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John Craig

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John Craig

Posted: 25 Feb 2002 5:01PM GMT
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Craig, Paul, Main, Channess
From Biographical Memoirs of Huntington County, 1901, pages 289-290

John Craig was born in Henry county, Indiana, March 29, 1843, the old homestead lying on the county line between Henry and Wayne counties. His parents were George and Elizabeth (Paul) Craig, he a native of Holidaysburg, Pennsylvania, and coming to Indiana as a young man, his marriage occurring here; after which he settled on the farm, where both died, he having attained the age of seventy-four. John remained with his father until his own marriage, at the age of twenty-three, to Miss Anna Main, a native of St. Joseph county, Indiana, and who had been reared from the time of a young girl near Point Isabel, Howard county, where they were married. For one year after marriage he operated an old type upright saw-mill in Wayne county, the venture proving so successful that he was enabled to purchase a tract of land near Majenica, in Lancaster township, Huntington county, for which he paid one thousand four hundred dollars, although it was covered with timber and entirely unimproved. Coming to the tract in the fall of 1871, he turned his attention wholly to the clearing, improvement and cultivation of the farm. It was necessary to rent land for some years, until he had enough of his own cleared for cultivation. In the purchase he had assumed quite an indebtedness, which it took several years to pay, though in doing this he received considerable assistance from the timber which stood on the land by having it cut into lumber which he hauled to the market at Huntington. During the seventeen years that he lived upon the farm, he had brought it out of its original crude condition into one of high cultivation and productiveness. His first efforts at drainage consisted of timber ditches, laid beneath the surface, which were later replaced with tile drainage, many hundreds of rods of this having been stretched across the farm in various directions, the result being such a high state of fertility as made the farm one of the best in the community. Leaving the farm in 1888, he went to Wabash, and for the two succeeding years was engaged in general teaming. He then became interested with George Beard in the building of oil tanks. The great Indiana oil field, lying within a few miles of Warren, created a great demand for storage tanks, the building of which offered special inducements to men of energy and progressiveness. They bought several car-loads of second hand tanks, which enabled them to keep pace with the demand of oil production. The rebuilding of these used tanks was found to be a most disagreeable, dirty business; but, as the remuneration was satisfactory they persisted in the work, the business soon demanding a vast number of new tanks which they undertook to build and set up. This peculiar line of business afforded ample scope for the exercise of such qualities of push, vim and determination as these gentlemen possessed; although it is said by those who are familiar with them, that at no time did they lack the capacity, willingness or means to carry out their contracts to the letter. The returns proved to exceed their fondest anticipations, to the end that Mr. Craig was able to retire to a comfortable home which he had secured in the village, and to enjoy undisturbed the fruits of his laborious efforts. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Craig consists of two children, Emma Jane, the wife of Amos Channess, who lives upon and operates the home farm, and, are the parents of one child, Syvia; (sic) the youngest is Eddie A., of Warren. Mr. Craig is, and has been during life, a consistent Republican, and though he has never sought public recognition he was chosen to serve the people of Lancaster township in some of its local offices. Ever being of a progressive nature, his ambition, while attending personally to the farm, was to be a leader in those matters which indicated the successful agriculturist, one special feaure (sic) of his business having been the breeding and growing of Norman horses, several of which he exhibited at the fairs with most gratifying success. Both Mr. and Mrs. Craig are members of the Christian church, though his life is regulated to accord with the teachings of the Divine Master without special pretension on his part. Such vacations and cessations from business as Mr. Craig has been able to enjoy have frequently been passed in trips to the attractive lakes of northern Indiana and Michigan, where enjoyment may be found in the company of dog and gun or in the alluring of sparkling members of the finny tribe from the waters of such lakes.

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