On August 12, 1859, Edward Burr Craig was born in Giles County, Tennessee. He was the son of William Jackson and Virginia Beissean Abernathy Craig. Treasurer Craig attended a private school conducted by Col. Alfred Abernathy, in Giles County until he was fifteen years old, and then finished his education at Webb’s college. He married Mary Adams Crockett from Memphis, Tennessee on February 15, 1882. Eventually, the couple had five children. Their names were William C., Edward B., Mary R., Caroule A., and Hattie C.
In 1881, Treasurer Craig was employed with the People’s National Bank of Pulaski. He was engaged as an assistant cashier, and after filling that position for a few years, he was promoted to cashier.
In 1893, he was chosen to be the State Treasurer of Tennessee. He held the office for four terms of two years each. While serving as State Treasurer, he developed the sinking fund law to help pay off the bonded debt of the state. Under this law more than five million dollars of the bonded debt was paid before the maturity of the bonds.
After his service as the State Treasurer ended, Treasurer Craig was made treasurer of the Virginia Iron, Coke and Coal Company with headquarters in Bristol, Tennessee. Then in 1902 he made a career change and was employed at the Volunteer State Life Insurance Company headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee. By 1903, he became the vice president and general manager of the insurance company.
In 1913, Treasurer Craig was appointed by President Grover Cleveland as internal revenue collector for Middle Tennessee and served in that position for eight years. After serving as internal revenue collector, he joined the National Life and Accident Insurance Company. During his time at the National Life and Accident Insurance Company he served as the company’s vice president, while his brother C.A. Craig served as the company’s president.
Treasurer Craig died on July 18, 1925, at the age of 66. A portrait of Treasurer Craig currently hangs in the office of the State Treasurer in the State Capitol, having been donated to the Tennessee State Museum by Treasurer Craig’s family.
Reference: “Edward Burr Craig,” Tennessee Death Records, 1908-1959, Tennessee State Library & Archives, Nashville, Tennessee; “Last Rites for E.B. Craig Will Be Held Monday,” Nashville Tennessean, 19 July 1925; Judge John Allison, Notable Men of Tennessee: Personal and Genealogical, Vol. I (Atlanta, GA: Southern Historical Association, 1905), 202-203; Tennessee, the Volunteer State, 1769-1923, Vol. II (Chicago: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1923), 519-520; “E.B. Craig,” Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee.