Russell Arthur Craw was born in Launceston on 29 Dec 1876, the youngest of seven children born to James Craw (1838-1878) and his wife Jane Storey (1844-1884). Russell was educated at the Launceston High School. He went in to the drapery business with his brothers on the West Coast but in 1895 he set up a business in Longford and traded there for some 15 years. He married Lilian Hope Hildyard, third daughter of David Hildyard of 'Carlton Farm', at Carlton, Tasmania, on 16 Nov 1904. They had three children, all born at Longford: Keith, 6 Sep 1905; Joan, 20 Sep 1908 and Nona, 15 Sep 1914.
The family later moved to Hobart and set up a guest house but around 1920 he started business as a manufacturer's agent. His son Keith joined him at R A Craw & Son in 1930. Russell retired towards the end of 1943. Prominent in the Masonic Lodge, he was made a life member of Lake Lodge, Longford, where he had been a founding member. He was on the Board of St John's Presbyterian Church, Hobart, for 25 years and secretary for 13 years. He died in Hobart on 18 Jul 1945. His funeral service was held at St John's Church and he was buried at the Cornelian Bay Cemetery. See The Examiner 8 Apr 2006, p. 33.