PA Civil War > Biography > Crain

Benjamin Crain

Benjamin F. Crain was reared in this county, and in the common schools received a practical English education. He began life for himself as a farmer and after following this calling in Venango county until 1868 emigrated to Iowa, locating near Ottumwa, Wapello county, where he resided three years.

On his return to Venango county in the fall of 1870, he took service with Thomas Nesbit in the mercantile business at Utica, and four years later opened a store of his own, making the hardware trade a specialty. Subsequently he added boots, shoes, and groceries to his stock, and took in his son, Thomas Crain, as partner. The firm thus constituted still continues, being one of the most substantial and well- known business houses of Utica.

He entered the army in September, 1864, as a member of Company I, Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, with which he served until honorably discharged on the 2nd of July, 1865. During his period of service he was with his command in several campaigns in Virginia, and participated in a number of battles, among which were Hatcher’s Run, Stony Creek, High Hill Bridge, and was present at the surrender of Lee at Appomattox.

After the surrender his command returned to Petersburg, Virginia, and from that time until mustered out did patrol duty at Lynchburg. Mr. Crain was married February 8, 1866, to Miss Mary E., daughter of John Nesbit, of Venango county. Mr. and Mrs. Crain have two children: Thomas S. and Ethel Grace. Mr. Crain was formerly a Republican, but of late years has been identified with the Prohibition party. He is an active member of the Presbyterian church, as is also his wife, both belonging to the Utica congregation.

Source: History of Venango County, Pennsylvania: its past and present, including its aboriginal history, the French and British occupation of the country, its early settlement and subsequent growth, a description of its historic and interesting localities, its rich oil deposits and their development, sketches of its cities, boroughs, townships, and villages, neighborhood and family history, portraits and biographies of pioneers and representative citizens, statistics, etc.; Chicago, Ill.: Brown, Runk & Co., 1890.