The writer of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving created the well known school teacher that moved to Sleepy Hollow from a friend or rather an acquaintance that he knew. He wrote this story and also Rip Van Winkle to give America some of their own legends to tell. At this time America had only stories of Indians to talk about while Europe had the Brothers Grimm. So Irving created some American folk lore so to speak.
Irving and Crane met in Sackets Harbor, New York during the War of 1812, meeting him actually in 1814. The book was published in 1820 and Ichabod was horrified. He and Irving had only known each other briefly while Crane was a caption in the war. In fact they had only met twice but Irving liked the way his name sounded. Though the name is the same the characteristics are based on someone else.
Ichabod Crane died on October 5th 1857 in Staten Island. His tomb stone was in bad shape and had been hit up by spray paint, it has since been replaced.