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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


WILLIAM P. CRAIG who is variously engaged in business at Woodson as a grain buyer, general merchant and manufacturer of bricks and tiling, and in that connection sustains a reputation most favorable, was bon on the 31st of July, 1836. He is the son of Edward and Mary Ann Craig, of Kentucky, and the place of his nativity was Morgan County, Ills. The grandfather James Craig, was born in Virginia, emigrated to Kentucky and later in life, to Illinois, and was one of the founders of the old school Presbyterian Church near Jacksonville, known as Union Church, organized Oct. 2, 1831, of which he was one of the first Elders, which office he held to his death.

The father of our subject, was born near Shelbyville, Ky., 1807. He followed agricultural pursuits both in his native state and this. He was one of Morgan County's pioneers, and came to Illinois in 1830, entering land almost immediately upon his first arrival, nine miles southeast of Jacksonville, upon which farm he lived until his death, March 30, 1883. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and for thirty-five years was one of its ruling elders. In early life his political relations were with the Whig party, but in later years he was numbered with the Republicans. Both husband and wife were members of the same religious connection therewith. The wife was born in Winchester, Ky., in 1811, and died Aug. 20, 1879.

The maternal grandfather of our subject, William C. Posey, was a Virginian by birth, and in youth moved to Kentucky, and came to this State in 1827, when Morgan County was in its infancy. He made his home in the vicinity of what is now Jacksonville, but at that time could hardly aspire to the dignity of a village. He entered a tract of land just east of the present city limits, and there continued farming until his death. He is on record as being one of the founders of the Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville, which was organized June 30, 1827, at which time the nearest Presbyterian Church was seventy-five miles. This church is known now as then, as the Jacksonville Presbyterian Church. He was also one of the founders of the Illinois College in the same city. The first Board of Trustees of this institution were elected on the 5th of December, 1829, and the name of William C. Posey is found as one of the board. To his self-sacrifice and patient continuance in spite of difficulties and discouragements, and his unquestioned ability, the College owes much of its reputation and success. He was a zealous worker, an excellent citizen, and a thorough and well educated man. In politics he was a Whit.

The family of which our subject is a member included seven children, five of whom are sons, of whom our subject was the first born. The others were Ann E., James G., George E., Belle M., Lloyd A., and Alexander P. Of these all survive excepting Ann E. and James, the former of whom departed this life in infancy, the latter in the year 1858, being seventeen years old.

On the 20th of February 1862, Mr. Craig and Mary M. Flatford, were united in wedlock. She is the daughter of Nathaniel and Louisa (Harney) Flatford, the former os whom was born in Virginia and the latter in Kentucky. Mr. Flatford in early life learned the trade of a cabinet maker and followed the same for many years in Jacksonville. After this he turned his attention to farming, and continued thus employed until his death, August, 1883. They were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and were regarded as true members of the same.

The subject of our sketch has been engaged in farming for many years and still retains the farm on which he resided before moving to Woodson. All the recollections of his childhood and early years cluster around the farm of his father, where he obtained his first knowledge of agricultural pursuits. He continued upon the home farm with his father until he was twenty-five years of age, and from that time until 1883 continued similarly engaged in his own interests. Five years previous to his coming to the town he purchased the now extensive tile and brick works of Messrs. Craig & Bohne. These are perhaps the most extensive of any in the district, and have a reputation for good work that is worth a great deal to the business every year. This department of his affairs he has placed in charge of his brother Lloyd A. He has quite a large home trade for the goods manufactured, and also ships quite extensively. He has supplied his yard with all needed and helpful modern machinery, and a steam heat drying house constructed out of brick, standing 40x90 feet, two stories in height and covered with a metal roof. The quality of his productions is unquestionably high. He has constantly in use four down draft kilns, with a capacity of 30,000 brick and 10,000 tile per diem. The lowest estimate of the valuation fo the works would be at least $10,000.

Mr. Craig and wife are both members of the Presbyterian Church, in good standing; our subject is now what might be called an enthusiastic politician, but at the same time is much interested in everything that is connected with the best interests of the community and State. He always votes with the Republican party, of which he has been a member ever since he has had the privilege of casting a ballot, and that was at the birth of the party. In all the relations of life our subject enjoys the highest regard of his fellows and is much esteemed by those who know him best.

1889 Index
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