Strange Nathaniel Cragun 1 2
- Born: 24 Jul 1857, Eagle Twp., Boone, IN
- Marriage (1): Adelaide Maleva Booher on 17 Jun 1883 in Whitestown, Boone, IN
- Died: May 1926 at age 68
- Buried: Lebanon: Oak Hill Cemetery, Boone, IN
Strange Nathanial Cragun
As was the custom of the time, most of Hiram's children became farmers establishing their own farm families. However, his seventh child and fourth son, Strange Nathaniel had another calling. His obituary published in the May 27,1926, edition of the Lebanon Reporter was printed as the front page lead article. It revealed the following information about this prominent citizen of Lebanon and Boone County.
He was born on the farm in Eagle Township July 24, 1857. He received his preparatory education in the common schools. This was supplemented by a course of three years at the Zionsville Academy and one term at Purdue University. Following this, he became a teacher in Boone County at age seventeen. He began teaching in 1874 at the district schools of Worth Township and then the graded school at Zionsville for a total of four years. He then had charge of the graded school of Reelsville, Putnam County, for one year.
In the spring of 1879, while on a visit to Purdue, he went before the Board of Examiners of candidates for admission to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York and was selected from the thirty-one applicants from the 9th Congressional District. He commenced studies at the academy in June, 1879, having been admitted to the class of 1883. Two years later, because of impaired vision, he was obliged to tender his resignation.
Returning to Boone County in 1881, he was appointed to the principalship of the Whitestown graded schools for one year. He then entered a joint principalship of the Zionsville school for one year. He then came to Lebanon in 1883, and for four years was principal of the high school. In 1887 he was elected county superintendent of schools, a position he held for four years. He achieved the reputation of being an excellent disciplinarian both as a teacher and as a superintendent being "strict, but impartial in his examination of teachers and reduced the number of licenses nearly one half" during his tenure.
On May 2,1891, he bought the Lebanon Patriot, the oldest newspaper in Boone County. It was Republican in politics and published weekly in competition with the Lebanon Pioneer, a weekly Democrat newspaper published by Ben McKee with whom he waged friendly editorial war. He sold the Patriot in 1913 after twenty two years but continued to do some news and editorial work on journals throughout the state.
In 1916 he was commissioned a member of the State Tax Board by Governor Samuel Ralston for a period of four years. During this time he rewrote the ammended tax law for Indiana, a product which was later declared a model plan for taxation.
In addition to his work as educator, publisher, and tax. authority, he: served two terms as treasurer of the Lebanon School Board, was director for 25 years of the First National Bank, organized the Citizens Loan and Trust Company in 1899 which he served as director until his death, was a 40 year member of Lodge #45 Knights of Pythias, was a York and Scottish Rite Mason, was Past Commander, Commandery #43 Knights Templar, was a member of: Lodge #9 F&AM, Modern Woodmen of America, and Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church which he served as trustee in addition to being active in the church and Sunday Schools.
While not a subscriber to some of the dogmatic theologies of the church, he was a firm believer in God and of the teachings of Jesus Christ. He frequently quoted as an expression of his religious belief:
Micha 6:8 and
the words of Johan A. Hadaller who held that: Christ's Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7) when followed; His beautiful parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10: 30-37) when practiced; and the two great commandments which he enunciated (Matt 22: 36-40) would not only make a man great among men but, on the authority of Christ, would make such a person quite pleasing and acceptable to God Himself.
His honors included appointment to the military staff of Governor W.T. Durbin in May 1901 as Aide-de-camp with rank of Major.
On June 17, 1883, at the time he became principal of Lebanon High School, he was united in matrimony with Adelaide Maleva Booher, daughter of Benjamin F. and Margaret (Beeler) Booher, at Whitestown. To this felicitous union three children were born:
Twins born May 28, 1885 - Opal, who died October 31,1891 at age 6 1/2, and Ethel, who died April 16, 1897 at age 11 l/2, both victims of the effects of scarlet fever.
Dwight Booher, born October 5,1891- Died Dec.8,1971, at age 80.
Two years after Dwight's birth, they built a substantial home at 404 West Main Street in Lebanon. This home was situated on property where they had been living since their marriage. The older home at the back of the lot was later removed. Being one of the finer houses of the city, it was among those featured in the Anniversary Edition of the Lebanon Pioneer dated March 28, 1895, on page 18. The residence in 1988 became the home of the Boone County Historical Society by gift from their grandchildren.
In their later years they traveled extensively attending the 1900 Paris Exposition while touring Europe. They lived for five months in Hawaii from November 1920 through March 1921 traveling through the U.S. West on their return during April 1921. They also wintered in Daytona Beach and Ft. Myers Florida and summered in Bay View, Michigan where they were members of the Bay View Society.
S. N. died May, 1926, and is buried in the family lot at Oak Hill Cemetery Lebanon. Adelaide survived him by six years passing away on December 22, 1932, at the home of her sister, Miss Emma Booher, on West Washington Street, where she had been stricken three weeks before with paralysis while visiting and was unable to be moved to her own home. She was seventy five years old when she died
1. Elizabeth Booher Parrigin story - various sources
2. Booher, Allen G. sr. MY OFTEN MISSPELLED NAME IS BOOHER, p. 75
3. Booher, Walter Scott. BOOHER FAMILY HISTORY HORIZONS, Wilmington CA (1976)
4. 1900 Boone Co. IN census
5. 1910 Boone Co. IN census
6. 1920 Boone Co. IN census
!BIRTH: Source-4 for state and approximate date
!MARRIAGE: Source-3 p. 121 for name
!ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Source-1 named as son-in-law by Benjamin Booher
1900 Source4 p. 34 #8-8 1-WD Lebanon
Cragun, Strange Aug 1859 42 m 16y IN KY KY can't read
Adelaide M. Sep 1858 42 3-1 N IN IN
Dwight Oct 1891 8 " " "
Booher, Emma Nov 1862 38 " " " sis-in-law
!1910 Source-5 p. 34 #368-376 Center Twp.
Cragun, Strange N. 52 m 26y IN IN KY publisher newspaper
Adelaide 52 3-1 IN TN TN
Dwite 18 IN IN IN
Booher, Emma 48 IN TN TN
!1920 Source-6 p. 56 #485-495 2-WD Lebanon, Center Twp.
Cragun, Strange 62 IN KY KY comissioner - state tax
Addie 63 IN TN TN
Noted events in his life were:
1. Residence: in 1887 in Lebanon, Boone, IN. 2
Strange married Adelaide Maleva Booher, daughter of Benjamin F. Booher and Margaret Hughes Beeler, on 17 Jun 1883 in Whitestown, Boone, IN. (Adelaide Maleva Booher was born on 10 Sep 1857 in Whitestown, Boone, IN, died on 22 Dec 1932 and was buried in Lebanon: Oak Hill Cemetery, Boone, IN.). The cause of her death was Stricken with paralysis at her sister Emmas house and was unable to be moved. She died after 3 weeks in this condition.