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Thomas J. Crain was born near the Ohio river, in Fleming county, Kentucky, September 4, 1830. He was reared and educated in his native place, and continued to reside there until 1855, when he migrated to Missouri and entered land in Holt county, improving the same and living upon it until 1864, in February of which year he rented his farm and went to Nebraska City, Nebraska. Here he was engaged in freighting to Denver, Colorado, for one year, when he opened a feeding stable, and carried on that business until the spring of 1866, then went to Hamburg, Iowa, and engaged in stock-feeding for one year. Returning to Gallatin in the spring of 1867, he engaged in the mercantile business with William Mann, under the name and style of Mann &. Crain, and transacted business until the fall of 1869, when they dissolved partnership and closed out business. He next engaged in the lumber trade, being the pioneer lumber dealer of Gallatin, and there being no railroad at that time, he had the lumber hauled by team from Hamilton, in Caldwell county. In 1871 he retired from the lumber trade and engaged in the grocery business with S. T. Hill, under the firm name of Hill & Crain, until 1875. We find him buying and shipping walnut lumber to Chicago in 1878, and he continued to buy and ship until 1880, when he entered into partnership with A. F. Barnett, forming the present firm of Crain & Barnett, lumber dealers.
Mr. Crain was married to Miss Amanda M. Plumer, of Fleming county, Kentucky, on the 25th of January, 1855. She was a ‘very estimable lady, Amanda died in Nebraska City, Nebraska, September 30, 1865. He was a second time married, in Gallatin, Mrs. M. C. Owings becoming his wife. Mr. and Mrs. Crain are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, of Gallatin, and he is a member of Gallatin Lodge No. 106, A. F. & A. M.