Joseph McCracken, merchant of Huntingdon, Tenn., began business in 1868, with Frank Travis as partner. The firm, for sixteen months, was known as McCracken & Co., and the following four years Isaac R. Hawkins was Mr. McCracken’s partner. Since 1876 Mr. McCracken has been in business by himself. He was born in Huntingdon in 1845, and is a son of Robert and Cynthia (Lashlie) McCracken. The father was of Scotch-Irish descent and was born in North Carolina in 1783, and was a hatter by trade. He came to Tennessee in his youth, and married Jane Priest, who afterward died. His second wife, Cynthia Lashlie, was born in North Carolina in 1801 and was of Welsh extraction. She died in 1877 and Mr. McCracken in 1865. He was the father of nine children—six by his first wife and three by his last. The following are living: William, Licurgus and Joseph (who was educated in Huntingdon).
At the age of thirteen he began clerking in a general store for A. C. McNeill, with whom he remained until the breaking out of the war. November 27, 1862, he joined Company F, Seventh Regiment, Tennessee Cavalry, United States Army. He was captured and taken to Andersonville Prison, where he was kept thirteen months and seven days. He weighed 150 pounds when captured, and only seventy-five pounds when released. He served until the close of the war; then returned home and resumed work for Mr. McNeill, with whom he remained until 1868; then engaged in business for himself. May 28 of that year he married Bettie McEwen, who was born in Henderson County, Tenn., May 80, 1852. They have one child, Linnie. In March, 1885, Mr. McCracken established a livery and feed stable, and is now keeping one of the best establishments of the kind in the city. He is a Republican and cast his first vote for A. Lincoln. In 1868 he was elected county register, and served two years. He is a Mason (Huntingdon Lodge, No. 106), and is an elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He is a man of good business capacity, and is a successful dry goods merchant of the town. His wife died June 4, 1886.
Transcribed by David Donahue
Source: History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Carroll, Henry and Benton Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978.