History of Lenawee County, Michigan - Book 2, Page 52



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MEMOIRS OF LENAWEE COUNTY BIOGRAPHICAL - CONTINUED
Henry E. Crane, a prominent farmer of Madison township, was born in the state of New York, Sept. 24, 1836, the son of Alfred and Catherine (Leonard) Crane. He is descended from a long line of sturdy patriots 'and pioneers, who in turn were descendants of an old English family. The text of "A Corner in Ancestors," written by Eleanor Lexington, given below, best shows the family lineage: "No family in history has a more honorable record than the Cranes. The earliest mention of the family appears in the year 1637, the name being variously spelled Crane, Cran, Cranne, Crain, Craine and Cranee_ jasper Crane, who came from England in 1637, with Alice, his wife, was the immigrant ancestor. All efforts to discover Alice's family name have been unsuccessful, although much time and money have been spent in the search. Their son, jasper Crane (second), who was born in 1651, was one of the prominent men of the New Haven colony, and one of the original settlers of Newark, N. J. His numerous descendants are scattered throughout the middle, western and southern states. He ,was one of the committee of safety to protect the New Haven colony against De Ruyter, the Dutch admiral, who cruised in the Long Island Sound and threatened the settlements. During the Revolutionary war the Connecticut colony, to increase facilities for coast defense, put into service three boats or galleys. One, called the `Crane,' was named in honor of the family, who stood so loyally by the colony. It was sent to New York to assist in its defense under General Washington. Even the exact cost of the `Crane' has been recorded, 1,013, 6s, iod. Of other Cranes who gave their services to the country, there was Ebenezer Crane, a private of the militia designated as the `Lexington Alarm.' Members of the family served as privates, corporals and captains, not only in the Revolution and Colonial wars, but that in 1812 and the Mexican war. Any one who can claim a. Crane as an ancestor has no trouble in proving eligibility to the various patriotic societies, Colonial Dames, or Revolutionary Daughters and Sons. Love.of country has ever been a distinguishing trait of the family, as well as upright business principles. No descendant, as far as known, has ever been a criminal, a pauper or a suicide. When Edmund Andros demanded. the surrender of the charter of Connecticut, Benjamin Crane was one who opposed him. According to the records, Benjamin was a person of independence, or was so considered, because he deferred his marriage until he had reached the ripe age of one score years and ten. Early marriages were then the rule, and to defer such an important event until thirty years of age must have required no small degree of independence. The general court of the Connecticut colony ordered that no young unmarried man, unless he was a public officer, or a servant, could keep house alone except by license of the town, under a penalty of twenty shillings per week, and no head of a family should entertain such young men under a like penalty, without liberty from the town. The Cranes are descendants from Lord Arundel's family. and inherit the blood of Charlemagne and Hugh Capet, both of whom claimed to spring from Pharamond, and through him from Anterior, king of the Cimmerians, B. C. 443. Of Dame Anne Arundel it is recorded that she left by will, which was proved in 1521, money for wax tapers for the day of her burying, and afterwards for use at mass; also for bells to ring dirges at her obsequies- She willed her best blue velvet gown to Clinton church, to make a vestment for a deacon. Her best black gown, furred with marten and lined with vel et, fell to the lot of relatives. Chilton, near Sudbury, in Suffolk, is the home of the Cranes. They lived at Chilton hall, a moated manor of sonic distinction, and were lords of the manor. Jn Chilton church is an elaborate marble monument to the memory of Sir Robert Crane, who was knighted by James 1st. He is in armor and kneeling with clasped hands. His two wives are represented beside him. They, too, are kneeling in devotional attitude, with clasped hands. Dorothy, the first wife, lived with her husband in great love and amity seventeen years and willingly yielded up this life in expectation of a better, April 11, 1624. The epitaph concludes with the lines: 'If thee readest with eics (eyes) dry, Thou a marble art, not I.' Susan, the second wife, has no poetry devoted to her epitaph. A John Crane was clerk of the kitchen to James I, a position of much honor. A Robert Crane, of Suffolk, was one of the gentlemen chosen by King Charles 11 in 1666 to be made Knights of the Royal Oak. He had an estate of $75,000 a year. The Cranes in England have borne five coats of arms, whether all of one family is not certain, although there is reason for believing that they were special grants made for special services. The several armorials are lacking in mottoes, with one exception. A member of the Crane family of Cheshire county, England, on noticing his neighbor Corbett's motto. 'Dens pascil corvos' (God feeds the crows), wrote for his motto, `Oui pascet carvos non obliuiscitur grus' (He who feeds the crows will not forget the Cranes). The arms are described in heraldry as argent; a fesse, or bar between three crosses crosslet, gules, crest, a crane." Alfred and Catherine (Leonard) Crane, parents of the. subject of this review, came to Lenawee county in 1836. The father was a farmer and lived to see the country about him grow into one of the most luxuriant farming regions in the state. The mother died on Feb. 26, 1884, and the father's demise occurred shortly afterward, on March 6 of the same year. They had a family of four sons and two daughters. Henry E. Crane received the limited scholastic training afforded by the district schools of Madison township, and when he had completed his course he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. He first located on what was known as the Brown farm. When he left the parental home he went to Hillsdale county and lived there four and one-half years, then moved to and bought a farm in Jefferson township, where he lived until 1867. In that year he returned to Lenawee county and purchased 8o acres of land in Madison township, upon which he still resides. He has devoted his time to general farming, and 'has 'made an eminent success. On Oct. 4, 1857, was celebrated Mr. Crane's marriage to Miss Sally Jane Bailey, born in Dover township, on March 9, 1840, the daughter of Samuel and Betsey Ann Meach Bailey. Mr. and Mrs. Bailey came to Lenawee county in an early clay; the latter died Feb. 23, 1895, and the former bn May 2, 1902.



Three sons were the issue of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Crane. The eldest, named Elmer Dory, died at the age of eight years; Charles A., born Nov. 10, 1869, lives in Adrian; and Frank B., born May 10, 1874, now manages his father's farm. Rosingrave M. Eccles, M. D., is one of the foremost practitioners of medicine in Lenawee county, and a resident of Blissfield. He was born in Iona, Elgin county, Province of Ontario, Canada, on March 3, 1858. His paternal grandfather, Daniel Eccles, was a manufacturer of linen in County Tyrone, Ireland, and was, engaged in that work all his life.



The father, also named Daniel, was born in the -north of Ireland, and educated at Dublin, and when but twenty-five years of age came to this country with his brother, John D. Eccles. Although he had been educated in the law, he did not engage in practice, but started in mercantile pursuits in Iona Village, Elgin, Ontario. Subsequently he received an appointment as clerk of the court, a position he retained until his death, on March 1, 1866. The mother, Susan (Luckham) Eccles, was a daughter of a British officer stationed at Kingston, Ontario. Three daughters and two sons were born to the parents, and all but one son, who died at the age of two years, grew to maturity. Two of the daughters are now living in Canada, and one in Pennsylvania. Dr. Eccles was the third in order of birth of the children born to his parents. He spent the early years of his life in his native town, and when fourteen years old he entered the high school at Park Hill. after which the attended school at Strathroy for two years, and at the same time started the study. of medicine. When he had finished his academic course he matriculated in the medical department of Trinity University at' Toronto, and was graduated in the spring of 1879, With the degree of Doctor of Medicine. In the fol-lowing August he located in Blissfield and began his professional career, and Lenawee county has ever since been the scene of his labors. Politically he is identified with the Democratic party, but has never sought public preferment for himself. Fraternally the Doctor stands high in the Masonic order, being a member of the Adrian commandery, Knights Templar, and is also a member of the Blissfield Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Although not a communicant he contributes liberally to and attends regularly the' Presbyterian church. Dr. Eccles' other business interests include the presidency of the Blissfield Telephone Company and a directorship in the Jipson-Carter State Bank. Professionally he is allied with the American, the, Michigan State, the Tri-State, the Northern and the Lenawee County Medical societies, and served the latter as president for a period. Dr. Eccles has been twice married. The year following his settlement in Blissfield he was united in St. Thomas, Canada, to `Miss Carrie Helen Pritchard, born in London, Ontario, who died on Jan. C. 1854. leaving a daughter, Mabel, who became the wife of Dr. Winn, of Alvinston. Ontario. On Dec- a3, 1899. Dr. Eccles married Miss Clara Carpenter, a daughter of George Carpenter, of Toledo, Ohio. Mr. Carpenter was a prominent commission merchant during the early clays of Toledo and was the owner of the docks at the foot of Jefferson street in that city. Both he and his wife have taken the long journey from which there is no return. Mrs. Eccles was born in Toledo and received her education in that city and in Baltimore, Md. She is a direct descendant of the Giles and Carpenters who ~were early pioneers of Lenawee county. George H. Curtis is living retired in Adrian enjoying the fruits of a well spent and useful life. He is the son of Elijah, Jr., and his grandfather, Elijah. Sr., was a prominent figure in the Revolutionary war. The grandfather was a native of Connecticut, born near Bridgeport, Conn., in 176o, and when but fifteen years of age he enlisted as a soldier in the troops. being raised by Benedict Arnold for the Continental army. He participated in the sige of Boston following the battle of hunker Hill and upon the re-organization of the army was assigned to Col. John hlorgan's Riflemen, and with them was in the series of battles which resulted in the capture of Burgoyne's army. Later in the struggle he was in the South, where he fought in the battle of Cowpens. At the close of the war the government granted every soldier a section of land, and Mr. Curtis selected his in the town of Galway, Saratoga county, New York, and spent his last years at Saratoga Springs. where he died at the age of seventy-five years. During his later life he followed agricultural pursuits and acquired a comfortable competence. Our subject's maternal grandfather. Capt. Ichabod Chamberlain, also won renown in the struggle for independence. Elijah W. Curtis, the father, migrated to Michigan with his family in 1851. and located in Adrian, where both he and his wife succumbed to an epidemic of typhoid fever a few months later. Five sons were born to the parents, of whom but two are now living, George II. of this sketch, and J. E. Curtis, for some years a superin-tendent of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern railway, now living retired in Toledo, Ohio. George H. Curtis was born March 26. 1836, in Saratoga county, New York. From the time he was sixteen years of age until the outbreak of the Civil war he was engaged in railroading. Upon the call for troops in 1861 he enlisted in the quartermaster's department, with which he served for a period of three years. Ile then became a member of Company B, Second New Jersey infantry, and was made first lieutenant. With his company he went to Richmond, Va.; and at the cessation of hostilities, eight months afterward, was honorably discharged from the service. On his return he was, for six years, in the employ of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern railroad, and then returned to Lenawee county and was continuously and successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits 'in Adrian and Rome town-ships. In 1904 he retired from active participation in the affairs of daily life and has since been living quietly in his handsome home on Broad street, devoting himself to the management of the property which he has accumulated. On Feb. 13, 1866, was celebrated Mr. Curtis' marriage to Miss Harriet Dutton, who was born in Adrian on June 15, 1843, the daughter of William and Harriet (Thomas) Dutton. Mr. Dutton was born in the township of Lyndeborough, Hillsborough county, N. H., March 8, 1813, the eldest son of William and Sarah Duttou. His father died when he was fifteen years of age and he left home to learn the shoemaker's trade. At the age of seventeen he had begun. working by the piece and by the time he had attained his majority he had accumulated $500. He continued to work by the piece until 1837, and then embarked in the manufacture of shoes, disposing of his output throughout the state of Michigan. In 1841 he purchased a farm near Warsaw, in Adrian township, and there resided until the spring of 1865. Before thecity was set off from the township VI r. Dutton was for five successive years assessor of the west half of the township and for six years was justice of the peace. Between the years 1854 and 1865 he represented the township on the county board and was' also supervisor of Adrian township in the early. history of the county. In the last named year he sold the family farm and moved to the city of Adrian. When the Lenawee County Savings Batik was founded, in 1869, he was elected one of the directors and in 1874 was made president, a position which he held until ill health compelled his resignation an May 1, 1882. His wife died on. Jan. 2, 1879, and his demise occurred Oct. 30, 1884. Four daughters were born to Mr. and Mrs. Dutton, two of whom died of diphtheria in December, 1862, and the survivors are Mfrs. Curtis and Sarah A., now Mrs. Robert C. Stewart, who lives at Denver, Col. To Mr. and Mrs. Curtis were born seven children Fanny L., the eldest, is at home; Air. W. is a traveling salesman for Bartlett & Company, wholesale grocers of Toledo, Ohio, and makes his headquarters in Coldwater, Micl-,.; Mary was born in Toledo, and is now at home; J. E. completed a course in the Poughkeepsie Business College of Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and is now superintendent of the Iola Cement Company, of Iola, Kas. ; G. O. is purchasing agent 'for the Iola Cement Company and makes, his home in Iola ; Evelyn was a teacher in the Adrian schools at the time of her death in 1894; and Ethel is at home. George Washington Davenport, one of the substantial citizens of Blissfield, was born in that township on Dec. 31, 1845, the son of Pardon T. and Frances (Warren) Davenport.



The father was born in Rhode Island on March 10, 1815, and the mother in Farmington, N. Y., Feb. 20, 1818. The former was a stone-mason by vocation and worked at that trade for a time after coming to Lenawee county in 1835. Subsequently he purchased 12o acres of land in Blissfield township and by hard labor in clearing it made the property one of the most productive farms in the township. The mother died on Dec. 5, 1899, and the father's death occurred on April 17, 1901. George W. Davenport is the only child of his parents and after completing the scholastic advantages afforded by the common schools in the vicinity of his home he assisted his father in clearing and improving the farm. For forty-five years father and son were associated together in the conduct of the property, and after the death of the former the son took upon himself the active management of the interests bequeathed him. Through all these years the farm has afforded him a lucrative income, and by industry and frugality he has accumulated a competency. For some years now he has been one of the directors and an influential figure in the Blissfield State Bank. Although he has been unswerving in his allegiance to the principles of the Republican party, he has never sought public preferment for himself. On Nov. 11, 1869, Mr. Davenport was united in. marriage to Miss Emeline A. Back, born in Bridgewater, Williams county, Ohio, March 29, 1846, the daughter of George H. and Almira (Davis) Back. Mr. Back was born at Chaplin, Windham county, Connecticut, Nov. 2, 1820, and died in Blissfield on July 13, 1907. His wife died in Blissfield on March 12, 1898. Mrs. Davenport attended the Blissfield schools. To Mr. and Mrs. Davenport have been born two children, namely: Nellie (Davenport) Doan, a resident of Blissfield ; and Harry C., who conducts a machine shop and garage in Blissfield. Mrs. Davenport is an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Peter C. De Graff, deceased, for many years prominent as postmaster and general merchant at Palmyra, was born in Ulster county, New York, Dec. 12, 1841, the son of Cornelius and Catherine (Van Wey) De Graff. Both parents were natives of Ulster county, New York, the father having been born there in 1812 and the mother in 1811. They came to Palmyra in 1844, where the father first plied his trade of wagon-maker, but subsequently became a merchant and for a number of years acted as postmaster of the village. His death occurred in 1872 and his widow continued to reside on the old homestead until her death in 1goo. Peter C. De Graff, the subject of this review, lived with his parents until 1862, at which time he enlisted as a private in Company F, Seventh Michigan cavalry. He was later promoted to postmaster of the company, and when he was mustered out at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., late in 1865, he was acting brigade _postmaster.



When hostilities had ceased the regiment was sent -west to help suppress the Indian outbreaks, and made its way over the plains to Denver, Col. He reached home on Christmas day, 1865, and immediately after assumed charge of the general store which his father had managed during his absence. He continued in the active management of this establishment until his death, which occurred on April 26, 19o4, due to hearf failure. For many years he also acted as the postmaster of the village, and he and his father had the unique record of having held that office between them for thirty-five years. In politics he espoused the cause of the Republican party, but never sought to become that organization's candidate for any public office. He was a devout and zealous member of the Presbyterian church and contributed liberally to its welfare. Beside his good wife and his children he left a wide circle of friends to mourn his passing. On Nov. 17. 1861, was celebrated AIr. De Graff's marriage to Miss Melissa F. Hill, who was born in Chautauqua county, N. Y., March 18, 1842, the daughter of Ebbin S. and Caroline (Edson) Hill. Mr. IIill was born in Vermont in 1803 and his wife in Connecticut in 18o2, and her father served in the Continental army during the Revolutionary war. Mr. and Mrs. Hill came to Palmyra township in 1844 and located on a farm half a mile east of the village of Palmyra, and there the former died in February, 18i3, and the latter in 1881. To Mr. and Mrs. De Graff were born two children: Carrie belle, who now resides with her widowed mother, married Albert Mitchell and has one child, Victor C. is now employed in the auditor's department of the Southern Pacific Railway at San Francisco, Cal. He married Miss Ella Mitchell. of Palmyra. and has a daughter, Dorothy, William Demlow, one of the progressive agriculturists of Palnlyra township, is a striking example of a self-made man. He was born in Prussia. Germany, Sept. 22, 1863, the son of Henry and Maria (Fahlhaver) Demlow. In 1883 the father came direct to Adrian from the Fatherland, where he was born on May 8, I837, and in the spring of 1884 came to make his home with his son. The mother, who tivas some years younger than her husband, died 1ov. 14, 1896. William Demlow's educational training was all received in the excellent public schools of his native land. Before he was twenty years of age he came to the United States, and for two years had employment in a brickyard while acquiring a knowledge of American business methods and customs. For some years following he made his living by working rented land. and by 1892 had saved sufficient of his earnings to purchase the farm of too acres where he now resides. By the practice of economy and industry he has gradually added to this until today he has 272 acres, a large part of which is capable of cultivation. He does not specialize in any one branch of agriculture, but devotes himself to general farming, in which he has made an eminent success. In the matter of politics Mr. Demlow is allied with the Democratic party, but has never sought public office of any nature. In religious matters he is identified with the Lutheran church, of North Blissfield. On Jan. 8, 1884, hlr. Demlow was united in marriage to Miss Adolphena Bloom, born in Prussia, Sept. 18, i86o. Mrs. Demlow came to the United States with her husband's parents and was married soon after her arrival. Four children have been the issue of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Demlow. Herman, the eldest, born May 25, 1884, married Miss Bertha Holtz, and makes his home on the farm with his father; Charles is deceased; Emina, barn Jan. 20, 1899, lives with her parents; Henry, the youngest child, died in infancy.

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History of Lenawee County
published by The Western Historical Society in 1909. Book 1
Book 2

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