Charles Henry Craig (October 6, 1896–March 9, 1982)

Edith Hazel Craig (February 25, 1900–March 17, 1989)

By Glenmore Bachman

Early Life

Charles Henry Craig was born October 6, 1896 to Isa N. Craig and Millie L. Craig (née Edminister) in Dixmont, Penobscot County, Maine.1 Isa and Millie married circa 1887; Charles was their fourth child.2 Charles had one brother, Leney (1888), and three sisters, Lizzie (1890), Abbie (1902), and Marion (1908).3 Millie Craig had one more child who died before the 1900 Census.4 Isa Craig worked as a farmer, and Charles likely spent much of his youth helping out on the farm.5 Charles also went to school, and graduated high school.6

World War I

Even before the draft of 1917, Charles Henry Craig joined the US Army as one of 900,000 recruits to pass through Fort Slocum, New York.7 He started with the rank of Private and was promoted three times, becoming a Sergeant on October 28, 1918.8 Craig’s service began March 31, 1917, and he served with Battery C 4 Field Artillery but never went overseas.9 He eventually found himself in Justice Precinct 8, Bexar, Texas in 1920.10

Interwar Years

Hicksite Quakers Application Letter for Charles Henry Craig, November 21, 1922

After his discharge from the Army, Craig moved to Delaware, Pennsylvania, and married Edith Hazel Chambers on December 30, 1922.11 Edith was born February 25, 1900 to Eugene and Sarah Chambers.12 On November 21, 1905, the Chambers family converted to Hicksite Quakers.13 The Hicksite Quakers formed in 1823 after a split from Orthodox Quakerism when Elias Hicks challenged the leaders of the Orthodox religion.14 Hicksites believed “activity, not belief, was the key to salvation” and focused their practice on inclusion and opposing hierarchies.15 During World War I, the Quakers found their pacifist views challenged by the call to war. They established the American Friends Service Committee, which allowed Quakers who did not want to break their pacifist beliefs to aid the country in other ways and prove their patriotism while proving they were not weak or fearful.16 With the draft of May 1917, the Quakers supported those who felt that they could morally join the war effort in a combat position, but many selected to serve in a non-combat position.17

1930 US Census, Charles Henry Craig and family, lines 77-81

In 1920, Edith worked as a clerk in an office and lived with her parents, her sister Mary, and her cousin Phebe.18 Before their marriage in 1922, Craig was admitted to the Hicksite Quakers by means of an application on November 21, 1922. See the Quaker meeting record here.19 Charles and Edith had four children, Charles (1923), Elizabeth Sarah (1925), Mary Louise (1927), and Frances (1936).20 By 1930, Craig worked as a tree surgeon.21 According to the 1930 Census, seen here, the Craig family owned their home, which was valued at $7,000, and had a radio. 22 Owning a radio at this time was imperative as the radio became the centerpiece of the modern household. It allowed families to stay updated with events from sports to national news. Radios also helped to promote “old fashioned family values” with shows like “One Man’s Family.”23 It also changed communication. The 1930s became the golden age of the radio, and President Franklin Roosevelt’s “Fireside Chats” helped the US population feel closer than ever to their leader.24

World War II

In 1940, Craig worked as a principal superintendent of Williamson School (today Williamson College of the Trades) in Media, Pennsylvania while maintaining his job as a tree surgeon.25 Craig registered for the “Old Man’s Draft” for World War II on April 27, 1942.26 Craig’s son, Charles Henry Craig Jr., entered active service on February 9, 1943.27 Craig Sr. spent twenty-seven months in active domestic service and ten months in active foreign service in the Army. Craig Jr. left active service on February 23, 1946.28

Move to Florida

By 1954, Charles and Edith Craig moved to Florida as part of a larger migration to the Sunbelt that “boomed in the decades after World War II.”29 Craig advertised as a tree surgeon associated with Dan Zbin, a landscape gardener in Fort Lauderdale, in 1954.30 By 1956, he was no longer associated with Zbin.31 We are not sure whether he started his own business, left the industry, or retired. Craig passed away on March 9, 1982 in Hollywood, Florida. Edith followed in March 1989. They are buried together in the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.32


1 “Maine, Birth Records, 1621-1922,” database,,, entry for Charles H Craig.

2 “1900 United States Federal Census,” database,,, entry for Charles H Craig.

3 Ibid.; “1910 United States Federal Census,” database,,, entry for Charles H Craig.

4 “1900 United States Federal Census.”

5 Ibid.

6 “1940 United States Federal Census,” database,,, entry for Charles Craig.

7 “Maine, Military Index, 1917-1920,” database,,, entry for Charles H Craig; Robert B. Roberts, Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States. New York: Macmillan, 1988.

8 “Maine, Military Index, 1917-1920.”

9 Ibid.

10 Ibid.; “1920 United States Federal Census,” database,,, entry for Charles H Craig.

11 “U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935,” database,,, entry for Edith H Craig.

12 “1910 United States Federal Census,” database,,, entry for Edith Chambers.;

13 “U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935,” database,, entry for Charles Henry Craig.

14 Robert Doherty, “Religion and Society: The Hicksite Separation of 1827,” Quaker History 17 (1965):66.

15 Ibid.

16 Allan Kohrman, “Respectable Pacifists: Quaker Response to World War I,” Quaker History 75 (1986): 41.

17 Ibid., 42-43.

18 “1920 United States Federal Census,” database,,, entry for Edith Chambers.

19 “U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935,” database,, entry for Charles Henry Craig.

20 “1930 United States Federal Census,” database,,, entry for Charles H. Craig; “1940 United States Federal Census.”

21 “1930 United States Federal Census.”

22 Ibid.

23 PBS, “Radio in the 1930s,”, (accessed April 19, 2017).

24 Ibid.

25 “1940 United States Federal Census.”

26 “U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942,” database,,, entry for Charles Henry Craig.

27 “Pennsylvania, Veteran Compensation Application Files, WWII, 1950-1966,” database,,, entry for Charles H Craig.

28 Ibid.

29 Edward Glaeser and Kristina Tobio, “The Rise of the Sunbelt”, Southern Economic Journal 74 (2008): 611.

30 “Charles H. Craig Tree Surgeon,” Fort Lauderdale News, August 3, 1952, p. 22, database,,

31 “Notice,” Fort Lauderdale News, July 17, 1956, p. 23, database,,

32 National Cemetery Administration, “Charles Henry Craig, Sr.," US Department of Veterans Affairs, accessed April 19, 2017,

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