Biography of A. C. Crain

A. C. CRAIN, ex-sheriff of Christian County and one of the representative men of the same, is now living a retired life at Sparta, Missouri He is a native of Tennessee, born in Franklin County October 2, 1833, and the son of William B. and Alice (Ford) Crain, natives of Tennessee. The grandfather, William B. Crain, was a native of North Carolina and came to Tennessee at an early day. Later he moved with his family to Stoddard County, Missouri, and in 1842 settled with his family in Greene County. Previous to this, in 1839, the father of our subject died and the mother followed him to the grave the following year. Both died in Stoddard County. The grandfather reared the three children born to this union. William Crain resided in Taylor Township, Greene County, for three or four years and then moved on the James River, near Galloway. Two years later he moved to Newton County, Missouri, before it was organized and made his home there for three years. There his death occurred and the family subsequently moved back to Greene County, settling in the same neighborhood where they had formerly lived. Some years later the grandmother went back to Newton County and there received her final summons. She and her husband were the parents of eleven children: Mahala, Lucinda, Hannah, Dollie, Mary, James, Hiram, William B. (father of subject), Leroy, John and Samuel. Several of the sons took an active part in the Rebellion. John and Leroy were in the Union Army, while James and Hiram were in Texas and soldiers in the Confederate Army. The Crain family held membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church and the male members of the family were Democrats at an early day.

The original of this notice was the eldest of three children. The others were: Hiram H., who was a resident of this county until the breaking out of the war, when he enlisted in the Union Army and was killed near Booneville, Arkansas, in the last fight of his regiment. He enlisted in the Eighth Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, under Col. W. F. Gregor, and served three years, his death occurring October 24, 1864. To his marriage have been born two children, both of whom are residing in Webster County. The subject of this sketch was reared in this part of the county and in September, 1862, he enlisted in Company L, Eighth Regiment Volunteer Cavalry, and served until the close of the war. He and his brother Hiram were in all the battles of the regiment and saw much hard service, but our subject was never wounded or made a prisoner of war. Receiving his discharge in July, 1865, Mr. Crain, who had worked his way from a private to the rank of first lieutenant, returned to his home. Previous to the war, in 1859, he was married to Miss Martha Kershner and two children were born before the war, one just the day before he left to enter the army. Mrs. Crain was a native of Greene County, born in 1842, and the daughter of John and Martha (Amous) Kershner, who came to Greene County, Missouri, about 1849. Mr. and Mrs. Kershner were the parents of ten children, as follows: William, Thomas, John H., Delvitt C., James, Elizabeth, Francis, Sarah, Harriet and Martha. This family came from Tennessee and became well known in Greene County. After the war Mr. Crain began farming on his present property and continued to till the soil until 1872, when he was elected sheriff and collector of Christian County. This position he filled in a very satisfactory manner for seven years. He has always affiliated with the Republican party and is a most worthy citizen. He was deputy sheriff of Greene County before the war and was elected mayor of Sparta when the town was incorporated. He is now retired from active business and resides with his family in Sparta. He has reared four daughters and four sons, all of whom are living: Luzanna is the wife of William Robertson, of Ozark; Harriett is the widow of James Bench (she has five children and is now making her home with our subject); Martha, wife of James Adams, who is the county clerk; Inez, at home; William H., who is married and a farmer; John H. resides at Ozark and is deputy county clerk; Thomas is in the machine shops of the Frisco Railroad at Springfield and James, the young-est, is still in school. Mr. and Mrs. Crain attend the Christian Church, of which the latter is a member. Mr. Crain is a member of the I. O. 0. F. lodge at Sparta, is an old member and has held all the offices in the order. He is also a member of the G. A. R. post at Sparta. Aside from a good farm adjoining Sparta, Mr. Crain owns property in that town. He is a self-made man, for he started out for himself without a dollar in his pocket, educated himself and made a success of his life. He attended the district school three months each year for a number of years, and being studious and persevering became a well-informed man. He is well known to the people of this and other counties and during the time he was sheriff he had the Hart-Davis case to handle and took the first prisoner from this county to the penitentiary. He has always been interested in church and school work and helped organize this township when it had no free schools. He assisted in building five school houses. For six years Mr. Crain was a merchant of Sparta.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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