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Global Perspectives > Geography in the News > News for Immediate Release
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News for Immediate Release

November 5, 2005

Charley Craft: The Life and Times of a North Carolinian
Turned Oklahoma Homesteader, 1872-1934

By Neal Lineback

Maps.com is pleased to announce the release of Charley Craft: The Life and Times of a North Carolinian Turned Oklahoma Homesteader, 1872-1934 by Neal G. Lineback. This is an American odyssey about a man and his family and their struggles to overcome the hardships of homesteading and to persevere with dignity, despite economic, social, and personal setbacks. Charley Craft was a hardworking, but simple man of strong moral conviction, intensely loved by his family and friends. Ostracized in the late 1800s in the North Carolina Piedmont community that raised him, he turned away and sought success first in Indiana where he married Martha Newby. With no money and few resources, Charlie, Martha, and their two young children homesteaded 120 acres of raw, dusty prairie in the Oklahoma Panhandle in 1905. It was a difficult place to raise a family of six children as tornadoes, droughts, hailstorms, and blizzards made their lives difficult.

This true story mirrors the desperate experiences of thousands of homesteaders who sought grubstakes across the Great Plains in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Charley Craft is truly an American icon. His is an American story, and his history tells us something about who we are as Americans, and how we got that way.

But Charley Craft carried a personal secret to his grave that would repeatedly influence his decisions and his destiny and, to some extent, those of his entire family through two more generations.

Neal G. Lineback is the author of more than 800 columns in a newspaper and internet series called Geography in the News, published by Maps.com, and subscribed to by 6,000 public and private schools around the world. His research on Charlie Craft: The Life and Times of a North Carolinian Turned Oklahoma Homesteader, 1872-1934 involved hundreds of hours of oral history and searches for legal documents across six states over a period of 20 years.

Family stories often hold puzzles, mysteries about why people acted in a certain way at a certain time. Neil Lineback's book, "Charley Craft: The Life and Times of a North Carolinian turned Oklahoma Homesteader", explores his family secrets, uncovering motivations for behaviour that affected several generations.
—Alex Berland
Review at Amazon.ca (Canada)

Click Here to read full review.


Charley Craft: The Life and Times of a North Carolinian Turned Oklahoma Homesteader, 1872-1934 (ISBN 1-933251-14-X) is published by Parkway Publishers for a retail price of $19.95. It is available in local bookstores or can be ordered directly from the publisher by calling toll-free (800) 821-9155. It will also be available online through Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
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