Monthly Archives: September 2011

Civil War Service Record of William Alexander Watts, Jr.

The Second Regiment, Arkansas Cavalry Volunteers, United States Army, was organized at Helena, Arkansas, and Pilot Knob, Missouri in July of 1862. The unit was assigned to duty at Helena, Arkansas until April 1863, whereupon it relocated to Fayetteville, Arkansas until July 1863, when it again relocated to Cassville, Missouri.

It was on 12 July 1863 there at Cassville when a young farmer from “Cercey Co”, Arkansas, eighteen-years-old William Alexander Watts, Junior, volunteered “to serve as a Soldier in the Army of the United States of America” for the next three years.  The examining surgeon recorded that William had “hasel” eyes, “fare” hair, a “fare” complexion, and was five feet five inches tall. William was granted the rank of Private and assigned to Company E.

Company E’s available muster rolls recorded Private Watts as present for duty on the following dates:

Private Watts appeared on company Returns as absent on detached service for August 1864 and as assigned the extra duty of cook in October 1864.

Private Watts was mustered-out of service on 20 August 1865 in Memphis, Tennessee, having only served two years of his three-year enlistment. The Company Muster-out Roll recorded that he was last paid up to 28 February 1865.

The Company Descriptive Book provided this slightly different physical description of William:

  • Age: 20
  • Height: 5’6″
  • Complexion: Light
  • Eyes: Dark
  • Hair: Dark
  • Where born: “Sercy Co”, Arkansas
  • Occupation: Farmer

On 3 February 1891, forty-four years old William filed for an Invalid class Veterans Pension.

William Alexander Watts, Junior died on 9 May 1930 at the age of 83. He was interred at Rambo Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas and his grave marked with a Civil War Service Marker.

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Sources

Arkansas Cavalry Volunteers, Second Regiment”, compiled by Edward G. Gerdes from microfilm records at the National Archives. Viewed 28 September 2011.

Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Arkansas”, “Watts, William A.”, from the National Archives, available online at Fold3.com.  Viewed 28 September 2011.

Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900”, from the National Archives, available online at Fold3.com. Viewed 28 September 2011.

Find A Grave: Memorial for William A. Watts, Jr.

Grave marker photographed by Ashli B. Graham on 4 June 2011 at Rambo Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas.

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Obituary for Mary Matilda (Bohannon) Graham

A copy of this obituary was provided to me by Louise Graham Bower. I do not know in which paper it appeared, though it was possibly the Marshall Republican, the same paper that published John Henry Graham’s obituary nineteen months later.

Mrs. MARY BOHANNON[1]

                              

Mrs. Mary Matilda Bohannon Graham, daughter of the late Neal Bohannon and Mary Bohannon, departed this life Thursday September 21, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Nona Lathum, at Watts at the age of 75 years.

She was born July 29, 1869, in the Watts community, and was married to John H. Graham, October 4, 1888[2]. To this union 10 children were born.

Surviving are her husband, seven children, Mrs. Evisa Collins of Greenbriar, Ark., Jesse Graham of Watts, Jasper Graham of Morley, Mo., Mrs. Emma Mainord of Purcell, Okla., Mrs. Stella Martin of Mt. Judea, Ark., and Mrs. Nona Lathum and Dan Graham of Watts; 28 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren; three brothers, William Bohannon of Commanche, Okla., Daniel Bohannon of Watts and John Bohannon of Osceola, Ark., and a sister, Mrs. Winnie McCluskey of Oswalt, Okla.

Mrs. Graham professed faith in Christ at an early age and was a member of the Free Will Baptist church.

Pallbearers were Chester Treat, Albert Graham, Chester Bohannon, Ray Nelson, Russell Allen, and Franky Lathum.

The flower girls were Nellie Allen, Nola Collins, Ermadean Watts, Joyce Lathum, Ruby Graham and Hester Bohannon.

The funeral services were conducted Saturday, September 23, at 10 a.m. by Rev. C. E. Gray, pastor of the Methodist church of Marshall, and burial was in the Shady Grove cemetery in charge of the Coffman Funeral Home of Marshall.

Notes

[1] It’s a bit curious to me that though Tildy was married at the time of her death, her obituary was titled by her maiden name.

[2] The date of John and Tildy’s marriage was incorrectly stated here.  It was also incorrectly stated in John’s obituary. They were actually married on 3 October 1889 according to the copy of the original marriage document available online at FamilySearch.org.

JHG Marriage License

Sources

Scan of original obituary provided by Louise Graham Bower, newspaper of publication unknown, date of publication circa September 1944.

FamilySearch.org:  Arkansas County Marriages, 1837 – 1957.


Surprise Packet

I received the other day a surprise packet of Graham family information from Ms. Louise Bower, whom I had met in June at the Graham Family Reunion in Marshall, Arkansas. The packet included photocopies of Louise’s handwritten notes, a photograph of Sarah (Scott) Graham, a copy of Sarah’s death certificate, Mary Matilda (Bohannon) Graham’s obituary, a photograph of John Henry Graham, Matilda and their children (including my grandpa Daniel as a baby), and a hand-printed family data sheet for John Henry Graham and his family. Some of this material Louise had provided at the family reunion, but some of it was new to me.

The family data sheet was of particular interest to me because it contained the full names, birth dates, marriage dates, and some death dates of all of the children of John Henry Graham, and the source cited for the information was a family bible that at the time it was copied was in the possession of my grandpa, Daniel Graham.  The address recorded on the family data sheet was grandpa’s address in Illinois. Grandpa moved back to Arkansas in the late 1970s, and he died in 1983. Was this family data sheet created in the 1970s? Where is the bible now?  Could this be “grandma’s bible” that my cousin Connie says that she now possesses?

Upon closer inspection I think this data sheet was created in the late 1970s. On the right-hand side of the page, though partially cut-off, is the name Nellie, with a partial address, and the name Evisa. Beneath that is Nellie again, listed as “family representative” and her relationship given as “grand-dau” – cut off. That must be Nellie Collins Allen, the daughter of Evisa Graham Collins and grand-daughter of  John Henry Graham, and this sheet is in Nellie’s own printing. Nellie died in 1982.

I had already compiled most of the information on the family data sheet from other sources, but it’s great to have it affirmed. Some of the information is new, however, so I will be updating entries here at Graham Ancestry soon.

Thank you, Louise!


Obituary: Daniel Paig Graham

This is the obituary for my grandpa, Daniel Graham, originally published in the Marshall Mountain Wave.

DANIEL PAIG GRAHAM

Daniel Paig1 Graham, 73, of Marshall, died March 15 in the Baptist Medical Center in Little Rock.

He was born August 12, 1909 in Searcy County.  He was a retired painter and a member of the Rambo Freewill Baptist Church in Marshall.

Survivors include his wife, Blanche; three sons, Leroy of Marshall, William of Harvey, Illinois, and Jimmy Dale of East Prairie, Illinois2, a daughter, Janice Booker of Halls, Tennessee; a sister, Emma Mainord of Parcel, Oklahoma; 12 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.

Services were March 19 in Coffman Chapel with Rev. Allen Brock officiating.

Burial was in Mainord Cemetery, Marshall, by Coffman Funeral Home.

Notes

1. Daniel’s middle name was spelled “Page” according to the John Henry Graham Family Data Sheet by Nellie Collins Allen, as transcribed from the Graham Family Bible.

2. East Prairie is in Missouri, not Illinois.

Sources

“Daniel Paig Graham”, Marshall Mountain Wave, 24 March 1983.


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