Friday, December 4, 2009

taken from The History of Vinita Oklahoma

found a history of the Vinita Oklahoma which carrys a story about one of my GGGUncles for whom Craig County was named after:

Naming of Craig County

When counties were created with the adoption of a Constitution for the new State of Oklahoma, the area in which Vinita was located became Craig County.

The county was named for Granville C. Craig, prominent early-day farmer and stockman of Indian Territory and pioneer of the Welch area.l

He was the son of Samuel Craig and Eliza J. Harlin Craig. She was one-eighth Cherokee Indian and a descendant of the Ward family of Cherokees. (my note: this is the Nancy Ward line; Bryant Wards son also married into the Cherokees and his line is known as the Missionary Ward line)

Samuel Craig moved west with the Cherokees with the large emigration from East Tennessee to the Indian Territory in 1838 and settled on Honey Creek, a few miles south of what is now Grove.

The following year, 1839, saw the feud between the Treaty and the Anti-Treaty parties, which arose over the signing of the treaty of Dec. 29, 1835 that moved the Cherokees west. Major Ridge, who was murdered over the disagreement, was a neighbor of Samuel Craig on Honey Creek. The feud, which lasted some seven years, caused many Cherokee families of both parties to move from the territory. (my note: likewise this story has been passed down in my family for over 6 generations)

Samuel Craig was among those moving and settled in Warrensburg, MO., near the farm of his brother.

It was here that the "father of Craig County" was born on May 6, 1849. He moved from the Warrensburg settlement with his wife, Lucinda Jane Craig, and oldest son, William L. Craig, then a year old, to Indian Territory, settling on a farm he purchased from Solon James, a prominent farmer, whose wife was a first cousin of Craig. James had located on Cowskin prairie near what is now known as Fairland.

The new home of Granville Craig consisted of a two-story log house. The youngest sister of Craig, Louisa Jane Coats (my note: my 2nd great grandmother who married Huff D. Coats), came to Indian Territory with her husband, H.D. Coats, about 1872 and took up land, building a log house at the edge of Timber Hill, west of Bluejacket.

Granville Craig moved to a piece of land west of Bluejacket, later the I.N. McDonald farm, and improved the place in 1873, living there about five years. He later rented the Foster farm on Russell Creek and the children attended the Russell Creek school.

An early newspaper describes Craig this way:

"Granville C. Craig was a man of good sound judgment to whom many people were accustomed to go for advice and counsel. He had a broad circle of friends, being known far and wide, and on the advent of statehood in Oklahoma in 1907 he was considered as a delegate to help form the constitution, but feeling his lack of executive ability he preferred to lend his support to W.H. Korengay, a Vinita attorney and a very close friend. At this conditional convention the county was named for Craig, with no dissenting vote.

"The father of Craig County" died poor, but honest. He raised about six children besides his own. He gave away more money for charity to those in distress than he ever used for himself. He never turned a deaf ear to anyone in want. He was father to the orphan and a friend to the friendless."

He was buried near his old home in the cemetery at Welch after his death March 2, 1926, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. W. Marker, in Kansas City, Mo.

With the naming of the county another step was taken in establishing a unit of government for the new state.

(this book is at the Nowata Public Library)