Sunday, February 15, 2015

Simeon Wilbert (Wilby) Cragun

Simeon Wilbert Cragun is my grandfather. I never knew him, he died 10 years before I was born. It's a fact I often regretted, that I never knew any of my grandfathers. Step Grandfather Kent Smith I vagely remember, he died when I was five.

Simeon was born in Pleasant View Utah, and died in Ogden.

Simeon married my grandmother Blanche Smith, his second wife, when he was 49 years old and when my grandmother was only 21 years old. Photographs of her confirm she was good looking and quite a catch. Simeon died years after the marriage or at age 63. My father was 14 at that time and ended up being the one expected to bring in the bread for the family.

His first wife Mary Ann Clifford died seventeen years after their marriage. They had six children together. She was only 31.

The way we children were brought up to believe is that the marriage to Blanche had it's issues. We were told that she was not a welcome step mother. That the discord among the children of Mary Ann and those of Blanches was great. As of this day the only living child of Simeon and Blanche is Howard. In asking him about the details he refused to discuss them with me. He just didn't want to talk about it.

Why Simeon left his farming in Pleasant View is uncertain. We do know he sold his farm to his youngest son Levi for a promissory note. We do know that he moved to Idaho to start up farming again. This did not go well. They were in American Falls, Idaho. Dad told me the situation there was so bad that they lived the winter in a dug out home, dug into a hillside. I was told by my father that Simeon was very smart on electrical engineering. He told me his father was the head engineer on the construction of the American Falls Dam.

Grandma Blanche seemed bitter over the marriage. Her deathbed words were, "don't anyone seal me to Cragun". Dad said she was angry that he never kept his promise to marry her in the Temple.

Family Search Family Tree currently has 29 sources documenting Simeon's life attached to it.

It will be interesting to have a chat with my grandfather in the next life. It will be interesting to see where grandmother fits into his life, if at all. Someone did seal them in the Temple against her wishes. Will she have recanted her wishes?

Below is Simeon's first family as shown in FamilySearch Family Tree.
Below is Simeon's family with Blanche Bingham. His son Royal is my father.

Reuben was adopted by Simeon, perhaps not officially, but Rube went by Cragun his entire life, as do his children and grandchildren.

No comments:

Post a Comment