A most unusual incident occurred Tuesday, Nov. 8 when five Augusta residents past 90 years of age visited the polls and cast their ballots.
Voting in the presidential election were Maurice Crain, 97, Mrs. Irene Bredette, who will be 95 next March, Theodore McCreery, who was 91 in October, Henry Moore, who was 91 last May and S. W. Venable who is past 91. This voting record in a community the size of Augusta is likely without equal in the entire nation.
Mr. Crain cast his first presidential ballot for Grover Cleveland, the twenty-fourth president, however he could have voted in the previous presidential election had he been in Augusta. He had gone to Kansas to homestead and thereby lost his first privilege of voting, since he was not in that state the required length of time to cast his ballot in accordance with the law.
Mr. Crain resided many years in Washington, D. C., and at election time it was his policy to return to Augusta to vote. Sometimes the trip was under rather trying circumstances. Eleven presidents have been elected since Mr. Crain cast his first vote. He walked to the polls, as did most of the others mentioned, it being routine for Mr. Crain to visit the business district several times a week.
Probably the Augusta Eagle newspaper in Hancock County, IL, abt. 1960
CENTENARIAN Called to Rest Life's Chapter Closed Wednesday Night, November 18, 1964 Final Rites Saturday
William Maurice Crain, Augusta centenarian, was called to peaceful and final slumber Wednesday night, Nov. 18, at the McDonough District hospital in Macomb. He had entered the hospital that afternoon. Mr. Crain bad been confined to his bed for several weeks as the result of sustaining a hip fracture in a fall while in Augusta's down town business district. Until that time he was remarkably active considering his advanced age of 101 years. He possessed a keen intellect and enjoyed the visits of kindred and friends.
Final rites for the esteemed Mr. Crain were held Saturday afternoon at 2 at the Augusta Methodist church, where he faithfully worshipped. The Rev.- James Weiss, pastor, officiated in the services that were in charge of the Cookson Funeral home.
Rev. Weiss also prepared and read the life sketch and paid tribute, to the departed one, Wendell Mathis sang, "Lead Kindly Light" and "Love That Will Not Let Me Go," two favorite hymns of Mr, Crain. Mrs. Leo McCutchan presided at the organ. There were many beautiful floral; tributes.
Internment was in the Pulaski cemetery, not too far from the old Crain homestead, where the family enjoyed, such a happy childhood together. Bearing the remains to their final resting place were Harry Ford, Lawrence Graham, Wm. Drake, Kenneth Sights, Earl Ford and Robert White.
In Memoriam William Maurice Crain was born September 5, 1863 near Huntsville, M., to William Harris and Rachel Baxter Crain. He attended Huntsville and Rushville schools and the Augusta High school.
He was united in marriage to Sarah Ann Newcomb, February 21, 1894, and to this union was born one daughter, Mrs. Helen Houghton, of Arlington, Virginia.
Mr. Crain served as a Federal Government employee for 35 years and for the past 11 years has resided with his sister, Miss Mary Crain, here in Augusta.
Mr. Crain was a member of Myron Parker Masonic Lodge No. 27, and the Order of the Eastern Star of Washington D. C.
As a devoted member of the Methodist church since his youth, Mr. Crain served in an official capacity many times. On many occasions Mr. Crain said that the most rewarding work be ever did was teaching a Sunday School class of boys and young men, several of whom have become ministers of the Methodist church. He considered working with the young people as the most important work of the church.
He had an outgoing spirit, was not only loyal to his old friends, but en enjoyed making new ones, which he continued to do throughout his life.
He was loved and respected by everyone and his kind and unselfish actions will long be remembered by all. Mr. Crain passed away at McDonough District hospital in Macomb, on November 18, 1964, at the age of 101, years, two months and 13 days.
He was preceded in death by his wife in October, of 1920; also two sisters and five brothers. He leaves to mourn his passing a daughter, Mrs. Helen Houghton of Arlington, Virginia, a sister, Miss Mary Crain of Augusta, a brother, Harry of Augusta, one granddaughter and one great granddaughter, as well as a host of friends.