Lonas family tales

This is a work in progress.

In 1901, William Wesley Craig, Warren Tucker Craig, Solon Linthicum, John Rielly Linthicum, and George Robert Linthicum were convicted of murdering Bruce Lonas and burning down Samuel Lonas’ mill on December 18, 1900 in Shenandoah County, Virginia. 

What was planned as a robbery went horribly wrong when Bruce Lonas surprised the robbers. A fight ensued, Bruce was killed, and the robbers set fire to the mill to cover their crime. The fire completely destroyed the mill.

This was not the first misfortune to strike Sam Lonas’ mill. In 1893 the mill’s boiler exploded and killed three of his children. Several years later a flood washed most of the mill away.

It is remarkable that all of the robbers were uncles and cousins of the family they attacked. With the exception of the elder John Linthicum, they are all descended from George Lonas and Catherine Barb. George, also known as George John Lonas and George Henry Lonas, was the first settler with that name in Shenandoah County in the early 1800s.

There was ill will between the families concerning the disposition of their grandfather’s estate, which in part motivated the crime and tragic results.

People involved:

  • John Benjamin Craig (1853–1914): suspected of involvement in the murder of Bruce Lonas, but apparently was not convicted. Son of John Benjamin Craig and Leah Anna Lonas.
  • Mary E Craig (1841–): daughter of John Benjamin Craig and Leah Anna Lonas. Married John R. Linthicum.
  • William Wesley Craig (1852–): sentenced to seven years for the murder of Bruce Lonas; request for clemency denied by Governor William Hodges Mann on 29 July 1910. Son of John Benjamin Craig and Leah Anna Lonas. Married Mary Ellen Fry.
  • Warren Tucker Craig (1873–): sentenced to sixteen years for the murder of Bruce Lonas; request for clemency denied by Governor William Hodges Mann on 29 July 1910; paroled on April 1, 1915. Son of William Wesley Craig and Mary Ellen Fry.
  • George Craig: indicted by the grand jury in the Lonas matter but not charged.
  • Mary Dellinger (1827–1920): daughter of Benjamin Dellinger and Judith Inda Stickley. Married Jacob Lonas.
  • Jacob Fry (1829–1858): son of Absalom Fry and Christina Fry. Married Christina Lonas.
  • Mary Ellen Fry (1856–): daughter of Jacob Fry and Christina Lonas. Married William Wesley Craig.
  • John Rielly Linthicum (1834–): sentenced to five years for the murder of Bruce Lonas; pardoned on May 15, 1902. Son of William Linthicum and Hannah from Hardy County. Married Mary E. Craig.
  • Solon Washington Linthicum (1869–): sentenced to eleven years for the murder of Bruce Lonas. Son of John R Linthicum and Mary E. Craig.
  • George Robert Linthicum (1879–1967): sentenced to two years for the murder of Bruce Lonas. Son of Son of John R Linthicum and Mary E. Craig.
  • Bruce T Lonas: (1883–1900): Son of Samuel Henry Lonas and Annie Stickley.
  • Christina Lonas (1829–): daughter of George Lonas and Catherine Barb. Married Jacob Fry.
  • Jacob Lonas (1814–1900): son of George Lonas and Catherine Barb. Married Mary Dellinger.
  • Joseph Charles Lonas (1863–1948): Son of Jacob Lonas and Mary Dellinger.
  • Leah Anna Lonas (1820–1906): daughter of George Lonas and Catherine Barb.
  • Samuel Henry Lonas (1848–1938): son of Jacob Lonas and Mary Dellinger.
  • Annie Stickley (1842–1911): daughter of Tobias Stickley Jr. and Rosanna Rinker. Married Samuel Henry Lonas.