Crafton Pioneer Family

The Crafton Family of Pike County and its descendants
Contributed by Lisa Linden
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WILLIAM CRAFTON (1792?-1846) and his wife, MARY WALES MCINTIRE (b. 1801?), came to Pike County around 1833. William was born in Virginia but his parents relocated to Hardin County, Kentucky when he was fairly young. In 1816 he and Mary married in Harrison County, Indiana. She called him "Bill," and he called her "Polla." Before their 1833 arrival in Pike County, they lived in Clay County, Indiana and (briefly) Coles County, Illinois. When the Craftons settled in Pike they did so alongside three siblings: NANCY CRAFTON, who had married Mary's brother, JACOB MCINTIRE in Kentucky; and ELIZABETH (BETSY) CRAFTON (1802-1871?), who had married SAMUEL WINEGAR in Harrison County, Indiana. Once in Pike, the McIntires settled in the area of Barry, the Winegars in Flint, and the Craftons in Griggsville. By the 1870s, all known living members of the Crafton and Winegar families had left Pike County, while many McIntire descendants stayed in the area.

William and Mary's nine children were born between 1817 and 1840. Their eldest five children were all born in Indiana or Kentucky. Their four youngest children were born in Pike. William bought a number of public land tracts in Derry and Griggsville, but eventually settled as a farmer in the latter community. William sold most (if not all) of his lands by 1840. He died in April 1846, and was preceded to the grave by his wife, Mary (c. 1840-1845). Their daughter Lucinda wrote that Mary died at her brother Jacob McIntire's farm in Milton. Late in her own life, Lucinda recalled the death scene: "my mother talked to us Children and advised to be good and to me she said Cinna I must leave now be good to Samma and minde Louisa then she said Bill raise me up that was all." William died at his sister Betsy Winegar's farm in Flint. His death occurred around the same time as that of his brother-in-law, Samuel Winegar; those of Winegar's children from an earlier marriage, CLINTON A. WINEGAR and MARY WINEGAR PERRY; and that of his daughter Louisa's first husband, WILLIAM S. WILLIAMS. With the deaths of their parents, the younger Craftons were taken in by their elder brothers and sisters, who were in the process of establishing their own families.

JESSE JAMES CRAFTON (1820-1863) became administrator of his father, William's, estate. While his father and brothers farmed, he became a carpenter and settled in Griggsville. In 1848 he married NANCY ELDRIDGE (1831-1900); Nancy's maiden name is mistakenly transcribed as "Elledge" in her marriage record. Nancy had been born in Tioga County, Pennsylvania; at the age of 5 she had been kidnapped by neighbors, SIMON and KATY ANN ELLISON, who eventually migrated to Pike County. At first the Ellisons raised Nancy as their daughter, but later told her she had been bound out to them. The Ellisons had a son, OLIVER ELLISON (1838-1863), who served in the 10thIllinois Cavalry and died at Vicksburg. Nancy left the Ellisons when she was fourteen. When she married Jesse Crafton, he helped her locate her mother in Pennsylvania; in 1849 she wrote to her mother, and they kept up a correspondence until the mother's death. Jesse and Nancy had seven children, three of whom survived to adulthood.

Jesse Crafton died in Griggsville in 1863 of an unspecified illness, and for the rest of the decade Nancy struggled financially; she wanted to set herself up as a dressmaker, but those plans never were fulfilled, although she did take on sewing tasks for others, including the man who was to become her second husband: blacksmith JOHN RUTAN STONE (1822-1889), a native of Pennsylvania who had married his first wife in Ohio and lived for a time in Adams County. By 1860 the Stone family was living in Griggsville, and Nancy may have met them at Griggsville's Methodist Episcopal Church. John Stone appears to have been a lay leader in the church who ran "class meetings." Around 1868 he deserted his wife, HANNAH E. HAMMOND STONE, and their children, and left Griggsville. In the fall of 1869, Hannah Stone obtained a divorce, having claimed that John committed adultery with several women, including Nancy Crafton. Under a cloud of scandal and gossip, Nancy left Griggsville and married John in Adams County in 1870; they had a daughter, BIRDELLA MAY STONE, in 1871. The family later lived in Tazewell and Mason Counties, and finally moved to Quincy in 1887 where Nancy became a founding member of the United Brethren Church in that city. After she died, Nancy was buried in Griggsville Cemetery alongside Jesse Crafton and four infant children.

Surviving children of Jesse and Nancy Crafton:

WILLIAM MARSHALL CRAFTON (1851-1921) was a laborer all his life, and according to his brother Harry, endeared himself to those who knew him. He married HARRIET GRANDJEAN and settled in New Berlin, Illinois. Their son, JESSE ALLEN CRAFTON (1890-1966), received degrees from Knox College and Harvard University, and for many years was a professor of Theater at the University of Kansas, where the university theater is named for him; Allen was also an artist and, along with his wife JESSICA ROYER, a published author. Marshall also had a daughter, BESSIE.

CHARLES BAKER CRAFTON (1854-1911) also turned his hand to many kinds of work in his life. He and his wife, KATE GILMORE, settled in the Springfield area with three daughters, DAISY, PANSY, and LILY. One daughter, JOSIE, died young.

JAMES HENRY CRAFTON, or "Harry," (1856-1939) began his career as a teacher in small communities in Illinois; later, he became a professor at the Gem City Business College in Quincy, Illinois and director of the Illinois State Bank. He lived with his mother until her death in 1900. In 1899 he had married FIDELIA SCHAFFNIT (1872-1964) who had been born in Perry, Pike County to CHARLES SCHAFFNIT (1848-1944) and LOUISA YOCKEY (1849-1932). Fidelia grew up in Red Cloud, Nebraska, and met Henry Crafton at Gem City College, where she was enrolled. Before her marriage, Fidelia had been a teacher and a school principal. Harry and Fidelia's daughter, LOUISE, grew up in Quincy and earned degrees from Oberlin College and Illinois State University; she became a teacher of Latin and French.

Nancy and John Stone's daughter BIRDELLA (1871-1950) married SAMUEL CARNES of Pittsfield in 1892 and lived the rest of her life in Pike County. They had no children.

Other children of William and Mary Crafton:

JOHN CRAFTON (1817-1882?) married OLIVE COOK, in Greene County, in 1836. They eventually settled in Exeter, Scott County with their children, MARY JANE (1837-1902), WILLIAM (1842-?), ANDREW J. (1849-?), and ELIZABETH (1852-1938). Olive apparently died in the 1850s. According to his sister Lucinda, John then abandoned his children with his relatives. The 1870 U.S. census lists a Jack Crafton as a resident of the Pike County poorhouse, whose age suggests he could have been John's son, Andrew J. It is likely that our John Crafton is the same man who settled in Edgar County, marrying RACHEL MCINTIRE in 1865; her father, ROBERT W. MCINTIRE, was a cousin of the Craftons. The children of this marriage, according to censuses, are JOHN, MARTHA, OWEN, JAMES, DAVID LINDER, and MARY.

LOUISA JANE CRAFTON (1819-1858?) was briefly married to William S. Williams of Pike, who died a year or two after they married in 1844. Louisa remarried GEORGE BAKER JOHNSON (1821-?), a trader and tailor, in 1848, in Pike. They settled in Columbus, Adams County with their children, ALICE (1850-?), GEORGE (1852-?) and MARY (married name LULU ALLEN of Champaign, Illinois,1855-1925).

In 1841, MAHALA CRAFTON (1823?-1850) married SAMUEL DEXTER GOODALE (1817-1884), a native of Massachusetts, who had come to Pike County by the late 1830s. By 1848 they had moved to Delavan, Tazewell County. According to their son LEVI CRAFTON GOODALE (1843-1929), Mahala's siblings David, Preston, and Lucinda Crafton lived with them for a time, presumably in the period between their parents' deaths and that of Mahala. Levi Goodale provided assistance to freed slaves after the Civil War ended and was a member of the Ohio State Legislature in 1895-6. Mahala's other children were DEXTER (1848-?), FRANKLIN (1850-?), and LOUISA ABIGAIL (1849-?).

JACOB CRAFTON (1829-?) boarded with URIAH ELLEDGE of Griggsville in 1850. In 1851 he married HARRIET POWERS and settled in Tazewell County. By 1870 he had moved his family to a farm in Mason County. Jacob and Harriet had one son, ELIJAH MARION. Jacob was still alive as of 1880.

LUCINDA CRAFTON (1833-1916) married GRANT STUDYVIN (?-1911) of Tazewell County and owned on a farm at Delavan for many years. Their children were ROBERT (1855-?), MARY ("ELLA") (1857-1929), ALICE (1861-1880), CALVIN (1863-1952), LOUISA (1865-?), and FLORENCE (1873-?). Later in life the Studyvins became hotel owners in Mason County.

DAVID LINDER CRAFTON (b. 1835?) married MARTHA ANN MORRISS (1833-1876) in 1857 and settled in Detroit, Pike County. He worked as a farmer, a carpenter, and a U.S. postmaster. After the death of his first wife and their daughter, MATTIE BELL (1868-1874), he remarried a woman named Celia and eventually moved to Arkansas. He was still alive in 1898.

THOMAS PRESTON CRAFTON (1837?-1880) was living in Tazewell County as of 1860. In the Civil War, he served in the 10th Illinois Calvary. The identity of his wife is unknown, but according to a letter by Lucinda Crafton Studyvin, he had at least one child, ELIZABETH.

SAMUEL CRAFTON (1840-1899) served with his brother Preston in the 10th Illinois Calvary. In 1864 he had been captured by Confederate forces and briefly imprisoned. He was married three times: in 1864 to HENRIETTA CLEMMONS of Pike County, whom he divorced in 1872; in 1874, to OLIVE SELBY; his third wife is not identified. According to letters by Lucinda Crafton Studyvin, he had several children, including WILLIAM, JOHN, and MARY.


Surviving children of Elizabeth Crafton and Samuel Winegar:

CATHERINE WINEGAR (1837-?) married THEODORE ECKLEBERGER, a young man who had worked on her father's farm, and eventually relocated to Clinton County, Illinois.

ALPHEUS WHEELER WINEGAR (1840-1920) and SAMUEL DEXTER WINEGAR (1842-1920) both served in the Union Army. Originally, Alpheus served in the 10th Illinois cavalry. He became ill and had to return home, and Dexter took his place. Later, Alpheus joined the 73rd Illinois Infantry. In 1867, he was committed to Jacksonville State Hospital for four years, after which he moved to Kansas, and finally to California. Dexter married LAURA ADNEY in Pike County in 1867 and eventually relocated to Decatur, Illinois.