Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.


Columbus D. Craven

COLUMBUS D. CRAVEN. In the year 1878, before the Township of Franklin or the County of Ness were organized, there arrived in this locality a settler who came from Ray County, Missouri, and located in sight of the first homestead taken in the county, his home being a half mile south of the south fork of the Walnut, in the southeast quarter of section 28, township 19, range 24. He was Hugh Lawson W. Craven, who was destined to experience many hardiships[sic] before he attained the success that his energies deserved. He founded here a family that has been known for its sterling integrity and good citizenship, and a worthy representative of this pioneer name is found in the person of his son, Columbus D. Craven, who is farming and raising stock on the homestead place.

Hugh L. Craven was born in Giles County, Tennessee. in 1835, a son of Col. John Craven, who was a militia colonel during the days of state training of troops, but who passed his life as a farmer and merchant. John Craven was born in North Carolina, being one of seven sons in his father's family, and a like number of sons were in the father's family, too. The first Cravens came from England and settled in the Colony of North Carolina, and the family is now numerous in the United States, the principal occupation of those of the name seeming to be farming. As a young man John Craven went to Giles County, Tennessee, where he was married to Frances Clark, and in 1853 took his family to Ray County, Missouri, where he passed the remainder of his life, dying at an advanced age at Vibbard. He and his wife lie at rest in Salem Cemetery there. Their children were as follows: Elizabeth, who married Farmer McCandless and died in Ray County, Missouri; Sarah, who married first Buchanan Abernathy and second Mr. Robinet and died in the same county; Hugh L. W.; Mrs. Sturgis, who died in Clay County, Missouri; Richard, who died at Terre Haute, Indiana, after service in the Civil war; Mary, who married W. B. Harris and died in Ray County, Missouri; and Maximilian B., who resides in that county.

Hugh L. W. Craven secured his education in the public schools of his native state and was nineteen years of age when he accompanied his parents to Ray County, Missouri. During his residence there he saw service in the Civil war as a Confederate soldier, but he said so little about his service that little is known as to his military record, save that it was an honorable one. He brought his family to Kansas in a wagon and for his pioneer home dug a basement and built a small frame house of two rooms, and this now forms a part of the residence of his son Columbus D. With him he brought eight horses and twelve head of cattle, and during his residence in Kansas did a good deal of cattle raising, but gave the major part of his attention to wheat growing, a field in which he met with success in his later years. It was his lot and that of his family to taste some of the bitter things of frontier life. His wife often told their children that she frequently cooked "her last meal of food in the house" when she did not know where the next one was coming from. However, Mr. Craven persevered in his labors and was assisted by his able helpmate, with the final result that their last years were spent in comfort, Mr. Craven having amassed at the time of his death land to the extent of a half a section, of which there were 180 acres under cultivation. Mrs. Craven died in 1904 and in the following year the father moved to Ness City, where he died in 1907. Before her marriage Mrs. Craven was Sciotha Whitton, a daughter of Elijah Whitton, who came from Eastern Tennessee. Her mother died in 1892, at the age of ninety-seven years, living then at Vibbard, Missouri. The Whitton children were: Mrs. Craven and Elijah. A half brother, Andrew Craven, lives at Liberty, Missouri. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Craven were: Mollie, who died as Mrs. C. E. Burk at Armourdale, Kansas; Edward L., a farmer of Ness County; Emma, who is now Mrs. Dick Haeglin, of Denver, Colorado; Gussie, who died as Mrs. John Burns; Kate, the wife of George Gordon, of Ness County; Lizzie, who married Emery Newton, of Wichita, Kansas; and Columbus D.

Columbus D. Craven was educated in the country in Ness County. His first school experience was gained in a sod dugout on the bank of the Walnut, and a short time in the winter was all that he attended, his education being about equal to what would be third grade work at this time. It was necessary that he, as one of the providers for the family, should work for every dollar in sight, herding cattle and feeding, gathering "chips" for others, or following a threshing machine, and often he was compelled to work in other counties to sustain himself and family. He eventually succeeded to the old homestead and has been raising wheat, while horses and cattle, the graded kind, form an important part of his business.

Mr. Craven was married in Ness County December 25, 1900, to Miss Mary E. McGarvey, a daughter of William McGarvey, who passed away in Dade County, Missouri. Mr. McGarvey was born in Champaign County, Illinois, and married Jennie Williamson, Mrs. Craven being the eldest of their children, the others being William; and Jessie, who is the widow of Perry Webster, and resides at Denver, Colorado. Mr. and Mrs. Craven had seven children: Lawson, Nellie, Marshall, Elmer, Mary Frances, Virgie and Lillie Dale. Mrs. Craven died April 4, 1915, in the faith of the Baptist Church. Mr. Craven votes the domecratic[sic] ticket and he has no interest in fraternal work.


Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Volume 4 - Table of Contents

Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS

tcward@columbus-ks.com


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