In 1830, John Crane applied to be a part of Joseph Vehlein's Colony. Reportedly from Virginia, he was a veteran of the War of 1812. He moved his wife and seven children to what is now Walker County, Texas, in 1834. There, he organized men and became a part of the Texas Revolution. He fought at the Siege of Bexar in December 1835. The next year, he was involved in the Runaway Scrape and also served in the Texas Army in John M. Wade's Cavalry Company. Following the Texas Revolution, Crane remained with the army. While Republic of Texas Sam Houston encouraged settlers to coexist with Native American tribes, Mirabeau B. Lamar's subsequent administration took steps to remove the Indians from the land. The resulting conflicts became known as the Cherokee War. It culminated in the 1839 Battle of the Neches, fought in Henderson and Van Zandt counties. Communication had broken down between representatives of the Republic and Chief Bowles (or Duwali) of the Cherokee tribe. Companies under the leadership of Kelsey H. Douglass, Edward Burleson and Gen. Thomas J. Rusk engaged Bowles' forces on July 15, 1839, on what is today known as Battle Creek. John Crane and a Doctor Rogers were both killed. The fighting continued the following day, when Chief Bowles was also killed. His death led to the eventual expulsion of his people from Texas. Crane and Rogers are believed to be buried in unmarked graves outside of Chandler on part of the battlefield (now private property). Although some elements of Crane's military service are unknown, including his military rank, he remains an important figure in Texas history. Today, he is remembered as a patriot and early Texas settler, a pioneer in the Republic of Texas. (2004)
US 31E at CR 3302 Chandler, Texas
Year Erected: 2004
Marker Type: 27" x 42"