George W McCracken
Portrait: RG98S-CWP82.89, USAMHI; Bio: Aaron L. Hazen, History of New Castle and Lawrence Co. (Evansville, Ind: Unigraphic, 1978)
Author of the McCracken Bill, born at Slippery Rock, Jan. 30, 1838, the son of Jacob and Isabella (Clay) McCracken, the Senator attended public schools, Westminster College, pursued farming and teaching, and edited the Lawrence Guardian. He enlisted as a private, June 19, 1861, Co. G., 39th Regt., PVI, 10th Pa. Reserves – the famous “Mercer Rifles.” After training and expedition, McCracken participated at Drainesville, 1st Manassas, Fredericksburg, the Seven Days Battles (Richmond), and was promoted to Sgt. at Malvern Hill, July 1, 1862; saw further action at Harrison’s Landing, 2d Manassas, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and received another promotion to 1st Lt. and staff Adjutant after the Mud March. He continued combat service at Gettysburg; Mine Run; Bristoe Station; the Wilderness; Laurel Hill; the “Bloody Angle” at the Salient; Spotsylvania; the Harris Farm; North Anna River; Jericho Ford; and Bethesda Church, where he suffered a bullet wound to the leg. Senator McCracken mustered out with his regiment, June 11, 1864, immediately promoted to Lt. Col. of the new 191st Regiment. Due to the severity of his injuries, he left the service. After the war, McCracken returned to New Castle; married Mary E. McCreary; pursued farming, surveying, and an engineering career; remained editor and publisher of the Guardian; served as Lawrence County Superintendent of Public Schools, 1866-1869; was president of the Western Mutual Fire Insurance Co.; a member of the state House of Representatives, 1870-1874; and the state Senate, 1880-1884. The Senator passed away in Washington, D.C., September 23, 1904.