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Monday, December 26, 2016

Mystery Monday - William Alexander Craigo and Samantha Wilson

I am related to this family very distantly. I was researching William "Billy" Rees and his children when I came across this story.

William "Billy" Reese (DOB About 1800 in Spartanburg County, SC; DOD 5/29/1863 in Madison County, NC) married Mary "Polly" Jane Freeman (DOB About 1801 in Henderson County, NC; DOD 2/1884 in Madison County, NC) had a daughter named Alsey M. Reese (aka Alcey Reese, Aisley Reese and Elsie M. Reese). This is my common ancestor being my 4th great grandfather and I was following up on all his children and their lines when I came across this story.

Alsey M. Reese (DOB About 1832 in Buncombe Couty, NC; DOD About 1898 in Buncombe County, NC) married Andrew Jackson Massey (DOB About 1825 in NC; DOD About 1898 in NC). They had a daughter named Laura Matilda Massey.

Laura Matilda Massey was born 7/26/1855 in Madison County, NC. She married Robert Craigo on 4/7/1878 in Buncombe County, NC.

North Carolina, Marriage Records, 1741-2011
Name: Laura Massie
Gender: Female
Race: White
Age: 20
Birth Year: abt 1858
Marriage Date: 7 Apr 1878
Marriage Place: Buncombe, North Carolina, USA
Spouse: Robert Craig
Spouse Gender: Male
Spouse Race: White
Spouse Age: 18
Event Type: Marriage

Robert Craigo was born 7/238/1861 in NC. Robert and Laura Matilda Massey had seven children:

1) Alonzo "Lonnie" Jerome Craigo (DOB 3/31/1879 in Haywood County, NC; DOD 1/14/1959 in Fountain Inn, Greenville County, SC) married Mamie Elizabeth Morris.

2) William Alexander Craigo (DOB 8/23/1883 in NC; DOD 2/4/1933 in Greenville County, SC) married Samantha Wilson.

3) Thomas Chester Craigo (DOB 11/20/1885 in NC; DOD 1957 in Greenville, SC) married Carrie Garrison.

4) Robert Fleet Craigo (DOB 5/26/1887 in NC; DOD 2/12/1963 in ? ) married Annie Mae Swann.

5) Mary E. Craigo (DOB 7/1889 in NC; DOD 9/28/1949 in Greenville County, SC) married ? .

6) Elsie Roberta Craigo (DOB 7/10/1891 in ? ; DOD 9/29/1949 in Greenville, Greenville County, SC) married ? Southerlin.

7) Euel L. Craigo (DOB 11/17/1891 in NC; DOD 8/5/1974 in Greenville, Greenville County, SC) married Lois Cisson.

William Alexander Craigo married Samantha Wilson and they had 3 children:

1) Mabel Craigo (DOB 1/6/1906 in SC; DOD 6/5/1982 in ? ) married James Earnest Campbell.

2) Thomas Eugene Craigo (DOB 7/23/1907 in SC; DOD 6/26/1923 in Anderson County, SC). According to his death certificate he was only 16 yrs old and was working at a cotton mill. He died at 5;50pm of myocardial insufficiency due to heat exhastion.

3) Robert W. Craigo (DOB 4/1/1914 in Woodruff, Spartanburg County, SC; DOD 3/13/1962 in Orleans Parish, Louisiana) married Ollie Durham and Neomie Lynn Dunson.

Samantha Wilson Craigo died on 6/17/1927 of cancer.

NC Death Certificate #225, Registration district #56-5734, Register #43, Samantha Craigo, DOD 6/17/1927 in Clinchfield, Marion, McDowell County, NC
Female, White, Married to W.A. Craigo, DOB 6/26/1882 in Yancey County, NC, 44 yrs old
Occupation: Textile worker
Father: James Wilson, born in Yancey County, NC
Mother: Elizabeth Mansa (sic), born in Buncombe County, NC
DOD 6/17/1927 at 5:50am
Cause of death: Carcinoma of uterus
Buried: Greenville, SC on 6/19/1927

Six years after his wife died, William Alexander Craigo was killed when he was a hit by a train.

SC Death Certificate #2157, Registration District #2209-B, Registered #20, William A. Craigo, DOD 2/4/1933 in City View, Greenville, Greenville County, SC
Male, White, Widow, DOB "unknown" in NC, 49 yrs old (DOB 1883)
Occupation: Textile
Father: Robert Craigo, born in NC
Mother: Laura Massey, born in NC
Informant: E.L. Craigo, McDade St, City, View, Greenville, SC
DOD 2/4/1933 at 8 pm
Cause of death: Shock and hemorrhage from lac wounds at eye oxilla. Crushed chest fracture skull, Hit by train
Accident, Hit by train
Buried in Graceland, 2/7/1933

The Greenville News, Greenville, SC, 2/12/1933, Pg 2, "Inquests In Two Deaths Are Set"
Craigo Inquiry Tomorrow Morning - Knight Death Be Probed Tuesday
Two recent violent deaths in Greenville county will be formally investigated by Coroner George W. McCoy at inquests early this week.
An inquiry in the death of William A. Craigo, City View, who was killed by a Piedmont and Northern train at a crossing in Poinsett mill community last Saturday night will be held at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
Mr. Craigo's body was not identified until Sunday, when R.F. (Robert Fleet Craigo) and E.L. Craigo (Euel L. Craigo), brothers of the dead man, went to the Thomas McAfee mortuary to aid in identifying the body. They discovered it was their brother who had been killed.

The Greenville News, Greenville, SC, 2/6/1933, Pg 3, "Craigo Offer To Identify Dead Man, Find He's Brother"
Inquest To Be Set Today In Train Accident Death - Funeral Tomorrow
E.L. and R.F. Craigo, former deputy sheriffs of Greenville county, offered their impersonal services at the Thomas McAfee funeral home yesterday morning in the identification of an unknown dead man and discovered, with a shock, that the man was their brother, William A. Craigo, 49, of City View.
The brother of the former officers was almost instantly killed early Saturday night when he was struck by a Piedmont and Northern freight train near a railway crossing in Cripple Creek on the edge of the Poinsett mill village. Before a Thomas McAfee ambulance, summoned by the train crew, arrived the accident victim was dead.
His left arm was severed at the elbow and his skull was fractured and his shoulders were mangled. He was taken to the funeral home Saturday night and preliminary efforts to identify him failed. The two Craigo brothers, thinking that their knowledge of people in the county would be of service in identification, visited the funeral home yesterday morning.
The inquest into the death will be set by Coroner Clyde W. McCoy today following his completion of investigation.
Mr. Craigo was walking along the railway tracks when the accident occurred, according to the story told the coroner by C. Tannery, flagman of the freight. The flagman was perched on the foremost of a line of box cars beings pushed toward the city Piedmont and Northern station by the engine. The freight passed the crossing and the light thereat before the flagman noticed the figure on the tracks. Tannery said that the crossing light dazed him and made him unable to see the figure in the shadows. He said that as soon as he saw the man he yelled to him and gave his emergency signal as a warning. Unheeding, the man walked on, he said, and in a moment the train struck him.
Mr. Craigo was a native of Buncombe county, N.C. and had lived in Greenville 35 years. His family, particularly his two brothers, are well known in city and county.
The victim's wife died seven years ago.
Surviving him are one daughter, Mrs. Earnest Campbell, of Gaffney; one son, Robert Craigo, of Greenville county; three sisters, Mrs. R.A. Southerlin, of City View; Mrs. John Cunningham of Greenville county, and Mrs. Madden Gentry, of Greeneville, TN; and four brothers, E.L. and R.F. Craigo, of City View; L.J. Craigo, of Greenville county, and T.C. Craigo, of Monaghan.
Funeral services will be held from the City View Baptist church at 11 o'clock tomorrow morning, with the Rev. J.A. Willis officiating with the assistance of the Rev. E. B. Crain. Interment will be in the Graceland cemetery. The body will be carried to the home of his brother, E.L. Craigo, on McDade Street, City View, at 11 o'clock this morning. Further announcements concerning funeral services will be made later by Thomas McAfee, Funeral Director.

My question is why was he walking the railroad track and didn't respond to the sounds of the train and the warning shout? His son had died in 1923, his wife died in 1927, his remaining children were adults... is it possible that he intended to kill himself by train? Evidently no one had missed him because his two brothers went to see if they could identify the body NOT because they thought it was their brother, but because they had been in law enforcement and wondered if they could identify the body based on their knowledge of the neighborhood. We may never know.

Either way, it was a very sad story.

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