52 Ancestors #20 Horace Pappy Crane


This challenge is set forth by No Story Too Small,

and this week’s challenge is “Black Sheep.”

This topic made me laugh as the first person to come to mind was my great uncle Horace “Pappy” Crane. Uncle Horace was born 2 February 1905 to Amos Bolivar Crane and Mary Elizabeth “Minnie” White in Lauderdale County, Mississippi. He was the second of six children. In the following photograph, he is on the bottom far left. The boy on the far right is my grandfather Andrew Franklin Crane.

Amos Crane and Minnie White with Horace, Minnie Ellen, and Frank

Uncle Horace’s claim to fame was driving car #58 in Nascar and surviving a roll-over crash at Daytona in 1960.

This funny black sheep story about him has been pieced together from various relatives and may be a little fuzzy as I have no documentation of the events.

Uncle Horace lived in a modest home in Mississippi and sold off the acres of his property to a builder. The sale did not include his own home, of course. The builder constructed beautiful, expensive homes on the land and eventually came to Uncle Horace to ask when he was going to rebuild. Uncle Horace didn’t realize it at the time, but he had apparently signed a paper stating he would tear down his shack and build a larger, more expensive home in its place. Well, he didn’t have the money to build a new home, so he figured he could make it happen through insurance money and he burnt his own home down.

The arrest happened when the arson investigators found the home was set ablaze with the same mixture of fuel he used to race with. Ooops.

Fortunately for him, he only received probation for the arson, but a while later, he got into a drunken fight in a bar and had a pistol on him – which was against his probation. He spent time behind bars for violating probation.

Uncle Horace was the family character everyone has stories about, and the above tale is just the tip of the iceberg. He was very loved. He died 6 February 1985 and is laid to rest at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Zero, Lauderdale County, Mississippi.

crane, horace t

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