William C Baines

William Creth Baines was the great uncle of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Baines founded the city of Denton, Texas and opened the first mercantile store there in the mid 1800s. William married Catherine Turner Baines and the couple had 10 children. One of the couple’s children, Nancy Sophronia, called “Nannie”, became a widow when her husband, Dr. John H. Collins, was killed with Custer at the Little Bighorn in 1880.

When Catherine died, the widowed father and daughter traveled west together to visit another of the children, Robert Thomas Baines, and at some point both William and Nannie came to Riverside.

Nannie took up residence and her daughter, Virginia, married a local man, William Crawford, owner of Riverside Steam Laundry on Brockton Avenue. William Baines retained his large land holdings in Texas and presumably intended to return there, but he died while he was still in Riverside. Nannie worked at her son-in-law’s business until she died at age 52, and later, the Crawfords left Riverside for Arizona.