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JOHN B. CRAGEN. Every branch of commercial and industrial activity is represented at Lapel, for this locality is not only a flourishing community, but furnishes a large contiguous territory that looks to it as a base of supply, For this reason many progressive men who seek the best locality for the prosecution of their lines of endeavor have settled here, confident in the future of the place and in their ability to make their mark upon its advancement. The men who succeed here, as elsewhere, in forging their way to the front ranks have to possess more than the average ability, as well as sound judgment and unswerving integrity of purpose, One of the men who has brought himself to an enviable position in his line of work, and at the same time secured and maintained a reputation for good citizenship ‘among his associates, is John B. Cragen, notary public and dealer in real estate, loans and insurance, who has been resident of. Lapel since 1900, He was born in Loudon County, Virginia. March 15, 1834, and is a son of Samuel and Harriett (Trundle) Cragen.
Mr. Cragen received his early education in a little log schoolhouse in his native state, and was a lad of fifteen years when he accompanied his parents to Illinois, there attending school for four months, In 1855 he went to Iowa, where he entered 160 acres of land which, after cultivating, he sold at a good figure and returned to the Prairie State. There he embarked in the threshing machine business, and while so engaged was injured in the fall of 1861, this accident incapacitating him for service during the Civil war. His next venture was as an educator and for four years he taught school in Dewitt County, Illinois. at the end of that period going to St, Louis, Missouri, where he was engaged in the insurance business for twelve years, and while there he was married to Mrs. Dubois, who lived but a short time, In 1879 Mr. Cragen came to Fishersburg, Indiana, and for several years was in the timber business, and was there married in 1883 to Mrs. Charlotte Fisher, His advent in Lapel occurred in 1900, when he embarked in the insurance and real estate business, and in this line he has continued t0 the present time, steadily building up a large and remunerative trade and firmly establishing himself in public confidence and esteem.
Mr. Cragen is a Democrat in his political views, but takes but little interest in public affairs outside those that affect his immediate community and its people, He may always be depended upon, however, to assist in forwarding movements calculated to secure good government, and belongs to that class of citizens who believe that they pen best forward their own interests by advancing those of their section, Although he belongs to no particular religious denomination, he has been liberal in his support of religious work, and is known as a man who having succeeded himself is every ready to assist others to succeed, Mr. Cragen is one of the venerable citizens of Stony Creek Township, being the last survivor of those who lived here when he first came to Fishersburg, but, although in his seventy-ninth year, still walks the streets with firm tread in the daily discharge of the duties of his business, a striking example of the virile and energetic old age that follows a life of sobriety and probity.