Bessie Brandon Craig

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Bessie Brandon Craig Brackett was the wife of Clemson professor Richard Newman Brackett.


Born in Cabanass County, North Carolina, June 2, 1865, Bessie Brandon Craig was the daughter of Rev. John Newton Craig, D.D., of Virginia, then pastor of a church at Lancaster, South Carolina, and his wife, Lydia Brevard Harris, of North Carolina. Her childhood was spent in Holly Springs, Mississippi, where Dr. Craig served the church as pastor for 14 years.

Removed to Baltimore, Maryland, when her father became Secretary of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church of United States in 1883. She was educated at the Augusta Female Seminary of Staunton, Virginia (now Mary Baldwin University) and at the Misses Carey's School for Young Ladies, Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland.

Married in Atlanta, Georgia, June 6, 1889, to Richard Newman Brackett, PhD., son of Rev. Gilbert Robins Brackett of Charleston, South Carolina, and his wife, Louise Theresa Newman.

She came to Fort Hill Church soon after it was organized and was active in the church and the women's organization since 1897. She was the moving spirit in the formation of the Missionary Union of South Carolina Presbytery and was elected cits first president. This organization has later become known as Piedmont Presbyterial. She presided at the meeting of this group which sent a petition to the Synod of South Carolina asking their permission to organize the Women of the Synod. This was granted and the Synodical came into being.

For many years her beautiful voice was an asset to the choir of her church and also in the College community. Her home was radiant with Christian culture and gracious hospitality. She was a worthy daughter of the Manse.

At one time she served as regent of the Fort Hill Chapter, D. A. R.

Bessie Brackett passed away at 5 a.m., Wednesday, February 3, 1943. (Fort Hill Presbyterian Church bulletin, February 7, 1943, page 3.) She was survived by her daughter, Mrs. F.T. Waddill, of Cheraw, South Carolina, and by one son, Newton C. Brackett, M. D. of Pickens, South Carolina; also by one sister, Mrs. Maud Craig Mathews, of Atlanta; and two sisters-in-law, Mrs Newton Craig, of Atlanta, and Mrs. Albert Fitzgerald, of Baltimore. (Obituary, Christian Observer, undated.)

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