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Marshall Cragg

Butcher & Town Councillor

Keith Tankard
Updated: 14 October 2009
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Marshall Cragg was born in 1870 in Patterson (New Jersey).

He arrived in the Cape Colony in 1900 and established himself at East London as a butcher and cattle dealer on the West Bank.

This was an era of changeable fortunes for East London. There was dramatic growth at the port as a result of Boer War profiteering -- mainly for the Imperial Army -- but between 1904 and 1910 there was a post-war recession.

Just as prosperity began to return, however, Britain and its colonies went to war with Germany and Austria. This led to a renewed downturn in the economy, followed by another post-war recession between 1918 and 1923.

The later 1920s, however, saw the return of prosperity and further dramatic growth in the town until the Great Depression of the early 1930s wreaked its havoc.

Cragg was elected to the Town Council in April 1906 to represent Ward 1 and was then unopposed in the election of February 1907. He was not so lucky in 1910 when he lost to Dr Rubidge, lost again to Rev. Hewitt in 1913 but was re-elected by a narrow majority in 1914. He remained on the Council until 1916.

Cragg died on 7 May 1945 at the age of 75 and was buried on the West Bank.

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