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Crane, George T.

George T. Crane, president of the Crane Shoe Company, follows well formulated plans in the conduct of his business and meets every emergency that arises with a resourcefulness that enables him to conquer difficulties and bring to successful conclusion whatever he undertakes. His birth occurred in Cascade, Dubuque county, Iowa, September 8, 1854, his parents being Peter F. and Nancy (Elliott) Crane. His parents were pioneers of Iowa to which state they had removed from Batavia, New York. During his youthful days George T. Crane was a pupil in the public schools of his native county and then, seeking the broader business opportunities of the city, made his way to Chicago, obtaining employment in the wholesale house of Benham, Trumbull & Company, with whom he remained until 1882. Thinking to find still better advantages in the west where competition was not yet so great and where rapid development offered an excellent field, he came to Spokane and established a hardware store on Howard street, between Front and Main avenues, conducting his enterprise under the firm name of George T. Crane & Company until 1384. On the discovery of gold in the Coeur d'Alene district he disposed of his mercantile interests and went to the mines in the vicinity of Murray. Idaho, where he engaged in placer mining through the summer. He became convinced, however, that his fortune was not to be made in that field and returning to Spokane he again entered commercial circles by purchasing an interest in the firm of Taylor & Sharkey, dealers in agricultural implements, with whom he remained for about two years. On the opening of the Wardner camp he made his way there and in partnership with E. C. Gove established a general mercantile store, opening with the first stock of goods in the camp. The business was conducted under the firm style of Gove & Crane until 1892, when the junior partner sold out and went to Rossland, British Columbia, being there at the opening of that camp. In partnership with Frank C. Loring and F. E. Snodgrass he purchased and developed the Josie mine, afterward selling out to the British syndicate that purchased and consolidated many mines in that district. Their old mine is now known as the Le Roi No. 2.
Mr. Crane returned to Spokane in 1896 and purchased an interest in the shoe store of Henry Hill, afterward organizing a stock company under the name of the Hill Shoe Company, of which he became president. In 1898 their store was removed from its original location at the corner of Sprague and Howard streets to 519 Riverside avenue, where the business has since been conducted. In 1903 Mr. Crane purchased the Hill interests and changed the name to the Crane Shoe Company, being today at the head of the largest and finest retail shoe store in the northwest. The business has constantly expanded until the volume of trade is now most gratifying and the reputation of the house is unassailable.
In his home life Mr. Crane finds the enjoyment which constitutes an even balance to his various business cares and responsibilities. He was married August 31, 1876, at Ottawa, Kansas, to Miss Margaret Wright, of that place, and they now have two sons and a daughter: Earl B. and Frank G., who are identified with their father in business; and Marguerite, the wife of John G. MacDonnell, of Boston, Massachusetts. Mrs. Crane was a daughter of William and Rose (McKittrick) Wright, of Ottawa, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Crane now reside at No. 817 South Adams street, where he built a pleasant residence about four years ago. They are prominent members of the Christian Science church in which Mr. Crane has served as a trustee for several years. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity and in Oriental Consistory, No. 2, S. P. R. S., he has attained the thirty-second degree. He has also been more or less active in politics, recognizing the duties and obligations as well as the privileges of citizenship. His views accord with the principles of the republican party and in 1884 he was elected upon that ticket to the city council. Through the succeeding years he was a member of the Spokane school board and in 1907-08 represented his district in the state legislature. He is a statesman with an eye to practical results and not glittering generalities. His party fealty is not grounded on personal prejudice. He is thoroughly familiar with the great issues which divide the two parties that have roots extending down to the very bedrock foundation of the republic. He has also studied the lessons of life and has arrived at his own conclusions, the result of which may be called his post-graduate studies in the school of affairs. Such men, either in office or out, are the natural leaders of whichever party they may be identified with, especially in that movement toward better politics which is common to both parties and which constitutes the most hopeful political sign of the period.

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