Cragun, Patrick Story
Patrick Cragun Biography as told by J.O.Q. Cragun and retold by Eva Cragun Heiner
Late one November evening in 1931, an elderly gentleman and his son knocked at my door, and introduced themselves as distant relatives from Minneapolis Minn. Th e older man was Johnathan O. Q. Cragun a Professor of Phrenology, and his son Leland Cragun. They were on their way to California to spend the winter and were visiting relatives along the way.
We soon discovered that they were very interesting and that Johnathan, at the age of 78 years, had a very keen mind. They were our guests for several days and related many interesting events to us.
Johnathan was well informed on Mormonism. He said that his father had been a devout Latter-Day Saint, having died in Nauvoo on the trek to Utah. His mother never joined the church but went north after his father is death and settled with her family in Minnesota. This probably accounts for the indifference of that family toward the church.
It is from this distant relative 's account that I am able to give the following history of our great-great grandfather, Patrick Cragun, who was the first of our direct line to come to America.
His father, Caleb Cragun, born about 1700-1720, is the very first ancestor that we have any knowledge of. At one time he lived either in Oxford or Hunting-don, Huntingdonshire, England, near the hone of Oliver Cromwell. He moved to Ireland where it is believed that he married an Irish lady.
They had a son, Patrick Cragun, born about 1745 or 1746, who had a most interesting life and was closely connected with our American Government in it is making. He had a great desire in his early life to come to America, so when an opportunity came he joined a company of 40 Irishmen who obtained a sailing vessel and provisions sufficient to last the journey through. They set sail and all went well until in mid-ocean a current, together with the trade winds, sent their ship sailing to the calms around Cuba. The peculiarity of these calms is that not a breeze stirs for weeks at a time. Here their ship floated and they waited. They were careful of the provisions, but no breeze came to carry them on and they were not prepared for any such happenings.
Gradually the food and water supply was gone and they resorted to eating candles, boiled ropes and anything at all. Some of the men became prostrated others with their tongues hanging out of their mouths, became savage.
One day, when hope was despaired of, someone saw a ship in the distance and made feeble attempts to attract attention, which proved successful. It was an English ship on its way to America. The crew came aboard the ill-fated vessel, bound the men with strong cord and carried them onto their elm ship, keeping then Wand, nursing them and gradually increasing their diet until they became well. Great wisdom was shown in this treatment.
They arrived in America about the time that England was demanding a tax on everything. Patrick became a citizen of the United States by choice and, naturally, he became concerned with the treatment of England toward these colonies. Many meetings were held in Old Faneiul Hall in Boston to discuss the tax problem. In March 1770, after the King of England’s troops had been in town for nearly a year, there occurred a scrimmage in which several. English soldiers fired into a crowd of townspeople, killing five and wounding several others.
Many other incidents occurred and England insisted upon the colonies paying taxes, but they continued to refuse to pay. Finally ships laden with tea were sent from England in the autumn of 1775 to Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Charlestown, and consignees were appointed to receive the tea. This was purely a political trick of King George III. A way of saying "What are you going to do about it?"
In the other cities they were forced to accept the tea but not in Boston, for under Samuel Adams, who knew that he was backed by public opinion at the whole continent, they did not accept the tea. Patrick Cragun was in the midst of this excitement, and with a small party of men, some of the best of the towns 'folk, disguised as Indians, they ripped open the tea chests and spilled their contents into the ocean. This was a formal defiance to the King and was so accepted.
Patrick married during this time or about 1780. There are many different ideas about wife’s name. She has been called Rose Alley, Elizabeth, Hannah but in her son Elisha’s Patriarchal Blessing, his mother is called Elsy. Their children were first twins Joshua and Caleb, Elisha, John, Tyresha, Lydia, Tabitha Hannah, Isaac, Elizabeth and Syren.
Of these eleven children, Joshua was killed in the Mexican war fighting under General Scott at Vera Cruez. Caleb lived in North Indies. Elisha, my great grandfather, joined the L. D. S. Church and began the trek west with the saints but died and was buried in 1847 in Pleasant View, Indiana. His wife, Mary Osborne, and daughter, Abigai1, died also and were buried there the following spring. The fourth son, John, lived in New York and had two sons, both eminent physicians. The rest of the family became scattered.
Elisha Cragun and Mary namely : Rebecca, James, Hyrum, Mary, Enoch, Abigail, Tyresha, Simeon, Tabitha and Sarah Jane. Of these children we knew that James, Simeon and Tyresha kept the faith and came to Utah.
James Cragun married Leaner Lana in 1836 in Harrison County, Indiana. He fought in the civil war under General Lott Smith and was later called to settle St. Gorge Country in southern Utah.
Simeon Cragun, who is my grandfather, married Susan Mower in Kanesville Iowa in 1847 where their first child, Mary Wahalia, was born in 1848 and died in 1850 while crossing the plains. The second child William Henry was born on the banks of the Platte River. The company of saints waited over me one day and then the mother, Susan, cared for her infant on from then on.
They traveled in Captain Terry’s Company of 50, arriving in Salt Lake City 25 September 1350. In l850 they moved to Cold Springs near Willard, Utah and the following spring of 1852 they were the first to settle what is now Pleasant View, Weber County, Utah.
Little William Henry died here at the age of 3 years. Wilford Elisha, my father, was born the first white child in Pleasant View, Weber County, Utah on 4 December 1853. The other children born to this couple were: Willard Uriah, born 7 November 1854, Wilson Elijah, born 14 October 1856, Wilbert Simeon, born 13 October 1858, and Wiley Gidoni, born 6 October 1860. Susan wanted her sons to be named with the first name beginning with “W”, and so it was