Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
GABRIEL McCRAW. When Greene county was covered with primeval forests and tall prairie grass and when wild animals of many species roamed the then little developed lands, over which wound Indian trails, the McCraw family came here and began carving a home from the far-stretching woods, and assisted in building schools and churches and assisting in the general introduction of the customs of civilization in the wilderness, giving vent to that mysterious quality in the blood of primitive people to push on to the edge of things. They were genuine pioneers, willing to take the hardships that they might acquire the soil and the home that was sure to rise. Gabriel McCraw, well known citizen of Taylor township, who has lived beyond the allotted barrier of three score and ten years, all of which have been spent in this locality, can relate many interesting things that have transpired here since the country was first settled. He has witnessed with his own eyes the many changes that have taken place and in which he has taken no inconspicuous part himself.
Mr. McCraw was born on the farm which he now occupies, April 3, 1843. He is a son of John L. and Elizabeth (Kenner) McCraw. The father was born in Hawkins county, Tennessee, December 8, 1808, and there he grew up on a farm. The mother was also born in that county and state, in 1806 and was reared on a farm. They both attended the district schools, and were married there in 1835. They immigrated to Greene county, Missouri, in 1836. Here John L. McCraw prospered and became owner of a fine farm of three hundred and thirty acres, and here he and his wife spent the rest of their lives, his death occurred April 2, 1882. She preceded him to the grave many years, dying in 1854. Politically, he was a Republican, and for a number of years he was county surveyor. He was well known and was influential in public affairs. His wife was a member of the Methodist church. They were the parents of eight children, namely: Susan is deceased, Josephine, Elizabeth is deceased, John L., Gabriel William, deceased; Joseph P., deceased; and James E.
Gabriel McCraw was reared on the homestead here, where he worked when he became of proper age, and in the winter time he attended the district schools. In 1862, when only eighteen years of age, he enlisted in Company L., Eighth Missouri Cavalry, under Captain Keller, and served faithfully for the Union until the close of the war, when he was honorably discharged at Little Rock, Arkansas. He saw considerable hard service, and participated in the battle of Prairie Grove, where he was taken prisoner and held for three weeks, when he was exchanged, in April, 1863, rejoining his regiment at Rolla, Missouri. He participated in the battle and capture of Little Rock in that year. He was in a number of skirmishes. After his discharge he returned home and has since been actively engaged in general farming and stock raising on the home place, which consists of four hundred and ten acres, in which his brother, James E., has one-half interest. They have kept the place well tilled and well improved and the buildings in good repair.
Mr. McCraw was married on April 27, 1877, to Columbia E. Watterson, who was born in Tennessee, near the town of Rogersville, but her parents brought her to Greene county, Missouri, when she was a child and here she was reared and educated in the common schools. They were married in this county. She was a daughter of Francis E. and Martha (Gabraith) Watterson, both long since deceased. Mrs. McCraw's death occurred in California, August 26, 1882.
To our subject and wife two children were born, namely: Mrs. Susan E. Potter, and James G.
Politically, Mr. McCraw is a Republican. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Springfield-Greene County Library