"The Kansas City Times" (Missouri) Sunday, November 1, 1896
HE IS AN EXPERT PENMAN.
One of the most accomplished penmen in Kansas City is a young
man who never attended school a day in his life.
A. J. CRANKSHAW, who holds the position of room clerk at the
Coates house, has made his own way ever since he was a child.
As a boy he sold papers and blacked boots and afterward became
a bell boy in a hotel. At the age of 16 he had risen to the position
of clerk in a hotel, and he began to see the need of an education.
He had no time to go to school, and so he began to educate himself.
He has risen rapidly, for he is still a young man, and he now fills a
responsible position with credit to himself and his employer.
His genius for penmanship must be a gift of nature, for it is safe
to say that no amount of practice would enable the average man to
handle a pen as he does. He writes at will a hand that is plain and
legible, or one that is so adorned with flourishes that it is impossible
to decipher the words. He turns out the most marvelous signatures
that no one could read or recognize. All his work with the pen is
done with a rapidity and an apparent carelessness that makes the
results seem more astonishing still. In addition to his skill as a
penman, Mr. CRANKSHAW has nimble hands, and he does some
clever sleight-of-hand tricks. He is the possessor of a splendid voice,
and as he has aspirations toward the stage, he may yet be heard
of in the world.
(I have no connection with this family; but please let me know
if this posting was helpful.)