I. A. CRANDALL was born in Leonardsville, N.Y., August 5, 1848, son of Darwin S. and Alzina (Babcock) Crandall. An elder Crandall, who had served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, on the very night of his return to his home, after his discharge from the army, had a son born, who was subsequently the grandfather of Mr. I. A. Crandall. This son remained with his father in Rhode Island until manhood when he moved to Rensselaer County, New York State, and there married Miss Lydia Greenman, by whom he had these children: William G.; Jonathan; Darwin S.; Jane; Polly, deceased. Later the grandfather moved to DeRuyter, Madison County; and there he and the grandmother resided until their deaths.
Darwin S., father of I. A. Crandall, was born January 22, 1816, and was brought up on the farm. The limited education he received was attained with a great deal of difficulty. The school-house was two miles away, and he had to work for the means to obtain what little instruction he received. When he was twenty years old, he went to Brookfield, N.Y., and learned the carpenter's trade with Richard Stillman. He served at this for two years, working at the carpenter's bench in summers and doing cabinet work in the winters. He started in business for himself at the end of this time, taking contracts for the erection of buildings. The first house he built was for Tracy Dennison, over fifty years ago: For nearly forty years he continued this business, being actively engaged and employing a large number of men, building houses all over this part of the country, and even going as far south as the State of Florida, where he built a house for J. P. Brown at his orange grove in Palatka, on St. John's River. For the last ten years he has lived retired from business, spending most of his time with his son, our subject, of whose beautiful home he superintended the building. This fine residence, situated on an eminence overlooking all the surrounding country, is indeed the crowning work of the genius of the architect, and a monument to the artistic taste and skill of the builder. This house commands a view not only of the village, but of the whole landscape for ten miles around, and is considered one of the finest in the county. This venerable gentleman is now seventy-five years of age. His wife died in the town of Leonardsville, at the age of seventy. Three children were born to them--our subject, Arthur W., and Alice M. They adopted a nephew of Mrs. Crandall, who resides in Saginaw, Mich.
I. A. Crandall was reared to manhood at his present home, being educated partly in the common schools of Leonardsville and partly in select schools of the town. In his youth he was conspicuous for being in the lead in his classes, as he is to-day among his business competitors. At the age of sixteen he began working as a clerk for N. V. and W. H. Brand in a general store, and remained with them two years. He was for one year after this with North & Babcock, and later served for a short time in the County Clerk's office in Morrisville, N.Y. After his term expired he returned to Leonardsville, and went into business for himself August, 1867. His first store was where the post-office now stands, and the firm was known as Kinney & Crandall. This had previously been a large general store, kept by Charles Maxson, who succeeded Mr. Daniel Harding. Mr. Maxson having been burned out, Mr. Harding again took possession of the stock; and Messrs. Kinney & Crandall bought it of him, making it a nucleus of the business they were about to establish. At the end of the year Mr. Crandall bought out Mr. Kinney, and has since continued the business alone. After ten years in this store and the one owned by Mrs. H. W. North he removed to the present building, constructed for him by Wheeler & Harding, where he has ever since conducted a most successful and constantly increasing business, until
today he is one of the leading merchants in the county, having also a large branch store at West Winfield, N.Y. Arthur W. Crandall began life as a clerk in this store, where he worked for his brother, I. A., for ten years. He then opened a shoe department in the rear of the building, which has since been bought out and added to the already large business of Mr. I. A. Crandall, Arthur still continuing its management.
At twenty-two years of age Mr. I. A. Crandall married Miss Algerose L. Higley, daughter of John F. and Elizabeth Higley, of Cortland County, New York, whose people came to Madison County in 1866. They have four children--Elva E., Ralph E., Mable M., and Blanche. The eldest daughter, now twenty-two years old, has been educated at Vassar College, and is a lovely and accomplished young woman. The family are Seventh-day Baptists, Mr. Crandall, like his father, having been from his earliest years identified with this church, of which he is a Deacon. He is Treasurer and Secretary of the Otsego Furnace Co., which is a rapidly growing concern, and is a Director in the Leonardsville Canning Company. He has served for ten years on the Board of Education, and has been President for several years. Mr. Crandall, besides being one of the most enterprising and successful merchants of Madison County, is a splendid specimen of a self reliant man. From his earliest years he has worked hard, and his comfort and wealth have been the result of his persevering industry and thrift. He takes a deep interest, not only in the cause of education, but in all public affairs, and votes conscientiously and faithfully with the Republican party.
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