Taken from A Portrait and Biographical Album of Jackson County, Iowa, originally published in 1889, by the Chapman Brothers, of Chicago, Illinois.
Our subject is one of the many who gave much of the best of their lives to their country, and it is with pleasure we give a sketch of so varied a lifestory. Isaiah Crane resides in Nashville, and has lived in the county since the fall of 1855. The son of Solomon and Elizabeth (Mills) Crane, natives of New Hampshire, Isaiah Crane was born in Sullivan County, N.H., on the 28th day of February, 1820.
It is supposed that Henry Crane and Tabitha, his wife, came from England and settled in Milton, Mass., in the year of 1648, or '49. It is certain, however, that they were residents of Milton, in 1650. They were the parents of ten children. Stephen their second son, married Mary Denison, July 2, 1676, and was the father of nine children. The sixth child, Benjamin, was born Dec. 17, 1692, and married Abigail Houghton, Dec. 27, 1722, by whom eight children were born. Joseph, their eldest, was born Feb. 28, 1724, and married Mary Copeland. Their son, Joseph, Jr., was born in 1757, and married Deliverance Mills. They lived in Milton, Mass., after their marriage until their first child was born, after which, in 1782, they removed to Washington, N.H., and settled on the south-east slope of Mt. Lowell. After a few years the family removed into a house which stood on the mountain road to Washington Centre. Here they lived until the infirmities of age compelled them to give up their home and live with their children.
Joseph Crane died in Washington, N. H., June 30, 1841. His wife died Aug. 17, 1845. Some years prior to her death she sustained a fracture of the thigh, which made her a cripple during the remainder of her life. Of their children, Solomon was born March 26, 1793. He married Elizabeth Mills, of Clairmont, who died May 22, 1846. He was subsequently married to Mrs. Lucy Proctor. The oldest son of his first marriage, Isaiah, is the subject of this sketch. His earlier years were spent in the duties of farm life. In 1843 he married Olive Heald, whose death occurred in 1855. She left two children - John H. and James C. Our subject then came to Iowa, and engaged in farming. A few years later he purchased 160 acres of land.
In 1861, our subject enlisted and entered service in Company I, 12th Iowa Infantry. His first experience of war was at Ft. Henry; then followed Ft. Donelson, Shiloh, the siege of Vicksburg, then the Red River expedition under Gen. Banks. He was afflicted with rheumatism at Ft. Donelson and was in the hospital for some time. He has never recovered. Our subject served three years and three months as a musician during the service.
Retiring from service, Mr. Crane resumed farming in Jackson County, and in Feb. 13, 1865, was married to M. Angeline Smith, daughter of Robert L. and Molly Smith. She was born in Butler County, Pa., June 5, 1836. Her parents were from Pennsylvania. Her great-grandparents, paternal and maternal, emigrated from the Highlands of Scotland and traced their ancestry to Bruce, of Scotland. She was the first one to advocate women's rights in Maquoketa. Her maternal great-grandfather, Sir Thomas Graham, came from Scotland and settled in Butler County, Pa., which county he helped survey. He afterward received 400 acres of land for helping to survey the western part of the State. The grandfather, William Graham, lived all his life in Butler County, Pa. Her paternal great-grandfather, Joseph Smith lived and died in Butler County, Pa. Her father, Robert L., removed from Pennsylvania to Iowa, in 1848, and settled in Clinton County, where he engaged in farming. He was formerly a blacksmith.
Strongly opposed to slavery, Robert L. Smith was the first abolitionist of Clinton County. He assisted in getting the first slaves across the Mississippi River. Those slaves were started by John Brown and were taken from Nebraska. Mr. Smith kept them at his residence for some time. He transported many of the slaves over the underground railroad for many years. He was the means of delivering as many as 100 from slavery to freedom. His daughter, wife of our subject, assisted her father in the underground railroad in liberating slaves.
Loved and esteemed by all who knew him, Mr. Smith died, at the age of seventy-two years, in Clinton County. His wife died at the age of sixty-seven years. Their household numbered a large family of children, eight of whom grew to manhood and womanhood. The oldest is the wife of our subject. She was married in 1855 to William Hoisinton, a native of Michigan, and resided in Clinton County till the time of her marriage. They became the parents of one child. This son was given a college education and became a civil engineer in Canada, where he was drowned at the age of twenty-eight years. His name was Elliott. Mr. and Mrs. Crane resided in South Fork Township, and followed farming until October 1886. He still owns 100 acres in South Fork. They have two children - R. Eddie and S. Bird, both of whom are residents of Jackson County.
The following letter from Margaret Smith Crane, wife of I.K. Crane, appeared in a published volume documenting eight reunions of the Iowa 12th Infantry from 1880 to 1903. The volume is held at the Library of Congress.
Maquoketa, Aug. 8th, 1894.
J. E. Simpson:—
Dear Sir: I will say that I. K. Crane received your circular inviting him to the reunion of the 12th at Sioux City, and he bids nie say to you that it will be impossible for him to be there in the body as he can almost hear the last roll call. He has been sick all summer, and never will be able to march to the music of fife or drum in earth life more. Bat he will be with
the boys in spirit, and if he should be freed from his suffering body will be with you in his spiritual body, free from all pain and suffering. He is suffering
from dropsy, brought on through rheumatism and heart trouble. His limbs have swollen until they are bursting, and he can hardly get his breath. Still he is cheerful and wishes the old 12th a good time, and if he has answered the last roll call on earth will be at your camp fire with you. He bids me say this for him, and I close hoping and wishing you a happy time.
I subscribe myself,
Your friend, his wife,
MRS. I. K. CRANE.
He says read to the boys if you wish.
The same volume contains the following biography of Isaiah K. Crane.
COMRADE ISAIAH K. CRANE.
Isaiah K. Crane, the son of Solomon and Elizabeth (Mills) Crane, was born in Washington, Sullivan county. New Hampshire, February 28, 1820. His earliest years were spent on the farm. In 1843, Miss Olive Heald became his wife. She died in 1855, leaving two chlidern, John H. , and James C. both residents of this oity. Soon after the death of his wife Mr. Crane came to this state and engaged in farming until the war broke out, when he heeded his country's call and enlisted as a member of Company I, Twelfth Iowa Infantry. He was present at Fort Henry, Fort Douelson, Shiloh the Siege of Vicksburg, the Red River expedition under General Banks, etc., serving his country faithfully and well for three years and three months. After the war Mr. Crane resumed farming in this county, and on February 13, 1865, was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Angeline Smith of De Witt, who survives him and who enjoys the proud distinction of being able to trace her ancestry to the noble Robert Bruce, of Scotland. Her father, Robert L. Smith, was the first abolitionist, to his honor be it said, of Clinton county. I. K. Crane, the subject of this sketch, died at his home in this city on Tuesday morning, August 21, 1894, of dropsy of the heart. At the age of 18 he became a member of the Baptist church and until his death, or more than fifty-six years, lived a sincere, upright christian life. If he made mistakes, and all men do, they were of the head and not of the heart, and it is the universal verdict of all who knew" him well that he was one of nature's noblemen. What higher title can any man have or desire. He was honest, generous and patriotic. By his second wife he leaves two sons, R. Edward and S. Bird, both of whom as well as the other two, John H. and James C. were present at the funeral, which was held at the Buckhorn church, under
the auspices of A. W. Drips Post, of which he was an honored member, and was one of the largest of the many large funerals which have been held in that neighborhood. More than ninety teams were in the procession. Dr. Heald pronounced the funeral discourse, a fitting eulogy to the departed. The remains were laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery, of which deceased has been sexton for nearly thirty years.
The following biography appears in The History of Jackson Co., Iowa Containing a History of the County, its Cities, Towns, etc. by B. McNally, Chicago: 1879.
ISAIAH K. CRANE, farmer, Sec. 29; P. 0. Maquoketa; is a native of Sullivan, N. H.: born Feb. 28, 1820; he grew up to manhood and lived there until the fall of 1855, when he came to Jackson Co., Iowa, and settled in this township; he engaged in farming. When the war broke out, he enlisted, in 1861, in Co. I, 12th
I. V. I.; he was in the battles of Forts Donelson and Henry, Pittsburg Landing, siege of Vieksburg, in the Red River campaign and others; he was in the service over three years; after the war, he returned here. Feb. 13, 1865, he married Miss M. Angeline Smith; she is a native of Pennsylvania; came with her parents to Iowa and settled in Clinton Co. in 1848; they were early settlers; her father was a prominent Abolitionist, and established the first underground railroad station in Clinton Co. Mrs. Crane grew up there and was engaged in teaching; she still continues a student, and is thoroughly informed on the current news of the day; she was the first to advocate the cause of equal suffrage in this neighborhood. Mr. and Mrs. Crane
have two children—R. Eddy, born Jan. 16, 1866; S. Bird, April 18, 1867. While living in New Hampshire, Mr. Crane held the office of Justice of the Peace, and held the positions of Ensign, Second Lieutenant and First Lieutenant of the militia there.
1st Lieutenant Isaiah Kidder Crane of the Iowa 12th Infantry. This portrait was brought from Iowa to Brunswick County, Virginia when I.K. Crane's sons Robert Eddie and Stephen Bird moved there. The portrait hung in the home of Wentworth Bagley Crane, Sr. on County Pond Road in Edgerton, Virginia for many years. Family members recall that I.K. Crane's drumsticks were attached to the back of the portrait's frame, but they have long gone missing. Bryant Barnes, I.K.'s great-great grandson, is steward of the portrait at the present time.
Margaret Angeline Smith Crane, the second wife of Isaiah Kidder Crane. She claimed two lines of descent from Robert the Bruce of Scotland.
David Brenmer Henderson, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (1899-1903), was also a member of the 12th Iowa during the Civil War. He enlisted as a private in Company C in 1861.
Isaiah K. Crane was born in Washington, New Hampshire in 1820. The town looks now much as it did 200 years ago.