Pulaski County

Biography - James H. Crain

DR. JAMES H. CRAIN, of Burkville Precinct, was the pioneer of a considerable immigration to Pulaski County, from Clark County, Ohio, of Crains, Minnichs, Wilsons, Millers, Fearnsides, Dillers, Hogendoblers, Shirachs, Davidsons and Leidichs, who now constitute a considerable and influential part of the population. The Doctor was descended from pioneers to the New World, from the British Islands, and from pioneers to Kentucky and Ohio, from Pennsylvania and Virginia, who had participated in the war for independence, and in the Indian wars of the period. He thus inherited through a long line of ancestry a spirit of investigation, allied to a love of the beautiful in every sense. He also inherited a taste for horticulture, and was early employed in its pursuit, so that when temporarily diverted from the pursuit of his profession — by a poisoned wound — which disabled him, he sought a new home which should unite the beauties of nature with probable horticultural capabilities of wide range. To test the horticultural capabilities of this new home was the work to which the Doctor now addressed himself with untiring energy, and after twenty-eight years of carefully directed observation, finds the region unfavorable to many desirable fruits. This is especially true of winter apples, apricots, plums, and all the smooth-skinned fruits, except the grape, which is profitably grown in large quantity, and in considerable variety. These experiments, though costing the Doctor (and many who were misled by his early and temporary successes) great loss, will prove no disparagement to the county, as the minor fruits and berries are generally successful, and are largely grown, while wheat and clover are proving the basis of great wealth to the country. In this long, and in many instances, painful course of experience, the Doctor has at no time lost his zeal for investigation, but has widened and extended his views into every department of natural science, and finds nature everywhere producing worlds and systems whereon beauty is developed in many varied forms for the gratification of myriads of sentient creatures, for he with Wordsworth believes —

"That Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her."

And that Nature's work is to present the conditions requisite to individual experience, and individual pain and pleasure, in wide diversity.

Extracted 02 Nov 2014 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V - Biographical Sketches, pages 334-335.

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