John Craig b1839 – d1901

On Sunday 8th December 1901, there passed away at his residence at Bellsfield, High Blantyre, well known Blantyre man, John Craig. A gentleman known throughout the county as an agriculturist.

Born in Bishopbriggs, Glasgow on 3rd November 1839. When born, his father, Archibald, was 38 and his mother, Janet, was 29. He had one brother and four sisters and was in his sixty second year when he left this earth. He came to Blantyre around 1871 with his parents, some 30 years before his death and in his time here, had expressed a warm hearted interest in the affairs of Blantyre Parish. His father died in 1877.

By 1881, he was head of the household at Belllsfield, the census recording he was a farmer of 130 arable acres, employing 1 man, 2 girls and a boy. With his at the house that year was his elderly mother, sister Elizabeth and Jane Parkhill, a 21 year old domestic servant. His mother died later that year, by then both parents having passed at Bellsfield.

For many years, he was a member of the Parochial Board, prior to the passing of the Local Government Act in 1894 and was also a member of the School Board, of which he was Chairman for 6 years. Latterly he represented High Blantyre in the County Council and only resigned due to his failing health at the beginning of 1901. His brother James (b1837, died in 1899 in England)

Curling was practically his only hobby or pastime, but in this, he took a great interest and was well known for his skill in the sport. He was a member of several clubs throughout this lifetime.

His funeral took place on Wednesday 11th December 1901 at Blantyre Cemetery where there were a very large number of mourners. The service was conducted by Rev C.S. Turnbull.

The night before, at the monthly meeting of Blantyre School Board, sympathetic remarks were first made about Mr Craig by the current chairman, before any order of business. The Board knew of nobody in Blantyre who would be missed more. Dr Grant proposed that this should be recorded in the minutes of the meeting and the great loss being felt by his loss. An excerpt of those minutes was proposed to be sent to Miss Craig. It was also remarked upon and recorded that Mr Craig had a great interest in education and although a quiet man of few words, he had great judgement and when he did speak, his words carried weight and substance. He had guided the School Board over many difficulties with various proposals and solutions. When he left the School Board after 10 years, he had done so with the regret of all members and had he not become ill, would surely have remained a member for more years.

When the Board chairman commented he had tried in every way to advance education in Blantyre, the group was met with respectful cries of ‘hear hear!’

John Craig, never married nor had children and was survived by two sisters.

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