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Among the popular and efficient public officials of Washington county is numbered J. O. Crane, who since 1914 has capably filled the office of county surveyor of Washington county. He is a native of Kansas, his birth having occurred in a log cabin in Labette county. His paternal grandfather, William Crane, successfully followed agricultural pursuits in Illinois, becoming the owner of large property holdings in that state. His son, J. H. Crane, was a native of Illinois and followed the trades of painting and wagon making in that state. In 1854 he left Decatur, Illinois, and journeyed across the plains to Sacramento, California, whence he proceeded to San Francisco, there joining Walker on a filibustering expedition to Central America, where they remained for two years, during which period they endured many hardships, returning home by way of New Orleans, Louisiana. While serving under the leadership of Walker, Mr. Crane had one finger shot off and also received a wound in the shoulder. They succeeded in taking the city of Nicaragua, but were afterwards obliged to flee for their lives. In 1875 Mr. Crane went to Kansas, purchasing a farm in the vicinity of Oswego, which for some time he continued to cultivate, and his demise occurred in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, in 1909. Mr. Crane of this review designed a beautiful tombstone which he placed on his father’s grave. His mother, Maggie (Vaughn) Crane, passed away during his infancy and of the eleven children born of that union but three are living : J. 0.; Fred, a resident of Bartlesville; and Frank, whose home is in California. Another son, Harry D. Crane, served his country in the Spanish-American war as a member of Company H of the Sixteenth Infantry.
J. O. Crane attended the public schools of Reeds, Jasper county, Missouri, until he had completed the work of the eighth grade and in 1903 he came to Oklahoma. Two years later he took up the study of civil engineering under James A. Hickey, who for three years served as county surveyor, and for nine years he was with Mr. Hickey, acquiring a thorough knowledge of the profession. In 1914 his fellow citizens, recognizing his worth and ability, called him to public office and he was elected county surveyor of Washington county, in which capacity he has since served, and the fact that he has been again and again recalled to this position is proof of his superior ability and his popularity as a man. He has surveyed over seventy miles of state roads, which were accepted by the highway commission and his services in this connection have been of great value to his county and state. His creative genius has led to his invention of a shock absorber for automobiles, which he has patented and which will undoubtedly prove of great practical value to the owners of motor vehicles. He possesses much artistic ability, doing exceptionally good work with the pen, and he is also a skilled amateur photographer, being a young man of versatile talents.
Mr. Crane is unmarried and resides in Bartlesville, where his fine personal qualities have won him many friends. When he first became a resident of this town its business houses were situated on Delaware avenue and he has witnessed its rapid development and growth. His fraternal connections are with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. Devotion to duty is one of his marked characteristics and he puts forth every possible effort for the benefit and up building of his community, county and state. His career has been actuated by a spirit of progress that has been productive of substantial results and he is a self-made man, whose present success is attributable entirely to his own efforts.