Peninsula Odd Fellows Lodge, 4834 N. Lombard St, Portland, OR 97203.
Become a member, take a class, enjoy a festival, Keep Portland Odd
Serving North Portland since 1895
Reuben Crawford P.N.F.
Grand United Order of Odd Fellows
Reuben Crawford was born into slavery in St. Louis Missouri, on June 12, 1828. He was hired out by his owner to a shipyard while he was still a child. Crawford began shifting for himself by the age of 13. In 1862 he purchased his freedom and used the skills he learned in slavery to build Monitor Class warships for the Union Navy.
In 1870, Reuben Crawford brought his family to Oregon, where he transformed the lives of the fledgling African American Community in Portland. In 1884, Crawford was a founding member of the New Northwest Lodge #2554, Grand United Order of Odd Fellows.
In 1897 Reuben Crawford was one of two founding deacons of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church. Crawford was also a founding member and Vice President of the Portland Colored Immigration Society, and a speaker for the Bedrock Republican Club.
Professionally, Crawford achieved celebrity status for his skills as a ship caulker. He was named the Dean of Ship Caulkers and was asked to christen two ships, the Wakena, and the Beaver.
Despite his many accomplishments, Reuben Crawford's grave was unmarked for 102 years and his story had become forgotten. Peninsula Odd Fellows lodge hoped to change that, by providing a headstone for his grave and installing it in a ceremony to be held at Lone Fir Cemetery on June 12, 2020. Unfortunately, the ceremony had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Determined to share Crawfords story, Peninsula Lodge produced a tribute video which was released on June 12, 2021.
We invite you to click on his photo to the right to watch the video.
Click photo to watch the Reuben Crawford tribute video.