Howard G. Crissman was a prominent businessman and public servant. He was president and manager of the Utica Milling Company, an historic area landmark. He served on the Board of Education from 1943-1957, including six years as president. He was also a city councilman and mayor of Utica, and a Macomb County Board of Supervisors representative.
Crissman Elementary was dedicated on November 2, 1969. It was part of a bond issue that also saw the opening of Malow and Davis Junior High Schools and Collins, Gibbing, Magahay, Monfort and Walsh elementaries.