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John Henderson Craft

Information from the following Website;
John Henderson Craft Bio.

Dr. John J. Dickey Diary, Fleming County, Ky. Recorded in the 1870's and beyond. Reprinted in Kentucky Explorer, Volume 10, No. 5 - October, 1995, pp. 84-85. By permission. Clay County.

John Henderson Craft, June 15, 1898.

My great-grandfather, Achaelaus Craft was born on a vessel enroute from England to America in 1750. His father settled in N.C. I do not know where. He had but two sons. My great-grandfather was in the Revolutionary War. He never saw his brother after the war closed. In 1867 I went to N. C. on a visit to see my brother-in-law, Col. Ben Caudell. In Wilkes Co. I was on the farm that my great grandfather owned before he came to Kentucky. As Wilkes County was the home of Daniel Boone, it is not strange that he followed the pioneer to the wonderful land which he explored. Consequently, after the war, he came to Fayette Co., Kentucky and laid his claim where a part of the city of Lexington now stands. But his wife feared the Indians and to please her he retreated to the very border of the "Promised Land" and located near the head of the North Fork of the Kentucky River, five miles from the Virginia line. Later he removed to Colley Creek which falls into the North Fork, a little below where he made the first settlement. There he lived until his death which occurred somewhere from 1850 to 1854.

I was born December 20, 1834, and when he died I was 19 or 20 years old. Another tradition is that he was 14 years old when he ran away from home and joined the Army of the Revolution. At the earliest this would place his birth at 1762, and make him about 92 years old when he died. (I think this was the more probable story. J.J.D.) His wife, or first, was an Adams, Elizabeth, I think, and was connected with Governor Owsley. She was the mother of all of his children.
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The youngest son of Archaelus Craft, William Craft, died last winter, 1898, in Letcher Co., very old. I saw him 5 or 6 years ago on the road from his home to Whitesburg, carrying a small spinning wheel which he had made. He was a wheel wright. Archaelous Craft had children as follows: Ezekiel, John, James, Stephen, Archelous, William, Simon and Anncy (William Caudell). These are all I remember. I remember only one daughter, Malinda, never married. James, my grandfather married Druscilla Hammonds. He lived most of his life in Letcher where my grandmother died but he died in Wayne. Their children were: Archalaus, Joseph, my father, Mahala married Campbell Grace who moved to Magoffin. Elizabeth married Jason L. Webb. They had about six children. Sarah married John Adams and they lived and died in Letcher, about 1862.

John Adams wanted some gun powder to kill a squirrel for his sick wife, and that article being very scarce, he undertook to open a bomb that had been dropped by Gen. Humphrey Marshall's army, in order to get the powder. It exploded in his hands and blew him into atoms. Benjamin married Jennie Adams. He still lives in Letcher. They have a large family. Nehemiah married Artie Thornburg. His wife died in Letcher; he removed then to West Va. Do not know whether he is living. He had a large family. Archelous married Nancy Polly. They lived and died in Letcher, reared a very large family. William married a Parky. They lived and died in Letcher, both died last winter, reared a large family. Stephen went to Alabama and remained 28 years, none of his people knowing where he was. He married and raised a family of children and his wife died. After his visit home, he returned to Alabama. This was 43 years ago. Ezekiel went west, don't know what state, I think Missouri. Some of William's sons now live in Scott Co., VA.

My father, Joseph, married Martha Bates. They had children as follows: I am the oldest, Sarah, Drusilla, William, Martha, Mary, Joseph, Eliza, Nancy, Morgan, Robert, James - 12. Sarah married Smith Mullins, they live in Pike Co; Drusilla married a Reynolds, both dead and all the family but one son lives near Huntington, W. Va.; James died single; William married a Sergeant, in Letcher Co., reared a family; Martha married a Foutz, she lives in Laurel; Mary married James Mullins, lives in Dickenson Co., Va., he is dead, she is living; Joseph lives in Louisville, a lawyer and has one son; Eliza (Reynolds-Hensley) Clay; Nancy married William Greer, lives in Laurel; Robert lives in Clay; Morgan married Sallie;
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Pearl died in London, he was a lawyer and auditor. My mother, Martha Bates, was the daughter of John W. Bates of Letcher Co. Her mother was Sarah Waltrop. Welsh extraction. John W. Bates came from Russell Co., Va. to Letcher co., Ky., about 1810. He was sheriff of Russell Co. and by then was broken up. He had a fine farm on Clinch River and slaves. He then emigrated to repair his fortune. He prospered in Letcher and rose to wealth owning much land and stock. My mother was a sister of Robert Bates of Knott Co. and Martin VanBuren Bates, the Kentucky giant. He now lives 30 miles from Cleveland at Seville, Co., Ohio and is engaged in raising fine stock, horses and cattle and sheep. He married a woman from Nova Scotia, a giantess, about his height, 6 ft., 10 in. Martin weighs 360 pounds. He has his second wife who weighted [sic] 119 lbs. when he married her. She is an Ohio woman. He went through the war as a Rebel soldier in the cavalry. He was captured at Pikeville and taken to camp Chase, but was soon exchanged. He is about 60 years old. His last visit here was about 1891 or 1892. His conversion was mainly about religion. He is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church.

John W. Bates had children as follows: John W.; Margaret (Payne Johnson); Martha (Craft) my mother; Eliza (Joel Wright); Jesse married Ashbury; James married Adams, was murdered in Letcher Co. during the war; Robert of Knott Co.; Urick married an Adams, lived in Letcher, died in the Rebel Army at Warm Springs on Holston; Sarah (William Mullins), lives in Clay on Rockcastle; Henderson married a Robinson in Va., lived and died in Letcher and left a family; Mary Jane died at 16; Martin Vanburen, he is the youngest, he was married in London (The picture of him and his bride are here. J.J.D.) Queen Victoria gave him a watch proportioned to his size. It struck. He was a fine swimmer. We were boys together. He inherited the home farm in Letcher Co., and farmed up to the war, was a model farmer. He began to travel immediately after the war. He is remarkably well proportioned. The Bates family were simple strong, robust people. None extra large. Urich weighed only 140. James weighed 200 lbs.

In 1855, Oct. 11, I married Jane Caudell. She was the daughter of John A. and Rachel (Cornett) Caudell, daughter of William Cornett of Perry Co. She is a sister of Benjamin A. Caudell of the 10th. Ky. Rebel Mounted Infantry. My wife's grandfather was Stephen Caudell who emigrated from N. C., I think, Ashe Co., to Ky. I do not know when but was an early settler of Letcher Co.
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The Caudells, Crafts, Adams and Holbrooks were the first settlers of Letcher Co. The Bates came in 1810. There were other Caudells besides her grandfather in the early settlement, vis; William, Henry, James who were very old men when I could first remember, also Mathew Caudell.

I had five brother's-in-law in the Rebel Army, vis; Benjamin, the Col.; Stephen; Sutter, who also fought as he had the opportunity; Samuel, 1st. Lieutenant Colonel 10th. Army Ky., mounted infantry.

I was also a Rebel soldier in the 10th. Ky., 1st. Lieutenant Co. C; Caudell, another brother was with the army at the beginning, engaged in the fight at Middle Creek, Ky., did not enlist I think, he had a sore leg and returned home. We all came out alive and are still living except Col. Ben; Jesse, if living is in Carter Co.; William is in Rowan; and the others in Letcher. Hon. Benjamin Caudell of Letcher Co., son of John Dickson Caudell was a member of the legislature just after the Constitutional Convention. Hon. William Caudell of Barboursville, son of Col. Ben was in the Ky. Senate. Col. Ben was a very zealous Baptist preacher. D. J. Caudell of Carter is a very active churchman.

The Rowan man (is) a steady farmer. Most of the Caudells were religious. So were many of the Crafts though, not so many of the Caudells. My great grandfather Craft was a consistent member of the Old Regular Baptist Church. My grandfather was not a church member, but my father was a regular Baptist preacher. John Craft, son of my great grandfather settled in Breathitt Co. (His descendants are there now. J.J.D.). My brother, Morgan Craft, received letters from the Crafts of Massachusetts, Boston, inquiring about the family. They were of the opinion that the name is the same and family the same. This correspondence was 17 or 18 years ago before the family left Letcher Co.

Information above found at the following website;
John Henderson Craft Bio.



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