George W Crank CRANK Posted By: County Coordinator (Date: 5/4/2010)

Since 1870 George W Crank has been engaged in the jewelry business in Madrid and is the oldest living jeweler in Boone county. He also is an important manufacturer in this line and moreover is a maker of high grade violins. He is the patentee and sole manufacturer of Lens Eye Pins, a violin device which enables the maker to see the placing of the sound post in the instrument. Three is great demand for this valuable invention in all parts of the world and Mr Crank makes consignments thereof to the most distant places where violin manufacture flourishes. He also manufactures tool supplies of various kinds. In this plant all kinds of metal are engraved and repair work of the most diversified character is efficiently done. George W Crank was born in Maysville, Dekalb county, Missouri, May 5, 1853. His parents were Alfred and Margaret (Hensen) Crank, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Ohio. The former died in Polk City, aged seventy-three , ad the later also passed away at that place. Alfred Crank and his son Joseph, a brother of our subject were both Union soldiers during the Rebellion. The paternal grandfather George W Crank was an Indian fighter of some repute who was with Boone in Kentucky. Mr Cark is yet I possession of a bullet ladle which was used by his grandfather, Joseph Crank, while he was fighting with Boone. The grandparents were Kentucky pioneers. The Historical Society of Madrid is indebted to Mr Crank for many interesting relics. In 1910 he divided pieces of the old Lincoln flag pole among the people which are treasured by tthm as valuable souvenirs. This old flag pole, one hundred feet high, was erected in 1860 and known as the Lincoln flag pole. Fifty years afterwards or in 1910, he excavated the base of it, which was eight feet in length,, and cutting it into small pieces, carefully labeled each one. Many portions were divided among Madrid people and a large piece of the historic wood can be seen at the Madrid Historical Society’s museum at Madrid. Mr and Mrs Alfred Crank had the following children: Mrs Catharine Thompson deceased who was born in Ohio, Joseph above mentioned as a Civil war veteran , born in Missouri, who died in Arkansas, Mrs Maria Thompson deceased, John William, who died a the age of five months, George W of this review and Floyd M of Muskogee, Oklahoma. The male member of the family were for generations cabinet makers by profession, and they made the spinning wheels for the pioneers of this section. George W Crank came to Boone county with his parents in 1862, when bout nine years of age, and they located near the High Bridge post office at Swede Point. They made there home a on a farm, but afterward the father sold this property and removed to Polk City. George W Crank learned his trade in Des Moines, Iowa and in 1870 engaged independently in the jewelry business in Madrid, being today the oldest jeweler in Boone county. His education was acquired in the common and district schools, and he was graduated fro the Polk City schools. Today Mr Crank owns one of the most important jewelry manufacturing establishments in central Iowa, which comprises the making of high grad violins. He is particularly interested in the latter branch of his business and turns out an instrument which has earned the highest praise of most competent judges. He receives and additional income as the patentee and sole manufacturer of the Lens Eye Pins above mentioned. Mr Crank is at the head of a business institution which has been of great value to the growth and development of Madrid ad Boone county, and while he has acquired a private fortune, he has been a great factor in paving the way of the progress and the prosperous conditions which now prevail in his part of the state. In March 1873, Mr Crank married at Des Moines, Iowa Miss Catherine Kirsher, who was born near Polk City, In Polk county March 27, 1855. She was a resident of that county until her marriage and there attended the public schools. Her parents, Peter and Caroline (Harmon) Kirsher, were pioneers of Polk county, having made their way overland from the east. Both father and mother were born in Germany and died Polk county. In the Kirsher family wee eleven children: Joseph residing near Helena, Montana, Caroline deceased, Peter who makes his home near Helena, Anthony a resident of Des Moines, Jacob occupying the old home farm near Polk City, Frank who resides near Van Meter, Iowa, Mrs Mary Pontius of Des Moines, Adam deceased, Mrs Crank and Elizabeth and Thomas, residing on the home farm. The three eldest of these children were born in Pennsylvania and the remainder in Polk county, where all reared. Of the eight children born to Mr and Mrs Crank seven are living: Charles M born September 10, 1874, a resident of Woodward, Iowa, Mrs S Elizabeth Adams, of Madrid, born March 23, 1877, Mary A born April 18, 1879, residing with her parents, Mrs Idaletta Grimm born May 20,1881 and residing at Woodward, Ira D of Woodward, who was born March 18, 1886, Carrie A whose birth occurred February 9, 1890 and who is teaching school in Madrid, and George F born November 12, 1895, a graduate of the Madrid high school with the class of 1914. Fay C, who was born October 4, 1898, died at the age of three months. The older children were born at Polk City and the two younger ones in Madrid. All completed the course of study in the Madrid school. Mr Crank formerly gave his allegiance to the republican party but for the last seven years has been in accord with the socialist organization. He sincerely believes in a fairer division of labor and capital and is in favor of a great many measures which will ring about a faster development of human race to an ideal state. He served for one term as mayor of Madrid, giving the city a businesslike administration replete with valuable improvement, and for one term was a member of the city council. Both he and his wife are members of the Christian church. Since June 17, 1883, he has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows lodge of Madrid, and the high esteem in which he is held in that organization is evident in the fact that he has occupied all of the chairs. Mr Crank is a man who is most sincerely interested in the uplift of his fellow citizens and who is ever ready to assist the distressed and needy. Progressive enterprises of a public nature find in him a warm champion, and he leaves no stone unturned I his efforts to bring about better living conditions and a greater happiness to mankind. While he has attained individual success, he has been considerate of his neighbors, friends and fellowmen, and his career is not strewn with the wreck of other fortunes. He is highly respected for what he is and for the achievements of his mind and industry. 1914 Boone County History Book