Clarence Lincoln Crabbs (b. 1866) was born in Decatur, Ill., and raised in Gibson City, Ill. In 1890, he graduated first in his class at the University of Illinois.
As a student, Crabbs served as the Business Manager of the Illini, held the rank of major in the university's cadet corps, and played on the first football team. After graduation, Crabbs moved to Chicago where he worked as an engineer for the Metropolitan West Side Elevated Railroad Company. By 1900, he relocated to Moline, Ill., to work as a civil engineer. Later in life Crabbs lived in Brooklyn, before retiring to Florida.
In this volume, Crabbs' sister, Josephine, transcribed Crabbs' letters to his parents and siblings from 1886 to 1901, and from 1917 to 1935. In the letters from his time at the University of Illinois, Crabbs describes campus activities, coursework, military training, and the university band. Crabbs' letters from Chicago include references to his work on the elevated train, General William Sooy Smith, the 1893 World's Fair, the assassination of Mayor Carter Harrison, and the Pullman Strike. Later correspondence is more personal in nature, as Crabbs mainly writes about family matters and his health.
This volume was acquired by the Survey in 2004.