Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Edgar S. Craft

EDGAR S. CRAFT. Edwards County occupied a position far out on the western frontier when Edgar S. Craft first saw its prairies covered with buffalo grass and shrouding the countless bones of the buffalo which had been slain in this region in the few preceding years which marked the final destruction of the bison so far as Western Kansas was concerned. Mr. Craft has lived to see most of that prairie developed into farms, and his own part in the program has been a contribution to the county as well as a source of prosperity to himself.

Mr. Craft was born in Fayette County, Iowa, November 23, 1863. His grandfather was A. T. Craft, a New York State man. His father, Artemas Craft, was born and reared in Michigan, became an early Iowa farmer and died in that state in 1867, when only thirty years of age. Artemas Craft married Martha Corey, who is now nearly eighty years of age and living at West Union, Iowa. Her father, James R. Corey, enlisted in the Union Army from Iowa and was killed at Petersburg during the war. Artemas and Martha Craft had three children, Edgar S., Alvira and Artemas. The mother married again and has a daughter, Gertrude, still living in Iowa.

Edgar S. Craft was reared by his grandparents and maiden aunt. He came to Kansas with an uncle, Byron Craft, who landed at Kinsley July 2, 1878, and took up a homestead and at one time owned part of the ground on which the Town of Lewis was first laid out. Edgar S. Craft was fifteen years of age when he came to Kansas. He worked on a farm for his uncle, and the schooling he had received back in Iowa was supplemented by further attendance in Edwards County. He taught school himself in this county. He began his independent career by purchasing a quarter section of land for $500. He had been unusually successful in his land dealings and his first quarter section he sold after a few months for $1,600. He later bought another quarter for $550, improved it, and at the end of three years sold it for $3,900. Mr. Craft came into the possession of a quarter section he still owns as a result of inheritance. Farming has not constituted all his activities. About 1907 he became operator and agent for the Santa Fe Railway Company, and was assigned to his duties as relief man at Lewis, Macksville, Beeler and other stations. He continued railroading for about eight years. On August 1, 1916, Mr. Craft was appointed postmaster of Lewis by President Wilson. To that position he is now giving his main time and attention. While he had practically nothing when he started life in Kansas, Mr. Craft has since accumulated farm and town property representing a value conservatively placed at $15,000. He owns stock in the Farmers Elevator and the Mutual Telephone Company of Lewis.

On October 2, 1886, he married Mary Elizabeth Cross. She was born March 22, 1867, and her father, A. R. Cross, was a native of Virginia and an early settler near Wichita, Kansas, and afterwards moved to Edwards County. Mr. and Mrs. Craft have two children: Hazel, who is a graduate of the Lewis High School and is now assistant postmaster, and Preston, in the first year of the Lewis High School. Mr. Craft is affiliated with the Lodge, Chapter and Council of Masons, being a past master of Lewis Lodge No. 220, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and a member of the Kansas Grand Lodge. He is also a past noble grand of Lewis Lodge No. 504 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. For a number of years he has been an active factor in the Methodist Episcopal Church and Sunday school. Politically his work has been with the democratic party, and besides his present office he has served as treasurer and township clerk of Belpre and Franklin townships.