Craig, Annie D.M. Burgin
by Marie Sharpe Ham, Debra A. Blake, and C. Edward Morris. Excerpted from North Carolina's First Ladies, 1891-2001, copyright 2001. Reprinted with permission from North Carolina Historical Publications, North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
15 Mar 1873 - 6 Nov 1955
See Also: Locke Craig - Dictionary of North Carolina Biography; Governor Locke Craig - Research Branch, NC Office of Archives and History; First Ladies and Gentlemen of North Carolina NCpedia collection.
Following their marriage on November 18, 1891, in McDowell County, Locke and Annie Burgin Craig lived in Asheville, where three of their four sons were born. It was there that Locke Craig enjoyed a successful law practice. Rearing their sons with good humor and fun, Annie Craig enjoyed her children, encouraged their interest in sports, and entertained their friends. She also enjoyed the entertaining that was expected of her when she moved into the Executive Mansion. She brought her innate good nature to that task as well. A personable woman, Annie Craig was liked by everyone she met. She was a good listener and knew how to make people feel at ease. As was always the case, Raleigh provided lavish entertainments for Locke Craig's inauguration. Numerous friends and family from western North Carolina accompanied the Craigs to the capital city. Mrs. Josephus Daniels hosted a luncheon for Annie Craig and her guests to introduce her to Raleigh and the wives of members of the General Assembly.
Annie Burgin, born in Old Fort, McDowell County, to Captain Joseph B. and Margaret E. Burgin Burgin on March 15, 1873, was one of four children. She had two brothers and one sister. Although both of her parents shared the surname Burgin, they were not, or were only very distantly, related to one another.
The Craigs had four sons. The oldest three were born in Asheville, and the youngest, Locke Jr., was born November 11, 1914, in the Executive Mansion; he later married and had three daughters. Carlyle Craig was born October 30, 1892; George Winston Craig was born June 18, 1894, and later married Mary Kathryne Taylor and had two daughters; and Arthur Burgin was born March 11, 1896, and later married and had two daughters and a son. Two of the Craigs' sons were educated for the military and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. Carlyle saw active duty in World War II, Arthur later went to work for an air line, and Locke Jr. became a forester.
Annie Craig was devoted to her sons. In an interview, her son George, who subsequently served as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly and practiced law in Asheville, recounted the time that his mother nursed him back to health in the Executive Mansion. He suffered for fourteen weeks with typhoid fever. Later, after they had moved back to Asheville, she nursed her husband, who was an invalid for seven years before he died in 1924. Her family was very important to her, and she was willing to make many sacrifices for them.
After their time at the mansion the Craigs moved back to Asheville, where they built a new house on their property on the Swannanoa River. There Annie Craig was able to resume her life with friends and family. She enjoyed playing bridge and, from all reports, was a skilled and competitive player. She played the game with friends until she moved into a nursing home the year before she died. A member of First Presbyterian Church, the Current Literature Club, and other organizations, Annie Craig was a genuine lover of people. All who met her were drawn to the charming, caring woman.
Annie Craig died in Asheville on November 6, 1955. About six weeks before she died she suffered a stroke from which she never recovered. Annie Burgin Craig was buried beside her husband in Riverside Cemetery in Asheville.
Ham, Marie Sharpe, Debra A. Blake, and C. Edward Morris. 2001. North Carolina's First Ladies, 1891-2001. Raleigh, N.C.: Executive Mansion Fine Arts Committee and Executive Mansion Fund.
"Mrs. Locke Craig First Lady of the State." Photograph. Sky-Land 1, no. 10 (September 1914). 610. https://archive.org/stream/skyland1913smit#page/610/mode/2up
Inaugural gown of Annie Burgin Craig. Photograph. Accession #: H.1957.4.1." 1913. North Carolina Museum of History. http://collections.ncdcr.gov/RediscoveryProficioPublicSearch/ShowItem.as... (Accessed August 1, 2017).
27 July 2017 | Blake, Debra A.; Ham, Marie Sharpe; Morris, C. Edward