CRANDALL FAMILY HISTORY
By Susan Littlefield Haines
Susan's email address in 2009: email@example.com
[We do not have any other address]
Crandalls Ferry in Lee County on the Rock River
Photo presented here is from Mrs. Karen Masscho of Erie IL: "We are not absolutely sure this is the same ferry -- but we suspect it is"
Luke and Deborah Crandall Family
Whiteside and Lee Counties, Illinois
Luke Crandall, Jr (1785-1840) and Deborah Wilber (abt 1785-bef 1840) were both born in Rutland County, Vermont. Married 21 Aug 1808 in Danby, Rutland County, Vermont, they migrated with relatives of Deborah’s about 1811 to western New York and purchased land thru the Holland Purchase area which eventually became Collins, Erie, New York. Luke’s parents and siblings followed a few years later and the Crandalls became an important part of the area’s settlement history. (1) However, about 2 years after the death of Luke’s father in 1832, Luke Jr. and his wife sold their property in Collins and migrated with their family of 8 children down to the region that would become Grand detour, Illinois.
Information on the ancestors of both Luke Crandall and his wife Deborah Wilbur can be access thru my DAR application # 746508 as both were descendants of recognized Revolutionary War Patriots.
Luke and Deborah Wilber Crandall
Luke and Deborah arrived in the Grand de Tour area in May of 1835 and purchased property across the Rock River in Lee County. (2)(5) They ran a ferry where the road crossed from the area called “The Kingdom” to Grand de Tour. Tradition holds that it was the farm of Luke and Deborah where John Deere first tried out his experimental plow in about 1838 (10). Luke died intestate in Lee County Jan 7 1840. (11) His son Lewis was named administer of the estate and Deborah is not mentioned, so it is assumed she died prior to that.
Hannah Crandall Hunt
Hannah Crandall was born about 1809 in Vermont according to the 1860 Whiteside County, Illinois Census. She was married to David W. Hunt who, along with Hannah’s younger brother Lewis, was one of the first white inhabitants in the region 3 miles west of what would become Erie (3)(5) and which was called “Hunt’s Grove”. Circumstantial evidence (4) indicates that they had at least one son – his name was Lewis J. Hunt and he was born in Jan 1834 in New York. The David Hunt and L.J. Hunt families show up on a 1865 state census in Erie township, and a David W. Hunt acts as a witness to a will in Moline in 1877. A “Mr. Hunt” and a “Mrs. Hunt” are buried in the Erie Cemetery in the same plot that was purchased by Lafayette Crandall and Lewis J. Hunt, but no dates accompany the records.
As of this writing (June 2009), I have not found a probate or death record for Hannah or David. Their son Lewis has moved with his family to Kansas by the 1880 census. My personal research indicates that David may have been the brother to Phebe Hunt Crandall and Electa Hunt Olmstead, both of Whiteside Co, but as of this writing I have yet to prove this. I also suspect that the Thomas Hunt who died intestate on Aug 22 1839 in Whiteside County may be related to any or all of these 3 Hunts but as of this writing, I have not proved this.
Mariah Crandall Hubbard
Daughter Mariah was born about 1811 in New York and married Moses Hubbard in about 1836. Their first daughter was born in 1838 in Illinois. Moses and Mariah located at Canoe Creek, Rock Island Co, Illinois and lived their all of their lives,(6) although 1842 Lee County land records indicate that for a short time he owned the property that I believe originally belonged to Mariah’s father, Luke Crandall Sr.
John C. Crandall
Son John C. Crandall was born in 1813 in Concord, Niagara, New York (which became Collins, Erie, NY (12)). He apparently first located near his brother Lewis in Whiteside County (5) but by 1839 was working for his father in Lee County (7) and then moved onto Edgar County, Illinois where he married and lived until his death. (8)
Lewis D. Crandall
Lewis D. was born in 1816 in Concord, Niagara, NY (now Collins, Erie, NY) and was active in the organization of Grand de Tour as well as proving up his own land west of what would become Erie. He ran the first postoffice at “Crandall’s Ferry” which crossed the river where the road lead between Geneso and Morrison 2 miles below Erie(5). Lewis married Phebe Hunt on May 19 1840 in Erie and they had 2 children, Homer and Helen. Homer was killed in the Civil War and Helen married Joseph Littlefield from Mercer County. I am descended from Helen Crandall and Joseph Littlefield. After Phebe’s death, Lewis married Lucy Ann Crook Oct 6 1852 in Whiteside County and in 1859 they went to Central City, Colorado where he was a co-founder of the famous Bobtail Mine. He died in Nov 1860 in Central City. Lewis and Lucy did not have children and Lucy died Jan 1905 in Denver, Colorado. Court records and newspaper articles indicate Lucy died quite wealthy and that there was a huge scandal regarding the distribution of her estate.
Lucinda and James Hamilton
Lucinda Crandall was born about 1818 in Concord, Niagara, NY and married James Hamilton on Nov 4 1838 in Erie, Whiteside, Illinois. They lived in Fenton.(9) and are both buried are buried there.
Fidelia Crandall Peters
Fidelia Crandall was born Dec 1819 in Concord, Niagara, NY and married Jerome Peters on May 20 1846 in Erie, Whiteside Co, Illinois. They lived in Prophetstown. After the death of her husband in 1864, she moved to Mercer Co where she died between 1900/1910.
Lafayette F. Crandall
Lafeyette Crandall was born April 9, 1822 in Collins, Erie, NY. He married Lovina Rowe Feb 10, 1847 in Portland and they lived in Erie all of their lives. Some of his descendants still live in the area and the Crandall name continues to be well known throughout the county.
Luke Wilbur Crandall
Luke Wilbur Crandall was born in Collins, Erie, NY July 9, 1824. His middle name is taken from the maiden name of his mother, Deborah Wilbur Crandall. He married Eliza Wells on Feb 14 1850 in Henderson, Rock Island, Illinois. Family lore states that he sustained serious illness while serving in the Civil War and deserted his wife and family. She remarried in March 1873 and died in 1909 in Texas. Luke was reputed to be a wanderer and died in Oregon in 1889.
1. Migration from Vermont by Stillwell, Lewis Denton. Vermont Historical Society June 1937(FHL 974.3 W2s page 140) "Every county in western NY had it's distinctivly Vermont Colonies, usually composed of settlers from a single neighborhood in the home state... Collins in Erie Co, was a child of Danby, Vermont."
2. "the Crandall boy's parents had come from N.Y. by wagon and settled at Grand Detour, Ogle, IL." History of Lee Co, Illinois FHL 977.336 page 519
3. HISTORY OF WHITESIDE COUNTY, ILLINOIS, Edited by Charles Bent, 1877, FHL 977.335 H2b, pg 147: ...David Hunt, NJ.
4..census info and the fact that LJ Hunt purchased the plot with Lafayette Crandall.
5. PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM of WHITESIDE COUNTY, ILLINOIS: FHL 977.335 D3p, pg 496: La Fayette Crandall, ... pg 850:
The first settlers to occupy this territory were Lewis D., John, and Lafayette F. Crandall, John Freek and Joseph Fenton, David Hunt and Peter Giles in the fall of 1835. The Crandalls came from Erie County, NY. which is bordered by Lake Erie; and desiring to have some associations of their former home around them, they gave the name of Erie to the new settlement. John C. located on Section ;19, Lewis D. and Lafayette on Sec. 18, and David Hunt on section 25. George Steele located on section 7. The Crandall boys came with their parents, who located at Grand de Tour on Rock River. They all came by wagon from New York, They started from their old home April 3, 1835, and arrived at their new home the later part of May. The roads were not the best in those days, and sometimes if they diminished their journey by a mile they thought they were making a good day's work... pg851: Of the early settler, Lewis D. Crandall died in Colorado, in 1860. John Crandall died in Edgar County, Ill. Peter Giles moved to Oregon and is still living. Daniel Hunt died in Erie, and is buried by the side of his father (who came to Erie Township after him) in the Erie Cemetery. [ My assumption is that this is a misprint and that David Hunt is buried next to Thomas! ]
6.Rock Island, Illinois Federal Census Records, 1879 Mortality Index
7.Lee County Probate of Luke Crandall
8.Cemetery and Census Records of Edgar County, Illinois
9. PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM of WHITESIDE COUNTY, ILLINOIS: FHL 977.335 D3p, pg 496:
La Fayette Crandall, ...pg 794: "Franklin F. Hamilton, a farmer, on section 34, Fenton Township, is the son of a pioneer of Whiteside County. James Hamilton, his father, was born in 1812 in the State of New York. He came to Erie Township in 1836, and married Lucinda, daughter of Lewis D. and Phoebe (Hunt) Crandall. [ incorrect]. Lewis D. Crandall was the second settler in Erie Township, where he came in 1835, and located on section 18. He died in 1860. After his marriage the senior Hamilton went to Lee Co., Ill., and was a resident there until 1844, when he returned with his family to Whiteside County. He died in 1874. His wife survived until 1881...
10.Some publications and historians believe the farm was owned by Lewis D. Crandall. I have been unable to locate land records for this area prior to 1842 but my personal research indicates that Lewis settled farther west along the Rock River in Whiteside County. The bottom line is, tho, it was Crandall property!
11.Lee County Probate Records
12.History of Collins, NY From Our County and it’s People – A Descriptive Work on Erie County, New York. Edited by: Truman C. White. The Bosom History Company, Pulishers 1898. Buffalo. NY.
Short History of The Luke Crandall Family Of Lee, Whiteside & Ogle Counties, Illinois
This is meant to be a short compilation of the family research I have done on Luke and Deborah Wilber Crandall and their first generation descendants. By no means is it complete but I have provided sources for my information so that anyone can continue to gather information on their direct and specific ancestors.
The purpose of this document is only to share with other interested persons the information I have gathered over the past 3 years. I want to thank my wonderful friends in Lee, Ogle, and Whiteside Counties (you know who you are!) who during my April 2009 visit so graciously guided me around the area and opened their hearts, homes, and intellect to aid me in the collection and understanding of this data.
Susan Littlefield Haines
June 2009 – Casper, Wyoming
"PLOWING THROUGH HISTORY"
By Phillip Hartman - Sauk Valley Newspaper May 5, 2009
Grand Detour - More than 170 years ago, agricultural history was made in Lee County, and two descendants of a man who helped make it possible recently retraced the path of that event. Luke Crandall, an early settler in Lee County, owned the property where John Deere tested his first plow in 1837.
In mid-April, Doug Crandall of Prophetstown and Susan Haines of Casper, Wyo., both descendants of Lake Crandall, met with local historians and researchers to find Luke's property near Grand Detour. Haines, 54, is a cattle rancher who has been doing genealogical research for about 20 years. She also is an eighth-generation descendant of Luke Crandall. Through her research, Haines met with a future travel partner.
"I was researching my particular line of the Crandalls for two and a half years and had been corresponding with Marabee Boone, who was born in Tampico," Haines said. "We were having lunch out in California, and she said she was born in Whiteside County. We decided to take the train out and come out here to Whiteside. She was visiting relatives, and I reconnected with the Crandalls." After doing some internet research, Haines contacted Doug Crandall and his wife, Rachel, and found information for the John Deere Historical Site in Grand Detour, and sent them a letter.
Haines said, "I sent them (the site) a letter, and they connected me with Mr. (Duane) Paulsen (a historian of Ogle County). Everyone just went out of their way, and the hospitality has been out of the world." Haines and Boone traveled to Whiteside, Lee and Ogle counties. On April 22, (2009) they along with Doug and Rachel Crandall, Paulsen and Rick Trahan, the blacksmith at the John Deere Historic Site, followed a path to Luke Crandall's farm.
Dog Crandall, 59, is a sixth-generation descendant of Luke Crandall. He said the trek to the historic farm was a great experience. "Susan Haines came in with a friend from California,' he said. "We met each other for the first time and were treated very, very well. We were treated to an exclusive visit to the John Deere museum. Duane Paulsen had us over for lunch. We went over the river, and talked to a farmer. We knew we were on the right path, and were able to get onto the property where the ferry would have landed. We had a nice time."
The path to the Crandall property starts in Grand Detour, Paulsen said. "As you come into Grand Detour from Dixon, the first turnoff is Canal Street," he said. "That was the old ferry crossing. It was over from there." The plow would have been taken across the Rock River to the Crandall farm by ferry or rowboat, and then along Kingdom Road.
It was the road to the Kingdom, a very active settlement a mile east of Grand Detour," Paulsen said, "The only thing remaining there now is a church that was converted into a house. The road extended off into the east to Chicago.
Dick Gates, a resident of rural Dixon who lives on Kingdom Road, assisted Paulsen in finding where the plow site was. "We stopped at Gates' first, and he told us how to get there," Paulsen said. "I'd gotten erial views from the assessor's office which was really great."
Haines said she felt privileged to have been at the site. Its the culmination of two and a half years of research for me" she said. "Its much more effective to see the physical site. To see it, it all became more clear, the lifestyle of these people. They crossed over to one side of the river and crossed over to Grand Detour. That was their town.
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