CRARY, Elisha A. 1867-1927
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 4/15/2015 at 13:19:35
E. A. Crary Passed Away Tuesday Evening
Death, Not Wholly Unexpected, Followed An Illness Of Short Duration
Born Of Pioneer Parents
Besides Recent Position of County Engineer, He Held Many Positions of Trust
Although his death was not wholly unexpected, this community was deeply saddened when it became known that E. A. Crary had passed away at 6:45 Tuesday evening, Oct. 4th, 1927, at his home in this city.
Mr. Crary had been a victim of diabetes for the past several years, but this was not generally known and to all appearances was not of serious concern to him. About ten weeks ago he began to develop a stomach trouble, but being a strong, robust man, this did not show upon him to any great extent until five or six weeks ago when it became more noticeable.
About five weeks ago he went to Des Moines where he was subjected to a thorough examination and his trouble was diagnosed as tumor of the stomach.
He remained at the hospital in Des Moines taking treatment until a week last Friday when he was brought home. Since his coming home his condition grew rapidly more serious until death came to his relief.
Elisha Avery Crary was the only son of Captain and Mrs. E. A. Crary, pioneer residents of Felix township, this county, where they located in 1867 coming from Connecticut.
For years the Crary home was in a log cabin and it was there that the subject of this sketch was born Sept. 24th, 1867, and at the time of his death was 60 years and 10 days of age.
Avery, as he was familiarly called by his many friends, grew up on the farm and attended the rural school. Later he attended Grinnell college and then the State Teachers College at Cedar Falls from whence he graduated. Afterwards he attended the State University and it was from the latter institution that he received his LL. B. degree in 1894.
He soon afterwards located in Grundy Center where for a number of years he practiced law and was County Attorney for six years. He also made a study of surveying and for more than twenty-five years has been County Surveyor, holding that position at the time of his death.
He became interested in banking and helped organize the Peoples Savings Bank of this city, and for a number of years was President of that institution. He was also a member of the school board for several terms and was on the board at the time the new school building was erected.
In May, 1913, he was appointed County Engineer of Grundy county, and this position he held up to the time of his death.
He was also a member of the City Park Commission at the time of his death, life member of the State Historical Society, a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Society of the Mayflower, and of Masonic, Pythian and Odd Fellows lodges and their various auxiliaries of this city. In Masonry he had advanced to the high station of the Scottish Rite and Shrine degrees.
There are left to mourn his departure his wife, four daughters and one son: Winson, who is teaching at Evanston, Ill.; Julia, of Los Angeles, Calif.; E. Avery, Jr., Annabelle and Evelyn at home.
Besides his immediate family, his aged mother, Mrs. Kate Crary, and one sister, Mrs. O. M. Barnes, reside at Eldora; the other sisters are Mrs. Geo. Buchman, Charles City, and Mrs. Edw. Martin, of Tripoli, Iowa.
These with a wide circle of friends keenly feel the loss of a dutiful son and brother, a kind and loving husband and father, a good neighbor, friend and fellow citizen.
Funeral services will be held from the Baptist church at 2:30 on Friday afternoon of this week, Rev. Edward Crane, pastor of that church, officiating. Interment will be in the Grundy Center cemetery.
Mr. Crary without a doubt has had as much to do with the making of the history of Grundy county as any other man and there is no other man living who remembered that history so well. In fact, the history of the county was made during his lifetime. He was a thorough-going Grundy county product and he was proud to acknowledge it. Had his life been spared another score or more of years, which we all hoped that it might be, he would have remained a Grundy county resident to the end. He occupied many places of trust and responsibility in town and county during the past thirty years and he filled them all to the best of his ability. His faithfulness to duty and his integrity was never questioned even by those who criticized his official actions.
While he performed all of his official duties capably, his outstanding accomplishment was in his work as county engineer. He was a natural born engineer and had he devoted all of his time during the past thirty years to this work, he could have made an enviable place for himself in the engineering world. He was one of the best known and one of the most successful county engineers in Iowa and from time to time for many years there were calls for his services elsewhere. He knew Grundy county roads as no other man did and as probably no other man will know them again and he had more to do with their upbuilding than any other man. He believed in building for the future and the work that he accomplished will stand for many years as a monument to his foresight and ability.
Men who move forward and accomplish things are always subject to criticism. Mr. Crary was not swayed by criticism in the performance of any public duty. He did what he believed to be right regardless of what the public might say or think of him. He was one of rather a small number of men who had the courage of his convictions. He was not a trimmer or a diplomat. He expressed his convictions as they came to him without regard to the consequences. What he had to say he would say openly and it was this outstanding habit of his of stepping on the toes of people if they were in the way of progress that brought about ? of the ill founded criticism against many of his official actions. While he was not in his prime at his passing, he lived long enough to win the esteem and confidence of most of those whom he had ? during various periods of his active lifetime.
We are all going to miss Avery Crary. He has given the county years of honest, faithful, diligent and efficient service. We are his debtor and we will realize it more in years to come. The full appreciation of the people he served will be the most fitting memorial that the people of his country can bestow to his memory.
--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 6 October 1927, pg 1
Obituary of E. A. Crary
Elisha Avery Crary, direct descendant of William Brewster and the only son of Captain and Mrs. E. A. Crary, pioneer residents of Grundy county, was born September 24th, 1867. His childhood was typical of a boy of that time, living in a log cabin and attending rural schools. His higher education began at Grinnell College in 1889 and was continued at the State Teachers College at Cedar Falls. He received his B.A. degree from the State University of Iowa in 1895. Law was chosen for his concentrated study and the degree of LL.B. was obtained from this same institution.
He soon afterwards located in Grundy center where for a number of years he practiced law and was County Attorney for six years. It was in this city that he met Gertrude Miner and was united in marriage to her September 20th, 1899. He succeeded his father as County Surveyor and occupied this position over a span of 25 years.
In 1913 as a reward for his ability and service, Mr. Crary was given an Engineering Certificate from the State of Iowa and appointed County Engineer. His fourteen years of continuous service in this position will be a living monument to a man of ability, trust, and devotion.
His activities were not confined to capably serving the county but extended into social and civic affairs. He was a member of the City Park Commission at the time of his death, served for several years as a member of the school board, was one of the chief organizers of the Peoples Savings Bank of this city and for a number of years president of that corporation. Membership was held in the Sons of the American Revolution, the Society of the Mayflower, and a life membership in the State Historical Association. He also was a loved member of many fraternal organizations--Knights of Pythias, Odd Fellows, and their various auxiliaries. In Masonry he had advanced to the high station of the Scottish Rite and Shrine degrees.
Although a man of vigorous personality and health, in the calm of twilight, October 4th, 1927, he was summoned to embark upon that unknown sea for a land where many friends will be waiting for him. But he has left to mourn, his wife, four daughters and one son: Winson, who is teaching at Evanston, Ill.; Julia, of Los Angeles, Calif.; E. Avery Jr., Annabelle and Evelyn at home; beside his immediate family, his aged mother, Mrs. Kate Crary and one sister, Mrs. O. M. Barnes, residing at Eldora; Mrs. Geo. Buckman, Charles City, and Mrs. Edward Martin, of Tripoli, Iowa.
These with a wide circle of friends feel keenly the loss of a dutiful son and brother, a kind and loving husband and father, a good neighbor, friend, and fellow citizen.
Funeral services were held Friday afternoon from the First Baptist church of this city, Rev. Edward L. Crane, pastor of that church, officiating, assisted by Revs. Winslow, Chambers and Sinning, pastors of the other protestant churches of the city.
Those relatives and friends from a distance who were present were:
Mrs. Kate Crary, Eldora, Iowa; Mr. and Mrs. Ed Martin, Tripoli, Iowa; Mr. and Mrs. Orve Barnes, Eldora; Mr. and Mrs. George Buckman and daughter Lorraine, Charles City; Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Henderson, Waterloo; L. W. Crary, Mrs. Mary Doudna and daughters --rest unreadable--
--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 13 October 1927, pg 6
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