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                                       CHARLES CRAIN
                                    Cook County, Illinois


Information contributed for use in Cook County ILGenWeb by
        Sherri Hessick, added May 2001.


Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County,
Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended
(Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 79-80

CHARLES CRAIN was one of the worthy pioneers of Evanston,
and is entitled to honorable mention in this record.  He was
born in Stockton, New York, July 16, 1822, and died at
Evanston, June 2, 1891.  He was a son of Charles Crain, of
whom further mention will be found in the biography of Osro
Crain, upon another page of this volume.

Charles was a small boy when the family removed to Indiana,
where he remained until he reached the age of eighteen
years.  He first visited Chicago in 1840, making the journey
on foot in company with his brothers.  He soon after
returned to Indiana, but the following year he again came to
Cook County, and learned the cooper’s trade in John Foster’s
shop in Niles Township.  He worked at this trade until the
spring of 1850, when he started overland for California,
accompanied by his brother and several others from Cook
County. He remained in the land of gold but a few months,
returning by way of the Nicaragua route, he and his party
being the first to make use of that since-popular
thoroughfare across the Isthmus.  They were fourteen days in
crossing Central America on horseback, under the leadership
of a native guide.  He reached home a little less than a
year from the time of starting.

In 1846 he had purchased a small farm lying on both sides of
the present Ridge Avenue, south of Greenleaf Street, and he
now engaged in market-gardening upon this tract.  The rapid
growth of Chicago and Evanston afforded a ready market for
his products, and he continued this vocation until 1875, at
which date he sold most of his land, and all has since
become a part of the city of Evanston.

In 1846 he was married to Sarah Burroughs, daughter of David
W. and Judith W. Burroughs, who became residents of Evanston
in 1844.  Mrs. Burroughs’ maiden name was Stevens.  She was
a native of New Hampshire and her husband of Vermont.  The
Burroughs family, which is remotely of English descent, was
one of the first to locate in Massachusetts, where one of
its members was burned for witchcraft, while the crusade
against that imaginary evil was at its height.  Mrs. Crain,
who still survives, was born at Ashtabula, Ohio, and came to
Cook County in 1842. There were but four frame houses within
the present limits of Evanston when she located there.  She
became the mother of ten children, of whom the following is
the record: Malvina C. is the wife of O. D. Angle, of
Evanston.  Melissa S. died at the age of sixteen years.
Alice E. is now Mrs. J. C. McDougall, of Evanston, where
Osro A. died March 13, 1886, at the age of twenty-nine
years.  Lucy J. and William E. still reside at the old
homestead, and Charles E. also makes his home in Evanston.
Frances M. is the wife of William H. Blake, of South
Evanston, where George H. also resides; and Harvey E., the
youngest, is living at Arlington Heights.

Mr. Crain was an early member of the Masonic order, and
previous to his demise was voted an honorary life-membership
by Evans Lodge.  An adherent of Republican principles, he
was never a seeker of political patronage.  During his later
years he was severely afflicted with rheumatism, but bore
his trials with patience and resignation.  He was a man of
quiet, domestic tastes, who sought little notoriety, but
enjoyed the esteem and friendship of the community in which
most of his life was spent.

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