by Don Chaney

Don Chaney is the former mayor and a long-time resident of Crane.

Article #10
Taken from the Crane News, published July 31, 1997.


     I remember Leon Neeley.  This man was a builder and a hard worker.  At one time Crane had a Lions Club that failed and quit.  Soon after that Neeley organized a Crane Booster Club with 125 members.  It started with a bang but also failed after a short time.  The present Lions Club was organized in the late 1940 and had their Charter Night in January 1941.  I was a charter member.

     Back to Leon Neeley.  He set out to move the business section of Crane from Gaston Street to Alford Street.  He moved the post office from its present location.  He built a nice two story hotel.  The Neeley Hotel, on the corner of 6th and Alford where Crane Pharmacy is now.  He built a grocery store building for Neal Cook and me next to where the telephone building was (and still is).  We had to move because the post office moved and left us high and dry.  Across from us on the corner, next to the new theatre, he built a huge building.  This was run by Wayne Erwin. This was a successful, going business for years.  They had a real old fashioned soda fountain.

     Cecil Vanderburg had a store about the middle of the block south of the drug store.  It was like a sandwich shop that catered to the school kids.  At 6th and Alford, as memtioned before, Dr. Frank Robinson and Dr. Cecil Robinson had a hospital/clinic.  Our three children were born there in 1942, 1945 and 1948.  This was a six bed hospital as I remember.

     Leon Neeley also started his own newspaper or at least brought a new one in.  This was in competition to the established Crane paper.  The new one failed.

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