The History of Otsego County, New York
D. Hamilton Hurd
Published by Everts & Fariss, Philadelphia
CRANDALL, Henry D - West Edmeston
Henry D. CRANDALL, son of Henry and Polly DENNISON
CRANDALL, was born in Brookfield, Madison Co., N.Y., April 17, 1800.
His father was a native of Hopkinton, R.I., and his mother, of
Stonington, Conn. They reared ten children, seven sons and three
daughters, of whom Henry D. is the second child and eldest son.
Henry D.'s parents removed into Brookfield, Madison county, about
1798, and continued to reside there till their death. Here their
children were born, save the eldest daughter who is a native of
Connecticut. Henry D.'s father was a farmer, hence Henry D. was
reared to know full well the value of time and money, and then was
early inculcated in his youthful mind those cardinal principles which
you will always see in every successful man's life. He continued to
live with his parents until he was nearly twenty-two years of age,
having had very limited advantages for an education.
In 1822 he went into Chautauqua county and worked by the
month for six months; then made some arrangements for a farm of
200 acres, which he very soon sold to his brother Daniel S., and
returned to his native place, having been from home about a year.
He then worked on the Erie canal till haying-time; then worked
during haying and harvest for thirteen dollars per month; then went
into Chautauqua county and sold his farm and took in part payment a
yoke of cattle, which he drove back home and kept a year, and sold
for forty dollars. In the spring of 1824, he took a farm to work on
shares, and on Sept. 9, 1824, he was married to Miss Prudence CLARK,
of Brookfield, Madison county, by whom five children were born,
one only of whom are still living. Mrs. Prudence Crandall was born
in 1796. On April 1, 1825, he purchased 51 1/4 acres lying just east
of West Edmeston, on the side hill, paying for the same seven dollars an
acre, one-seventh down. On Nov. 25, 1833, Mrs. Crandall died, and
about that time Mr. Crandall buried two of his children. On July 17,
1834, Mr. Crandall was married to Miss Phebe DYE, of Brookfield. Mr.
Crandall added to his farm near West Edmeston till he had 80 acres,
which he sold in 1835, and bought where James SAWYER now resides.
His first purchase here was 150 acres, and to this he kept adding until
he was the owner of 468 acres of good tillable land. In 1855 he removed
into Brookfield township, Madison county, on to a farm of 155 acres,
which he purchased the year before; here he was enjoying life with his
estimable wife, when, just as night had thrown her sable curtain over
the day of Dec. 7, 1865, this happy family was doomed to pass through a
scene of blood and death of which but few are ever called upon to experience.
On the eve mentioned, Mr. Crandall came in from doing his evening
chores, when all at once there appeared two men in his house,
demanding his money and bonds; which being refused them, he was
violently assaulted by them, but was so far successful in defending
himself, unaided by any weapon, as to get one of the men down on
the floor, where he remained some minutes, but the other desperado
drew a revolver and would have shot Mr. Crandall 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. Crandall then went into his bed-room on the pretense
of getting his money and bonds, but, in fact, only to get a weapon, -a
stick some three feet long, which he remembered to be near the head
of his bed. As he was about to return he saw a hand with a pistol in
it through the partly-opened door; it being dark in the room, they could
not see him, and hence the firing did no hurt. As the second
man's hand appeared through the door, Mr. Crandall 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 person
come up behind and knocked him down; he was then shot just below
his right eye, the ball passing downward and lodging in his cheek-bone.
He was also shot in the back part of the head causing a flesh wound.
The last Mr. Crandall. remembers of that sad affair his wife was
alive and uninjured, but when he awoke to consciousness he found
out that his wife had been shot through the head, the ball entering
above the right ear and coming out above the left, 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. Crandall had in her possession.
Mr. Crandall married his present wife Marian E. MANNING,
March 4th, 1867, by whom five children are born, namely, Henry D.,
Marian E., and Louisa J., (twins,) Byron M., and Carrie P.
Mr. Crandall settled in Leonardsville in 1867 and resided there until
September, when he purchased his present fine home, a view of which,
together with a view of his former residence in Brookfield, may be seen
on the opposite page. In April, 1863, Mr. Crandall was burnt out in
Brookfield, and rebuilt the same year. In politics he is a Republican
He is a member of the Seventh-Day Baptist Church at West
Edmeston and so is his present wife, as well as his two former wives.
Mr. Crandall has been one of the most successful farmers in the town
or county. He began life poor, and has accumulated a fine property.
Excerpt from History of Otsego Co., NY, between pages 144 & 145
This additional note comes from Mr. Crandall's biography in
History of Madison Co., NY:
There was a large amount of bonds, some $2,500,000 and about
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.
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