David O. Crane, of Topeka, Kan., ranks as one of that city's prominent and influential citizens. He holds various positions of honor and trust, being superintendent and treasurer of the Topeka Cemetery Association; vice-president of Crane & Company, the largest printing and publishing establishment in Topeka; and president of both the Western Cement Burial Vault Company and the Johnson Cement Burial Vault Company of Topeka. He was born at Easton, Pa., Feb. 12, 1842, and comes of stanch New England ancestors, who were among the first settlers of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Many of them were leaders in the religious and civic life of Connecticut long prior to the Revolutionary war, in which they bore honorable and conspicuous parts. The Crane ancestry in direct line of descent down to David O. Crane, the subject of this review, is as follows: The original ancestor in this connection was Benjamin Crane, born in Massachusetts about 1630, married Mary Backus April 23, 1655, and settled in Wethersfield, Conn. He established the first tanneries of that city and died there May 31, 1691. Their son, Lieut. Jonathan Crane, born Dec. 1, 1658, married Francis Griswold; Dec. 19, 1678, and served in the Indian wars of that time. He died March 12, 1735, and an appropriate lead stone marks his grave in the cemetery at Lebanon, Conn. His son, John Crane, born Oct. 1, 1687, married Prudence Belding April 8, 1716, and spent the most of his life at Wethersfield, Conn. Their son, Hezekiah Crane, born March 31, 1721, married Rachel Rockwell April 2, 1746, and spent their lives at Windsor and at Bolton, Conn. Their deaths occurred respectively in 1805 and in 1809, both over eighty years of age. Their son, David, born Oct. 1, 1748, married Theodocia Pitkin. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary war and died in Scantic parish, East Windsor, Conn., in 1841, at the advanced age of ninety-two years. Their son, David, born Oct. 5, 1774, in East Windsor, Conn., married Chloe Loomis. He was a farmer by occupation and died at Oneida Castle, N. Y., Sept. 7, 1851. These were the grandparents of David O.
Dr. Franklin Loomis Crane, the son of David and Chloe (Loomis) Crane, and the father of David O. Crane, of this review, was born at East Windsor, Conn., Jan. 10, 1808. He was reared in strict Puritan style and worked his way through school, receiving a certificate to teach in the common English branches. He taught his first school at Vernon, Conn., and it was while teaching there that his uncle, Dr. John W. Crane, of Hartford, persuaded him to take up the study of medicine and dental surgery in his office. He accepted the opportunity, and after thorough preparation, opened an office in Easton, Pa., where he successfully practiced for twenty-two years. In October, 1854, he came to Kansas and settled on the present site of Topeka. He was a member of the original town site company and was appointed by it to make selections for incomers, churches and societies, a very difficult position to fill. He took an active part in the formation of the Kansas free-state party and in 1857 was chosen treasurer of the St. Joseph & Topeka Railroad Company. He was a tireless and persistent worker for the success of the road and succeeded in securing the payment of ten per cent. of the capital stock, which encouraged the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company to take over the St. Joseph & Topeka franchises and to build the road. It was in 1859 that Dr. Crane conceived the plan to establish a Topeka cemetery, as up to that time no permanent burying ground had been selected. He selected a large plot about one mile east of the city and at his own expense had it laid out in a very artistic manner. The site was a beautiful one and at once received the commendation and approval of the city's best families. In that same year he became mayor of the city, on the death of the mayor-elect, by virtue of his office as president of the city council. He took charge of the mayor's office in the midst of the state-wide campaign, in which the people were to vote on the permanent location of the state capital, and it was mainly through the prompt action of Mayor Crane and the city council in the interest of Topeka that it became the seat of the state government. It was largely through the influence of Dr. Crane that the first bridge was built over the Kansas river at Topeka. When the great Civil war broke out, he and two of his sons tendered their services in defense of the Union. His peculiar fitness by nature, as well as by knowledge of medicine, secured for him the appointment of hospital steward, which position he filled until the close of the war. On his return from the scenes of strife and carnage, he was appointed president of the Topeka board of education and under his administration several large school houses were erected, among them the Lincoln school building. He was one of Topeka's foremost citizens in furthering the interest of education and in doing all he could to harmonize and liberalize society. Although reared under the rigid church discipline of Connecticut, he gradually became more liberal in his views until he accepted the doctrine of ancient and modern Spiritualism, which doctrine he faithfully espoused until his death on Nov. 21, 1884.
On Oct. 16, 1838, at Easton, Pa., occurred the marriage of Franklin Loomis Crane and Mary Elizabeth Howell. She was born at Easton, Sept. 18, 1820. They began housekeeping there and it was there that the wife and mother died on May 20, 1845. To this union four sons were born: Jesse Howell, born June 23, 1839; Franklin Loomis, born Aug. 8, 1840; David Orville, born Feb. 12, 1842; and George Woolsey, born Aug. 25, 1843.
David O. Crane spent his boyhood and youth at Easton, Pa., receiving his education in the Easton schools and at Dobb's Ferry, N. Y., spending four years at the latter place. He also attended school in Topeka one year, entering soon after his arrival there in 1858. He then decided to learn the printer's trade and had for his preceptor, J. F. Cummings, proprietor of the "Topeka Tribune." He had scarcely mastered his trade when the great internecine strife between the North and the South began with the firing on Fort Sumter and Lincoln's call for troops. He quickly responded to the call and on May 14, 1861, enlisted as a musician in Company A, Second Kansas infantry, for three months' service under Capt. Leonard W. Home and Col. Robert B. Mitchell. The regiment was recruited at Lawrence during May, and on June 20, 1861, it was mustered in at Kansas City, Mo. It was then ordered to Clinton, Mo., where it became a part of Major Sturgis' brigade and was attached to the division of Brig.-Gen. Nathaniel Lyon at St. Clair, Mo. The First and Second Kansas regiments were joined under the command of General Deitzler and had their first baptism of fire at Forsyth, Mo., July 22, 1861. They then moved south under General Lyon, met and defeated the enemy at Dug Springs on Aug. 2, and on Aug. 10, 1861, the Second Kansas took a gallant and prominent part in the battle of Wilson's creek. At the opening of the battle the regiment was placed in reserve as a support to Totten's battery, but as the desperate nature of the battle developed, General Lyon ordered it to the front, and as the regiment went into position on the crest of the hill on the front center, a heavy ambuscade fire was opened on the head of the column. The enemy's attack was so severe that the Federals were forced to retreat and reform their lines. About this time Colonel Mitchell fell severely wounded and called General Lyon, who had been twice wounded, to lead the regiment. He had just turned to fulfill the request with the words, "Come on, brave men," when he fell from his horse shot through the heart. Lieut.-Col. Blair assumed command of the Second and fought the enemy with the utmost bravery until the battle was won. The Second Kansas was the last to leave the field, and maintained its line and organization unbroken from the first to the last, although it lost about one-third of its men. The day after the battle the regiment retreated with the army to Rolla, Mo., whence it moved to St. Louis, where it was ordered to Kansas City by General Fremont for muster out and reorganization. On the way home the regiment defeated the enemy at Paris, Mo. Two days later it was attacked at Shelbina, Mo., by 3,500 men and a battery of artillery under Colonel Green. The Union forces consisted of about 600 men under command of Colonel Williams of the Third Iowa infantry. This little band of Union men made their escape from almost certain capture by seizing a locomotive and some freight cars and running the gantlet of the enemy's battery. The Second Kansas proceeded to Macon, Bloomfield, thence by rail to St. Joseph, where it surprised and routed the enemy and held the post until the arrival of troops to permanently hold it. Then taking boats for Leavenworth, the regiment attacked and dispersed the enemy at Iatan. When the regiment arrived at Leavenworth it was at once ordered to Wyandotte to oppose Price, and when he retreated it returned to Leavenworth, where it was mustered out and discharged on Oct. 31, 1861. On March 17, 1862, Mr. Crane again entered the service, by reënlisting for three years as a private in Company A, Fifth Kansas cavalry, under Capt. William F. Creitz and Col. Powell Clayton. He joined the regiment at Camp Hunter, Mo., whence it was ordered to join the Army of the Southwest at Helena, Ark. Captain Creitz was detached with 150 men to escort a regimental train and engaged the enemy at Salem, Ark., and at the crossing of the Back river at Jacksonport, for which he and his men were warmly commended by General Osterhaus in his report. The regiment remained in the vicinity of Helena until August, 1863, taking part in several expeditions. During this period it engaged and defeated the enemy at Trenton, Parkersville, Oakland, Little Rock road, Mount Vernon, Polk's plantation and twice at Helena. On Aug. 15 the regiment started for Little Rock and fought the enemy at Brownsville and at Little Rock. Later it routed the enemy at Pine Bluff, and at Tulip early in October gained a brilliant victory. In January, 1864, it fought Shelby's forces at Branchville, and skirmished at Mount Elba. In March it participated in the engagements with the enemy under General Dockery at Monticello, Longview and Mount Elba, which resulted in driving the Confederate forces from the country between the Mississippi and Saline rivers. After the capture of Pine Bluff, Mr. Crane was transferred from Company A to Company H, and took part in all of the movements of the latter company until he was mustered out at Leavenworth, Kan., on July 19, 1865. The services rendered by the Fifth Kansas cavalry were second to none, as shown by the official records of the Rebellion, and Mr. Crane and his descendants may well feel proud that he was a member of that famous command.
After returning from the war, Mr. Crane took up his vocation of printer, and in 1868 became associated with his father in the management of the Topeka cemetery until the spring of 1871, when he removed to Osage, Kan., where he resided until the death of his father in 1884. He then returned to Topeka and succeeded his father as superintendent of the Topeka cemetery. Up to that time there had been 3,857 interments in the cemetery, by 1905 the number had increased to 10,898, and at present (1911) it is 13,215. This speaks for itself as to the popularity of this beautiful cemetery, which with the new additions being laid out and improved, is destined to remain Topeka's favorite burying ground. Many costly vaults have been erected along the western slope, and hundreds of marble and granite monuments of elaborate design and construction adorn every part of the cemetery. Mr. Crane manufactures a cement burial vault that is guaranteed to be absolutely waterproof and to last forever. The construction is cement, reinforced with steel, and tests have proved that both the Western and Johnson cement burial vaults are perfectly safe to inter in.
On March 3, 1869, Mr. Crane was united in marriage with Miss Anna S. Kay, of Topeka. To this union were born four children, three of whom are living. They are: Mary E., now Mrs. Mary E. Davis; Anna S., the wife of W. R. Carrie, who is associated with Mr. Crane in his various business interests; and Franklin L. Mrs. Crane is an active member of Lincoln Circle, No. 1, Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, and of Naomi Rebekah Lodge, No. 95, also of the Order of the Eastern Star. Mr. and Mrs. Crane reside near the Topeka cemetery, in their beautiful modern home, which he recently built and which is often the scene of gracious hospitality.
Politically, Mr. Crane is a Republican. Fraternally he is a Thirty-second degree Mason, a member of Chapter No. 5, Royal Arch Masons, an Odd Fellow, a Knight of Pythias and a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Fraternal Aid Association. He keeps up his war time associations by membership in Lincoln Post No. 1, Grand Army of the Republic, of Topeka, and in religious belief he is a Spiritualist. Mr. Crane has been identified with Topeka almost from its birth and has always been a progressive.Pages 1553-1557 from volume III, part 2 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 December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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