Alfred Cranston (1840?-1919) and Elizabeth Petford (dates unknown)
Alfred Cranston was born in Savannah, GA around 1840, the eldest of seven children. At the age of four, his family moved to Brooklyn, N.Y. As a young man, he served with Engine 17 of Brooklyn's Volunteer Fire Department, and enlisted in Company I of the 14th Regiment of the New York State Militia in 1861. The regiment, known as Brooklyn's "Fighting Fourteenth," was in turn part of the 84th New York Infantry Regiment. Cranston fought in the Civil War from 1861 to 1864. Throughout the war, he maintained an active correspondence with his fiancée Elizabeth Hollington Petford. Cranston and Petford married in 1864 following his discharge, and Cranston became a member of Citizens Lodge No. 628, F. and A.M. (Free and Accepted Masons) in Manhattan. They had three children: Alfred Petford (b. 1865); Henrietta, or "Etta" (b. 1866); and Ella Maude (b. 1870). In 1865, Cranston was officially discharged from service as a firefighter during the reorganization of the Brooklyn Firefighters brigades, but seems to have remained a member of the Brooklyn Volunteer Firemen's Association until his death. In 1893, Cranston became superintendent of the Postal Telegraph Building in Manhattan, home of the Postal Telegraph-Cable Company. He retired in 1898.
Alfred Cranston remained active in veterans' affairs in the years after the Civil War. He served as Secretary of the 14th Regiment War Veterans Association, which held annual reunions and sponsored monuments such as the new 14th Regiment Armory at 8th Avenue and 15th Street in Brooklyn. Cranston was a charter member of the U.S. Grant Post No. 327 of the Grand Army of the Republic ("G.A.R."), Union Veterans of the Civil War. In 1909, the National Tribune, the official newspaper of the G.A.R., established a veterans' "colony" in the newly-founded town of St. Cloud, FL, having taken title to 35,000 acres of land through a subsidiary, the Seminole Land & Investment Company. In 1914, as a G.A.R. member and a Civil War veteran, Cranston received a "land script" worth $25 for purchase of a lot in the St. Cloud veterans' colony. The Cranston family began to spend summers in the Florida town, which, by 1914, boasted the second-largest G.A.R. post in the country. Cranston died in St. Cloud in 1919 at the age of 79. He had been a member of the Baptist church for over fifty years.
Elizabeth Hollington Petford Cranston was the daughter of Henrietta Hollington and the Rev. Charles Petford, a Baptist clergyman. The Petfords immigrated to the U.S. from Astwood, England shortly after their marriage. Charles Petford died of pneumonia in 1850 when Elizabeth and her sister, Emma, were children. Henrietta Petford later married a man named Richards, who imported needles manufactured in England by the Hollingtons. As Mrs. Alfred Cranston, Elizabeth Petford was active in the Society of the Wives and Daughters of the 14th Regiment War Veterans, serving as the Society's president from 1893 to 1915. After her tenure as president ended, she was named honorary president of the Society. She also took part in numerous church and charity activities.
Alfred Morehouse (1838-unknown) and Mary Elizabeth Coward (1838-unknown)
Alfred Morehouse, son of Calvin Morehouse and Elizabeth Van Riper, was born in Brooklyn in 1838. Like Alfred Cranston, he served as a volunteer firefighter, and worked in Harding's Tea Store as either an associate or partner. He and Mary Elizabeth Coward (b. 1838, in Tom's River, N.J.) were married in 1859 or 1860 and celebrated their golden anniversary in 1909. They had two daughters, Emma Louise and Minnie, both of whom were eventually buried with them in the same plot in Green-Wood Cemetery.
Alfred Petford Cranston and Emma Louise Morehouse
Alfred Petford Cranston and Emma Louise Morehouse were married in 1888, and had two daughters--Lillian Elsie and Marion Morehouse--before divorcing circa 1902. Alfred went on to marry his pregnant mistress. Like his father, Alfred Petford Cranston worked for the Postal Telegraph-Cable Company.