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Early day history of Stone County towns continues with visit to Crane



The Stone County Historical Genealogical Society and Museum continues on the journey of early day history of Stone County Towns. This week we will visit the early history of Crane, Missouri.


 In the early 1880s Hickory Grove, Missouri, had a small group of homes, a school, couple of general stores, a blacksmith shop and a mill. It was located on the southern bank of a beautiful stream. The early settlers took the name Hickory Grove from an old log cabin school.


When need for a post office arrived, an application was submitted to the U.S. Postal Service. The first application was denied, stating another post office in Missouri by name of Hickory Grove had already been established.


The citizens had to decide on another name for their post office. A suggestion was made: Due to the number of blue cranes making their home along the stream, they should name the post office Crane. Therefore, that is how the town of Crane got its name. Also, the stream where the blue cranes made their home became Crane Creek.


As the community of Crane grew, more and more settlers moved in. A new town was located. Farming became very progressive. A few farmers purchased the latest in high tech farming equipment. 


In 1903, grading machinery and groups of laborers started arriving. The rumors were spreading that the railroad was coming! The Missouri Pacific Railroad reached Crane in December 1904. In 1905 a regional terminal was built and opened. The round house was built in 1906.


The town of Crane took on a drastic change. Growth took place. The Portland Hotel was built. Restaurants were needed due to the railroad running through town. A buffet offered all you could eat for a quarter. Several doctors moved into town and the first and only hospital was built in Stone County.


At one time Crane was the largest town in the county and considered the main shopping hub.


After years of the vision and mission to have a County Historical Museum by the Stone County Historical Society, a partnership was formed with the City of Crane in 2016. The City has been providing the old Library Building rent free to establish the first County Historical Museum where collection, preservation and maintaining the history and heritage of Stone County have been housed for public viewing. Julie Green volunteers her time and dedication to serve as president of the Stone County Historical/Genealogical Society and Museum.


The SC Historical Museum is a nonprofit funded by donations. Striving to collect, preserve and maintain Stone County history and heritage. Stop by for more information and research of County History and Genealogy.


Volunteers keep the Historical Museum open. Hours are Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at 103 South Main Street, Crane.

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