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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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FRANK W. CRAIN, who owns forty acres of land on section 8, township 7, range 8, Randolph County, has resided upon that property since September, 1880. He is a native of this state, and was born in Chester, September 28, 1848. He has been a resident of this county his entire life, with the exception of two years spent in Jackson County. The first ten years of his life were passed in Chester, where he attended school.

In 1858 the parents of our subject, James H. and Phoebe Crain, removed to the southern portion of this county, where they purchased a farm on section 33, township 7, range 5, upon which Mrs. Crain still resides. Frank W., of this sketch, remained at home, aiding his father in carrying on the home farm, until reaching his twentieth year, at which time he was united in marriage with Miss Content E., daughter of John H. and Mary E. (Vickers) Clendinen. This event occurred October 18, 1874, at the Presbyterian parsonage at Chester, the Rev. A. B. Clark officiating.

For two years after their marriage our subject operated the farm of his brother-in-law, Benjamin Richards, in Jackson County, and at the end of that time came to this county and farmed a tract of land near the village of Rockwood, where the family made their home until the fall of 1880. The father of Mrs. Crain was a native of Randolph County, while her mother hailed from Covington, Ky., whence her parents moved to Illinois. To our subject and his wife were born seven children, of whom Leslie and Herbert are deceased. Those living are, Amelia A., Benjamin L., Eunice, Amy and Ruth.

Mr. Crain and his wife are members of the Rockwood Presbyterian Church, and are highly respected by all who know them. In his political relations our subject votes with the Democratic party, and is a member of the County Central Committee. He is also a member of Rockwood Lodge No. 351, I. O. O. F., in which order he always takes a prominent part. He has been very active in local affairs, and for two years was Deputy County Assessor under William A. Campbell.

James H. Crain, the father of our subject, was born in Illinois, near the banks of Mary’s River, on what is known as the Whitson farm, February 18, 1820. His early years were spent in this pioneer home, and although never having accumulated wealth, was a man who commanded the respect and esteem of all who knew him. For some time he resided on Crain’s Island, which was formerly owned and was named by his father. The paternal grandparents of our subject were John and Mary (Gastin) Crain, the former a native of Tennessee, and the latter of South Carolina. James H. Crain was united in marriage March 14, 1844, to Miss Phoebe, daughter of William and Margaret (Wagner) Morris, natives respectively of West Virginia and New York. Mrs. Crain, who was their only child, was born in Wood County, W.Va., October 22, 1826, and was twelve years of age when she accompanied her parents on their removal to this county, in April, 1838.

Our subject was the eldest child in the parental family which included eleven children. Those living besides himself are, John L.; Ellen, Mrs. James McConkey, and Sarah Jane, who makes her home with her mother. The father of our subject departed this life January 8, 1889, mourned by a large circle of friends.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

View additional Randolph County, Illinois family biographies here: Randolph County, Illinois Biographies

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