30. May 2013 · Comments Off on CRAIG, Cornelius A. · Categories: Biographies · Tags: , ,

CORNELIUS A. CRAIG, possessing splendid powers of organization combined with marked executive force, is the efficient president of the National Life & Accident Insurance Company and one of the representative citizens of Nashville [Davidson County]. He was born in Giles county, Tennessee, June 15, 1868, and is a son of William J. and Virginia (Abernathy) Craig, both of whom were also natives of Tennessee, the former born in Maury county and the latter in Giles county. In young manhood the father removed to Giles county, where he wedded Virginia Abernathy and there engaged in farming, spending his remaining days in that section of the state. While always a stanch democrat of the Andrew Jackson school and an active supporter of the party, he was never an office seeker.

The son, Cornelius A. Craig, is a self-educated as well as self-made man. He attended the public schools of Pulaski, Tennessee, to the age of fifteen years and then started out to fight life’s battles and has come off victor in the strife. For a year he was engaged in farming after putting aside his textbooks and at the end of that time, owing to the father’s death, the family removed to Pulaski, where he secured a situation in a dry goods store, acting as clerk for a time. Later he established business on his own account as a druggist and in connection with the control of the store opened an insurance agency, thus making his initial step along the line in which he is now actively engaged. In 1897 he disposed of his interests at Pulaski and came to Nashville, where he entered the office of the state insurance commissioner and a year later he was made deputy commissioner, which position he continued to fill until December, 1901, when he resigned to accept the presidency of the National Life & Accident Insurance Company, then a small concern. In the twenty years which have elapsed since he was called to the presidency, the resources of the company have developed from an annual income of about one hundred thousand dollars and twelve or thirteen thousand dollars assets, to a corporation which now has an income of more than ten million dollars with assets of seven and a quarter million. This success is a notable proof of the business ability of him who was once a Tennessee farm boy, deprived of numerous advantages and opportunities which many youths enjoy. As chief executive of the company he has demonstrated his ability to differentiate between the essential and the non-essential in business affairs and to coordinate and organize his forces into a unified and harmonious whole, whereby splendid results are achieved.

In September, 1889, Mr. Craig was married to Miss Maggie Sinclair of Franklin, Tennessee, and to them have been born two children: Edwin W., who was educated in the Vanderbilt University and is now manager of the ordinary life department of the company; and Kathryn, who completed her education in Mrs. Finch’s school of New York city.

Mr. Craig is a member of Nashvills Lodge, Knights of Pythias, also of Corinthian Lodge, No. 414, A. F. & A. M., of Nashville; Trinity Consistory, No. 2, A. & A. S. R.; and Immanuel Rose Croix Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. In April, 1922, Mr. Craig was appointed a member of the civil service commission of Nashville, in which capacity he is now serving. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Fourth & First National Bank of Nashville, is a member of the board of directors of the Brandau, Craig, Dickerson Company, printers and engravers of Nashville, and is interested in various lines of activity which contribute to the material, intellectual and moral progress of the community. He and his family are members of the West End Methodist Episcopal church, South, in which Mr. Craig is serving on the board of stewards and as president of the Men’s Club. He is interested in all those forces which make for character upbuilding and for civic righteousness and progress and his labors in these connections have been far-reaching and beneficial. (ibid., pp. 537-8)

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