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William H. Crain
Born September 29, 1850


William H. Crain, who is engaged in the furniture and undertaking business in Olin, was born in Bradford county, Pennsylvania, September 29, 1850, and is a son of Joseph and Catherine (Ramage) Crain. The parents were both natives of New Jersey and came from families who had long been identified with the affairs of that state and of the nation. His maternal grandfather served in the war of 1812. After Joseph Crain married and the birth of his first child, he moved to Pennsylvania, where he lived continuously until his death, save for the three years in which be served in the Union army during the Civil war. After the outbreak of hostilities he enlisted in 1861 in Company E, Fifty-second Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He served three years, the period of his enlistment and was then honorably discharged. Mr. Crain returned to his Pennsylvania home and devoted himself to the carpenter's trade until his death, which occurred in September, 1880. His wife had passed away two years previously. Seven children were born of this union; Emma, who is deceased; William H., the subject of this review; Thomas D., who lives in this county; Mary, deceased; Eugene, who lives in Pennsylvania; Mathilda, the wife of J. M. Shields, of this county; and Fred, who is residing in Denison, Texas.
William H. Crain attended the common schools, but at the age of thirteen he began to make his own way in the world. He hired out as a farm hand until 1875, when be came to Jones county, Iowa. Here he began work at the carpenter's trade and three years later engaged in agricultural pursuits, first renting a farm for three years and then buying one. It consisted of only eighty acres, but as he won success from his labors he was able to add forty acres to it. There he lived until 1888, when he came to Olin. On the 1st of January, 1889, he bought the furniture store where he is now located and which he has since conducted. He has also done an undertaking business and from both has obtained a gratifying income. While those who come in contact with him recognize his success, this may best be indicated for persons at a distance by an enumeration of his landholdings. These include sixty-two acres in Hale township, thirteen lots in the village of Olin and two hundred and forty acres in Laclede county, Missouri. Another patent evidence of his substantial position is his occupancy of the president's chair of the Citizens Savings Bank, for he has guided the financial policy of this institution since 1902.
In 1890 Mr. Crain was united in marriage to Miss Josephine Sealls, who was born in Iowa. Her parents, Edmund and Margaret M. (Truax) Sealls, were natives of Indiana, but came to Iowa shortly after their marriage. Her father passed away July 12, 1907, but her mother is still living in this county at the advanced age of seventy-five years. Mrs. Crain was one of a family of eight children and by her marriage has become the mother of three daughters: Alma Jessie, who is a graduate of the Olin high school, and is now a student in Drake University, Des Moines; and Majorie and Genevieve, who are at home.
Mr. Crain has always given his support to the republican party and has taken some part in local affairs, although he could never be called an office seeker, for he was township trustees for three years and is now serving his fifteenth year as councilman. In religious matters he attends and supports the Christian church, to which his wife belongs. Fraternally he is connected with the Masons, being a member of lodge No. 200, A.F.&A.M., and also with the Knights of Pythias, belonging to lodge No. 245. In these organizations his strong character and integrity have been recognized and for three years he was honored with the responsible position of treasurer of the former lodge.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 591.

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