Biography of John L. M’Craw, Sr.
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Mr. McCraw was born in Hawkins county, Tenn., in 1808, where he was reared and educated. In 1886 he married Elizabeth H. Kenner of the same county, and the same year he immigrated to Greene county, Mo., and bought the farm in Taylor township, where he lived and died. In farming and stock-rearing he encountered all the hardships incident to pioneer life. The stock did well upon the prairie grasses, and sheep and pigs found natural enemies in the wolves that infested the country at the time. Mills were few and far between, coffee and biscuits luxuries that could be only indulged in Sunday mornings and when “company” came. The clothing for the family was all made from the raw material by the ladies of the household, Mr. McCraw, himself, making the shoes from leather tanned by a neighbor. Game abounded, but he never killed but one deer, and that with his Jacob-staff while out surveying. He was elected county surveyor in 1839 and in 1840 surveyed the eastern boundary of the county. In 1849 he visited his parents in Tennessee, making, the entire trip upon horseback. His wife died in 1855, leaving him six children, four boys and two girls, all of whom are yet living. Two children, a son and daughter, died before her. At the beginning of the rebellion he espoused the Union cause, having previously been a Whig. He was too old to take an active part and tried to remain quietly at home, but in the latter part of 1861 was arrested by a party of young “bloods,” calling themselves Confederates, and taken before the commander of the post, but was released the same day. He was a charter member of the Union League with John W. Smith, Frank Plummer and D. L. Turner. In 1866 he was appointed, and in November of the same year elected, supervisor of registration. In 1872 he was again elected surveyor, and in all, held that office thirty years. He voted the Republican ticket after 1861 until his death. The Marshfield cyclone of April 18, 1880, struck his place, unroofed his buildings, destroyed a large amount of timber, but not one of the family, who were in the house, were seriously hurt. After an illness of seven days, Mr. McCraw died, upon the second of April, 1882, and was buried in the family burying-ground in sight of the house he had so long occupied. Thus one by one the noted landmarks fall.