Fulton Gazette, 11 May 1893,
Fulton, Callaway, Missouri

Uncle Jimmie Craghead

After an illness of several weeks, Uncle Jimmie Craghead died at his residence in this city May 5th. Funeral services were held at the Baptist Church and burial at the new cemetary. He had been in declining health for several months and death came from general debility and old age. He had a iron constitution, and in his younger days had the endurance almost of a horse. In fact, in his palmy days he could out walk a horse for a long distance having made a race of that kind once from St. Charles to Fulton. He never had but little use for a horse or vehicle but used to start out and walk all over the country. He was a man of powerful frame and his strength was phenomenal. He was a stone mason by trade and would lift large stones that ordinarily were a load for two or three men.

He was born in VA on Jan. 4, 1810 and was 83 years and 4 months old. He came to this county in 1829 and resided here continuously until his death. He first married a Miss Williamson with whom he lived happily up to five or six years ago when she died and about three years ago he again married Mrs. Mattox, who survives him. He never had any children.

He was a man of fixed convictions and took the bible literally throughout and claimed that our Savior never used any figurative language. In an argument on scripture once the writer heard a man ask uncle Jim if the passage "feed my sheep" meant sheep, and he said it did. He claimed the earth revolved from west to east at a very rapid rate-much faster than a railroad train could run. He replied if that was the fact a man could go up in a balloon in San Francisco and in a little while drop down in New York.

He was an Ironside Baptist and was unswerving in his faith. He was a unique character and his characteristics were peculiar and interesting. He had his likes and dislikes and generally took a lively interest in politics and whenever he took a stand on any question he was there to stay. When once committed on any question he never changed- argument had no effect whatever on him. He had a deep insight into human nature and no sharper could deceive him. He would have been in his palmy one of the hardest men to bunco in the United States. You couldn't fool him. He seemed to have an instinctive perception of a fraud and was utterly devoid of gullibility. A lightning rod peddler, or any other sharper would drop him like a hot potato. His insight into human nature with all its weaknesses, seemed to be wonderful. During a hot political canvass in this county, the writer heard a man tell Uncle Jim how he was going to vote and his reasons for doing so. The writer had no doubt of the man's statement, but as soon as the man walked away Uncle Jim said that fellow is not going to do what he says. He was asked how he knew. He said he did not know how he knew it, but, says he, "I am certain of it." In order to test this instinctive knowledge, another man who was on the opposite side of the question was sent to this man to find out where he stood and he proved to be a spy in Uncle Jim's Camp. In a political fight he knew his friends and foes by instinct and his knowledge was as unerring as a bee in a hive or bird building its nest.

He was a character worthy of being studied. There was but one Uncle Jim Craghead and there will never be another. He was absolutely destitute of the sense of fear and you might has as well try to bull doze the British navy as him. He with all of his erratic, peculiar traits, and many good qualities are worthy to be remembered.

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