Search billions of records on


J. F. Crandall, a prominent and influential farmer of Brown county and who has lived in this section of the state since an early period of its development, was born in Floyd county, Indiana, October 11, 1846. His parents, Joseph and Eliza J. (Jones) Crandall, were both natives of Indiana, but the Crandalls originally lived in New York and were of Scotch descent. The father was a millwright by trade and followed that pursuit in early life, but afterward engaged in farming. He was a plain, unpretentious man, yet his sterling worth won him the respect of all. Of the Methodist Episcopal church he was a consistent member and served as class leader. His father had been twice married and by the first union had nine children: Ira, Daniel, Obediah and Rachel; names of the rest forgotten. Joseph was the seventh child of the second marriage, the others being William, James, Floyd, Andrew, Nancy J., Elizabeth, Rachel and one who died in infancy.

Joseph Crandall married Miss Eliza J. Jones, a daughter of Rev. James Jones, of England, a consistent member of the Methodist church, whose family numbered eight children, namely: Asa; Benjamin, who served as a captain in the Mexican war and a colonel in the Civil war; John; Joseph; Mrs. Sally Piller; Mrs. Sophia McGee; Eliza J. and Elizabeth. Unto Joseph and Eliza J. (Jones) Crandall were born five children: John W., a resident of Jeffersonville, Indiana; James F.; Benjamin A., deceased; Mrs. Mary S. Dewees, and Joseph A., a resident of New Albany. After the death of his first wife Mr. Crandall married Elizabeth Jones, her sister. There were three children by that union: Eva, Cordia and Julia. The parents are deceased. The father was a leading member of the Methodist church and died in May, 1897.

J. F. Crandall, whose name introduces this review, was reared under the parental roof until seventeen years of age, when, prompted by a spirit of patriotism, he enlisted in Company H, Thirty-eighth Indiana Infantry, in February, 1864. His command was attached to the Fourteenth Army Corps or the Army of the Cumberland and saw very hard service. Mr. Crandall participated in nine hotly contested engagements and at the battle of Jonesville his company was reduced to nine men. He was very fortunate in that he was never wounded or captured. At the time of Lee's surrender he was with his regiment in North Carolina and participated in the last battle of the war, in Bentonville, that state. He was also with Sherman on the celebrated march to the sea and participated in the grand review at Washington, -- the greatest military pageant ever seen on the western hemisphere. From the capital city the regiment was sent to Indianapolis, where the members were mustered out, receiving an honorable discharge. At that time he held the rank of corporal. Returning to his home Mr. Crandall was engaged in farming until 1867, when he was married to Miss Priscilla Strother, who was born in Clark county, Indiana, April 12, 1847, a daughter of William and Hannah (Hale) Strother. The mother was a native of Ireland and the father was born in Indiana and was of German descent. He made farming his life work and died in early manhood. His brothers and sisters were John, Olmstead, Elias, Jacob and Mrs. Matilda Romley. All were members of the Methodist church. Mrs. Strother was the daughter of Dr. Hale, of Dayton, Ohio, who removed to New Orleans, where his last days were spent. His children were Samuel, Isaac, William F., Mrs. Sarah Barnett, Mrs. Delia A. Maholland and Mrs. Hannah Strother. The members of this family were Methodists and Presbyterians in religious faith.

After his marriage Mr. Crandall, of this review, began farming in Indiana, where he lived until 1870, when he came to Brown county, Kansas, and purchased a tract of raw prairie land. The same year he shipped his goods to this place and early the following year removed his family, arriving in January, 1871. He has made permanent and good improvements upon his place and has added to his land until the old homestead comprises two hundred and forty acres, while in Washington county, Kansas, he also owns two hundred and forty acres and has property in the town of Santa Cruz. He has carried on general farming and has raised, fed and purchased stock. His dual occupation has engaged his entire time and attention and by his careful management and keen discernment in business affairs he has acquired a very desirable competence.

Mr. and Mrs. Crandall have five children: Leona M., who was born November 19, 1868, the wife of F. Hamilton, a carpenter; Joseph F., born September 13, 1870, engaged in merchandising in Missouri; Florence H., born February 18, 1873, the wife of Rev. H. Bassett; Leonard G., born December 4, 1877, now engaged as a salesman in a store; and Mabel G., who was born April 27, 1880. Mr. and Mrs. Crandall are leading members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he has served as class leader, as chairman of the board of trustees and of the board of stewards. He keeps well informed on the issues of the day, is deeply interested in public questions and is a stanch Republican in his political views. He has filled a number of township offices, including that of treasurer. Mr. Crandall was among the first settlers on the high prairies in his neighborhood and can relate many interesting instances in pioneer life, when the greater part of the country was in its primitive condition. He has witnessed its wonderful progress and development and at all times has contributed toward its upbuilding as far as lay in his power. His own record is a creditable one, showing that rest rewards indefatigable labor when directed by sound judgment. Not afraid of work he has, by his energy and honorable dealing, accumulated a comfortable competence and is held in uniform respect for his sterling worth.