The Edmond Sun

Features

October 1, 2007

Grandson of a slave turns 101 Tuesday

EDMOND — Pierson Craig likes telling old-time tales, his grand-nephew said.

“I love him. He’s real accurate and to be at 101; he’s got a sharp mind,” said Elmer Milton III, a construction worker living in Arcadia. “I want to honor him. You don’t find your own relative men (turning) 101 every day.”

Craig will be 101 on Tuesday. Born in Alabama, Craig was a farmer in Okfuskee County most of his life until moving to Edmond to live with his daughter. At age 89, he still was breaking horses and was chopping wood until a year ago.

“He’s the grandson of a slave,” Milton said. “He said his grandmother, which was a slave born in 1847, was my great-great-great grandmother, Amanda Montgomery.”

Amanda would tell Craig that she was the only slave on the Alabama plantation who didn’t have to work outdoors, Milton said. “I believe she was the daughter of a president,” Milton said was his family’s story passed down through generations. “... They never did get to prove it.”

Milton said his uncle spent 66 years as superintendent of the Pleasant Hills Baptist Church. “He’s very religious. He can read Scriptures from the Bible. He don’t even have to have the Bible. He’s got a good mind,” said Mary Milton, Elmer’s wife.

Elmer said his uncle used to tell him stories about bank robber Pretty Boy Floyd.

“He told me that he was around in Boley when they had the big shoot-out in Boley,” Elmer said. “He said he remembered back in the ’30s.”

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