He was born in Warialda to grazier John Crane and Elizabeth McGee.
He attended Tamworth Grammar School and then the University of Sydney, where he received a Bachelor of Science in 1887.
In 1888 he began a stock and station agency at Moree. From 1894 he worked as a land agent in addition to his farming, and he also served on Moree Council as mayor in 1903, 1905-1906 and 1908-1913. In 1913, with endorsement from the Liberal Reform Party and the Farmers and Settlers Association, he was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as the member for Gwydir.
He was a minister without portfolio assisting the Secretary for Lands from February to April 1920, but he was defeated at the 1920 elections contesting the multi-member seat of Namoi.