Have you ever driven through the little community of Crayne and wondered how it got it's name and how it used to be many years ago? Like so many little communities, about all that is left of its businesses is the post office.
In or about 1888 the Ohio Valley Railroad Company was going to build a new railroad through this area of the county. Mrs. Emma Crayne owned the land where the railroad wanted to lay the tracks, Mrs. Crayne agreed to give the right of way for this railroad to come through their land. In honor of this the community was given the name Crayneville.
This railroad opened up a new way to travel and move products. It ran North to South from Evansville to Princeton. There were three passenger trains running north and three trains south a day, each stopping at Crayneville, plus the freight train schedule. There was a nice depot where many agents worked through the years. Located on the east side of the railroad, known as the freight yard, was a tobacco factory.
There was also a Drug Store and Hotel building which was located next to the large general store and freight yard lot. This beautiful two-story building was owned and operated by Mr. Forest Pogue. The first floor was the Drug store, with the second story being the Hotel.
Crayneville had four medical doctors. Dr. O. C. Cook, who lived on the farm of James Cruce, located south of Crayne. Dr. Vernon Fox lived on the corner of Highway 91 and the Crayne Cemetery Road. Dr. Story also lived at this location, and Dr. Russell who lived south of Crayne.
In the 1890's the owners of the general stores were Mr. P. H. Woods, Mr. R. B. Dorr, and Mr. Hugh Glenn. In the early 1900's Mr. Wyatt Brookshire, Mr. Weldon, and Mr. J. C. Carlton owned the stores. The Carlton store was located where the Calvary Baptist Church stands today Jan. 2016.
In the 1890's, Mr. James Franklin Dorroh came to Crayneville and was hired by Mr. Hugh Glenn as a clerk in his store. Being employed, he found lodging at the home of Mr. Benjamin Crayne. Here he met Mary Malinda "Linnie" Crayne, fell in love and married her. In later years he bought the inventory of the Glenn store and the business became known as Dorroh Brothers Store. It was a large wood building with a coal stove near the back, a checkerboard, and a wooden bench for people to rest on and visit. In the front of the store was the post office and close by was a big showcase full of candy. In the back of the store was a barber shop operated by Mr. Dorroh's sons, William and Eugene. William did the shaving and Eugene, an excellent barber, did the hair-cutting.
In the early 1900's there were also two blacksmith shops, and a grist mill. A Mr. Dobbs and Mr. W. B. Binkley. Mr. Binkley and his family came to Crayneville from View, Ky, in 1906. He labored hard daily at the forge and with a hammer making iron parts to repair machinery, wagons an horse shoeing. He also had a grist mill located near the blackshmith shop.
In October of 1907, the Crittenden Record Press tells us that the name of the thriving little town of Crayneville, Kentucky, has been changed to Crayne. The reason being that the similarity of Caneville Ky. to Crayneville, Ky., both being located on the Illinois Central Railroad, which caused mail and freight to go to one or the other through error. Crayne, as it is now called, is a prosperous little town on the I.C.R.R. located four miles South of Marion.
January 3, 2000 a devastating tornado hit down just at the south edge of Crayne and ripped all the way through the community, leaving behind most all the homes damaged or destroyed, and tore up the beautiful old maple trees that had lined the highway all those years, most all them had to be taken down they were so damaged. Although no one was seriously injured, Crayne was never the same afterwards.
The Post Office is still in it's same location but the hours have been cut back to 4 hrs a day, trying to hold on and stay a part of what is left of the community.