Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cratus Cedra Magers (1903-1960)

From the 1959 edition of the Hinds College Eagle.

   Over the course of the past two years over three hundred interestingly named political figures have had their public career encapsulated with a write up here on the Strangest Names In American Political History. Many of the previously profiled folks have had lengthy, in depth articles written on their lives, detailing their childhood, education, employment and whatever political office they may have held. While some of these folks fall into the above category, many others languish in obscurity, with only one or two snippets of information to work off of.
  The man shown above is a case in point. Cratus Cedra Magers was a member of the Mississippi State House of Representatives for two terms in the 1930s and while he was obviously a man of distinction in Mississippi (serving at various times as a state representative, college administrator and educator), very little information has come to light on his life.....an all to frequent theme with many of the political figures posted here. Despite being well known in their respective communities decades ago, a great many of these public figures are all but forgotten in this day in age.....that is until someone rescues them from the depths of obscurity! And with that brief introduction, fifty plus years after his untimely death at age 56, Cratus Cedra Magers is honored today with a small biography here on the site that will hopefully do justice to his memory.
   A life long resident of Mississippi, Cratus C. Magers was born on September 17, 1903 and attended schools native to the town of Baldwyn. He continued his education at the Mississippi Southern College, where he received his bachelors and masters degrees. Magers later married Ms. Earline Vandiver (1907-2000), with whom he would have two sons, William Perry (1938-2009) and T. Van. 
   For a good majority of his short life Cratus Magers was heavily involved in the Mississippi educational system, serving as a school principal for the town of South Prentiss in 1927. He would go on to hold the position of school superintendent in a number of other Mississippi schools, including those in the towns of Oak Grove and Purvis in Lamar County as well as a school in the city of Morton. In addition to his service as a school superintendent, Magers was a two term representative in the Mississippi State House of Representatives from Lamar County, serving from 1932-1936. He is recorded by a November 21, 1931 edition of the Hattiesburg American as a newly elected representative, and this same paper also notes that he was one of several representatives-elect to attend a dinner and social function at the Mississippi State Teachers College.
  Following his service in the legislature Magers served as a Colonel on the staff of Mississippi Governor Fielding Lewis Wright and in 1956 became the Dean of Men at the Hinds Junior College in Raymond, Mississippi. He served in this capacity for four years and while he occupied this post, his wife Earline served as the Hinds College librarian, retiring in 1974. Sources of the time also note that Magers was a prominent member of the Morton Masonic Lodge and was a parishioner at the Baptist Church in Raymond.

From the 1960 edition of the Hinds Junior College "Eagle".

Cratus C. Magers was still serving as Dean when  he died on January 11, 1960 at the University Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. He was survived by his wife Earline, sons William and Van and eight of his siblings. Magers was later interred at the Baldwyn Masonic Cemetery in Baldwyn, Mississippi and following her death in 2000 at age 92, Earline Vivian Magers was interred next to her husband.

From the January 12, 1960 edition of the Hattiesburg American.

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