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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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ROBERT STEEL CRAVEN. Energy, industry and perseverance have been the essential factors in the business career of Robert S. Craven, a well known and respected citizen of Ashbourne, Cheltenham township, Montgomery county, whose birthplace was Hilltown, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, and the date of his birth November 26, 1858. He is a son of Joseph F. and Ann (Ritchie) Craven, and a grandson of Abraham and Hannah (Finney ) Craven.

Abraham Craven (grandfather) received his early educational advantages in the schools adjacent to his home in Hatboro, Pennsylvania. Subsequently he became the owner of the old homestead, which consisted of one hundred and fifty acres of arable land, and this he tilled and brought to a fine state of cultivation, obtaining a comfortable livelihood from the sale of the proceeds thereof. He was a man of sound judgment and practical sense, and was highly esteemed by his fellow townsmen. His wife, whose maiden name was Hannah Finney, was a daughter of John and Lamar Finney, and became the mother of the following named children: Isaac, married Christina Cornell, and their children are: John, Mary Ellen, Beckey, deceased, and Howard, deceased. Joseph F., mentioned hereinafter. Eliza Ann, who became the wife of Benjamin Fetter, and they are the parents of five children, as follows: Abraham, Hannah Maria, Elizabeth, Thomas, and William. Jesse, married Rachel Clift, and their children are: Charles, Frank and Lizzie. Hannah, who became the wife of Alfred Hagerman, and mother of three children.

Joseph F. Craven (father) was reared on his father’s farm, which is located at Churchville, Bucks county, and consists of about four hundred acres. He obtained a good English education in the schools of the neighborhood, and was thoroughly qualified to fill the position of teacher in the village school, in which capacity he served during the winter months, devoting the remainder of his time to agricultural pursuits. Being a man of indomitable energy and thorough business capability, he achieved success in both his undertakings, thereby enabling him to lay by a competence for his declining years and also provide his home with everything necessary for the comfort of its inmates. He is now leading a retired life, and although in his eighty-fourth year, and his wife (whose maiden name was Ann Ritchie,) being in her eighty-third year, they both enjoy good health and are very active, They are the parents of seven children, namely: 1. Susanna, wife of Frank McVaugh, and mother of one child, Edna May McVaugh. 2. Johanna, wife of Lewis Khall, no issue. 3. Eliba W., married Almina Young, and their children are: Estelle, Alfred Y., Cherrie, Anna, and Francis. 4. Linford R., married Fanny Johnson, no issue. 5. Edward F., married Ethie Lukens, and their children are: Ethel, Grace, Marion, and Muriel. 6. Robert Steel, mentioned hereinafter. 7. Mary Steel, deceased, who was the wife of Elmer Smith.

Robert S. Craven was reared to manhood on his father’s farm, and his early boyhood days were spent in the same manner as the majority of boys reared in the country-attending the district school during the winter, and assisting with the manifold duties of the farm during the spring and summer. His first employment was as clerk in the store of Hutchinson Smith, at Weldon, Montgomery county, where he remained for two years, during which time he obtained a clear insight into the details of business life. He then removed to Ashbourne and clerked for J. L. Ervin in the mercantile business, remaining there about nine years, thereby acquiring sufficient knowledge to enable him to establish a business on his own account, which he accordingly did in 1885. He engaged in the produce and laundry business, but shortly afterward disposed of the latter, and since then has continued the former, his trade being now one of the most extensive in that line in the township of Cheltenham. His many friends honor and respect him for his sterling worth, honor and integrity.

Mr. Craven married, in 1888, Mary Kulp, of North Wales, a daughter of Simon and Isabella Kulp. Their children are: Harry B. and Earle Montgomery, both deceased, and Laura, the only one living.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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