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Sixth Master, 1876-1877

Major William H. Crank was a native of Glenmore, Virginia, where he was born about 1829 or 1830. He was a lawyer by profession and a veteran of the Civil War.

He received his Masonic Degrees in Widow’s Son Lodge No. 60 at Charlottesville, Virginia: 1º March 23, 1861, 2º October 28, 1865, and 3º October 30, 1865. The Civil War evidently interrupted his degree work, so that he did not receive the Fellowcraft and Master Mason Degrees until after the close of the Civil War.

He demitted from Widow’s Son Lodge on March 16, 1867, and affiliated with Holland Lodge No.1 at Houston on June 23, 1869, indicating his removal to Houston in the latter sixties.

The Standard History of Houston, Texas, refers to “Major W. H. Crank” as “among the prominent members of the Bar after the war …”

He was a very active Mason and was Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge of Texas in 1881. He served on the Grand Lodge Committee No.2 on Chartered Lodges in 1877 and for 22 years consecutively on one of the Committees on Grievances and Appeals and was Chairman of No. 3 in 1894 and No. 2 for eight years (1895-1903).

He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Houston for many years. He died February 27, 1903, at the age of 73. The burial service was conducted by Rev. Henry D. Ames of Christ Church assisted by Rev. Horace Clark, who had been Major Crank’s pastor many years before at the First Baptist Church. His wife had preceded him in death and he was survived by two sons, Lt. Kyle Crank and William H. Crank, Jr. The latter was ill in Kansas City and forbidden to come by his physician.