Dorothy Andrus Crane (1902-2002) Interview

Video-taped interview 

G. PRICE:  Mother (Edith Stanley Andrus Crane) was telling me years ago about when she played in the little string band, that they had formed at her church. And she played the violin, and she had a banjo too, but mostly the violin. And uh, my dad (Guy Gilman Crane), who wasn' t the least bit musical uh, missed taking her home from church. So, he bought himself a little banjo, and she taught him the few notes on it, chords, so he could be in the stringed instrument band, too. And uh, that's how they started really going together seriously. Well, he was an electrician at the time when the mines were just first being electrified, if that's the right word. Anyway, he had to go out of town quite a bit. And uh, he had been going steady with mother for almost a year, off and on, on his different trips, when he'd come back. And he was in Columbus, Ohio. And she was getting just a little bit tired of waiting for him; just to see him when he comes home between the jobs he was on. So, when he was in Columbus, I don't know if she wrote him a letter, or if someone in the little string band told him, wrote to him, and said that she was getting very interested in a young man that had been taking her home after the practices. And that was enough to inspire my dad to buy a ring and send it home to her, and said, "Now, we're engaged." So, they were married shortly after that. But uh, that's a little story mother that told about how she urged him to get married. She was very shy, of course. And he didn't know that she was playing a trick on him, but it did the business anyway. After that, that was in Columbus, Ohio, that was um, his last job. Then, they moved to, they were married, and moved to Shawnee for his next job in the mine, and uh, that was where my sister Gladys was born. And uh, about two years later, after he finished that job, he went to Congo, Ohio. That was a big mining place. I mean, it had a big mine, but it only had one street in it. There was a church at one end of the street and a saloon at the other. And the miners lived in little mining shacks on either side of the street. And uh, that was where I was born. And when that job was finished, he uh, had to go to Delaware, Ohio. And uh, while he was there my brother, Bud was born. And uh, shortly after that, he uh, he had to go way to Illinois, to Joliet, Illinois, where they had a big penitentiary. And uh, he, he and his crew were putting electricity in that great big prison. And that was where my brother was born, that didn't live. And uh, after that job was done, he was um, first, he was uh, sitting, well, it was kind of the water and electric department in Rockford, Illinois. And uh, we were there just a very short time when my sister Betty was born. And uh, that's where all of our birth places were. (Now you can turn it off.....)

G. HEINZ:  Mom, would you tell a little bit about your own mother's life, before she became a Crane, when she was an Andrus?

G. PRICE:  Yes. She was born in uh, Brookline, New York. And uh, I think the whole Andrus bunch were settled in New England, 'round there. And uh, her dad was a very good musician. And, a course, from the time I knew my mother, she always, she went to the conservatory of music in Cincinnati. And I'm not sure why they moved to Cincinnati, because all of the Andruses, Helen Andrus and Amos, the whole uh, all of the brothers lived in New England. But anyway, they came to Cincinnati, and that was probably where he met grandma Andrus. She was um, Leinweber. Her dad was Herr Karl Conrad Von Leinweber. We heard about that from the time we were little youngsters. When I mentioned that to Catherine, she laughed. She said, "Well, we never heard about the 'Herr Karl Con Von Leinweber.'" But uh, Leinweber, anyway, means, weaver of linens. That's one contribution that uh, Catherine made about her folks. But uh, as I say, grandpa Andrus was a very good musician. He had a very nice solo voice. I have quit e a bit of music that he sang in church. And of course, my mother sang. She was soloist for quite a while, in her teens, at the uh Walnut Street Presbyterian Church. And she uh, she attended the Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. And uh, so we all come naturally by our music. And uh, well, grandpa Andrus was um artist by doing, um, what kind of work would you...

G. HEINZ:  Japanning.

G. PRICE:  Japanning. Yes. And uh, that was putting little shells in furniture. I know he had a contract to do the Singer Sewing Machine, when they had uh, metal bases for their machines. He did the fancy work on them...

G. HEINZ:   Inlaid mother-of-pearl.

G. PRICE:  Yeah. All of that. And we used to love to go down to his shop on the canal, an d uh, see him working there. Mother used to take us. Uh, there was just Aunt Bess and mother. I never had any first cousins. My dad had one brother, Clyde, and they, he was married, but he didn't have any children.

G. HEINZ:  How 'bout Catherine Simmons, was she a cousin?

G. PRICE:  She was my mother's cousin.

G. HEINZ:  Oh!

G. PRICE:  Yeah. Her mother was um... Yeah, her mother was a cousin to grandma Andrus. I didn't know grandma Crane very well. We went there when I was around twelve years old. We visited them in Cincinnati. And that was about the only time I remember grandma Crane. But uh, shortly after that um, grandma died, and grandpa Crane went out to uh, California where Clyde was living. And uh, he wasn't living with Clyde. He got a little chicken farm. My grandfather Crane was a cabinet maker. Uh, I know that he refinished a lot of our furniture when he came to live with us, later. But uh, from the time.... That's about all the back ground that I can remember about my two grandfather and grandmothers. And uh, after my dad left Rockford, Illinois, we went to Lansing, Michigan. And I was twelve years old at that time. And he was City Manager there. And he was City Manager  until I graduated from high school. So that was at least six years he was City Manager. And that was the time I remember most of all, going to school in Lansing. First, I went to little Townsend Street School.  And uh, then when we went up to high school... We lived just a block fro m the State Capital on Michigan Street. And I know when any visitors came to see us we always took them up to the tower in the State Capital. That was one thing that we insisted on; them walking up all those steps, and there were a lot of them. And uh, when we went downtown , we would go through the Rotunda of the capital building. And around that was a big circular room that you went through. And that had all the Civil War mementos. Very, very interesting to us. I know that uh, we would stand by the hour going from one case to another, to see the Civil War pictures, the money, the other things that were so very interesting to youngsters of that age. And uh, oh, we had a lot of fun in high school. I remember both Bud and I graduated at the same time from high school because I had an appendicitis operation, and I was a year late. And uh, there was just nineteen months difference in Bud's and my age. So we graduated together and that was interesting. I was already going with Donald while I was in school. And uh, after I graduated from high school, my folks moved to Owosso where dad bought the gas company over there.  And it was very difficult for Donald to come over on the trolley car from Lansing until he bought a little Ford. Then uh, it was a little easier when we would have weekends together over in Owosso. But when they were having a big party, he asked my folks if I could come over and stay with his sister for this party. And my folks said, "Yes, it was all right."
So, we went to the party and uh, when it was time for me to go home, Donald said, "I wish you didn't have to go home."

And I said, "Is this a proposal?"

And he said, "Oh, you mean you'd marry me?"

And I said, "Well, I'm over here. We could make arrangements all right."

He said, "Well, are you going to ask your folks?"

And I said, "No. I don't think they'd approve."

And he said , "Well, we'll see the minister, and see what we have to do."

February 25, 1923 Florida
And that's how Donald and I got married on that weekend when we were just going to a party. And that was the beginning of my married life. First we uh stayed at the folks house, his folks house. There was just Isadora, his mother (Minnie Pearl Main), and Auntie Main (Mabel Main). And uh, he was working at the bank at that time. So we stayed there until after over a year. Donna was born at St Lawrence hospital, that was only a block and a half from the house. I didn't start going to the hospital in time. And I couldn't walk to the hospital so Isadora took me in her wheelchair. She had had trouble, kidney trouble, and she had a wheelchair. And she took me to the hospital, she and Donald. And uh, that was where Donna was born, in St Lawrence hospital. And uh, we lived in Lansing for oh three or four years when Donald was still working in the bank. But he was having breathing trouble. And um, the doctor told him that he'd better go to a higher place like California, Colorado, some place like that where it would be easier for him to breathe. So, he brought me over to Owosso to stay with my folks, Donna and I.  I stayed with my folks while he went out to California for the first time. He uh worked in a bank. He was transferred to a bank at Whittier, I think. Yeah, Whittier, California. He worked in the same bank with Shirley Temple's dad. Her dad worked in the cage right next to Donald. Which was kind of interesting because we all knew who Shirley Temple was at that time. Then when he came back, he stayed in Owasso for a while. I wanted to, I wanted to get away fr om my folks. It was a little embarrassing to be living there with them. I wanted a home o f my own. So um, he got a job with the John Hancock Insurance Company. And uh, when he knew the business quite well, he asked to be transferred out to California, again. And we did go out there, and that's where we lived for several years.

G. HEINZ:  Before that, Pat was born down in Florida. You missed just a little bit there.

G. PRICE:  Oh yeah! Yes, I was forgetting Pat entirely. While I was living in Owosso, he had come back and his folks wanted to go down to Florida. And uh, Donald was perfectly willing to go to Florida, he'd been to California. So, we said sure, we'd go to California-uh-Florida with them. And we went down there. Donna was almost three years old. No, I was pregnant for Pat, a couple of months pregnant. And uh, we lived in Florida until the hurricane came. Pat was born in Florida. Auntie had a school down there and Donna attended. They had dancing classes that I have pictures of Donna in her little bunny outfit.

G. HEINZ:  And the Butterfly outfit...

G.  PRICE:  Yeah, a butterfly outfit. And uh, I think we would have stayed there if it hadn't been for the hurricane. It took the roof off of our house. So we thought we'd better leave. And a lot of other people were leaving too. Donald was selling real estate down there with Bliss Keeler, that he knew in high school. So we came back to Owosso, and that's when he s tarted with the John Hancock Insurance Company. Then he got transferred to California, that's where he wanted to go back to. And I was having tuberculosis, and then it was my turn for the doctor to tell me I'd better go to a drier climate.

So we went to California. And uh, I lost a baby there because I think I was working too hard taking care of Donald with small pox, and uh, Pat and Donna both had chicken pox. And I think that's why I lost that little baby girl there. But it wasn't long until I was pregnant for Jim. So, we stayed in California, in Los Angeles until Pat developed tuberculosis. And uh, business was bad. Donald was working at a studio then.  And he was an artist in a commercial studio. And uh, when times... that was a first when we were... the whole country was in a depression . And uh, Pat was sick. So, we decided. We went up to San Fransisco. And uh, he had been working at the studio on things from Sears-Roebuck in San Fransisco. That's where the orders came from. So he applied there, asked them if he could take business up into the mountains, because Pat was sick. And uh, that's how we happened to go to Hayfork. And uh, they sent him all the material, his dyes, everything else, and he was a commercial artist there until I became pregnant for Jim, no for Dee-Dee. Yeah. But we had so much fun up in the mountains, I don't think the girls will ever forget it. Well, Jim remembers too, he was only two years old when we left there. But it was a fun time, even if it was hard to get by. We learned how to eat differently than we ever had before. And we had a little female dog. And so, of course, we had little puppies.

G. HEINZ:  That was our Raggedy Ann.

G. PRICE:  Yes. Raggedy Ann. And uh, so we stayed up in the mountains until I became pregnant for Dee-Dee. And we decided that we couldn't put in another winter when it was 56 miles to the nearest hospital to have a baby. And I wasn't that hardy a person. So we decided to go back to Michigan. We did. We visited on the way;  Battle Creek to see my brother and his wife, then we went to Lansing, and visited with Isadora, and mother and auntie. Then we went to Bangor, Maine where my folks, my dad had bought the gas company there in Bangor, sold t he one he owned in Owosso, and went to Bangor. And we stayed there until after Dee-Dee was born. And uh, she was bout sixth months old when we left Bangor and came back to Michigan. At that time, mother Price was taking care of Uncle Fred up in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, and wanted Donald to come up there to take care of Uncle Fred because she was having trouble. He only had one leg, he was a Civil War veteran, who had lost his leg in the War. And she had been taking care of him pretty well until she just needed more help. And as we weren't... Donald wasn't doing anything specially. So we went to Harbor Springs and there we took ca re of Uncle Fred. And Auntie, meanwhile, down in Lansing, had a stroke, and Isadora wanted m other to come down help her with her two youngsters and Auntie. So, mother left and Donald and I took care of Uncle Fred. And our four youngsters all went to school in Harbor Springs. Do you understand?

G. HEINZ:  Yeah. We all lived in Harbor Springs until I was married, and then the whole family moved to Petoskey. And the other three kids were still in school over there.

G. PRICE:  Yeah. So, Pat was about a sophomore wasn't she? Jim was still in um. Didn't he go to State?  I mean....

G. HEINZ:  He went to Detroit University after....

G. PRICE:  No, well I mean while you were still in school.

G. HEINZ:  I don't remember, Jim?

G. PRICE:  Yeah.  He was just uh, um he was still in school. Pat was about a sophomore when we moved to Petoskey. And uh, what did Donald do when we first moved over here? It was with the gas company still?

G. HEINZ:  I think so.

G. PRICE:  And then he uh, joined the um electric...

G. HEINZ:  General Electric

G. PRICE:  General Electric. Yeah. And uh, yeah. Then uh, after Pat graduated, John went in to the Navy.  They met each other when they were in Sullivan...what uh, oh what is it, what kind of--the opera....

G. HEINZ:  Oh, the operetta.

G. PRICE:  Yeah. The operetta.

G. HEINZ:  Gilbert and Sullivan, "HMS Pinafore"

G. PRICE:  Yeah. That's where they met. And uh, he was old enough to go into the Navy. So he, he left school and joined the Navy. And it was uh, when he got a leave of absence, shore leave, that he got permission to marry Pat. So he telephoned her from uh, San Diego, I think it was. Maybe San Fransisco.  She would remember. And he said that he had permission to get married.  So, we were very busy that weekend, trying to get ready for Pat and John to get married. And we had a very nice little wedding down at the church.

G. HEINZ:  And after Pat was married, Jim went to college at Alma.

G. PRICE:  Yeah. Uh-huh. Soon as he left school.

G. HEINZ:  Okay. And then he went to Detroit.

G. PRICE:  Yeah.

G. HEINZ:  Where he had a job and could go to college at the same time. And that's where he met Iolla.

G. PRICE:  Yeah. He graduated from the Detroit Tech, was it? Yeah, I think Detroit Tech.

G. HEINZ:  I'm not sure.

G. PRICE:  And uh, he was a Sunday-school teacher at the Presbyterian church in Detroit. And that's where he met Iolla. She was a Sunday-school teacher, too, in the same church. And he had her two boys, Larry and Micky, in his class. And uh, that's when they decided to get married. So they were married in Elsie. We all went down there for the wedding. Gladys and Hubie were there, and all of our family.

G. HEINZ:  Joanne even played the piano for their wedding at twelve years of age.

G. PRICE:  Yes, She did. Didn't she. We had a very nice wedding down there. We all, all the family had little kind of huts at Ovid, wasn't it? That the little....

G. HEINZ:  Is that where it was? Sort of a motel like...

G. PRICE:  Yeah. It was. And we each had a little motel of our own. And that's where we met Iolla's family. Her mother and dad were dead. But her brother lived there, her half-brother. And uh, we met all of her family. And then Jim was, he had a position with Western Electric, and the moved to Illinois. So, Whittier, Illinois I think it was. So that was... How long after that was it that uh, Dee-Dee was married?

G. HEINZ:  Well, Let's see. Dee-Dee is ten years younger than I am.

G. PRICE:  Yeah. And she was married just as soon as she got through school, wasn't she?

G. HEINZ:  I think so.

G. PRICE:  Yeah. She graduated, I think, in June, they were graduated. Was she married... I can't remember.

G. HEINZ:  Well, I've got all of the statistics on those things, but... She married Bob Dennis...

G. PRICE:  I know that she and Bob were married at the Presbyterian church.

G. HEINZ:  I sang.

G. PRICE:  Yes.

G. HEINZ:  Phil Barnefiher accompanied me on the organ.

G. PRICE:  Yes. I think that was, that was the marriages of my four youngsters. I can't think of anything else that would be interesting to anyone listening.

G. HEINZ:  Well, I think we know all the youngsters that came from those four kids.

G. PRICE:  Sure.

G. HEINZ:  We have not room on the tape to put them all right now.

G. PRICE:  Nope. How many grandchildren, great-grandchildren do I have now?  About 35?

G. HEINZ:  I couldn't tell you. I couldn't tell you. We'd have to sit down and figure that out.

G. PRICE:  I know I had four children, and my three girls each had four children. So I had 12 grandchildren. Jim just had step-children. He didn't uh, he married Iolla when she had four teenagers. So, they didn't want any more family. So, I had uh 12 grandchildren, and I think it's around 35 great-grandchildren, and 5 great-great-grandchildren that I have now. And this is the year 1984. Yeah, 1984, with all of that family.

G. HEINZ:  Well, I think for your 82 years you have a lot to show for it.

G. PRICE:  Yes, I do. That's for sure.

G. HEINZ:  Right. Well, this has been great, mom. I'll uh, close now, until the next time we get together.
Hi. This might not have been exactly what you were expecting, but it was the best I could come up with.  And it does give you a little insight into our family, on the Crane and Andrus side. Hopefully, I'll get down to see Aunt Isadora very shortly, and give you a little of my father's side of the family. Um, I think probably on a Sunday afternoon I will be down there. And um, just want to say Hi to all you people. And we'll be seeing you, or hearing from you very soon. Lot's of love from your mom. Bye.

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