As I mentioned yesterday, Crosman was the son of George H. Crosman, a U.S. Army officer, and that information has lead me to more biographical information about Alex Crosman. The information about Crosman's father was in an article about pioneer-era St. Louis baseball players that appeared in the St. Louis Daily Republic on February 9, 1896. I've had that article in my notes for years and just recently realized the significance of the information about Crosman that stated that he was the "son of a United States army captain..." That lead me to an 1860 St. Louis city directory and the name George Crosman.
I quickly confirmed that George Crosman was Alex Crosman's father and, based on all of that, I was able to find more information about the family, including the name of Alex Crosman's wife and son. In a book called The Seven Weld Brothers, I found this entry:
Anna Wharton Walter was born in Philadelphia, PA on 31 December 1872 and died circa 1954 in Mt. Airy, PA. Married in Philadelphia, PA on 10 June 1896 (divorced) to Alexander Foster Crossman, Jr. who was born in Portsmouth, NH on 1 August 1871 and died in Oswego, IL on 2 August 1980, son of Alexander Foster Crosman and Frances Strader Foster (daugher of composer, Stephen Foster).
But the really interesting thing in that entry about Anna Wharton Walter was that Fanny Crossman was Stephen Foster's daughter. For you uncultured heathens, Stephen Foster was one of the greatest American songwriters of all time and wrote Oh! Susanna, My Old Kentucky Home, Beautiful Dreamer, and Camptown Races. The man was a genius and I was really excited about the idea that he was Alex Crosman's father-in-law. Eaten by sharks and related to Stephen Foster - that makes for a great story. And I'm a sucker for a great story.
However, it's not true. Alex Crosman was married to Fanny Strader Crossman, as far as I can tell, but Fanny Crossman was not Stephen Foster's daughter. According to numerous sources, Foster only had one child - a daughter, Marion Foster Welch. Marion Foster, and not Francis Foster, was Stephen Foster's daughter. And, yes, that ruins a perfectly good story but those are the facts.
So, in the end, all I've really achieved was proving that Alex Crosman, pioneer baseball player and shark victim, was not the son-in-law of Stephen Foster, musical genius. Good for me. Next week I'll prove that Merritt Griswold was not related to Herman Melville.
Update: Doing some research on Henrietta Crosman, Alex Crossman's niece, I found information claiming that Crossman's mother and Foster were cousins. So it does appear that they were related. Second cousins or something like that. I haven't confirmed that but I thought I'd just mention it.