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James Newfield Crain
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Birth: Dec. 31, 1832
Cape Girardeau County
Missouri, USA
Death: Sep. 11, 1873
Kansas City
Jackson County
Missouri, USA

"James Newfield Crain was born December 31, 1832, and on June 2, 1857, was married in Ogle County, Illinois, to Kate Debenhem, an English girl, whom he had met while attending Rock River Seminary at Mt. Morris Illinois. They lived for a time on his father's farm in Huntsville Township, then moved to Missouri. On September 11, 1873, while engaged in construction work on the Hannibal & St. Joe Railroad bridge at Kansas City, he fell from a pier into the Missouri River and was drowned. His body was not recovered, though some months later a skeleton which some thought to be his was discovered many miles down the river. The children of James and Kate Crain were: William Debenhem, Horace Newfield, Mary Eleanor (died in infancy), Harriet Anna, Mary Edith, Thomas Dennis, Herbert, Elsie and Myrtle. Aunt Kate died at Goldfield, Iowa, in August, 1905."

Excerpt from Ralph Waldo Crain's Pulaski section: Augusta's Story, Martha Board Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution (Augusta, Illinois: Augusta Eagle, 1922).

Kansas City Times
Friday morning, September 12, 1873

Fatal Accident

"Brief mention has frequently been made of men employed in putting in the false piling above and below the bridge falling into the Missouri River. These accidents have until yesterday resulted in no more serious consequences that a wetting in the Missouri and climb up log cribs into the piers. Last evening about six o'clock ion of these accidental falls resulted fatally to James Crain, one of the men employed as bridge carpenter, and a resident of St. catherine's, a small town near Brookfield on the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad (now the Burlington). Mr. Crain was at work on the half finished Howe Truss, above the swinging span of the bridge; when by some means his feet slipped. He lost his hold and fell into the rushing waster, which whirled in rapid eddies around the log crib above the bridge. He sank immediately, but arose to the surface again and cried for help. That cry was his last in this world. The treacherous under current which is said to be more powerful than a whirlpool, dragged the young man under but not before he made a desperate struggle for dear life, his beloved wife, his home and his children. He threw up his arms and struck out manfully for the wooden tub surrounding the ____ pier. But his puny strength was as naught when brought against the wild capricious current. It fairly laughed in its glee as it whirled him round and round and after toying with him a while, dragged that poor fellow under. His white face was seen for yet a moment more when down he went, never more to rise alive. All this was witnessed by his comrades upon the bridge and not without an effort being made to save him. A young who in his modesty objects to the use of his name in the paper sprang overboard from the bridge and risked his own life in vain effort save one half spent. His efforts proved unavailing. Crain did not rise again. He was even gliding slowly down the stream, to find lodgement on the resting place on the bar below. the name of this brave man, who risked his own life to save a drowning man in the most dangerous of currents, is G. E. Alger. The drowned man leaves a young wife and 9 children in St. Catherine's. His body at last accounts had not been recovered, although several boats were dragging the river for it."

This was James Newfield Crain, born Cape Girardeau, Missouri Dec 31, 1832 Married Catherine Debenham June 2, 1857 (Second-generation transcription from one made by W. T. Bishop on July 6, 1978 from microfilm at the Kansas City Public Library). Photocopy provided by Don Jones.

Also parent of Thomas Dennis Crain and Myrtle Sophia Crain Thrall.
Family links: 
  William Crain (1802 - 1884)
  Harriet Ellen Tong Crain (1817 - 1884)
  William Debenham Crain (1858 - 1963)*
  Elle Crain (1861 - 1864)*
  Horace Newfield Crain (1862 - 1937)*
  Harriet Anna Crain Kahlert (1863 - 1948)*
  John Franklin Crain (1832 - 1872)*
  James Newfield Crain (1832 - 1873)
  William Harris Crain (1834 - 1904)*
  Sarah Ellen Maria Crain Ellis (1838 - 1915)*
  George H Crain (1840 - 1840)*
  Mary S Crain (1841 - 1841)*
  Elizabeth F Crain (1843 - 1843)*
  Julia A Crain (1845 - 1846)*
  Harriet Eliza Crain Kirk (1847 - 1936)*
  Benjamin Bacon Crain (1851 - 1946)*
  Henry Clay Crain (1853 - 1923)*
  Edward Morris Crain (1855 - 1945)*
  Mary Frances Crain Helmick (1857 - 1940)*
*Calculated relationship
Body lost or destroyed
Specifically: Drowned in the Missouri River
Created by: Sue Hawes
Record added: Apr 18, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 51299642
James Newfield Crain
Added by: Sue Hawes
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- Neil B (John 3:16)
 Added: Apr. 23, 2010

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