James T. Craig was born in Ray County, Tennessee, On Dec 22, 1818, and he was one the oldest and most respected citizens in Bentonville. He was the son of Samuel and Jane (Henderson) Craig, natives of Pennsylvania and North Carolina, respectively, the former born in 1781, and the latter in 1790. They were married in North Carolina, whither the father had immigrated when a young man, and after marriage moved to Ray County, Tenn. Here the mother died in 1827. The father moved to Cane Hill in Washington County, Arkansas, in 1848, and there died two years later. He followed the occupation of farming, and was also a teacher by profession. He was the father of only two children who lived to be grown. James Craig was only eight years old when his mother died, and at that age was taken by one of the neighbors, with whom he lived for a few years, and did what work a small boy could do on a farm. At the age of fifteen he began working at the tailor’s trade in Pikesville, Tenn., where he remained for one year. Mr. Craig from there went to the following places Lynchburg. Ala.; Ft. Smith, Ark.; Fort Gibson; Cane Hill Ark. During the time from 1838 to 1850 he worked in the retail business.
In 1846 he married Miss Samantha Reagan, who was born in Tennessee in 1827, and who died in 1848, the same year he moved his stock of goods to Cane Hill. In April 1850, he disposed of his goods, and with the determination of obtaining his share of the hidden wealth in California, turned his face westward, and after a long, perilous journey over the vast plains that stretched between, reached that State.. he did not meet with very good success, so he returned to Arkansas and resumed business in Cincinnati, Ark.
June 12, 1851 he married Miss Elizabeth Russell, formerly of Ray County, Tennessee, and they had three children together. In February, 1852, James Craig became a resident of Bentonville, Arkansas, and engaged in merchandising, continuing the same until the breaking out of the late war. He then returned to Cane Hill and engaged in farming, which occupation he continued until 1871, when he returned to Bentonville to resume merchandising.
In 1882 he turned his business over to his sons. He erected the first two-story business house ever built in Bentonville. Mr. Craig was a Democrat in his political views; he and his wife were members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He passed away on March 23, 1895 and is buried in the Bentonville Cemetery.
Adapted from Goodspeed - History of Benton County - 1889
This may be the two story building James Craig had built. - 113 S. Main St.