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Below is a family biography included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  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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David O. Crane, a well-known citizen of Topeka, whose portrait accompanies this sketch, is superintendent of the Topeka Cemetery, in which capacity he has served continuously since 1884. He was born at Easton, Pennsylvania, February 12, 1842, and is a son of Franklin L. and Mary Elizabeth (Howell) Crane.

Franklin L. Crane was born in the town of East Windsor, Connecticut, January 10, 1808. He was a veteran of the Civil War, serving in Company E, 11th Reg., Kansas Vol. Inf., and his son, Franklin L., Jr., served in Company G, Second Reg., Kansas Vol. Inf. His father, David Crane, grandfather of our subject, was a soldier in the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War.

David O. Crane received his educational training in the public schools of Easton, Pennsylvania, and of Dobb’s Ferry, New York, being located at the last named place a period of four years. In 1858, he came West to Topeka, Kansas, where he attended school during the winter of that year, then learned the printer’s trade under J. F. Cummings, proprietor of the Topeka Tribune. On May 14, 1861, he enlisted from Shawnee County for the three months’ service as musician in Company A, Second Reg., Kansas Vol. Inf., under Capt. Leonard W. Home and Col. Robert B. Mitchell. The regiment was recruited during May and was rendezvoused at Lawrence, Kansas. It was mustered in at Kansas City, Missouri, June 20, 1861, and then joined the brigade commanded by Major Sturgis at Clinton, Missouri, which was attached to the division of Brigadier General Lyon near the Osage River at St. Clair, Missouri. Camp was established near Springfield and drilling commenced. The First and Second Kansas regiments were joined under command of General Dietzler, and first underwent fire at Forsythe, Missouri, July 22, 1861. They moved south under General Lyon and on August 2nd engaged and defeated the enemy at Dug Springs, pursuing him to McCulloch’s ranch. The enemy fell back to concentrate their columns into one, and the Second Kansas retired to Springfield, where a large and heavy supply train awaited them, it being so unwieldy as to preclude rapid movement without abandoning it General Lyon determined to attack at daylight on August 10, 1861, Colonel Siegel’s artillery opening the engagement of Wilson’s Creek, and the Second Kansas supporting Totten’s battery and the extreme left. During the first of the battle, which was fought in a corn field, the regular infantry fell back, the Second Kansas covering the retreat with the aid of the battery, driving the enemy beyond the field. Colonel Mitchell fell wounded, and General Lyon, who had been twice wounded, answered Colonel Mitchell’s call to lead the regiment. He had just turned to fulfill the order with the words, “Come on brave men,” when he fell, mortally wounded by a bullet in the breast. Lieutenant Colonel Blair assumed command and after six hours of severe fighting received orders to withdraw his command. Feeling it impossible to retire at that crucial moment, he held his ground one hour and a half, when the enemy’s fire was utterly silenced and they withdrew. The Second Kansas was the only regiment to keep its line and organization from first to last, but it was at the cost of one-third of its men. At the close of this engagement, the command returned to Springfield, thence by way of Rolla and St. Louis to Leavenworth, Kansas, where they were mustered out with orders to reorganize. Mr. Crane was honorably discharged October 31, 1861, and reenlisted March 17, 1862, for the three years’ service as a private in Company A, Fifth Kansas Vol. Cav., under Capt. William F. Creitz and Col. Powell Clayton. This regiment participated in the engagement at Drywood, September 2, 1861; at Morristown, Missouri, September 17, when Col. Hampton P. Johnson fell; at Osceola, where they attacked the rear of Price’s army, routing them. Lieutenant Colonel Clayton assumed command of the regiment in February, 1862, and in May they drove the guerilla band of Coleman out of that section of the country. On July 6th they routed an Arkansas cavalry regiment at Salem, Arkansas, and during the following winter engaged in skirmishes with the Rebel cavalry near Helena, Arkansas. On May 7, 1863, they joined the expedition of Colonel Clayton through the country west and south of Helena, destroying supplies, and on August 15th joined Colonel Steele’s Arkansas expedition. On September 10th they engaged the enemy at Little Rock, and on October 25th were attacked at Pine Bluff by General Marmaduke with 3,000 men and 12 pieces of artillery. Colonel Clayton had opposed to this force but 600 men and nine pieces of artillery. After six hours of action, the Rebels were defeated at all points, leaving the field to Colonel Clayton and his small force of brave men. Mr. Crane was after this battle transferred to Company H, Fifth Reg., Kansas Vol. Cav., with which he served throughout the remainder of the war. He was honorably discharged at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, July 19, 1865, and returned to his home in Topeka.

David O. Crane had charge of the Topeka Cemetery from 1868 to 1871, under direction of his father, who had for some years served as its superintendent. In the spring of 1871, he moved to Osage, Kansas, where he resided until the death of his father, November 17, 1884, since which time he has lived in Topeka and has had charge of the cemetery. Prior to November, 1884, there were 3,857 interments, and at the present time the number aggregates 10,898.

On March 3, 1869, Mr. Crane was joined in wedlock with Anna S. Kay, of Topeka, Kansas. Her brother, James T. Kay, served in Company C, 83rd Reg., Indiana Vol. Inf., during the Civil War and was killed in battle. To this union have been born four children, of whom three are now living, as follows: Mary E. (Radcliff) ; Anna S.; and Franklin L. Fraternally, our subject is a Mason and has taken all the degrees up to and including the 32nd degree; he is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Knights of Pythias; Ancient Order of United Workmen; Modern Woodmen of America; Fraternal Aid and other societies. He is a member of Lincoln Post, No, 1, Department of Kansas, G. A. R. Mrs. Crane is an active and honorable member of Lincoln Circle, No. 1, Ladies of the G. A. R., and she and her daughters are members of Naomi Rebekah Lodge, No. 95, and of the Order of the Eastern Star. A view of the Crane residence is shown on another page of this work.

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This family biography is one of 206 biographies included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  For the complete description, click here: Shawnee County, Kansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Shawnee County, Kansas family biographies here: Shawnee County, Kansas

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