Samuel Crane, Esq.
Samuel Crane was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and is buried at the Old Burying Ground in Caldwell. Samuel was born in Cranetown, now Montclair, on the 29th of October 1747, to Noah Crane and Mary Baldwin Crane, the daughter of Samuel and Hannah Baldwin
In 1768, Samuel married Mary Baldwin of Cranetown, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Baldwin. Together they had 10 children; Dorcas (who married Timothy Crane), Caleb, Zenas, Cyrus, Nathaniel, Betsy (who married Mathias Canfield, Mary B (known as Polly, married Samuel Harrison), Nathaniel and Duryea. Two of their sons joined the next generation of military, Cyrus, ultimately achieving the rank of Colonel and Nathaniel who became a Major.
Samuel was drafted into the militia, as were all men between the ages of 16 and 50. A Colonial New Jersey law passed in 1775 required this. He served with Van Cortlandt’s Battalion with many other men from the lands near Newark and Acquackanonck. Samuel moved to Horseneck for his farming around the start of the War. His homestead still stands on Clinton Road, across from the West Caldwell Library.
Samuel owned significant land in what is now Caldwell and was a community leader. During the War, the growing community pressed for a Presbyterian church. Samuel was one of a committee that essentially built the parish, meeting in February 1779 to purchase land for a new church. He donated land he owned (in what is now Fairfield) to the Church, though the land was sold in 1873 and proceeds applied to the building of the “new” church on its present location completed in 1876.
Samuel was quite wealthy and owned much of current West Essex. The honorific, Esquire, recognized this. In his Will, he left a third of his real estate, a horse and riding car to his wife Mary. He left significant lands, an eel farm on the Passaic River and a mill in Caldwell to his children and grandchildren of deceased children. He also had several shares of the Newark and Pompton Turnpike, which he left to his children. Samuel died on February 28th, 1811. He was buried in the churchyard of the Presbyterian church that his funds helped build.