The collection contains material
related to the business enterprises of James Filmore Crank; the material includes
correspondence, letter books, documents, manuscripts, maps, and volumes.
James Filmore Crank (1842-1935) was born in Bushnell, Yates County, New York. He spent some
years in Cleveland, Ohio, and Chicago, Illinois before moving to California because of his
wife's health in 1874. Crank bought the Fair Oaks Ranch in Pasadena, California, from
Benjamin S. Eaton in 1877. Crank was active in Los Angeles, where he organized the First
National Bank, became an owner of the Los Angeles Times, helped secure Westlake Park for the
city, and gave land for the Raymond Hotel in Pasadena. He was instrumental in the founding
of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroad, which began operation in 1885 and was
sold to the Santa Fe Railroad in 1887. He built the first cable street railway in the West
in Los Angeles in 1889 and helped found the city of Monrovia, California, in 1886. He died
in Pasadena, in 1935 at the age of 92.
15 Linear Feet
(11 boxes, 13 volumes, 32 maps and drawings)
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