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William Wiley Craft
and Mary Wright (Luntz)

William Wiley Craft
William Wiley Craft b 21 Nov 1874 Letcher Co KY; s/o Benjamin Washington Craft and Henrietta Adams. William Wiley Craft m. abt 1899 to Mary Wright (Luntz) b 4 Apr 1880 Letcher Co KY d 26 Mar 1969; age 88; buried Green Acres Cemetery, Ermine, Letcher Co KY; d/o William S Luntz and Lettie Bates. Children of William Wiley Craft and Mary Wright (Luntz);

1. Mary Alice Craft b 1899 Letcher Co KY

2. James W Craft b abt 1902 Letcher Co KY

3. Lettie Dallas Craft b abt 1904 Letcher Co KY

4. Israel J Craft b abt 1906 Letcher Co KY

5. Hennie Craft b abt 1908 Letcher Co KY

6. Archie Craft b 27 Mar 1911 Millstone, Letcher Co KY d 6 Apr 2001 Lexington, Fayette Co KY; buried Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Fayette Co KY; m. Virginia Reese b 5 Sept 1912 d 17 Aug 2002; age 89; buried Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Fayette Co KY.

7. Carl Craft b abt 1915 Letcher Co KY

8. Cecil B Craft b 8 Dec 1916 Letcher Co KY d Apr 1976

9. Bennie Wise Craft b 17 Mar 1918 Letcher Co KY d 17 Aug 1993 Fayette Co KY

10. Garrett Craft b abt 1921 Letcher Co KY

1 Source of part of this information: Colman Best - fadedphotographs2@gmail.com


Obituary: Archie Craft
28 Mar 1911 - 7 Apr 2001

Mountain Eagle newspaper 11 Apr 2001, Page 1: Craft, 90, opened 3 funeral homes in Letcher (Co KY). Funeral services were held Monday (Apr 2001) in Lexington for Archie Craft, 90, a longtime political figure in Letcher County, who died April 7 in Lexington. Craft and his wife, Virginia Reese Craft, who survives him, were prominent in Letcher County civic and Democratic political affairs for many years before they moved to Lexington in the early 1960's.

He was born in Millstone and was a son of the late William Wiley Craft and Mary Wright Craft. He was a nephew of the late Dr. B. F. Wright, a power in Letcher County Democratic politics for many years. After teaching for a brief time in the Letcher County school system Craft and his wife founded and operated three funeral homes and other business interests in Letcher County.

He was elected state senator from Letcher and Perry counties and was a confidant to several Kentucky governors. Craft developed a close friendship with Gov. Bert Combs, and one of the great disappointments of Craft's political career was Combs's failure to keep his commitment to put a University of Kentucky community college in Letcher County. After an announcement that the school would be in Letcher County, Hazard political interests persuaded Combs to locate the community college at Hazard where it remains. Craft served as federal marshal during the administrations of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Craft was a lifelong director of the Bank of Whitesburg and became a charter organizer of the Bank of Lexington after he moved to Lexington. Craft was a member of the Shriners and Masonic Lodge and other philanthropic organizations. The Crafts celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary recently. Survivors besides his wife are a daughter, Shirlee Reeves, Louisville; two grandsons and two great-grand-children. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Southland Christian Church, P.O. Box 23338, Lexington, KY 40523


Obituary: William Wiley Craft
21 Nov 1874 - 30 Oct 1966

The Mountain Eagle, Whitesburg, Letcher Co KY, Thursday, 3 Nov 1966, Page 1: W.W. Craft Dies - Funeral services were held at the Thornton Regular Baptist Church in Mayking (KY) Wednesday for William Wiley Craft, 91. Officiating ministers were Elders Ray Collins, Bill Sparks, Basil Hall and I. D. Back. Burial was in Green Acres Cemetery, Ermine, Letcher Co KY. Mr. Craft died Sunday at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Fayette Co KY where he had been a patient for about two weeks. He and his wife, the former Mary Wright, had made their home in Lexington for the past three years.

Mr. Craft was born and reared at Millstone. He was a son of the late Ben and Henrietta Adams Craft. His father, a school teacher, died when he was 13, and he had to leave school and take over the support of his mother and three sisters. He often recalled working all day for 25 cents and said that sometimes his family would go a year without seeing even a quarter in cash.

After he married he and his wife lived in a log house near Slemp Camp west of Millstone. The house burned several years ago. Mr. Craft recalled that as a young man he took eggs, milk, chickens and butter all the way across the mountains to Norton, Va., to "barter" for coffee, sugar and other items which could not be grown at home.

After the coal fields opened in Letcher County, Mr. Craft worked for many years for South East Coal Co. He handled the mine livestock and worked at the Millstone tipple until he was in his 60's. After he retired he continued to farm until poor health forced him to move to town. Even in Lexington, he insisted on growing a backyard garden, his family said. He and his wife would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary next August. Mr. Craft was known for his gentle disposition and quiet demeanor. Mr. Craft had been a member of the Regular Baptist Church for more than 50 years.

Besides his wife he is survived by five sons, Archie Craft, Whitesburg; Dr. T. Garrett Craft, Harlan; Dr. Ben W. Craft, Lexington; Dr. Cecil B. Craft, Richmond, and Dr. James W. Craft, Harlan; two daughters, Mrs. Lettie Dallas Thompson, Harlan, and Mrs. Henrietta Creech, Lexington. Six children died earlier. Seventeen grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren also survive.


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