John Craig

JOHN CRAIG. One of the most satisfying experiences of life is to review the career in which hardships and difficulties have been mingled with successes and good fortunes, and out of which has emerged a gratifying competence represented in a large body of agricultural lands, well improved, well tilled, and many times as valuable as it was when it was redeemed from the powers of the wilderness.

An accident by which he lost his right hand caused John Craig to retire from his farm in 1908 and come to a comfortable city home in Salina. While he has lived retired, he has not yet outlived his usefulness and is still active and vigorous and takes a keen interest in the manner in which his sons manage the large estate he acquired during his early years of self sacrificing toil and industry in Western Kansas.

Mr. Craig was one of the pioneers of Saline County. He was born on a farm in Randolph County, Illinois, October 31, 1850, a son of William and Mary Ann (Barr) Craig, both of whom are natives of Scotland. His father was twice married and John was the first child of the second wife. His early years were spent on his father's farm in Randolph County, Illinois, and his education came from the public schools.

He was still a very young man when, in 1872, he came to Western Kansas and bought some land in Saline County, three miles northwest of Salina. That original tract of land which he redeemed by the sweat of his brow and in the face of most discouraging obstacles, including the plagues of grasshoppers and the continuous droughts, is still part of his possessions. At the present time his ownership extends to 350 acres, divided into two farms, both situated in Smoky Hill Township. Each of these farms has modern improvements, modern machinery, and they are worked to a maximum of productiveness consistent with proper conservation of their resources.

In politics Mr. Craig is a republican, and served four years as a member of the board of county commissioners of Saline County. He is an active member of the Presbyterian Church. On April 6, 1876, he married Miss Martha J. Crowther, who was born in Illinois, August 23, 1859. They are the parents of four children, two sons and two daughters. The sons are William H., born June 1, 1877, and George M., born September 18, 1879, both of whom now are progressive young farmers operating their father's land. The daughters are Effie E., born May 13, 1882, and Amy J., born June 29, 1889. Effie was married April 10, 1902, to C. H. Burke and lives in Salina. Amy J. on December 30, 1915, became the wife of E. G. Burke, and they also reside in Salina.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by Andrea Friant, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, October 21, 1999.

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