02 February 2014

Thomas Spurgeon Craft (52 Ancestors)

     I'm participating in the 52 Ancestors Challenge in Ahnentafel order, so week four is about my paternal grandfather (Pawpaw).  It's a week behind, but I'm working on catching up !

     Thomas Spurgeon Craft was born 26 Dec 1919 in Elbert County, Georgia (though some records indicate neighboring Hart County).  He was the oldest child of Bennie Craft and Ruth Evans, who were farmers.  To help the family recovering from the Great Depression, Thomas joined the CCC and served in Albemarle, North Carolina as a cook.  I've heard that his dad bought a car with the money Thomas sent home for the family.  After coming home from the CCC, he continued to farm and do other jobs in the community.  He married Sarah Britt and, with three children at home, was drafted to fight in World War II.  Luckily he served in Europe after most fighting had ended and was home soon.  He moved the family to Atlanta soon after, where he got a job at Atlantic Steel.  He also ran his own sanitation company, until the county took over all residential services.

     My most personal memory of my grandfather is of him giving me and my sister rides on his John Deere riding mower.  He had attached an extra seat to the side and would give us rides around the yard.

   I was always curious about my grandfather's middle name: Spurgeon.  I'd tried googling before and came up empty, but for some reason when I did it just now, I found something.  There was a British preacher named Charles Spurgeon who was apparently pretty famous.  He died in the 1890s, around the time Thomas' mother was born.  Spurgeon was a Baptist preacher and many generations of the Craft and associated families attended the Rock Branch Baptist Church.  My guess is that my grandfather was named for the famous preacher.

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