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Craighead, William Hunlie

Football team, 1906
Craighead and the MAC football team, 1906
One of the first African American students to enroll at Massachusetts Agricultural College, William Hunlie Craighead was born in South Hill, Va., on Dec. 17, 1877. Alternately listed as being from Washington, D.C., or Boston, Craighead had already attended Howard University, and perhaps Cornell, before arriving at MAC during the fall 1901.

1905 INDEX From Washington, DC, part of undefeated football team. Class of 1906. Listed in College Signal (Dec. 14, 1904) as Capt, of '05 football teach, age 27, 190 lbs, from Boston (NOT DC), 5'11”

Cadet Cpl., Co. A. Entered with Class of 1905, but graduated 1906.
Flint Oratorical Prize (Junior): first and second prizes split evenly with Ralph Ware Peakes; First Sophomore Prize in Burnham Declamation Prize
WILLIAM HUNLIE CRAIGHEAD, ' 06, Right Tackle, lives in South Hill, Virginia. He attended Howard University, and then entered Massachusetts. In his Freshman year he made the Varsity football team, and has played since either at guard (two years) or tackle (final). Craighead weighs 184 pounds, is 6 feet in height and 27 years of age (Index 1906)
Capt of football 1905.  
Vice President of Sophomore class and again as a senior

Craighead contributed an article on football to the student yearbook, the Index for 1907,

“Last season, 1904, we prided ourselves in having one of the best teams that we have ever had. There were just eleven men and practically no substitutes, to play every game. But under the careful coaching of Mr. Bullock, we won all our games but two. Since most of the members of that team were graduated last June, it left a very hard problem to be solved.“Last spring, we began to work at once looking for material. We had spring practice for ten days to find the best material we had. Several men showed up fairly well, but none excellently. Consequently it became evident that our task to develop a team out of so much raw material was no small undertaking. However we started out with Mr. Thomas Keady as coach. He comes to us well recommended from Dartmouth. We know that he is working hard to turn out a good team, and too much praise cannot be given him for his untiring energy along this line…

Although relatively little is known about Craighead's post-MAC years, he was listed in 1913 and 1916 as working working as an editor in in Harrisburg, Pa., although nothing more specific can be determined. An obituary sent to his class agent recorded that he died in Bowling Green, Va., of a heart attack on Nov. 17, 1940. In that obituary, he was as teacher and County Agent among Negroes.


References

  • Index for 1906 and 1907
  • Catalog of Graduates and Former Students of the Massachusetts Agricultural College (Amherst, 1913)
  • Catalog of Graduates and Former Students of the Massachusetts Agricultural College (Amherst, 1916)
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