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Fred Hoyt Crain
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Birth: Sep. 9, 1867
Schuyler County
Illinois, USA
Death: May 18, 1920
Knox County
Illinois, USA

Fred's daily journals for 1889 and 1891 are preserved in the Crain Collection of Western Illinois University Archives and Special Collections, Macomb, Illinois.

Funeral Services of Fred Crain Sunday

The Last Rites of a Most Highly Esteemed
Citizen Held Last Sunday at the Home
of His Boyhood and Early Manhood

Large Crowd Gather to
Pay Respects to Fred Crain
Who Was Killed in Galesburg

Fred Hoyt Crain, son of William H. and Rachel Baxter Crain, was born Sept. 9, 1867, at the old Crain homestead, two miles west of Huntsville, in a swelling near the spot where the Crain home now stands.

His youth was past at the parental home. He attended the neighborhood district school and the graded school at Huntsville, later taking a course of study at Chaddock College, Quincy.

On 17 June, 1896, he was united in marriage to Miss Mattie Newcomb, daughter of Francis H. C. Newcomb and Sarah Gordon Newcomb, at their home just north of Pulaski. To them were born a son and a daughter, Donald and Dorothy.

For many years Fred was in partnership with his twin brother, Frank, in the management of the home farm before and after the death of their father which occurred in 1904. Fred also spent a year in New Mexico with his family acquiring a government homestead which they still retain.

In the fall of 1916 Fred discontinued farming and moved with his family to Galesburg, Illinois, in order that their children might enter Knox College, which institution they still attend, their course of study having been interrupted by the year which Donald spent as a soldier going overseas and Dorothy in government war work in Washington. During this time Fred had been in the employ of the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company at Galesburg.

Early Tuesday morning, May 18, 1920, Fred was struck and fatally injured by an automobile, the tragedy occurring at the junction of South Seminary and Simmons Streets in Galesburg. He was riding his bicycle home from his work and was run down by a heavy car being driven around the corner at high speed all too careless of the innocent life which was altogether at his mercy just ahead the life of a law abiding citizen who entrusted his safety to the recognized traffic rules and with confidence that other would observe these rules as faithfully as he himself was doing. But alas, this confidence was betrayed and a noble life was sacrificed.

After being struck it is said that Fred was carried some distance on the hood of the automobile, helpless and terribly hurt, then was thrown to the pavement where the heavy wheels ran over him. The car was finally brought to a stop at a point considerably beyond where he was left lying in the street.

He was taken promptly to the Galesburg Hospital, where everything know to surgical science was done to save his life, but he never fully regained consciousness and died at 4:45 a.m., four and one half hours after being struck. His heartbroken wife and children were with him when he passed away. Just a little while before he died, his lips murmured the word "Home."

His brother Frank was summoned by telephone as quickly as possible after the tragedy and in company with John Newcomb and Chester Winters drove from Augusta to Galesburg by automobile only to learn, upon arriving at the hospital, that a dear brother's life had gone out.

The eldest brother, Maurice, who for many years has been employed in the Census Bureau at Washington, D. C., happened to be at this time traveling through Nebraska, engaged in government field work and was reached by a telegram sent to Fremont, Neb. He arrived at Galesburg Wednesday morning.

A cable was sent to the youngest brother, Ralph, at Havana, Cuba, who arrived at Augusta with his family Saturday afternoon.

Fred's body was brought to Augusta Wednesday night and was taken to the home of his father-in-law, F. H. C. Newcomb in Augusta. On Saturday afternoon it was removed to his childhood home on the Crain farm where his mother still lives with Frank, Harry and Mary.

The funeral was held at the old home Sunday afternoon, May 23rd, at 3:30. The services were conducted by Rev. F. E. Smith of Waverly, Ill., formerly pastor of the M. E. Church of Augusta, and a warm personal friend of Fred's. The text he took was from St. John, 17th chapter, 4th verse: "I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do."

Rev. Smith was assisted by Rev. D. L. Jeffers, pastor of the M. E. church of Augusta; Rev. F. W. Leonard of the Christian church of Augusta; Rev. Hugh Robinson of the Presbyterian church of Augusta, and Rev. F. R. Doland of the Pulaski M. E. Church circuit. A quartette composed of Mrs. Earl Smith, Miss Helen Young, Geo. Bottorff and William Bacon, accompanied by Miss Ella Pendleton, sang sweet and appropriate hymns, the last on at the mother's request, being "Asleep in Jesus, Blessed Sleep, from Which None Ever Wake[s] to Weep." The floral tributes were many and beautiful. One of the designs sent by Fred's associates in railroad work represented a broken wheel, symbolical of his untimely death. A group of Fred's associates, among whom were Harry Chambers and William Watts, former Augusta boys, came to Augusta to attend the funeral.

The attendance was very large, filling the house and a portion of the front lawn where seats had been placed to accommodate the throng of friends and neighbors who had come from near and far to pay a loving tribute to his memory.

Struck down as he was in the vigor of health and handsome manhood, Fred's face, as he lay there, wore a sweet, contented expression just as though he were peacefully sleeping.

Interment was made at the Pulaski cemetery in the family lot where lie at rest three generations of the Crain family. It is especially fitting that Fred be placed here near his loved ones and near the little church which he had attended since childhood and which his grandfather, Rev. William Crain, had helped found in the year 1836 and where the latter had preached frequently during almost half a century until his death in 1884.

At the grave the quartet sang softly "Jesus, Lover of My Soul, Let Me to Thy Bosom Fly." Rev. Smith spoke a few appropriate words of Christian consolation and offered an earnest prayer. Then all that is mortal of a dearly beloved brother was tenderly laid to rest.

Beside his widow and two children, Fred is survived by his mother, his sister Mary, and four brothers, Maurice, Frank, Harry and Ralph.

Fred embraced religion in 1885 under the pastorate of Rev. Madison. He united with the Pulaski M. E. church where he remained a faithful member until his death.

Thus has passed from earth to Heaven one of the finest and truest of men; an obedient and affectionate son; a fond and faithful brother, a generous and loving husband and father.

His journey through life was marked by words of friendship and deeds of kindness, devoid of pretense, patient, helpful and uncomplaining, he endeared himself to all whose privilege it was to know him well. He held the highest principles of integrity and fair dealing; in his great heart there was no room for malice; a noble, Christian gentleman was he, who faithfully obeyed the teachings and humbly followed the footsteps of the Master, in whom he placed his unshaken trust.

The family gratefully appreciate the helpful and sympathetic ministrations so freely bestowed by the friends and neighbors.

- Ralph W. Crain

Fred Hoyt Crain, "Funeral Services of Fred Crain Sunday." Undated clipping. ca. May 1920, from unidentified newspaper [maybe Augusta Eagle, Augusta, Hancock, Illinois]; from a photocopy from a scrapbook at Hancock County Historical Society, Carthage, Illinois, held by Sue Hawes, Portland, Maine, 2007.
Family links: 
  William Harris Crain (1834 - 1904)
  Rachel Baxter Crain (1840 - 1932)
  Martha Gordon Newcomb Crain (1871 - 1957)
  Donald Frank Crain (1898 - 2003)*
  Dorothy Crain Hawes (1899 - 1989)*
  Annie Belle Crain (1861 - 1864)*
  William Maurice Crain (1863 - 1964)*
  Hattie E Crain (1865 - 1866)*
  Fred Hoyt Crain (1867 - 1920)
  Frank Matthew Crain (1867 - 1952)*
  Charles J Crain (1869 - 1871)*
  Harry Marshall Crain (1874 - 1967)*
  Ralph Waldo Crain (1877 - 1949)*
  Carl Crain (1879 - 1882)*
  Mary Crain (1886 - 1990)*
*Calculated relationship
Pulaski Cemetery
Hancock County
Illinois, USA
Created by: Sue Hawes
Record added: Apr 18, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 51282409
Fred Hoyt Crain
Added by: Sue Hawes
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- Sharon
 Added: Aug. 16, 2011

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