Born: 1802-09-16 Tennessee
Died: 1873-03-06 Nashville, Illinois
Flourished: Washington County, Illinois
John Crain was a farmer, county government official, state representative, state senator, and clerk with the Post Office Department. He moved with his parents from his native state of Tennessee to Illinois in 1810. Crain moved to Washington County in 1827, living there for much of the rest of his life. In 1832, he married Mary Gordon. In the 1830s and 1840s, Crain purchased approximately 577 acres of public land east of Nashville. He also acquired land west of Nashville and south of Venedy. In addition to farming, Crain held numerous offices in Washington County, serving as sheriff from 1830 to 1836, county school commissioner from 1835 to 1842, and as a member of the county board of commissioners. He represented Washington County in the Illinois House of Represenatives from 1836 to 1842 and he represented Washington, Perry, and Clinton counties in the Illinois Senate from 1842 to 1846. In 1847, he was a delegate to the Illinois state constitutional convention. In 1848, he moved to Washington, DC to work as a clerk in the Office of the Auditor of the Treasury of the Post Office Department. By August 1850, Crain was back in Washington County serving as the county clerk; he owned real property near Nashville valued at nearly $2,000. By 1860, Crain was living on and farming his land west of Nashville. He owned real property valued at $6,000 and had a personal estate of $500. In politics, Crain was a Democrat, and he was a member of the Freemasons.
History of Washington County, Illinois (Philadelphia, PA: Brink, McDonough, 1879), 25-26, 36; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Washington County, 1 November 1832, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales, Washington County, 16:4; 31:27, 59, 108, 147, 183; Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Washington County, IL, 112; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Township 2S, Range 5W, Washington County, IL, 15; Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1888), 361; Arthur Charles Cole, ed., The Constitutional Debates of 1847, vol. 14 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library, Constitutional Series (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1919), 2:955; Register of All Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September 1849 (Washington, DC: Gideon and Co., 1849), 22; Gravestone, Masonic Cemetery, Nashville, IL.