1883 — Joplin, Missouri
"Graduating from the University of Missouri in 1871, Mr. Craycroft was desirous of getting into business or adopting a profession. He was asked to accompany a friend of his from Cooper County who had inherited a farm in Jasper County, near the present sight of Carl Junction, who was going to visit the place. Five days were spent in the trip from Cooper County, and they arrived at the farm in August. At that time Mr. Craycroft had never heard of Joplin.
"He walked along Center creek prairie where he came to the old Manlove ford and, taking off his shoes and stockings, waded across the creek and came out in the woods south of the stream, walking south half a mile or so. Reaching the prairie between Center and Turkey creeks, partly from curiosity and partly because he thought he could scare up a turkey, he crossed it and came to Turkey creek. He crossed it and then made his way up the valley, now Sunshine Hollow, and there discovered Joplin, which at that time was in the Joplin creek valley.
"He walked up through the mines and met John B. Sergeant at the old shaft where he and Mr. Moffet had first struck lead. He little dreamed that he would be the son-in-law of the mining king.
"Desirous of finding a place to get his dinner, he inquires of Mr. Sergeant who told him that Mr. "Money-maker" was building a restaurant and bakery up the hill. When he arrived at this place he found that the building had not yet been completed, or the furniture in place (two carpenters were then working on the building, one shingling the roof and the other making a table), and was informed that if he would wait awhile he could be served, as one of the tables was almost completed. When the table was finished, Mr. Craycroft drew up a chair, sat down and ate the first meal to be served in the eating-house, which for twenty years after occupied a prominent place in Joplin history.
"The mining camp made such an impression on Mr. Craycroft that, after having read law and been admitted to the bar, he returned, arriving here a second time in April, 1875.
"On his second visit Mr. Craycroft came to Joplin with $4.65 in his pockets. His library consisted of two books, and he possessed, in addition, a silk hat and a long-tailed coat. He lost the hat in Shoal creek while saving a friend from drowning."