Nathan Boone Craig was born in St. Charles, Mo., June 22, 1822 and died at his home in Hanover, Ill., Jan. 15, 1907, aged 84 years, six months and 23 days.
When he was three years old, Mr. Craig's parents moved to Galena, Ill., where they resided until 1827, when they moved to Hanover then an Indian village called Wapello. Mr. Craig's father, Mr. James Craig, who was a Baptist minister and a surveyor, secured the water power at this place and erected a flour mill, a saw mill and a chair factory. At this time the Craig family was the only white family in this immediate vicinity, and the early playmates of the subject of this sketch were all Indian lads. It was this early training which probably gave Mr. Craig that insight into Indian life and character which in later years won their confidence and lasting friendship. Mr. Craig was married three times, his fist wife was Miss Nancy Chandler, six children being born to this union, but only one, Mrs. Frances Goodspeed of Kansas City, Mo. Surviving the father. His second wife was Mrs. Calames, whose maiden name was Miss Margaret Pilcher; two children blessed this union and one, Mrs. Olive Eadie of Hanover being the only survivor. His third wife was Miss Elizabeth Miiburn of Indiana; of the five children born to this union but three survive, Edward Craig and Mrs. Eva Kuhns, both of Hanover, and Lee Craig. Besides his wife and children, Mr. Craig left five grandchildren; two sisters, Mrs. Melcena Morris and Miss Emma Cutler of Hanover; and two brothers, Mr. James Craig, of Beatrice, Neb., and Mr. Lionel Craig, of Denver, Co. Mr. Craig has been in poor health for several years, but it was not until Sunday, Jan. 13th he suffered a stroke of paralysis, which caused his death on the following Tuesday evening at eight o'clock. Mr. Craig stood out pre-eminently among the early settlers of Jo Daviess county, as he resided in this village for a period of eighty years, and like his forefathers, seems destined to have been one of the many American Empire builders, and his ancestors were of the same adventurous blood and indomitable spirit which he always displayed. His mother, whose name was Delinda Boone, was a daughter of Nathan Boone, and Nathan was a son of the famous Daniel Boone whose name is known to almost every American born child of a dozen years and upwards.
Mr. Craig's mother also possessed that spitit which conquers great obstacles, and she fully displayed this in early years when a saloon which stood where Mr. Thomas Edgerton's house now stands, was demoralizing the young men of the village. All warnings had beed disregarded by the unscrupulous proprietor, and one day Mrs. Craig gathered some 70 women and with them marched up the main street of the town to the saloon, but when the proprietor threatened them with a gun, this woman showed the same spirit which had characterized her ancestors and went quietly on directing the plans of destruction. Holes were broken through the brick walls, crowbars inserted and ropes attached and the women pulled down the entire building, demolishing it and its contents, and thus ridding Hanover of one of the most degrading dens of vice ever known within its borders.
Mr. Craig was a man of powerful physique and afraid of nothing, but on the other hand he was neither a bully nor a braggart, and always kept an open house to all who called.
An entire volume might be easily written concerning the subject of the sketch, as his life takes in a portion of the history of this county which would interest all within its borders, but time and space forbid.
For many years Mr. Craig conducted a general store here, and it was his fair dealing with the Indians which gave him such a strong place in their esteem, and it is said that he often acted as mediator between the sons of the forest and the whites, and when the Winnebagoes were finally removed to the North by the government, it was Mr. Craig who finally persuaded them to go.
Mr. Craig was very proud of his ancestral tree, and had many relics of his family, including a family Bible which had once been the property of his grandfather, Nathan Boone, and he also possessed a sash which had belonged to his grandfather when in the army. The Bible contains the family records of the Boone Family.
Among many other relics, Mr. Craig had a shotgun and a pocketbook which were once the property of this great grandfather, Daniel Boone.
Mr. Craig's father, was a Captain in the Black Hawk War, and his son had his muster roll in his possession.
At the time of the Black Hawk War the Craig family went to Galena where they remained until the trouble was over, Mr. Craig then being about ten years of age.
With the passing of Mr. Craig into the Great Beyond, Hanover and Jo Daviess county lose one of the landmarks of early settlement and a bygone generation for few, if any, now living had the knowledge of the early days in this section possessed by Mr. Craig, and while he is gone from among us, he will long be remembered by his friends and acquaintances, for he was a man who had sympathy for others, and was ever found ready and willing to aid in any worthy cause, either with his time or money. In early life Mr. Craig united with the Baptist church.
The funeral was held from the First Presbyterian church at two o'clock, Thursday afternoon, Jan. 17th, Rev. H. J. Collins delivering the funeral sermon to a large concourse of relatives and friends.
The pall bearers, some of whom were selected by Mr. Craig, were, William Skene, Chester Pilcher, David Campbell, Nicholas Peschang, J. M. Wadleigh and George Morrison.
The remains were laid to rest in the Hanover cemetery.
The JOURNAL joins the many friends of the family in expressions of sympathy.