Your old frame has a lot of features that are consistent with late 1890s to early 1900s frames. The crank/sprocket set up look very close to my 1890s Pierce. Is the frame lugged? That was not a common feature in that time period at least on US made bikes and might mean is is not that early. I sent you a PM.
I just looked through some more of my reference material and I see that Sterling had a very thin lug on their late 1890's frames, but the cranks and rear drop outs were quite a bit different than what you have. Could be from that time frame.
After some cleanng and sanding off some rust I have found some thin lugging and pretty poor (sloppy) brazing. I will post more photos this evening... Pedals come off from a square allen wrench like opening on end of threaded pedal rod and not from a traditional outside for placement of wrench.
Early method of attaching pedals to crank. I used power-blaster penetrant and also used a torch to attempt removal but it preferred to stay attached. Pedals turn freely and will stay with the frame. I ground down a perfectly good 1/4 inch ratchet extension to fit the square hole to no avail. I just twisted off the tip of the ground tool.