James Crosland was a woollen manufacturer and later coal merchant, and was a Town Council Alderman, notably serving as the Deputy Chairman of the Waterworks Committee.
He was born in 1832, the son of woollen manufacturer Thomas Crosland and his wife Mary Ann (née Woodhead).
He married Ann Bentley on 29 June 1859 in Bradford. They had at least nine children:
In 1871, together with Councillor A.B. Haigh, he lent land to be used for the Paddock Horticultural, Pig, Poultry and Dog Society's annual exhibition.
A small fire broke out at his Paddock Mills on 17 March 1871, causing around £100 of damage.
A serious fire broke out at Paddock Mills, owned by James Crosland and Sons, in February 1888. The fire caused damage estimated at between £10,000 to £12,000. Whilst repairs took place, around 100 people were out of work.
In August 1888, he captained a cricket team comprised of eleven members of the Crosland family in a charity match at Paddock to raise funds "for the erection of a public clock in the tower of Paddock Parish Church." The Croslands closed their innings with 188 runs, with James Crosland getting 17 runs. The opposing team, made up of members of the Marsh Ward, were soon dismissed and the Croslands won by 114 runs. The teams then headed to the Commercial Inn, Paddock, where "a very enjoyable time was spent under the presidency of Alderman James Crosland".
On the evening of 12 May 1892, he was travelling home with his wife along Manchester Road when their horse stumbled and they were both thrown into the road. Ann suffered the worst injuries and was reportedly "severely shaken and bruised".
His oldest son, James Bentley Crosland, was killed on 8 November 1894 when the floor of Sefton Mills, Meltham, collapsed during an auction, causing between 30 to 40 people to fall into a muddy gasometer tank below. He was trapped face down in the mud under debris and died before he could be rescued.
James Crosland retired from the Town Council in 1895
The company James Crosland and Sons suffered financial difficulties in the late 1890s and closed circa 1899. Following this, the Census records name him as a coal merchant.
On 15 August 1900, he was travelling with several relatives in "one of Mr. Young Walker's waggonettes" through Victoria Square, Holmfirth, when it "suddenly collapsed and feel in two parts." Fortunately none of the party were badly hurt.
He died on 18 April 1913, aged 80.