Mr. Craig was born on January 8, 1832 in Nicholas County, Kentucky. His parents were Robert Craig and Mary Conaway Craig. At the age of fifteen, his family moved to McLean County, Illinois. His father died there in 1852. On July 11, 1858, in Carroll County, Missouri, he married Levica Payne, the daughter of James Payne and Harriet Ridgell Payne. She was 23 years old; he was 26 years old.
Mr. Craig was one of the lucky ones who survived the Civil War. He tendered his military services to President Lincoln, and served as a private in Company F, 116th Regiment of Illinois Infantry on August 11, 1862 and was honorably discharged June 7, 1865.
He fought in numerous battles such as Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain, and was among Sherman’s 90,000 men who advanced on Atlanta from Chattanooga which began on November 15, 1864.
After the war he returned to his family, and to the life he dreamed about during the war – that of being a farmer. The farmland they owned was purchased in 1863. Mr. Craig farmed all his life, as did his son, some of his grandsons and great-grandsons. Many of his descendants still live in or around Norborne, Missouri which is one of the nicest places in the world to live and raise a family. Those who did not stay on the farm, but chose another way of life in cities such as Kansas City, Missouri, came “home” to their origins when they were laid to rest.
Throughout his life, Mr. Craig stood for honesty, integrity and was a pillar of his community. He died at the age of 81 on March 13, 1913 and was buried beside his beloved wife, Levica, who died December 17, 1893 at the age of 58.
In the Norborne, Missouri Centennial (1868 – 1968) book, on page 37 it states that the Methodist Church was organized in 1869 and that two of the original members were William and Lovie Craig.
Declaration for Pension:
William Samuel Craig and Levica Payne Craig had four children. Three of them lived to be married and raise their own families and are the progenitors of many descendants. Their children were:
James Robert Craig, born January 15, 1961 near Bloomington, Illinois
Harriet Mary Craig, born April 27, 1863 in Norborne, Missouri
John Craig, born in 1871; died September 20, 1871
Ella Sue Craig, born September 2, 1873 in Norborne, Missouri
This is a photo of his youngest daughter, Ella Sue Craig McKee. The daughter she’s holding, Myrtle Lucille, was born in about 1895, died on November 8, 1898.
Ella Sue had two more children, Flavius Viles and Mona. Flavius, on the left, was born September 12, 1900, died May 1, 1950. Mona was born in about 1904 and died in 1909. Ella died March 10, 1961. She and all her children are buried in Norborne, Missouri.
Flavius, known as “Bud, ” “Buddy, ” and “Shorty” was the father of the writer of this biography and of the Civil War Letter series, Joyce Kohl.