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Craven Carl Wilson
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Craven Carl Wilson was an interesting man. I will paste in my notes: 1918 Newspaper abstract from Pocahontas, Randolph County, Arkansas: April 26th - Rev. Poe preached at the schoolhouse Sun., after which Uncle Crave Wilson made a talk... ...June 28th; page 4 - "Uncle Craven Wilson of Middlebrook was in Poca. Tues. he orders the paper sent to his son W.R. Wilson (William Reuben), at Gillham, Ark... (August 16th) " ...Middlebrook - Uncle Crave Wilson and Dr. Orlie Parker went to Little Rock last week to visit the soldier boys at Camp Pike."
1930 U.S. Census: (04/21/1930) Arkansas > Miller > Texarkana > District 7 > 2; Craven is 84 years old and living with his son, Benjamin Moses Tolbert Wilson (54) and Tolbert's wife, Retta S. (49); Retta was first married at age 16; Tolbert was first married at age 21; Craven was first married at age 22, and is widowed in 1930. Tolbert's grandson, Harold L. Stout is living with the family. Tolbert is listed as a "Mechanic in the construction trade".
Obituary: Newspaper Abstract - Randolph, County, Arkansas, Thursday, November 13, 1930, page 8: " Uncle Craven Wilson, 85, pioneer citizen & native of Randolph co., died last week at the home of his son Tolbert Wilson in Texarkana, burial was there the next day. He was a Civil war veteran when he rec'd wounds that eventually caused his death."
From the HISTORY of RANDOLPH COUNTY ARKANSAS by Lawrence Dalton Published 1946 - 1947: William Torrence Johnson, the father of John A. Johnson, was also the father of the following other children: Lavinah, who married Craven Wilson. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson were the parents of the following children: Mary Elizabeth, who married Dr. Val Seal; William Reuben to Lizzie Meeks, Johnnie Martin to Adna Jones, Chloe Hester to James Kidd, Veda Emily to Will Gillis, Fifa Myrtle to a Mr. Sadler and Pearl Denton, Moses Talbert (Tolbert) and Carl Craven, wives unknown...Craven Wilson was a son of one Benjamin Wilson who located near the "Wilson Ford" on Fourche creek about 1840....Craven Wilson (1846 - 1932) Included in a list of Randolph County preachers in the 1946 History of Randolph County is the name of Craven Wilson. Craven "Uncle Craves" Wilson was born February 2, 1846, a son of Benjamin A. and Mary Wilson of the Middlebrook community. He was reared on the family farm and became quite literate as a young man. When he was 16 years old he enlisted in the Confederate Army and served under General Sterling Price. He was assigned to Company H of the 15th Missouri Cavalry, and fought Yankees at Pilot Knob and Ironton, Missouri, and Marmaduke, Arkansas. He was wounded three times but survived to surrender at Jacksonport, June 5, 1865. Craven, a slender man of 5" 10," had a dark complexion with jet black hair (in his younger days) and dark brown eyes. He was a strong man who became a Christian minister not long after the Civil War. How he became a Christian is unknown, but his younger brother, Johnny, was a Christian and helped begin the Brakebill Church of Christ in the 1870's. It is also possible that Lavinah Delilah Johnson (1844 - 1906), whom he married in 1866, influenced him to become a Christian. Craven attended the Glaze Creek Church of Christ with his wife and her family when he was not away preaching. He was known to have preached at Glaze Creek, Brakebill and Palestine in Randolph County, and is thought to have preached in Texas and Oklahoma as well. Wilson farmed, sold vegetables and cut timber to support his family. When he was able to work in the field, he would earn money by making and selling chairs, knives, baskets, canes, and guns. Craven and Lavinah's ten children were born in Randolph County, but as they grew to maturity most of them moved away. The Wilsons went to Hopkins, Texas, in 190 but shortly thereafter moved to Indian Territory, Oklahoma, to be near some of their children. It was there that Lavinah died in 1906, and was buried in Boswell. Craven returned to Middlebrook and made his home with his brother, Dr. Moses Wilson, but would visit his daughter, Chloe Kidd, from time to time. when his health failed, Tolbert, his son at Texarkana, Arkansas, moved Craven there. The aged preacher wrote poems and reminisced about his days as a soldier, singer, and minister. A Texarkana newspaper featured him in an article which was printed shortly before his death. The article told how the old man with the snowy white hair observed and approved the construction of his white pine casket. The writer of the article said Craven Wilson "lies in bed, his thin old body weak and almost useless, but his black eyes shining brightly from beneath white brows with his mind almost as sharp as years before...smiles and laughs frequently." The details of Craven's ministry are not known, but he left a grand legacy in his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and other descendants. One of his sons, Carl Craven, was a devout member of the Christian Church, and the bass singer for the famous Carr-Flat Quartet. Some recordings of their music still exist. His grandson, Tommy Kidd, became a respected minister in Arkansas and Missouri, and his great-great-grandson, Johnny Dean Hinton, is a graduate of Crowley's Ridge College and a minister with the Church of Christ."
NOTES: Craven was a farmer. One farm was near the Arkansas Missouri border, located on the Old Military Road. The Fourche River ran right through the middle of the farm. The house was about halfway between Doniphan, Missouri and Pocahontas, Arkansas.
Craven fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War, June 5, 1864 to June 5, 1865. He enlisted when he was 16. He lied about his age. He was wounded three times. The first wound was to his right shoulder. The shoulder was a mass of shattered bones. He was cared for in a makeshift hospital which had been a farm house...Soon after he returned to service he received a second wound. This wound was from a cannon ball to the pelvis. This wound left him disabled for life. When he healed, he returned to service, only to be wounded a third time. This wound was to the same shoulder that was injured earlier. His arm was useless for months, and his suffering was intense. He returned home...He ordered his own casket before he died (1930). Died of tuberculosis of the left knee. He was baptized into the Church of Christ on September 15, 1866.
Regarding the casket - From Soap and Sugar - page 74 and 75: "UNTIL HE NEEDS IT - His undertaker persuaded him not to keep it in his room after a long argument, and finally he consented to let the man carry it to the funeral home until he "needs it." Craven Wilson, still a staunch patriot in the matter of the War Between The States, lives on Dudley Ave. on College Hill. He has been there, in bed, for nearly a year, coming here from Middlebrook, Arkansas, near where he was born and reared. He lies in bed, his thin old body weak and almost useless, but his black eyes shining brightly from beneath white brows and his mind almost as sharp as years before. He smiles and laughs frequently. "I'll need it won't I? Why shouldn't I order my coffin now?" he snaps when asked why he ordered his casket. "When a fellow buys an overcoat, he wants to see it doesn't he? It's mine, and I want to see it. And see it I did." About a year ago, when he was still "up and about," the old fellow went to a mill near Middlebrook and bought himself a quantity of walnut planks. He gave them to a carpenter to build a casket, but the carpenter became ill and never was able to finish it. The unfinished casket remains at Middlebrook, Wilson says, but since it was never finished, he persuaded his son and another man to build the present one. "IT'S A FINE ONE TOO" "And it's a fine one too" he exclaims. "Made of white pine, just exactly like I wished it." He is not quite ready to die, in fact, it would be nice to remain here forever. But since bad health overtook him, he thought it best to prepare for the final journey. Of all the subjects approached him, the old veteran likes best to talk of the Civil War. Three wounds on his body, one a terrible rupture, remind him of the conflict. He tells of various battles in which he took part under General Price, and of the adventures through Missouri and Arkansas as a scout. He is a former Christian preacher, a poet and a singer. And the casket won't be his last overcoat, after all, he exclaims. "But listen to God's glorious promise: To those that do his will; He'll raise them from the earth again to live in Heaven with Him."
A few days before he died, there was an article in the Texarkana (Arkansas) paper. He had been visiting his son Talbert (Benjamin Moses Tolbert Wilson), who lived there: " Confederate veteran of Texarkana is ready for the sounding of Taps. Even inspects his own coffin...(he writes): This poem was recited while he was on his sick bed on 09/25/1930: " "And must this body die, this well formed frame decay? And must these active limbs of mine All molder back to clay? Yes, this is God's all wise plan, for disposing of mortal man. When he has filled his mission here he goes back to earth again. Then hear his glorious promise to those that do his will. He will raise them from earth to eternal life to dwell, in Heaven with him. Then we will see our father's face, and in his presence be, and live with him in glory through out eternity. This glorious hope is ours, to all we now declare. When the Saviour comes to earth again, we hope to meet him in the air. Then how can mortal man be proud, when he hath gained great wealth. God owns the universe, man does not own himself." (Craven preached the Gospel thirty years).
Pocahontas Star Herald, June 19, 1930, front page: Confederate Veteran Ready for Sounding of Taps: "When the pendulum within the tired old body of Craven Wilson, 85-year old veteran of the Army of the Confederacy, becomes still and silent at last, he will be ready-ready even with the casket in which he may "molder (to crumble or cause to crumble, as through decay) back to clay." He wrote a poem once in which that stanza appears. Now the product of his plans, a casket, has been brought to his bed for inspection. He nodded his head, covered with a mass of snowy white hair, and approved. His undertaker persuaded him not to keep it in his room with him after a long argument, and finally he consented to let the man carry it to the funeral home until he "needs it." Craven Wilson, still a staunch patriot in the matter of the war between the states, lives on Dudley avenue on College Hill. He has been there, in bed, for nearly a year, coming here from Middlebrook, Ark., near where he was born and reared. He lies in bed, his thin old body weak and almost useless, but his black eyes shining brightly from beneath white brows and his mind almost as sharp as years before. He smiles and laughs frequently. "I'll need it, won't I? Why shouldn't I order my casket now" he snaps when asked why he ordered his casket. "When a fellow buys an overcoat, he wants to see it, doesn't he? It's mine, and I want to see it. And see it I did." About a year ago, when he was still "up and about," the old fellow went to a mill near Middlebrook and bought himself a quantity of walnut planks. He gave them to a carpenter to build the casket, but the carpenter became ill and was never able to finish it. The unfinished casket remains at Middlebrook, Wilson says, but since it was never finished he persuaded his son and another man to build the permanent one. "And it was a fine one, too," he exclaims. "Made of white pine, and just exactly like I wished it." He was not quite ready to die; in fact, it would be nice to remain here forever. But since bad health overtook him, he thought it best to prepare for the final journey."
Bowden Funeral Home Records: Texarkana: Bowie, County, Texas; Miller County, Arkansas, and the ArkLaTex area...Source: Texarkana Genealogical Society Typed up by Elizabeth Brown: "Wilson, Craven - 6 Nov 1930 - 85 - Harmony Grove Cemetery - Coffin home; made by son Talbert (Tolbert) Wilson, - Pd: Marlin Johnnis Martin [?]) Wilson, Paris, Texas; Talbert (Tolbert) Wilson, Wright City, OK.; Veda Gillis, Boswell, OK; Minnie Wood of OK." (Texarkana is the largest city and the county seat of Miller County, Arkansas, United States. It effectively functions as one half of a city which crosses a state line - the other half, the city of Texarkana, Texas, lies on the other side of State Line Avenue.) Harmony Grove Cemetery is on Line Ferry Road, Miller County, Arkansas.
From obit: " Commander A.P. Hill camp, U.C.V. ... enlisted in the confederate Army on June 5th, 1864, mustered out on June 5th 1865." Served in the 15th Missouri Cavalry Regiment, Company H., C.S.A..
Confederate Veteran Memorial: Craven Wilson - Private; Company D, 15th Missouri Cavalry; Born February 2, 1846 in Randolph Co., Arkansas; Died August 24, 1941 in Wynnewood, Oklahoma; The Oklahoma Patriot Index (UDC) on page 331 had Craven Wilson in Co. D, 15th Missouri while the Roster listing at the Wynnewood library has a C. Wilson, Pvt., Co. L, 15th Missouri Cavalry. http://www.okgenweb.net/~okgarvin/veterans/wynnewoodconfederate.html
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