James R. Crane was the son of Colonel Orin J. Crane, one of the youngest regimental commanders in the Civil War. Jim was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1860. He came to Fargo in 1891 and opened Crane's European Hotel and Cafe at 518 Front Street (Main Avenue). Although Crane's building was located a few doors from where the great fire of 1893 started, it was spared from the fire. Crane's was the only restaurant of any size left standing in Fargo after the fire and he showed his appreciation of the firemen's work by providing free food for 2-3 days. He continued to provide free food to Fargo firemen after any fire of consequence in Fargo. Mr. Crane returned to Ohio around 1894. The 1895-96 Fargo city directory lists the hotel as simply the European Hotel owned by R. R. White.