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Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Gawin Craig

GAWIN CRAIG (deceased).  Among the prosperous farmers of Howard, County Kent, Ontario, was numbered Gawin Craig, who resided on the 12th Concession, in this locality, at the time of his death, December 20th, 1866. He was born in County Down, Ireland, in 1818, son of Gawin and Elizabeth Craig.

The parents were natives of Ireland, and the mother died in her native land, but the father came to Canada in 1846, and spent his declining years with his namesake son, dying at his home in County Kent.

Gawin Craig, the younger, married, in 1839, in Ireland, Jane Scott, born May 20th, 1816, daughter of Hughy and Elizabeth Scott, who were born in Ireland where they lived and died.  Four years after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Craig came to Canada on a sailing vessel, taking six weeks to make the voyage.  The first settlement they made was at Port Stanley; later they remained at Aldborough for a short time, but as it was the intention of Mr. Craig to become a farmer, a suitable home was found on the 12th Concession, there they began their new life in the woods on fifty acres of wild land.  A little frame house was erected and for a number of years was the home.  In addition to the fifty acres, 200 more were purchased adjoining, and Mr. Craig, with the assistance of his sons, as they grew to manhood, cleared off the timber, and the boys are now located on excellent farms adjoining the homestead.  The energy and industry of this good man was all the more commendable from the fact that he had accumulated a comfortable fortune in Ireland, of which he was deprived through the failure of a friend whom he had assisted and trusted.  All the earnings of years were swept away, and the sturdy young man resolved to start anew in a new country, where land could be obtained at reasonable prices.  Before the untimely death of his noble father, the original fifty acres were all paid for, but a debt remained uupon the additional 200 acres.  Although Gawin Craig had passed away from this world, he left worthy representatives of him in the persons of his wife and sons, who laboured early and late to clear the land and finish paying for it.

The family born to Mr. and Mrs. Craig was as follows:  Hugh, born in Ireland in 1840, is unmarried, and he resides on his farm of 105 acres in Howard; James, born in Howard in 1844, married Miss Hannah Woods and settled on a farm near the lake where he died in 1890, leaving three sons, William, Henry (who married Cathran Woods, of Morpeth, and has four children:  Thirza, Maggie, Burten and Jessie Frances), and Usual (who married Elizabeth Conn, of Morpeth, and has two children:  Alma and Edith May); Robert, born in 1847, is unmarried and resides on his property of fifty acres in Harwich, where he erected a fine brick house in 1889; John, born in 1850, married Miss Mayr Stewart, of Howard, and resides on his fifty-acre farm in Harwich, adjoining his brother Robertís (he has no family; Cyrus, born in 1853, married Frances Buchanan, born in Canada, and they live on his farm of fifty acres in Harwich, on the town line (they have one son, Herbert); William, born in 1856, married Miss Isabell Buchanan, of County Kent, and resides on his farm of 125 acres adjoining the old homestead (they have two sons, Arthur and Frank); Charles, born December 13th, 1862, married Miss Maria Trudgen (born near Hamilton, in 1866, daughter of John and Mary A. Trudgen, residents on the Talbot Road in Howard) and they live at the old home where they take care of his mother, now eighty-eight years old (they have no family).

The political opinions of all these sons are Conservative, and they have all held local offices in Howard, where they are held in highest esteem.  They are likewise all members of the Presbyterian Church, with which Mrs. Craig has been connected for over sixty-five years.  There can scarcely be found a more beautiful example of devotion of mother and children than is shown in this family.  When the mother was left a helpless widow with a large family to rear, she did not despair, but resolutely took up the task of being both father and mother to her beloved children, who, as they grew into honorable and respected manhood, repaid many fold the devotion lavished upon them in their youth.  Even now, although they are gown men, with families, in some instances, about them, these sons are not parted from her, but are settled about the old home upon fine farms purchased by their industry, integrity and strict adherence to the lessons of morality and thrift instilled into their youthful minds by her, who, for so many years, has followed the teachings of her Church and the promptings of a noble nature.  That a good mother makes good sons is proved in the lives of these who bear the name of Craig, for they are held in well-deserved esteem, and have won the confidence of the entire neighbourhood, becoming a credit to the community, as well as to their family.  Not only is Mrs. Craig venerated and loved by her family, but she occupies a very warm place in the affection of hosts of friends, all of whom have reason to praise and esteem the charitable neighbour, unfailing friend and estimable Christian.  The fatherís name is held in tender memory by the family, and all who knew him, for he too, possessed rare traits of character and a sturdiness of purpose which served him well in meeting the adverse changes in his life.

Pages 163, 164

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