In the College Hill area near Cincinnati, there has been a story circulating for years. Some of it is verifiable; some of it not. It is the story of a man named John T. Crawford. Crawford was a Union soldier who spent time in a Confederate prison. Some called Crawford an eccentric; others said he was insane. He lived frugally and was a lifelong bachelor. When he died, he was estimated to be worth what would have been around $2 million by today’s standards. He also willed his house to become a home for elderly African-American men, with preference for those who once had been slaves. It operated until the 1960s. What is uncertain is why Crawford took such an interest in African-American men who had been slaves. The story told around town was that while in prison, Crawford was helped by the slaves in the prison. It was said they helped him escape. Evidently, he never forgot the kindness shown to him.
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