Posts Tagged ‘Jean Craighead George’

Carlisle Students at Craighead

October 15, 2009

Jean Craighead George recalls a former Carlisle Indian School student and his wife visiting Craighead Station, probably in the 1930s. The man had worked for Jean’s grandmother, Agnes Miller Craighead, on his outing periods by tending her flower gardens. He was disappointed that the once beautiful gardens were gone and the yard in which they were once located had been converted into a playground for Agnes’s grandchildren and their friends. Jean doesn’t recall the man’s name but does remember how much pride he had in the gardens. He wasn’t the only Carlisle student to live and work at Craighead Station.

Charles and Agnes Craighead were early and constant supporters of Carlisle Indian Industrial School. In the October 1882 edition of The Morning Star, Lt. Pratt thanked them and the others “for their kindness and helpfulness in giving our pupils a place in their homes where the customs and labors and amenities of civilized life could be impressed upon them than is possible they should be in a school of that size.”

It is difficult to know how many students spent time at the Craigheads because we only know the names of a few who spent time there. The following are the names of students known to have been with the Craigheads:

Emma Strong

Sosipatra Suvoroff

Mary Kadashan

Della Cayuga

Melinda Cayuga

I would be greatly obliged if anyone who knows of someone who spent time at Craigheads would contact me.

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The Craighead Naturalists and CIIS

September 3, 2009

While researching the life of Wilson Charles, I came across an item that discussed a Carlisle Indian School teacher visiting with Mrs. Charles Craighead and starting a terrarium in her classroom, Number 6, in 1902. That little item caught my attention because the Craigheads lived up the Yellow Breeches Creek in Craighead Station near Carlisle, but closer to Boiling Springs. Miss Fannie G. Paull was the teacher who visited with Agnes Craighead and her students who were there on their outing period. Over the years, quite a number of Carlisle students spent their outings with the Craigheads. As a result, the family got to know the students and their teacher very well. On a visit in 1902, Miss Paull let it be known that she was making a terrarium in her room. Frank Craighead, a lad of 12, set about to helping her with the undertaking. He promised to catch two small turtles and a squirrel for the terrarium. He gave them a “hang-bird’s” nest as a nest for the prospective squirrel.

Frank C. Craighead would go on to make the study of flora and fauna his life’s work. He graduated with a degree in forestry from Penn State in 1912. He later received a PhD from George Washington University, and made the study of forest insects as his life’s work, retiring in 1950 as the chief of the U. S. Department of Agriculture Bureau of Forest Entomology. After retiring to Boiling Springs, he studied the Everglades, publishing titles including Orchids and Other Air Plants of the Everglades National Park, Trees of South Florida, and The Role of the Alligator in Shaping Plant Communities and Maintaining Wildlife in the Southern Everglades. He also quickly became an expert on rapidly disappearing native plants and the ecological role of hurricanes.

Regardless of what he did professionally, his greatest contribution he made was to instill a love of nature in his children: twins John and Frank Craighead and daughter Jean Craighead George.

I wonder why there is no historical marker to honor the Craighead naturalists’ contributions.