(April 17, 1800- )
HENRY CRANDALL was born in the town of Brookfield, Madison Co., N. Y., April 17th, 1800.
He is a son of HENRY and POLLY (DENNISON) Crandall, natives, the former of Hopkinton,
R.I., born in 1774, and the latter of Stonington, Conn., born about 1774. They moved into
Brookfield about 1798, and continued to reside there until they died. They had 10 children, all
born in Brookfield, (save one, the oldest daughter, who was born in Conn.,) named as follows:
POLLY M. (dead,) HENRY D., DANIEL S. (dead,) JOSEPH H. (dead,) LURANA B., ESTHER S.
(dead,) WILLIAM R., GEORGE V., AVERY C., and FRANCIS E.
His parents were farmers, hence HENRY D., was reared to know full well the value of time and
money. He continued to live with his parents until he was nearly twenty-two years of age having
very limited advantages for an education. In 1822 he went to Chautauqua Co. and purchased a
farm of 200 acres which he left in care of his brother DANIEL S., and returned to his native place.
He remained here nearly a year and then returned to Chautauqua Co. and sold his farm.
September 9, 1824, he was married to PRUDENCE CLOOK of Brookfield by whom he had five
children, only one of whom is now living., Mrs. CRANDALL was born in 1796, and died Nov. 25,
1833. In 1825 he purchased fifty-one and a quarter acres of land lying east of West Edmeston,
Otsego Co., on the side-hill, paying for the same seven dollars an acre, one-seventh down. On this
farm he commenced housekeeping. July 17, 1834, he was married to PHOEBE DYE of Brookfield.
In 1835 he purchased a farm of 150 acres in Edmeston, Otsego Co., where JAMES SAWYER now
lives and kept adding thereto until he owned 468 acres of good tillable land. In 1855 he removed
to Brookfield, Madison Co., on to a farm of 155 acres which he purchased a year before. Here he
was enjoying life with his estimable wife when just as night had thrown her sable curtain over the
day of December 7th, 1865, this happy family was doomed to pass through a scene of blood and
death the like, but few are called upon to experience. On the evening mentioned Mr. CRANDALL
came in from his work when all at once there appeared two men in his house demanding his money
and bonds; upon refusing to comply with their demands Mr. C. was violently assaulted by the ruffians
and was so far successful in defending himself unaided by any weapon, as to get one of them down
on the floor where he kept him some minutes, but the other desperado drew a revolver and would
have shot Mr. C. had he not seized a stick of wood and knocked him down, but the ruffian fired and
the ball made a slight flesh wound just over the right eye and on top of the head. Mr. C. then went
into his bed room on the pretense of getting his money and bonds, but in fact to get a weapon, a
stick some three feet long which he remembered as standing at the head of his bed. When he was
about to return to renew the battle, he saw a hand with a pistol in it through the partly opened door.
The pistol was fired but owing to the darkness the shot did not take effect. As the second man's hand
appeared, Mr. C. struck it a fearful blow with his club, and rushed out upon his assailants and would
have been more than a match for them had not some unknown third party come up behind and
knocked him down. He was then shot just below the right eye, the ball passing downward and
lodging in the roof of his mouth where it remains to this day. He was also shot in the back part of the
head causing flesh wounds. The last Mr. C. remembers of that sad affair his wife was alive and
uninjured., but when he awoke to consciousness he learned that his wife had been shot through the
head, the ball entering just above the right ear and coming out above the left ear, and that she had
been buried about two weeks. The villains left Mr. CRANDALL for dead, but went away without any
money or bonds except a few dollars Mrs. C. had in her possession. There was a large amount of
bonds, some $2,500,000 and about $700,000, in bank notes, that the robbers came for but they failed
to find the treasure as it was hid in a straw bed. The perpetrators of this horrible crime have never
been brought to Justice. There was an arrest made and trial of a man named BELLFIELD in 1879, but
he was acquitted.
Mr. CRANDALL married his present wife MARIAN E. MANNING, March 4th, 1867. By her he has five
children, viz: HENRY D., MARIAN E., and LOUISA J., (twins,) BYRON M., and CARRIE P.
Mr. C. settled in Leonardsville in 1867 and resided there until 1874, when he purchased his fine home
in West Edmeston, Otsego Co.
In politics Mr. C. is a Republican. He is a member of the Seventh-Day Baptist Church at West
Edmeston as is his wife. Mr. C. has been a successful farmer and has accumulated a fine property. He
began life poor and has to attribute his success to a perseverance and energy characteristic of self-
From "History of Chenango and Madison Counties, NY" starting on page 542.
Transcribed by Sandy Goodspeed
Date: Saturday, August 14, 1999 3:56 PM
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