Biography of Joseph Craig

Joseph Craig, president of the Yolo County Consolidated Water Company and one of the most prominent and influential residents of Woodland, has lived in California since infancy, for over fifty years, so that not even a native son of the Golden State could be more thoroughly imbued with the dominant western spirit of enterprise than Mr. Craig. For a number of years, he was one of Yolo County’s most successful lawyers, and his individual career has been marked with high achievement and prosperous material results. Public enterprises have of late years come in for a good share of Mr. Craig’s time and attention, and the one of which he is at the head will in the near future be regarded as the fountainhead of much of the county’s prosperity as an agricultural and fruit-raising center, and the energies and executive ability of a man like Mr. Craig could not be directed to a more laudable and important undertaking.

The Yolo County Consolidated Water Company is engaged in putting into operation one of the largest irrigation systems in the state. The company was organized in 1903 for the purpose of consolidating all the independent water systems of the county and making one network of co-operating and efficient irrigation lines. In a short time, one hundred and twenty thousand acres in Yolo and Solano counties will be supplied from this source. Clear Lake serves as the storage reservoir, supplemented by the two forks of the Cache River. When completed, it will deliver five hundred cubic feet of water per second. The total cost of the system will be one million dollars. Ninety-nine miles of ditch have been constructed and fifty more will be added. Nineteen thousand horsepower will be developed, and will be used for electric roads, lights, etc. The officers of the company are Joseph Craig, president; L. D. Stephens, secretary; and the Bank of Woodland, treasurer. The directors are N. A. Hawkins, L. D. Stephens, C. Q. Nelson, John L. Stephens, J. J. Stephens, Joseph Craig, and J. S. Craig.

Mr. Craig, who is thus prominently connected with Yolo County’s financial and industrial interests, was born in Clinton County, Missouri, in 1849, and was brought to California in 1852 by his parents, who first settled in Nevada County and afterward went to San Francisco. He attended the schools of Nevada County and San Francisco and took up the study of law with the intention of making it his life occupation. He was admitted to the bar in 1874 and was engaged in practice nearly twenty years, only retiring from his professional duties when his other affairs demanded all his time. He came to Yolo County in 1878, and his interests have been largely identified with this section of the state ever since. He and his wife own jointly three thousand acres of the finest land in the state, and on it are raised large crops of alfalfa, fruit, and also high-grade cattle and sheep. They are also large stockholders in the Bank of Woodland.

He was married in Woodland in 1874 to Miss Kate S. Stephens, a daughter of John D. Stephens, a prominent and well-known Californian, and founder of the Bank of Woodland. They have three children: John S., who is cashier of the Bank of Woodland; Mary A.; and Cassie B. Mr. Craig’s fraternal affiliations are with the Masons and the Odd Fellows.

Source: Leigh H. Irvine; A History of the New California Its Resources and People, 2 Volumes; New York and Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1903.

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