|Birth: ||Sep. 30, 1824|
|Death: ||Aug. 3, 1902|
DEATH OF S. B. McCRACKEN
S. B. McCracken, the veteran newspaper man, died at 5:45 yesterday afternoon of old age. He had been at Harper Hospital since June 5 and had been failing for the last two weeks. His physician, Dr. Duffield, said that old age was the direct cause of death.
One night about a year ago Mr. McCracken called at The Free Press office and after chatting with one of the editors handed to him a biographical sketch, with the following verse blue-penciled on it and signed "S. B. McCracken:"
"When we've shuffled off this mortal coil
And laid aside life's care and toil
If worthy deemed your page to grace
Be judge of matter and of space."
Stephen Bromley McCracken came of historic and revolutionary stock. His grandfather, Robert McCracken, was from the north of Ireland, settling in Pennsylvania. He was a soldier in the revolutionary war, and died from camp fever contracted in the service. His wife was Mary Hutchinson, a descendant of Sir John Hutchinson, who was a member of the parliament of the Commonwealth that condemned King Charles to the block. Her family, including the father of S. B., also named Robert, moved to Niagara Co., N. Y., in 1804. Robert was there married to Eunice Bromley, a native of Connecticut, and a descendant of Sir Thomas Bromley, who was president of the commission that condemned Mary Queen of Scots to the block.
S. B. was the third of six brothers, and was born September 30, 1824. His parents coming to Michigan a few months later, he ever since was a resident of the state. His early education was received in his father's log cabin near Pontiac, supplemented by about six months at a country school. The printing office, in which he became an apprentice at the age of 13, was his alma mater. Going to Ann Arbor in 1842, he was at different times during the succeeding twenty years publisher and editor of local papers at Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.
Coming to Detroit in 1862, he was employed on the daily press, was legislative correspondent, clerk of committees, and compiler of various works, notably a statistical pamphlet in 1876 for distribution at the centennial exhibition, and later a quartor volume of 700 pages, entitled "Michigan and the Centennial." This later work left him prostrate in health and heavily involved financially, involving also in some hundreds of dollars a friend who had been his endorser. Speaking of this work he said: "Under the inspiration of the hour I undertook, alone and without means, a work that should have had capital behind it, with business management and a corps of editors. It came far short of my ideal, but it still has a value that will increase with the years." He held the office of justice of the peace and school inspector in the city, and for some years was the publisher of small compilations, especially his election law compilation, which has been of great service in the practical working of the ballot law of 1891.
During his residence at Ann Arbor he had a wife and a family of three children, who remained there upon his coming to Detroit. That his entire income, the fruit of his personal labor, was devoted each week to their support, he considered a sufficient answer to any who may have thought proper to pass an unfriendly judgment upon his action. Politically he acted with both of the great parties at different times, as occasion seemed to indicate. His tendencies in religious belief were toward the spiritualistic and theosophical. His occasional contributions to the press were read with interest, and he indulged some in verse, his most pretentious effort in this line being "The Migration of the Gods," dedicated to the Michigan section at the world's fair, 1983. Detroit Free Press (1858-1922); August 4, 1902; Pro Quest Historical Newspapers Detroit Free Press (1831-1922).
S. B. McCracken died on August 3, 1902, aged 78 years. For many years he had been prominent in State Journalism and was present at "The Oaks" when the Republican party was formed. Later he came to Detroit, where for twenty-five years he was an occasional contributor to the press. His best remembered work was of a statistical nature. He compiled many reports for state and county use, especially a digest of election laws.
The funeral services of the late Stephen B. McCracken were held yesterday afternoon in the chapel of the Detroit Crematory and were in charge of Detroit Lodge No. 2, F. & A. M. of which Mr. McCracken was a member. The ceremonies were impressive, but simple, as requested by deceased.
Robert McCracken (1777 - 1840)
Eunice Bromley McCracken (1793 - 1835)
Lucinda Grover McCracken (1824 - 1894)
Robert Grover McCracken (1847 - 1875)*
Mary Stuart McCracken Coffin (1849 - 1908)*
William R. McCracken (1851 - 1938)*
Oak Hill Cemetery
Created by: C.T.
Record added: Jul 06, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 72934676
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Added: Dec. 23, 2014
In memory of my 3rd Great Grandfather.|
Added: Apr. 9, 2013