CRADDOCK FAMILY HISTORY
Harriet Ann (Love) Craddock
Newspaper article dated 7 Septembe 1934 - Newspaper and writer unknown.
The ninety-third birthday of Mrs. Harriet Ann Craddock was celebrated quietly Thursday in the home of her grandson, Lester Jacobs at Lyndon. Relatives and a few intimate friends called to see her, offering congratulations and leaving kindly wishes for other birthdays. Since a fall two years ago, Mrs. Craddock has been confined to her bed and chair, but in spite of this misfourtune she is cheerful and uncomplaining, saying that she tries to practice the precept which she heard an old man say years ago; "A contended mind is a kingdom." Through the love and devotion of her only remaining son, Glenn Craddock, of Morrison, and her daughter, Miss Olive Craddock, of Chicago, she is surrounded with every comfort and a nurse is in constant attendance. Besides this blessing, her grandson and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Lester Jacobs, and their two children give her the reality of homelife that only one's own can render - the charm, the simple felicity that only home can hold.
Mrs. Craddock was born near Waynesburg, Greene County, PA, Sept. 6, 1841, a daughter of George and Hannah Rhinehart Love. When she was five years old her father died and five years later the mother brought her children to Bureau county, Ill., the "new" west. The trip from PA was made by river boat from Pittsburgh to St. Louis, then up the Illinois river to a point near LaSalle, thence across country to the new home, for upon arrival the mother was married to William Adams whose home was five miles north of New bedford, though at that time there was no "New bedford," nor was there any Tampico.
Mrs. Craddock's refined face became animated and her cheeks pink as a girl's when out of the past rushed memories, for things that are gone but that are not blurred and hidden from her by the lapse of years. More than ever of late as her ninety-third birrthday approached these moods have come to her. In spite of her invalidism and the time spent as a shut-in, she retains her dignified personality. As she talked, something came into her fine dark eyes, into her voice that brought a mist to the eyes of the listener, for it seemed that the past lay before her, vivid, real. One almost saw the history in making. A potent remind, however, for dwelling on those days that seem so glamorous now, we are apt to forget the harshness of them, the human drama that we know was enacted behind them.
My grandfather Love's old home, is now the county poor far. Bronze tablets have marked less significant spots.
There were no spools of thread but mother bought short skeins of single white cotton thread. I boiled them in ashes and water to soften them, then doubled and twisted the thread and wound it on a reel. My half brother, Jonah Leonard, helped me sometimes, for he was better than the other boys about helping int he house. We didn't eat potatoes in greene county as much as we did after we came out her to the new country. They didn't raise them so much there. My mother had a carpet woven of linen thread and wool, from the flax she raised and from my father's sheep. I remember very well that a woman, who came to Waynesburg to preach, wore a sunbonnet. My family brought a covered carriage from Pennsylvania when they came west.
Mrs. Craddock has remembered the stone house, the spacious fireplaces with their leaping flames and the days of the spinning wheel and their long trek westward. Of her trip on the flat boat, its brazen women and hardened men, she has distinct recollections; " I had never heard an oath until I was ten years old. I never knew that people swore until I heard them doing so on the boat; never knew that women drank until I saw two women in a state of maudlin intoxication on the flat boat.
When we settled in Illinois my step-father and our neighbor thought it too far for their little children to go to New bedford to school, so they built a log schoolhouse with a big fireplace in it and my first teacher was John Myers. One time we children arranged to go to Sunday school in what was known as the Whittington schoolhouse. We walked about a mile to meet the family with whom we were to go, then rode in a lumber wagon drawn by a team of black oxen. We never went again for it was too much jolting in the hot sun. A neighbor girl wanted to go out to work. Her father protested that she would be talked about, but she said if she conducted herself properly that no harm would come to her. So she worked out for thirteen months and got along all right. When I was 15 or 16 years old I used to ride horseback five miles to New Bedford to get the mail. It cost 25 cents to send a letter here from Pennsylvania. When I was about that old my mother was ill. After she was able to sit up she cleaned and picked wool and I colore dit blue. Then it was taken to Empire, now Emerson, to be carded in the old woolen and carding mill there, after which it was spun into thread by some girls named Medley, and I wove it into cloth. My mother made a winter suit for my father out of that cloth, after I had finished the weaving.
In the dusk of a Christmas day a man stumbled to the home of the Adams family, seeming to know that its door would open wide to him, for such was pioneer hospitality. On their way home from Dixon, two miles farther on than Bureau county, the blizzard which was raging had overtaken them. Half frozen and nearly insensible, the stranger was given restoratives by Mrs. Craddock and her mother whose good care, quickness of action and kindly sympathy saved the man's life, but his feet were so badly frozen that they had to be amputated. When he was able to talk he told the family that his companion, already unconscious, had been left behind in the sleigh but before leaving him he had unhitched the team for they were nearly exhausted. Searching, they found the man several miles farther back but he was already past help. Fortunately the stranger, whose life was saved, had discovered the light of the Adams farmhouse in the darkness of that never forgotten Christmas night. If ever known, the names of the strangers are no longer remembered.
One time step-father Adams made a trip west. When he returned he brought back two buffaloes. One was stolen the first night after he came home but the other roamed with the cattle. Young men often brought their lady friends to see the tame buffalo. It made a place to go. The buffalo would not jump fences, he went right through them and finally my step-father trade him to a wagon maker for a wagon.
When we went to the grist mill at Como we used to cross Rock river on a ferry which was pulled by horses. One time when we crossed from Como to bureau county in the snow, the only living things we saw were two skunks during our entire homeward trip.
About this time romance came to the little girl from Pennsylvania when ahandsome young man took up his abode in the Adams district and began to teach the Burden schoo. The young lady was one of his promising pupils, so she promised to become his wife and at the age of 20 she was married to William craddock. The records show that Harriet Ann Love and William Craddock were married on June 18, 1861. The ceremony took place in the old stone hostelry at Morrison now the building in which the Tilton garage is located. Mr. and Mrs. Joe Greenman of Tampico were their attendants. For the sum of $5 Mr. Craddock had hired a "top" buggy, to which he hitched his own horses and in it the young couple took a two-day wedding trip to Fulton and crossed the Mississippi River on a ferry to Clinton, Ia.. then called Lyons.
They returned to begin housekeeping on Mr. Craddock's 160 acre farm, near Tampico. WHen they built their farm house it was necessary to have the lumber and stone hauled from Dixon on sledges.
six childen blessed the home - two daughters dying in childhood. The eldest son, Delos passed away in January 1933, and a daughter, MRs. Nellie Jacobs of Tampico was called from this life on her mothers 92nd birthday, September 6, 1933. The other son, Glenn, lives at Morrison and the other daughter, Miss Olive Craddock lives in Chicago.
After I got married and went to live on the Craddock farm a man named Dir came from Bureau county and bought a neighboring far. There was no preacher in that community and whenever there was need for one, old Mr. Dir was always called. Mr. and Mrs. Dir had 13 children and Mrs. Dir helped neighbors in case of sickness.
When my oldest boy Delos was a baby, Mr. Craddock and I went to a political rally at Walnut Grove. A man shouted "Hurrah" for the candidate of the other party and someone brought out a rope to hand the man who had shouted. The feeling was tense during those Civil war days. By the way, the first time my son Glenn voted he cast his ballot for my half brother, J.F.R. Leonard who ran for president of the United States on the ticke of the United Christian party.
Long a member of the Methodist church, she remains steadfast to that faith. Sorrow and grief she has known. Sickness eneredher home the dread diptheria taking two little girls, Lena and Jennie aged 10 and 11. Sometimes she has known bitterness and rebellion, but now she says only the best has been remembered. Joy and peace sanctify her life and she has only kindly memories to fill her last days with benediction.
Thus stands the record of a long and eventful life, a series of connected facts not narrated at random. The narrator and listener learn the lesson of the story for the story is thee just as surely as any ever written. So are the truth, the sacrifice, the conflict and at last the conquest. It seems impossible that at 93 one should relate a life story with such nicety, with such speed and with such unflatering candor and Mrs. Harriet Craddock has been been able to tell her.
Mrs. Craddock lived several more years, dying on 6 August 1938 (obituary says August 12), just a month short of her 97th birthday. She is buried at Tampico Cemetery.
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