Biography of Adna C. Craig

ADNA C. CRAIG. – At the union depot on the line of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company, at the south end of the Grande Ronde valley, is the Craigton Hotel, into which water is conducted through pipes from a spring half a mile away, and one hundred and sixty feet above. This water where it springs from the steep sidehill has a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit, while at the hotel where it enters the bathroom its temperature is about 90 degrees. It shows by analysis iron, borax, sulphur and magnesia. For twenty years this hotel has been a health resort for those afflicted with rheumatism and kindred diseases. The proprietor, Adna C. Craig, was born in Ohio in 1821, received a common-school education, and learned the trade of a tanner and currier.

Emigrating to Iowa in 1841, he engaged in brick-making until he removed to California with the argonauts in 1849. He transferred his business to our state in 1855, mining and lumbering in Josephine county. He carried with him a whipsaw, and found that this brought the “dust” even faster than the “Long Tom.” In 1858 he made brick and erected the first brick building in Douglas county, and often joined General Lane or Colonel Mosher in the hunt.

In 1861 he was in the Idaho mines, the most of the time running the Armstrong whipsaw and making lumber, which he sold at one dollar a foot. He passed the winter in a temperature which congealed mercury, and froze his feet, while the prices of provisions were: Flour two dollars, bacon three dollars, potatoes two and a half dollars, tea and coffee five dollars, and tobacco fifteen dollars per pound. After an adventure the next spring with nine school teachers while in search of a bonanza which did not exist, and nearly losing his life, Mr. Craig set forth for Auburn, but passing through the Grande Ronde was entranced by the beauty of the region, and determined to set his stakes there and make a home, choosing a claim near the present site of Union. He has since that time farmed, packed, raised grain and stock, acted as sheriff for four years, as assessor for three years, as county Judge for eight years, and as swamp-land commissioner for four years. We find him still a hearty and jovial “boy” of sixty-eight years, ready with his anecdote or joke, and a leading man in the community.



History of the Pacific Northwest Oregon and Washington. 2 v. Portland, Oregon: North Pacific History Company. 1889.

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