| .....U S was born in the year 1888, the
son of John Hulse and Hattie Elizabeth (Blakeslee)
.....The name U S for a son's name came about because John H. really admired Ulysses S. Grant as a militant strategist. He wanted to name his son after Grant but did not want him to get stuck with a name such as Ulysses so he just named him U S Crane. U S married Carolina (Lena) Mathilda Miller in 1916 in Allegan, see the 25th anniversary report below. Lena was born in the year 1906, in Decatur, Michigan where her parents Carl and Mathilda Moller had settled after immigrating to Kalamazoo from Rugen Germany. The name Moller was "Americanized" to Miller. The 1920 census displayed that Lena's mother was living with them plus their daughters Geraldine and Rena. See the 1920 census page.
.....The map below is two miles wide with the main highway, M89 running across it. It displays the property plat map of 1895 overlaid on a 1999 aerial photo. From the Pie Pantry, 3/4 miles west is the John Hulse Crane farm which was willed to U S Crane. John moved into Fennville when U S married and passed away in 1939. Across the road and east was the farm of John's mother, Mrs. Lydia A. (Griswald) Crane, her husband Dwight R. passed away in 1894. This farm became to be know as the old farm, also being the farm that U S s's son Richard purchased. U S's brother Blakslee became owner of the Harrison and Alvin Hutchins farms which included the Sara Hutchins farm where Albert Crane now lives.
.....The Hutchins Cemetery is just east of Albert's house. In early pioneer days the only way to travel in this area was by the Baily Mill Rd. To the far left of the map you see "school" marking the Peach Belt School where U S had gone to school with his life long friend who lived across from the school, Clifford Paine. The Crane girls have many memorable stories about the school.
....."Our mother's parents, Carl and Mathilda came to Kalamazoo where he had a sister and later settled in Decatur, MI with their older children. Mother was born there. Her mother was pregnant with Lena's baby sister, Augusta when Carl became ill and died. Mother's older brothers had to help raise and support the young family. My mother never forgot that. Her dreams of being a nurse were lost. She and my father later sent Aunt Augusta through nurses training and my mother thought her dream would be realized through Augusta. Not to be ! Aunt Augusta died having mastoid surgery while she was still in training. Mother never really got over the loss. Dixie and I often talk about Mother going to the aid of anyone needing help in the community with food and supplies in case of illness or hard times. Sometimes as children we went with her. Most people never knew all that my Mother and Dad did to help others. Later she went on to serve on the Douglas Community Hospital Board. Our parents taught us one of the most valuable lessons that we learned -- that of 'Giving back'. So many stories of their caring generosity." Norma Crane
.....U S's oldest sister Ethel first married Peter Cole who owned a factory in Chicago and had a stepson robert who became a lawyer. Peter died when Robert was a teenager. Ethel moved back to Fennville and cared for her mother Hattie after John H. died. She later married Clifford Paine who was the engineer for the Golden Gate Bridge. Clifford Paine's farm was almost across from Peachbelt school and he went to school with U S and they and their families were good friends all their life's.
.....When Dixie was visiting her sister Geraldine in California she also visited her Aunt Rena (Lydia Irene) daughter of John H. Crane. Rena never had any children. Her husband, Oscar was thought to be the harbor master in San Diego and he was a wonderful tease. He always said, he was going to cut down her swing as she bugged him so much to push her in the swing. They always came to U S's home to stay when they came to Michigan. He was a Mormon although Rena was Methodist. It was said, Oscar installed the beautiful organ in the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. Norma has other memories of Oscar: She said "The women would be chatting and Uncle Oscar would round up the youngest nieces and nephews and take us to a movie in Holland and then to the soda fountain. We'd sit at the counter and order ice cream sodas and when we received our orders, Uncle Oscar would make a big 'to do' about something or somebody across the room and when we'd look over there, he'd steal the soda of the child sitting on one side of him or the other and hide it behind his back or hold it under the counter and then tease us about it. I always tried to sit somewhere out of his reach. Then he would take us to a 'DIME STORE' -- later referred to as a 'VARIETY STORE' and give us money to spend for a coloring book or a paper doll book to take home with us. I always chose the paper doll book. I even liked to design and draw new clothes for the paper dolls."
.....When I was 10 years old I used to write v-mail letters to Howard Beagle from Fennville who was a best friend of my brother Richard. The paper was thin like an 'onion skin' paper, went through censors, and had to be addressed to a common East or West Coast address for security forwarding. At one time we sat in our front yard and watched and waved to convoys of American troops going from Fort Custer to Chicago and Westward. And then there were the occasional "blackout drills' where we turned out all of the lights and pulled down shades and hoped that enemy planes would never come to the U.S. -- or to Fennville, in particular. I also remember the food stamps, clothing stamps, and the gas rationing." Norma Crane
gathered around Daddy and he read the "funnies" to us. We'd be peering over Daddy's shoulder and sometimes, he would try to "trick" us by reading the wrong words in the cartoon's "caption boxes" to see if we were paying attention. We'd say, " Dad--dy ! and he would laugh and when we read to him what it really said, he'd say, "Oh, that's what it says !" and laugh again. ( Personally, I preferred the comic " Brenda Starr, Star Reporter, I think it was called, -- don't remember the artist/cartoonist though )." Norma Crane
..... "The reason my family knew Helen and Ike Hutchins was when Helen was still single she helped my mom with Norma and me when Jacquie was born. She was dating Ike. He used to come out to our house and see Helen. I also can remember the Fred Thorsen, Sr. and his wife when we visited Rena and Fred. The Fred Thorsen's lived in Ganges. Rena and Fred lived in Kalamazoo, when I was in Nursing and would ride to Fennville on the back of Fred's motorcycle after I got off from work at Bronson. It sure is fun to see the pictures and try to associate various remembrances." Dixianna Crane
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