PRESTON COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
February 13, 2000
The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume II, pg. 129
Thomas D. Craig. Craig is one of the prominent family names of Preston
County, and some space is given on other pages to a formal record of the
family, while here particular attention is devoted to one of the individual
members, Thomas D. Craig, a native of Preston County, and for many years
expressing his service as a teacher, farmer, and merchant.
He was born on Morgan’s Run, two miles south of Kingwood, March 1, 1870,
son of Charles C. Craig, who is one of the surviving members of the Civil war
still living in this community. Thomas D. Craig was reared on his father’s
farm and alternated between its duties and the work of nearby coal mines. He
did his first work in coal mines as early as ten years of age. Subsequently
he was a mine operator. He acquired the advantages of the country schools,
attended the old Normal School at Kingwood, and at the age of twenty-two
began teaching in rural districts. Altogether he taught for sixteen years,
his last school being Snyder’s School in the Kingwood district. While
teaching he also operated a coal mine and a farm. About the time the World
war began Mr. Craig had to give up business because of a physical breakdown,
and, selling his property, he sought renewed health in Florida and Alabama.
After a period he was thoroughly recuperated, and then returned and resumed
farming, and since December 1, 1921, has conducted a store at Snyder’s
Mr. Craig has done his duty as a citizen as a republican voter, and in
1900 and again in 1910 was one of the census enumerators in Preston County.
He was a delegate to the Berkeley Springs Convention when George W. Bowers
was nominated for Congress by the Second Congressional District. Mr. Craig
has filled various chairs in the Knights of Pythias Lodge and represented the
Kingwood Lodge in the Grand Lodge for two years. He and Mrs. Craig are almost
life-long members of the Methodist Church, and he has been superintendent of
the Sunday school.
In Preston County, February 12,1896, he married Miss Cora Savage,
daughter of David Harrison Savage. Some account of the Savage family should
appropriately be given at this point.
They represent an original line of people who established their homes in
the United States in Colonial times, and the family was represented in the
Revolutionary war. Farming has been with few exceptions the regular vocation
of the different generations. More than a hundred years ago the grandfather
of David H. Savage, John R. Savage, settled in Garrett County, Maryland,
seventeen miles northeast of Oakland, near Friendsville. The Savages and the
Friends were among the first settlers in that section of Maryland. John R.
Savage was a man of intelligence, capable in business and farming, and spent
his life in Garrett County in the development and improvement of his estate.
He married into the Friend family, his wife being Miss Caren, as they called
her. They had five daughters and one son: Mrs. Lavina Winger, Mrs. Lydia
Savage, Mrs. Savilla Friend, Mrs. Elizabeth Friend, while Mary died
unmarried. The only son, Thomas Savage, was born in February, 1823, and grew
up near Friendsville. He acquired a good common school education and was a
prosperous farmer in that community. In 1863 he enlisted in the Third
Maryland Infantry, under Captain Ambrose, and was a soldier until the end of
the war. He was in the Army of the Potomac, and among other engagements was
at the battle of Monocacy. He received his discharge at Baltimore in the
spring of 1865, and then resumed the work of the farm where he had left off.
He was never in official life, voted as a republican and was a Methodist.
Thomas Savage married Elizabeth Evans, a native of Wales, coming to the
United States at the age of fourteen with her parents, who first located at
Mount Savage, Maryland, and later in the Friend settlement in Garrett County.
Mrs. Thomas Savage died on the home farm where she had spent her married
life. She was the mother of thirteen children, and those who survived infancy
were: David Harrison, of Kingwood, West Virginia; Martha, who married Alfred
Jenkins, of Friendsville; George, of Somerfield, Pennsylvania; William and
Benton, who died unmarried; Arthur, who became a commercial traveler and died
at Pittsburgh; Emily, who died young; Freeman, who owned the old Garrett
County homestead, where he reared his family; and Effie, wife of Frank
Thomas, of Markersburg, Pennsylvania.
David Harrison Savage, whose home for over forty years has been in
Preston County, was born in Garrett County, Maryland, October 17,1848, and
finished his education in West Virginia University at Morgantown, but left
before graduating. For ten years he was a teacher in the public schools of
Preston County. He established his home two miles west of Kingwood, and his
last teaching was done in the home district there. While still teaching he
began cultivating and improving his farm, and was one of the very progressive
exponents of agricultural endeavor in this section. he did diversified
farming, growing the various cereals, raising livestock, making butter at
home, marketing poultry, fat hogs and cattle. His present home is almost
against the townsite of Kingwood, where he has lived since November, 1917,
and where he still cultivates half of the eighty acres he owns.
David H. Savage served as deputy assessor under Assessor Summers. He cast
his first presidential vote for General Grant in 1868, and since early
manhood has been an active member of the Methodist Church, and has been on
the official board.
In Preston County in June, 1872, Mr. Savage married Miss Jerusha Cale, a
native of the county, and daughter of Amos and Mary (Wishell) Cale. She was
one of a family of one son and four daughters, and the others still living
are Emory Cale and Mrs. Lucy Burk. Mr. and Mrs. Savage have one son and four
daughters: Cora M., wife of Thomas D. Craig; Gertrude, Mrs. William Morris,
of Tunnelton; Grace, who died as the wife of Walter Wilson; John M., who is
unmarried and a framer near Kingwood; and Lucy, wife of Charles Evick, of
Kingwood. The only two grandchildren of Mr. Savage were born to his daughter,
Mrs. Gertrude Morris.