George Washington Craddock was born on June 7, 1814, in Hart County, Kentucky. He was the oldest son of Jesse and Drusilla (Earles) Craddock. Jesse Craddock moved to Munfordville, became a lawyer, and joined the Whig Party. He served in both the Kentucky House and Senate.
George Craddock was appointed deputy clerk of both the county and circuit courts. Like his father, he studied law on his own and received a license to practice law in 1835. He was elected as a Whig to the state House of Representatives from a largely Democratic Hart County. In 1842 he moved to Frankfort and entered into a law partnership with James Harlan.
During the Civil War, he revived the "Kentucky Yeoman" and after the war became active in the Democratic Party, seeking the restoration of what he saw as the constitutional rights of the people. He was chairman of the Democratic state committee around 1867 and held that position for a number of years. On February 22, 1867, he was one of five nominees for governor on the first ballot at the Democratic state convention. He placed third in the balloting with 120 votes behind John L. Helm and Richard H. Stanton. Although he was not the eventual candidate, he received another gubernatorial nomination at the 1871 Democratic convention.
He served as Secretary of State from 1872 to 1875, succeeding Andrew J. James, during the administration of Preston H. Leslie. In 1875 he was again elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives.
George Craddock married Mary T. Murray on April 22, 1835. She died in 1839; he then married Harriet Theobald in Frankfort on August 16, 1841. He had one son, Charles, by his first wife and eight children by his second wife, four sons and four daughters.
George Craddock died in Frankfort on April 8, 1896. He was survived by three daughters, Laura Craddock of Frankfort, Mrs. James Blackburn of Washington, D.C., and Mrs. Mark Calmes of Denver, and one son, Charles, who lived in California. The funeral service was conducted at the M.E. Church South in Frankfort and he was buried in the Frankfort Cemetery.
"Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky," (1878), pgs 88-90;
Rebecca Susan Craddock, "Craddock Cousins Then and Now," (1986), pg 86;
"Frankfort Cemetery in Kentucky," (1988);
L. Frank Johnson, "History of the Franklin County Bar," (1932), pgs 68-69;
Obituary, "Daily Capital," [Frankfort], April 9, 1896.