The life history of John Craig, ex-county auditor of Fayette county and a farmer living on his fine tract of eighty-five acres on the Jeffersonville pike about one mile from Washington C. H., shows what good habits, industry and stanch citizenship will accomplish in the battle for success in life. His record is one replete with duty well and conscientiously performed in every relation of life and special honor is attached to his career owing to the fact that he was one of those loyal sons of the Union who offered his services and his life if need be for the preservation of the nation during the dark days of the sixties. Throughout his life. Mr. Craig has been an advocate of wholesome living and cleanness in politics as well and has always stood for the highest and best interests of the community in which so many of his active years have been passed and which has been honored by his citizenship.

John Craig was born on December 23, 1839. in Cincinnati, Ohio, a son of William and Sarah (Van Pelt) Craig, who were the parents of ten children, the immediate subject being the second child in order of birth. The others are Mary Anna (deceased), Charles W. (deceased), Thomas M., Asbury J., Amanda K.. Russell, Arabella, Susan Jane and Elizabeth. William Craig, the subject's father, was born in the state of New Jersey and was brought to Cincinnati by his parents when a young boy. In that city he acquired his trade of a carpenter, at which vocation he worked almost the balance of his life. He was married upon first coming to this county, where he remained for a comparatively short time, when he returned to Cincinnati, where the immediate subject of this sketch was born. While the subject was still a baby his father returned to this county, locating at Staunton, where he engaged in the general merchandise business and where he remained for about fourteen years, when he removed to Marion county, Iowa. It was at Staunton, therefore, that the subject received his earliest schooling, later attending the schools of Marion county when the parents took up their abode there. There he passed several years of his younger manhood and he later returned to this county with a sister. It was from this point, in answer to President Lincoln's call to arms, that he enhsted as a private in Company C. Fifty-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, under Col. Thomas Kilby Smith. For three years he remained in the service and was in many of the most important engagements of the war. among them being the battles of Shiloh, Haines Bluff and important skirmishes enroute to Vicksburg. He spent a tedious period of three months in the hospital at Milliken's Bend. After receiving his honorable discharge from service, he returned to this county and for some time he traveled all over the state operating a notion wagon, from which he sold goods and took orders from rural merchants. Tiring of this unsettled life after a time, he secured a farm in this county, which he rented for some time and later purchased the farm which he now owns and where he has since made his home. Since obtaining possession of this land he has made manv important improvements in it so that today it is considered one of the excellent farms of the community. Mr. Craig is a man skilled in many lines, as witnessed by the fact that he was in the restaurant and bakery business for a time and the additional fact that by his father he was initiated into the secrets of carpentry and he has followed this trade more or less ever since.

Mr. Craig's fraternal affiliation is with the Knights of Pythias and he is also a member of John M. Bell Post No. 119. Grand Army of the Republic. Politically, he is a stanch supporter of the principles of the Republican party, in the affairs of which he has been active in many ways. Mr. Craig is a man who is popular with all classes and when his name appeared on the ticket as a candidate for the office of county auditor, his friends rallied to his support and twice he was elected by a good majority. With the greatest efficiency he discharged the duties of that office to the satisfaction of all.

Shortly after his return from the army, on November 16, 1866, Mr. Craig was united in marriage to Matilda A. Sollars, a daughter of Isaac and Hannah (Tones) Sollers, the former of whom was a native of Fayette county. He was a son of Samuel Sollars, a native of England who emigrated to this country when a young man and secured government land in this state under the administration of President Jackson. Isaac Sollars was the father of eleven children, four of whom are deceased. These are Jonathan, Isaac M., Jacob T. and Eliza J. Those living are Mary E., Matilda (wife of the subject), Wells B., Barton, Ella H., Samuel and Alsina. Mrs. Craig has been a resident of this county all her life. Mr. and Mrs. Craig are the parents of two sons, Isaac F., who married Anna Artz and resides in Dayton, this state, is the father of three children, Lucile, Ellen and Emily. William, the younger son. married Barbara Young and has one son. Malcolb W.

Personally, Mr. Craig is a man of clean character who has ever exerted a healthful influence in the community, giving his support to any movement which promised the advancement of the interests of those about him in any legitimate way. He has long been regarded as among those men who are interested in the advancement of township and county affairs and through his manner of living and his varied interests here he has won a host of friends who regard him as one of the leading men of the county.

 

From History of Fayette County Ohio - Her People, Industries and Institutions by Frank M. Allen (1914, R. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.)