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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - George B. Craw

SOURCE: "The Biographical Record of Champaign County, Illinois," The S. J. Clarke Publishing company, Chicago, 1900


GEORGE B. CRAW. Champaign county has been the home and scene of labor of many men who have not only led lives that should serve as an example to those who come after them, but have also been of important service to their town and county through various avenues of usefulness. Among these must be named George B. Craw, one of the most highly respected citizens of Sadorus, who passed away May 26, 1895, after a life of industry, and rich in those rare possessions which only a high character can give. He was born in Weybridge, Vermont, June 3, 1820, and was the oldest son of Allen CRAW, whose family consisted of four sons and two daughters that reached maturity. George B. and Samuel were the first of the family to come to Champaign county, Illinois, but were later joined by their parents and the other children, who came to make their home here. Our subject grew to manhood upon his father's farm in Vermont, and received a common-school education. He was twenty years of age, when, in 1840, the family emigrated to Illinois and took up their residence in Greene county, where the father purchased a large farm, which he improved with the aid of his sturdy sons, building up a substantial home. He was quite extensively and successfully engaged in general farming and stock raising. On starting out in life for himself, George B. Craw purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Greene county, and built thereon a house. Having secured a home, he then married Miss Ann Wilkinson, by whom he had two children. The son died in infancy, but the daughter, Florinda, is now the wife of John LOCHRIE, of Jasper county, Missouri, and they have six children, four of whom are married and have families of their own. Mrs. Craw died in Greene county in 1854. Wishing to leave the scene of his troubles, Mr. Craw came with his brother Samuel to Champaign county in 1857, which at that time was a wild, unbroken prairie and swamp, over which roamed wild game of various kinds. After years of hard work he succeeded in subduing the prairies and converting them into valuable farm lands. He purchased ninety acres of railroad land and eighty acres from private parties, all in Colfax township, and he successfully operated the same until 1876, when he removed to the village of Sadorus, where he bought several lots, erected a house, and lived retired thereafter, enjoying a well deserved rest. In 1859 Mr. Craw was again married, his second union being with Miss Margaret PATTERSON, who was born near Carlinville, Macoupin county, Illinois, February 23, 1838, a daughter of James and Nancy (SPARKS) PATTERSON, the former a native of Kentucky, the latter of Virginia, and both belonging to old families of their respective states. In his native place Mr. Patterson was an overseer on his father's plantation, and after coming to Illinois followed farming quite extensively on his own account. He was married in Jacksonville, where Miss Sparks was living at that time. Both were strong and active throughout life and lived to an advanced age, the former dying in 1893, aged eighty-one years, the latter in 1895, aged eighty. They were consistent and faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he was a Democrat in politics, though he never took an active part in public affairs. To them were born eight children, one of whom died in early childhood. Those who reached maturity were as follows: Samuel, a farmer, died of typhoid fever in 1860; Sarah, wife of R. REAGAN, died of the same disease the same year; Margaret A. is now Mrs. CRAW; Mary is the widow of William CROUCH and lives near the old homestead; John is a farmer of Macoupin county; James cared for his parents until their deaths, and purchased the interests of the other heirs in the old homestead, where he now resides; Nancy died unmarried. Mr. and Mrs. Craw began their married life in the home he had already prepared. To them were born two daughters: (1) Anneta L. is now the wife of William O'DELL, and they reside on her father's old homestead in Colfax township. They have four children, Harry, Charles, John and Annette. (2) Edythe, an accomplished young lady, lives with her mother in Sadorus. After his removal to the village, Mr. Craw kept a fine team and with his wife and daughter would take long excursions, visiting distant relative, as he enjoyed traveling in that way in preference to going by rail. He was very methodical and with true Yankee grit overcame all the obstacles in the path to success. Although never speaking to offend, he was always firm, and was upright and honorable in all his dealings. By his generous disposition he endeared himself to his family and many friends, and was always the first to hold out a helping hand to the needy or distressed. In 1893 he was afflicted with a soreness in his hand, which developed into a cancer, and after another year of suffering he passed peacefully away May 26, 1895, surrounded by all the members of his family. The property he acquired was equally divided between his wife and daughters. The funeral services were held at the church and his remains were interred in the Craw cemetery in Colfax township, which is in sight of his old home there. He was a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he was a trustee for many years, and was a liberal supporter of all church work. Socially he affiliated with J. R. Gorin Lodge, No. 537, F. & A. M., of Sadorus, and politically was identified with the Republican party. He never cared for political honors, though for many years, while a resident of Colfax township, he was unanimously elected treasurer of the schools in the township-a position he filled in a faithful and creditable manner. He labored with all the strength of a great nature and all the earnestness of a true heart for the bettering of the world about him; and when he was called to the rest and reward of the higher world his best monument was found in the love and respect of the community in which he lived for so many years.

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