George B. Crandall, Jewell, Kan.When Mr. Crandall, whose name introduces this sketch, came to Kansas, in 1869, the central and western parts of the State were practically as the hand of the Creator had left them. Man, except as a scout and hunter, had made few imprints upon this vast field of nature, lying along the border of civilization. The conditions that existed at that time, as compared with those of today, are almost beyond the comprehension of the student of local history. The men who pushed forward into the borderland reclaimed the prairie and made Kansas what it is today were made of the right kind of material. George B. Crandall has earned a rating in that class. He was born at Perry, Wyoming county, New York, November 17, 1841, and is a son of Peter and Lucretia (Bullock) Crandall, natives of eastern New York and of New England ancestry. In 1858 the Crandall family removed from Wyoming county, New York, to Van Buren county, Michigan, and afterwards removed to St. Joseph county, Michigan, where the father died at the age of eighty-three. The mother died in Van Buren county, Michigan. They were the parents of four children, viz.: Romelia married Silas M. Rawson, Wyoming county, New York, both, now deceased; Leonard resides at Paw Paw, Mich.; Alferd, Mendon, Mich., and George B. Young Crandall remained at home with his parents, leading the peaceful life of the average country boy, until the great Civil war had become a stern reality. Then in answer to his country's call, he enlisted in Company D, Nineteenth regiment, Michigan volunteer infantry, which was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland. They did service in the western campaigns in Kentucky and Tennessee, and at the organization of the army preparatory to Sherman's march to the sea this regiment was assigned to the Twentieth army corps, taking part in that memorable military expedition, during which time they were under almost constant fire for weeks at a time. Mr. Crandall was twice taken prisoner during his period of military service, but on both occasions had plenty of good company, which might have had a tendency to relieve the gloom of the situation. At Thompson Station, Tenn., his entire brigade was captured at the close of a desperate engagement after their ammunition was exhausted. They were taken to Libby military prison, but were exchanged in about a month. His next misfortune of war happened while his company was engaged in guarding a bridge across Stone river. After a fierce fight, in which this one company held out against General Wheeler's command, they were finally taken prisoners, but were held only a few hours after being disarmed and plundered. At the close of Sherman's march to the sea the command to which Mr. Crandall was attached proceeded through the Carolinas and to Washington and took part in the grand review. At the close of the war Mr. Crandall returned to his Michigan home very much impaired in health, and for years was a physical wreck. In 1869 he came to Manhattan, Kan., where he secured employment in a drug store as clerk for Dr. Whitehorn, having had previous experience in that line. He soon became a partner in the business and remained there until 1872, when he came to Jewell county and located at Jewell City, which was still new. There were not more than a dozen buildings on the town site. Mr. Crandall had previously located a homestead just west of the town site, which he still owns. He opened a drug store in a small frame building on the west side of the square with a small stock of drugs. This was the first drug store in Jewell City. Shortly after he began business here his stock was nearly all destroyed by a cyclone, but he replenished it and started again. His business continued to grow and he prospered, and in a short time built a larger store. Later, when the business district began to move eastward, he bought property and moved on the east side of the square, where the Crandall drug store is now located. Here he continued to carry on business until 1907, when he sold out to his son, Aretas, and L. J. Schmitt, who now conduct the business.
Mr. Crandall was married, May 1, 1871, to Miss Mary C. Barker. They have two children. Caroline married William A. Pierce, now deceased. She resides at Jewell. The second child, Aretas, succeeded his father in business, as above mentioned. He married Miss Bertha Cheney, of Jewell City, a daughter of William Cheney, a prominent merchant of Jewell City and a member of the firm of J. D. Robertson Mercantile Company. Mary C. Barker was born in Lovell, Me., and is a daughter of Col. Elden and Caroline F. (Little) Barker, natives of Maine. The Barker family came to Manhattan, Kan., from Norway, Me., in 1869, and Colonel Barker and wife were among the pioneer settlers of Jewell county, having located on a homestead near Jewell City in 1870. They were the parents of eleven children. Colonel Barker was a surveyor and was engaged on the construction of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railroad, and also did considerable surveying after coming to Jewell county. He was elected to the State senate in 1872, the first State senator from the county. He was a notary public and administered the official oath to the first set of county officers of Jewell county. He died July 8, 1896, aged eighty years, and his wife departed this life March 22, 1908, at the ripe old age of eigty-four. George B. Crancall is one of the substantial men of business affairs of central Kansas. The mere fact that he has sold his drug business does not mean that he has ceased to have business interests. He is president of the Jewell Lumber Company, of which he is the heaviest stockholder; director in the Jewell County Telephone Company; vice-president and director in the First National Bank of Jewell, and he is extensively interested in Kansas land, owning several hundred acres. He is public spirited and takes a keen interest in the welfare of the community where he resides. During the last five years Mr. and Mrs. CranddalI have spent a great deal of time in travel, spending their winters in Florida and California. He is a member of the S. R. Deach post, Grand Army of the Republic, of which he is past commander. He is also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Politically he has always been a Republican, but has never aspired to hold office.Pages 53-55 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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