-1961)

Notes on Crofton children:

Robert Oliver Crofton (7/8/1881-9/7/1937) m. Loretta Gilbert who later married Henry Y. Tourner (1888-1945).

Elizabeth Crofton m. Benjamin P. Criswell-lived at St. Joseph, Missouri

Florence Crofton m. Cassius M. Duncan on June 28, 1917 at NOLA.


Lake View Cemetery-Seattle, Washington

Julia Crofton married F.H. Richter on January 14, 1898.   She later married Royal F. Johnson who became the Washington State bee inspector.  Julia died at Seattle, Washington in mid-March 1944.  Survived by Royal F. Johnson and three sisters: Henrietta Crofton-Seattle; Betty Criswell-St. Joseph, Missouri; and Florence Duncan-Biloxi.  Internment in Lake View Cemetery at Seattle, Washington.  Royal F. Johnson (1887-1954) married Birdie M. Breithaupt Crofton (1885-1961), the widow of Charles E. Crofton (1884-1936), after the death of Julia C. Johnson in 1944.(Harrison Co., Ms. MRB 11, p. 294 and The Daily Herald, March 16, 1944, p. 6)

Daisy M. Crofton married Charles H. Hill on November 11, 1905.(Harrison Co., Ms. MRB 17, p. 240)

Daisy Crofton Hill died at Lake Providence, Louisiana on August 26, 1906.

Louise Crofton m. Charles Sheehan on April 3, 1942.(Harrison Co., Ms. MRB 54, p. 605)

Dr. Henrietta Crofton expired at Seattle, Washington on August 8, 1944.


Scherer House?

November 5, 1895, Mrs. R.O. Crofton, Harrison Co., Mississippi Deed Bk. 33, p. 232.

May 14, 1906, Florence Crofton, Harrison Co., Mississippi Deed Bk. 72, p. 492 (49 ½’ x 128’ on Water Street)

July 14, 1920-sold to Florence Crofton Duncan, Harrison Co., Mississippi Deed Bk.128, p. 492.


Maria S. Crofton

In addition to her professional duties, Maria Sterling Crofton



Lake View Cemetery-Seattle, Washington

Dr. Henrietta M. Crofton

Henrietta M. Crofton (1860-1947) spent her early years in the family home on Water Street.  She became a nurse and worked with both local and out-of-town patience.  While nursing an out-of-town patience, Henrietta became interested in osteopathy and graduated from the American School of Osteopathy at Kirksville, Missouri.  Circa 1914, Miss Crofton established her practice as a nose and throat specialist at Seattle, Washington.   Dr. Crofton retired at Seattle and when her health failed, she was cared for by Mrs. Birdie Crofton Johnson, spouse of her late brother, Charles Edwin Crofton.  Henrietta was an Epsicopal and Eastern Star member.  She died at 2024 Broadway North, her residence in Seattle on August 8, 1947 and her corporal remains were interred in the Lake View Cemetery at  Seattle.  She was survivied by Robert O. Crofton, a nephew, at  Biloxi; her sister (sic), Louise Crofton Sheehan [niece] (1914-1978) of Biloxi; and Lenox Criswell, a nephew, and his son, both of Newark, New Jersey.(The Daily Herald, August 9, 1947, p. 2 and The Seattle Daily Times, August 9, 1947, p. 4)

Florence Crofton

Florence Crofton (1871-1952) was born at New Orleans in September 1871.  In July 1899 she boarded the Aransas, a steamship, embarking from New Orleans for Havana, Cuba.  Miss Crofton, a nurse, who had worked with her mother, a physician at Biloxi, Mississippi, was employed by the Federal government to bring her nursing skills to American hospitals in a post-Spanish American War atmosphere on the conquered Caribbean island.  Accompanying Florence Crofton were Mrs. R.H. Burton and her two daughters, Carrie Burton and Pattie Burton.  The Burtons were domiciled at Long Beach, Mississippi.(The Biloxi Herald, July 15, 1899, p. 8)

Mrs. Florence Crofton Duncan

In late June 1917, Florence Crofton (1871-1952) married Cassius M. Duncan (1846-pre-1930) at the home of Mrs. William Davenport 3648 Camp Street in the Crescent City.  The Reverend Charles B. Crawford (1848-1929) of Biloxi’s Episcopal Church of the Redeemer performed their nuptials.  The couple honeymooned in New Orleans and returned to Biloxi to reside with Mrs. Maria Crofton at 206 West Water Street.(The Daily Herald, June 29, 1917, p. 5)

C.M. Duncan was born in Missouri and was the widower of Martha Duncan (1840-pre 1910). They married circa 1874 and were the parents of Mamie Duncan (1876-1900+) and Caroline Duncan (1879-1900+).  The Duncans lived at Altona, Knox County, Illinois where C.M. Duncan was a horse trader and may have been Mayor.  After the demise of his spouse, Mr. Duncan became a ‘snowbird’ and wintered at Biloxi for several years.(1900 Knox Co., Illinois Federal Census T623_314, p. 2A, ED 66 and The Daily Herald, June 29, 1917, p. 5)

In November 1915, C.M. Duncan came to Biloxi from Illinois with Mrs. Milly Davis, his sister, of Roseville, Illinois.  They were booked with Mrs. Moore at 241 Cuevas Street.  In 1916, Mr. Duncan spent the winter 912 West Howard Avenue and had Christmas dinner with fourteen Illinois friends at the Benny House.(The Daily Herald, November 20, 1915, p. 2 and December 30, 1916, p. 3)         


It appears that Cassius M. Duncan expired at Biloxi before 1930, as Florence Crofton Duncan is a widow in the 1930 Federal Census.(1930 Harrison Co., Mississippi Federal Census R 1146, p. 12B, ED 3)

Florence Crofton Duncan died at the Biloxi Veterans Administration Center on June 20, 1952.  Her corporal remains were passed through the Church of the Redeemer with the Reverend E.A. DeMiller officiating and her burial was at the Biloxi City Cemetery with military and Eastern Star rituals.(The Daily Herald, June 21, 1952, p. 3)

Daisy M. Crofton

Daisy M. Crofton (1876-1906) was born at NOLA in December 1876.  In 1900, she was domiciled in the Crescent City where she was employed as a nurse.  Miss Crofton boarded with the Sidney Davis family on Prytania Street.(1900 Orleans Parish, Federal Census, T623_570, p. 10A, ED 5)

Daisy M. Crofton married Charles Henry Hill (1874-1930+) at her parent’s home in Biloxi, Mississippi on November 11, 1905.  Charles H. Hill was born on August 7, 1874 in Georgia and met Miss Crofton during a yellow fever epidemic, probably in 1898.  Mr. Hill was domiciled at Lake Providence, East Carroll Parish, Louisiana and was dying from the mosquito-borne virus, when Daisy Crofton, a nurse, miraculously saved his life.  Mr. Hill was the proprietor of the large business house of A.S. Hill & C.H. Hill at Lake Providence.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, November 16, 1905, p. 4 and November 24, 1905, p. 4 and Harrison Co., Ms. MRB 17, p. 240)

Daisy Crofton Hill died at Lake Providence, Louisiana on August 26, 1906.  Her corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.  As late as 1930, Charles H. Hill had never remarried and remained at Lake Providence except during WW I, when he worked as a grading foreman for the American Shipbuilding Corporation at Hog Island, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  At Lake Providence, Mr. Hill made his livelihood during the years as a farmer, time keeper for a logging camp, and in later life was an automobile salesman.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 27, 1906, p. 4 and 1930 East Carroll Parish, Louisiana Federal Census R 792, p. 5B, ED 4)

Charles E. Crofton

Charles Edwin Crofton, age 52 years, died at his residence, 2024 Broadway N. in Seattle, Washington on November 12, 1936. Mr. Crofton was born at New Orleans on September 27, 1884 to Robert O. Crofton (1835-1914), a native of Dublin, Ireland, and Maria Willis Sterling (1841-1921).Charles E. Crofton and and made his livelihood as a machinist. He married Birdia May Breithaupt a native of Jena, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana.Charles and Birdia May Crofton came to Seattle from New Orleans in 1933. He was a member of the Free and Accepted Masons at McGee, Arkansas and the Royal Arch Masons at Helena, Arkansas.Charles had been in poor health since his retirement in 1926. He was survived by his spouse; four sisters: Henrietta Crofton and Julia Crofton Johnson of Seattle; Florence Crofton Duncan of Biloxi, Mississippi; and Elizabeth Crofton Criswell of St. Joseph, Missouri; and Robert O. Crofton, a brother at Biloxi, Mississippi. The Crofton funeral was under the auspices of Butterworth Funeral Parlors of Seattle with internment in the Lake View Cemetery at Seattle.[The Seattle Daily Times, November 14, 1936, p. 11] 

Robert O. Crofton III

Robert Oliver Crofton III was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on October 18, 1908 to Robert O. Crofton II (1881-1937) and Loretta Gilbert Crofton who later married Henry Y. Tourner (1888-1945).  R.O. Crofton III expired February 5, 1956.

"Robert O. Crofton, 47, 206 W. Water St. Biloxi, commercial artist, designer and interior decorator, died at 8:50 pm Sunday, at Memorial Hospital, Gulfport, after a 17 month illness.  Mr. Crofton had been in the hospital five weeks.  He was a native Biloxian and had lived in Biloxi and Gulfport all of his life.  He was a World War Two veteran.  Mr. Crofton attended Biloxi High School and was graduated from St. Joseph Catholic School in Gulfport.  He had done considerable art work along the Coast.  At one time he was with the Saenger Theatres at Biloxi, Gulfport and other points on the circuit.  He was engaged in display work and remodeling and redecorating fronts of theatres and lobbies. He also formerly was with Northrop's, Gulfport.

He has been engaged in work for Biloxi carnival clubs.  He did designing and decorating for the Hotel Biloxi MacArthur Creole Room; Broadwater Driftwood Lodge, White House pool and other projects, including work for Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation at Pascagoula.  He was an active member of the Gulf Coast Art Assn.

He was survived by his mother, Mrs. Henry Tourner, Biloxi; sister, Mrs. C. L. Sheehan, Orlando, Fla.  Funeral services will be held at 10 am Tuesday from Bradford Funeral Home with services at the Church of the Nativity and burial in Biloxi Cemetery." (The Daily Herald, February 6, 1956, p.2)



The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Gone to Cuba”, July 15, 1899.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, November 16, 1905.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, November 24, 1905.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Mrs. Charles H. Hill”, August 27, 1906.

The Daily Herald, “Fell ninety feet and may recover”, December 8, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Crofton-Gilbert”, July 17, 1907.

The Daily Herald, “Old resident [Robert Oliver Crofton]died Sunday”, July 6, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Illinois people back”, November 20, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “Enjoy Christmas dinner”, December 30, 1916.

The Daily Herald, “Duncan-Crofton”, June 29, 1917.

The Daily Herald, “Sailors and Soldiers”, July 22, 1918.

The Daily Herald, “Woman’s Auxiliary establishes free clinic”, April 26, 1920.

The Daily Herald, “Maria Willis Crofton dead”, February 24, 1921.

The Daily Herald, “Here for visit [Charles Crofton], June 20, 1922.

The Daily Herald, “Oliver Crofton dies”, September 8, 1937.

The Daily Herald"Mrs. Johnson [Julia Crofton] dies", March 16, 1944.

The Daily Herald, "Dr. Crofton dies", August 9, 1947.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Duncan, Spanish American War nurse is taken by death”, June 20, 1952.

The Daily Herald, “Funeral this afternoon”, June 21, 1952.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Duncan buried”, June 22?, 1952.

The Daily Herald, “Robert O. Crofton”, February 6, 1956.

The Seattle Daily Times, 'Charles E. Crofton funeral', November 14, 1936, p.11.

The Seattle Daily Times, 'Henrietta M. Crofton', August 9, 1947, p. 4.

The Seattle Daily Times'Mrs. Royal Johnson [nee Birdie May Breithaupt]', June 18, 1961, p. 56.