WILLIAM S. CRAFT, one of the leading residents of South Strabane township, was born April 3, 1841, in Morris township, Washington Co., Penn. His grandfather, John Craft, was married to Abigail Conklin, a resident of Morris township, and she bore his children as follows: Lila (Mrs. Thomas Dickerson), David, Permima (Mrs. Samuel Farrabee), Urius, Stewart, Stephen, Conklin, Catherine, and William. After his marriage Mr. Craft remained in Morris township several years, then went to East Finley township, where he died. In politics he was a Democrat, and in religion an active worker and class-leader in the M. E. Church at Mt. Zion.
David Craft, son of John and Abigail (Conklin) Craft, was born November 17, 1812, in Morris township, Washington Co., Penn., and there he received his early education. On March 29, 1838, he was married to Mary, daughter of Stephen Mills, a resident of New Jersey. Mr. Mills was married to Experience Lory, and she bore him the following children: Johanna, Deborah, Jonas, William, James, John, Mary, Phoebe, Eliza, Henry and Samuel. Mr. Mills went to Ohio, where he remained some time, and then returned to Washington county, Penn., settling near Taylorstown. He was a carpenter and builder, and in politics belonged to the Democratic party. In religious belief he was united with the Presbyterian Church at Claysville, this county.
Mr. and Mrs. Craft spent the first years of their married life in East Finley township, Washington county, and then removed to Morris township, in 1841, settling on the home farm. They have had the following family of children: John M. (living in Kansas City). William S. (subject of this sketch), Thomas (deceased), Stewart G. (residing in Idaho), Phoebe C. (deceased), Stephen L. (deceased), Jonas L. (living in Oregon), Catherine (deceased), Melissa, Della J. (Mrs. Oscar Lindley, living in Kansas) and Mary A. (Mrs. J. M. Patterson, of Washington, Penn.). Mr. Craft first built a log house, and afterward erected a frame dwelling, which was burned, and which he rebuilt. He was an active member of the Democratic Party, and in church connection was an adherent of the M. E. Church for fifty years, serving as trustee during much of that time. Mr. Craft died February 19, 1890, and was buried at Mt. Zion.
William S. Craft passed his boyhood days on the home farm in Morris township, Washington county, and in August 1862, enlisted in Company K, Sixteenth P. V. C. and was sent to the army of the Potomac. He took part in the principal battles, and at the close of the war came out unwounded with the exception of a slight bruise made by a ball. On October 13, 1869, he was united in marriage with Martha, daughter of John Montgomery, and they have had six children: Leroy J. (deceased), George W., Inez F., Herschel B. (deceased), John M. and Jane Adeline. On his return from the war he operated a portable sawmill four years, then commenced farming. He first settled on a farm in Morris township, near Prosperity, this county, remaining there two years when he moved to East Finley township, living there one year; thence removed to West Finley township, and eleven years afterward bought and took possession of his present home in South Strabane township. Mr. Craft has been engaged in the dairy business the past four years, and has a herd of twenty cows, which supply a large city custom. Politically he votes the Democratic ticket, and is interested in all public enterprises. When a youth he united with the M. E. Church at Mt. Zion, Morris township, but since removing to his present home he has attended the Presbyterian Church at Washington.
Text taken from page 567 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed February 1997 by LuShelle Fletcher of Grand Island, NE as part of the Beers Project.
Published February 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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