19 Mar 1842
Watson, Lewis, New York
Date of Death:
Place of Death:
William Aaron Crandall was born 19 March 1842 in Watson, Lewis County, New York, John Miller and Clarissa (Ward) Crandall. His father was a wealthy wealthy lumber miller. There were six other children in addition to William, but he was the only one to leave New York.
In 1863, William Crandall went into the Union Army as a private. He survived the war and married Anna Eugenia Denslow (b 1848) whom he had known in Watson. She had become a school teacher, and they married in South Bend, Joseph, Indiana, on 30 December 1868. According to Anna Denslow's obituary, they then went by covered wagon to Spruce City, Iowa, and then Des Moines, Iowa.
Census records indicate William and Anna were trying to farm, but by 1880, the Crandalls are in Sioux City, Iowa, and William is selling sewing machines. The 1885 Iowa census lists him as a merchant.
The first mention of W.A. Crandall living in Monrovia is an announcement in the Monrovia Messenger on February 7 1889, identifying Crandall as coming from Sioux City, Iowa, and having bought the tinning business of Woods Brothers and moving it to the Badeau Block. It also states that Crandall is going to carry jewelry in addition to tinware. The February 21, 1889, issue gives his occupation as a jeweler and describes his shop in the Badeau Block as having jewelry and watches on one side, while the other side has hardware, tinware, and plumbing supplies. He has a plumber and tinsmith who work for him. Another issue (October 17) identifies Henry Ritter as the employee who is working for Crandall as a plumber and tinner.
Another article in the April 18, 1889 edition of the Monrovia Messenger, states that Crandall is having an addition built on his home on Lime (235 E. Lime Ave.) and making other improvements about the place. In September (12), the newspaper reports that Crandall has added a barn to his property.
In 1890, Crandall moves his store across the street into the Johnson Block (Monrovia Messenger, January 30, 1890). Crandall was also on the board of directors of the Gregory Oil Company. Crandall continued working at his hardware business until his death on May 3, 1910.
In addition to his house at 235 E. Lime Avenue, Crandall and his wife also owned the property to the west of them, 229 E. Lime Avenue (Lot 20) and to the west of them 237-239 E. Lime (Lot 22). They built a small house at 229 E. Lime and used it as rental. A larger house was built at 239 E. Lime, and Annie Crandall's nephew, Warren Herbert Denslow, purchased it after Mr. Crandall died.
The Crandalls never had children, so it is likely that Warren Denslow and his family moved next door to keep an eye on Annie Crandall as she was 62 years old when her husband died. Both Denslow, a plumber, and Annie Crandall built additional structures on their properties to use as rentals.
Annie E. Crandall died on January 31, 1935 in Monrovia. Both she and her husband are buried in Live Oak Memorial Park in Monrovia, California.
For more detailed biographical information on the Crandall and Denslow families, contact the Monrovia Historical Museum Foundation. A fee will be charged for access to the information.