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Thomas D. Crain
Born 1853


Farming and stock raising are closely associated in agricultural life and nearly all of the progressive farmers of Jones county are engaged in both occupations with gratifying results. Thomas D. Crain, residing on section 23, Jackson township, has proven what can be accomplished through hard work, perseverance and thrift. He owns a fine farm of rich land, and each year shows a substantial increase in his possessions. He was born in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, and is a son of Joseph and Katherine (Ramage) Crain, natives of, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, respectively. By occupation the father was a carpenter. He and his wife had seven children as follows: Emma, who married John Spencer and died leaving four sons; William H., a resident of Olin; Thomas D.; Eugene, who lives in Pennsylvania; Mary, who married Sam Spencer and died in Pennsylvania; Matilda, who married Jacob Shields and lives in Jackson township; and Fred, a resident of Denison, Texas.
Until he was eighteen, Thomas D. Crain made his home with his parents, but, being ambitious in 1871, he came west to Jones county, Iowa, and went to work for Seba Johnson, then living on the farm now owned by Mr. Crain. For a time he operated C. M. Johnson’s farm, after which he engaged in farming on rented land for three or four years, eventually locating on his present property, which consists of two hundred acres on sections 23 and 26, Jackson township. He also owns forty acres in Hale township, a part of which is timber land lying along the Wapsi river. The buildings are excellent and all of them have been put up by Mr. Crain. He has also made other improvements and has one of the best farms in his part of the county. Here he carries on general farming and stock raising, and in addition to his farming interests he is a stockholder in the Citizens Savings Bank of Olin. In politics he is a republican, but has never desired public honors. Fraternally he belongs to Olin Lodge, I.0.0.F., and also to the Knights of Pythias.
On February 13, 1883, Mr. Crain married Carrie Coffits, who was born September 5, 1856, in Anamosa, a daughter of Henry and Louisa (Houstman) Coffits. Her father was born in the Rhine country, Germany, where he and his three brothers learned to be blacksmiths. Upon coming to the United States, he located at Anamosa, Iowa, where he conducted a blacksmith shop for the remainder of his active life and made many shoes for oxen in the old days. His death occurred August 9, 1877, when he had reached the age of seventy years, eleven months and twenty-eight days. After coming to Anamosa, he married Louisa Houstman, who was born in New Jersey and died at the home of Mr. Crain, in April, I902, aged eighty-two years. She bore her husband three children: Melissa Ann, who died in childhood; Melinda Jane, who married J. C. Cook (Jerome) of Stone City, Iowa; and Carrie, who is the wife of Mr. Crain.
Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Crain. Blanche, the eldest, married Jacob Wise, of Amber, who died nine months after their marriage, and she passed away just twenty-eight days later, both succumbing to the ravages of typhoid fever. Elsie is now the wife of Clarence A. Miller, of Rome township, Lee and Helen are at home. The Crain household is a happy one, and a cordial hospitality is shown stranger and friend alike. Few farmers stand higher in Jackson township, and the success that Mr. Crain has attained is certainly well merited.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 552.

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