Tag Archives: William Graham

Tidying Up The Gray Home

Merry Christmas from Graham Ancestry!

The following entries have been recently updated:

Jesse & Sarah Graham

  • Complete re-write of article
  • Added two new photographs of their grave markers
  • Added two images from the census
  • Expanded the Sources so that you can easily check my work!

Who Is Buried In William’s Grave?

  • Added a new detail derived from the 1900 census.
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Who is Buried in William’s Grave?

I recently returned from a sojourn to Marshall, Arkansas where I attended the North Arkansas Ancestor Fair and the Graham Family reunion for the descendants of Jesse and Sarah Graham.  I met a lot of friendly folks and gathered a lot of material for this journal, but at the same time I know there’s more to be had, so I want to go back next year!

The Question

The ancestors about which I fielded the most questions was William Graham, both of them.  One of them is buried at Shady Grove Cemetery in Arkansas.  The questions I got were all the same:  Which one is buried there?

The First William

The first William Graham was the son of Jesse and Sarah Graham, and was born sometime around 1865 somewhere in Alabama.  In 1880, he was living in Bear Creek Township with his parents, sisters Eliza and Mary, and brother John.

William Graham 1880 Census

And that’s really all that I know about him.  I haven’t found him on any other census, nor do I know what happened to him after 1880.

The Second William

The second William was William Thomas Graham, the second son of John Henry Graham and thus the nephew of the first William.  As I previously chronicled, this William served during the First World War and was honorably discharged.

The Grave

Here is a photograph of the grave maker at Shady Grove Cemetery, as taken by my wife:

WTGraham Grave Marker

As you can see, this William Graham was a Private in the 348th Infantry, 87th Division, and died on 12 September 1920.

The Answer

The 348th Infantry was a World War I unit that was constituted 5 August 1917 and then organized in September of that year at Camp Pike, Arkansas.  It was demobilized in March 1919 at Camp Dix, New Jersey.

We already know that the second William served in the Army during World War I, but did the first?

The Selective Service Act of 1917 authorized the federal government to raise a National Army through draft to fight the war in Europe.  There were three draft registrations for World War I:

  • The first, 5 June 1917, was for all men between the ages of 21 and 31.  This is the draft for which William Thomas Graham and his two brothers Jessie Cornelius Graham and John Jasper Graham registered.
  • The second, 5 June 1918, registered those who attained age 21 after 5 June 1917.
  • The third registration was held on 12 September 1918 for men age 18 through 45.

The first William would’ve been 52 in 1917, making him ineligible to register for military service in World War I.  Furthermore, the 1900 census sheet for William’s mother Sarah suggests that William had died some time before 1900 (see Jesse & Sarah Graham).  Thus, the man buried in Shady Grove Cemetery must be William Thomas Graham, the second son of John Henry Graham.

Sources

Ancestry.com:  United States Federal Census for 1880 and 1900;  World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917 – 1918.

US Army Center of Military History:  348th Regiment Lineage and Honors

Find A Grave: Memorial for William Graham.

Wikipedia:  Selective Service Act of 1917.

Photograph of the grave marker of William Graham, taken at Shady Grove Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas on Saturday, 4 June 2011, by Ashli Graham.


Oh, A King and His Ladies, Part 2: Mary Frances Graham

Mary Frances “Mollie” Graham was born circa June 1879 in Bear Creek Township, Searcy County, Arkansas to parents Jesse and Sarah Graham.

The 1880 census recorded Mary, age 1, living on a farm in Bear Creek with her parents and siblings William Graham, Eliza Ann Graham, and John Henry Graham.

No data is available for the 1890 census.

By 1896, Mary was involved with the young widower Otha Allen King, whose wife Mary Leming had died some time between 1894 and 1896.

King Mollie Graham Marriage DetailOn 28 August 1896, nineteen years old Otha paid for a bond of marriage, which Jack Henley signed as surety, to marry seventeen years old “Mollie” Graham, as her name was recorded by county clerk John R. Aday.  Both Otha and Mary’s residences were given as Watts, Arkansas.  Two days later, on 30 August 1896, Justice of the Peace J. W. Martin presided over the marriage.

In May 1897, Otha and Mary welcomed into the world their son Jessie King, who was apparently named after Mary’s father.

By 1899, the King family had moved to the Choctaw Nation in the Indian Territory.  Their second son, Edgar King, was born there in November 1899.

The 1900 census recorded the Kings living in Township 8, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory.  “Oather” King was 23, Mary was 21, Jessie was 3, and little Edgar was only six months old.

Otha King 1900 Census Detail

The evidence I have found suggests that shortly after the 1900 census a terrible tragedy befell the King family.  All three male members would die.  According to a source on RootsWeb, Otha and little Edgar were buried together in an unmarked grave, with Jessie buried in an unmarked grave beside them.  Could Indians have attacked?  Had there been an outbreak of some disease?

By 1903, the heartbroken Mary had returned alone to Arkansas.

On 16 November 1907, the Oklahoma Territory and the Indian Territory were combined to form the State of Oklahoma, the 46th state to enter the Union. Otha Allen King and his two sons are buried in what is now Palestine Cemetery in unincorporated Russellville, Pittsburg County, Oklahoma.  At some point a grave marker was erected, but it shows only Otha’s name.

Questions

How exactly did Otha and the boys die? In 1900, where was Otha’s daughter Paralee from his first marriage?

Bad Lemons

Due to the similarity in the names of Otha’s two wives, Mary Leming and Mary Graham are often confused in family trees I’ve seen on the Internet, sometimes even conflated into the same person under the name “Mary Lemons”, as that’s how Mary Leming was recorded on her marriage record. This series on Otha’s two wives proves that these were two separate women with similar names.

Sources

Ancestry.com:  United States Federal Census of 1880 and 1900.

Find A Grave:  Memorial for Otha A King

RootsWeb:  Leming by WMunroe Munroe;  James G. and Jesse King of NC & TN and Allied Families by Susan E. Young.

WikiPedia:  Oklahoma


Timeline Thus Far

I thought it might be neat to take some of the dates mentioned in the articles on Graham Ancestry and arrange them in chronological order along with some other significant American historical milestones.

Nineteenth Century

4 July 1819.  The Territory of Arkansas was created from a portion of the Missouri Territory.

15 June 1836.  Arkansas was admitted into the Union as a slave state.

13 December 1838.  Searcy County, Arkansas was formed from a portion of Madison County.

June 1844.  Sarah F Scott was born in Alabama, USA.

1845.  Jesse Graham was born in Alabama, USA.

11 January 1861.  Alabama declared its secession from the Union and joined the Confederate States of America.

Civil War Began

12 April 1861.  The American Civil War began when Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter, South Carolina.

6 May 1861.  Arkansas declared its secession from the Union and joined the Confederate States of America.

15 April 1865.  United States President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC.

Circa 1865.  Jesse Graham married Sarah F Scott in Alabama, Confederate States of America.

Circa 1865.  William Graham was born to Jesse and Sarah Graham in Alabama, Confederate States of America.

20 August 1866.  United States President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation affirming the end of the Civil War.

Civil War Ended

1 January 1868.  James Newton Siler Watts was born in Searcy County, Arkansas, Fourth Military District.  The Fourth Military District was made up of Arkansas and Mississippi, both former states of the Confederacy that had not yet been re-admitted into the Union.

22 June 1868.  The United States Congress restored Arkansas to the Union.

13 July 1868.  The United States Congress restored Alabama to the Union.

5 September 1868.  Eliza Ann Graham was born in Alabama, USA to Jesse and Sarah Graham.

29 July 1869.  Mary Matilda Bohannon born in Arkansas, USA.

8 May 1870.  John Henry Graham born in Texas, USA to Jesse and Sarah Graham.

1879.  Mary F Graham born to Jesse and Sarah Graham in Searcy County, Arkansas.

1 June 1880The Tenth Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

5 August 1886.  James Newton Siler Watts married Eliza Ann Graham in Searcy County, Arkansas.

November 1887.  Elizabeth Watts was born to James and Eliza Watts.

3 October 1889.  John Henry Graham married Mary Matilda Bohannon in Searcy County, Arkansas.

2 June 1890The Eleventh Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

17 September 1890.  Evisa Jane Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

2 February 1891.  James Madison Watts was born to James and Eliza Watts.

22 July 1892.  Jessie Cornelius Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

1 October 1892.  Emma Sarah Watts was born to James and Eliza Watts.

1 September 1893.  Mary Ausidine Watts was born to James and Eliza Watts.

18 October 1893.  Callie Dona Watts was born in Oklahoma, USA.

20 February 1894.  William Thomas Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

9 May 1894.  Virgie Viola Copeland was born in Arkansas, USA.

19 January 1896.  John Jasper Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

January 1897.  William Jessie Watts was born to James and Eliza Watts.

23 August 1897.  Silas Midaner “Danner” Copeland was born in Arkansas, USA.

21 December 1897.  Mary Adaline Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

4 March 1898.  James Newton Siler Watts died at the age of 30.

1 June 1900The Twelfth Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

16 June 1900.  Sarah Rosabelle Graham was born of John and Mary Graham. She was either stillborn or died shortly thereafter.

Twentieth Century

16 February 1902.  Emma Dorothy Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

16 June 1904. Stella Viona Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

16 October 1905.  Seven-year-old Mary Adaline Graham died.

7 December 1907.  Nona Elizabeth Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

12 August 1909.  Daniel Paig Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

15 April 1910The Thirteenth Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

World War I Began

28 June 1914.  World War I began with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.

7 January 1917.  John Jasper Graham married Silas Midaner “Danner” Copeland in Searcy County, Arkansas.

11 March 1917. Jessie Cornelius Graham married Callie Dona Watts in Searcy County, Arkansas.

United States Entered World War I

6 April 1917.  The United States Congress declared war on Germany.

5 June 1917.  Brothers Jessie Cornelius Graham, William Thomas Graham, and John Jasper Graham all registered for the World War I draft at the local board in Marshall, Arkansas.

29 October 1917.  Denver Etridge Graham was born to John and Danner Graham.

4 November 1917.  William Thomas Graham married Virgie Viola Copeland in Searcy County, Arkansas.

11 March 1918. Ruby Duell Graham was born to Jessie and Callie Graham.

8 August 1918.  Erman Zebedee Graham was born to William and Virgie Graham.

11 November 1918.  World War I ended with an armistice signed at Compiègne, France.

World War I Ended

Between 1917 – 1919.  William Thomas Graham honorably discharged from the United States Army.

1 January 1920The Fourteenth Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

19 January 1920. Albert John Graham was born to Jessie and Callie Graham.

30 July 1920.  Dempsey Ray Graham was born to John and Danner Graham.

10 January 1921.  Most of the Eleventh Census (1890) was destroyed by a fire in the Commerce Building in Washington, DC.

7 February 1920.  Pernie Willodean Graham was born to William and Virgie Graham.

12 September 1920.  William Thomas Graham died at the age of 27.

1922.  Julus R Graham was born to John and Danner Graham.

9 March 1924.  Virgie Viola (Copeland) Graham, widow of William Thomas Graham, married Grover Morley Condley.

5 January 1925.  Berlene V Graham was born to John and Danner Graham.

20 August 1925.  Alvin Jesse Graham was born to Jessie and Callie Graham.

Great Depression Began

29 October 1929. The crash of the stock market marked the beginning of the Great Depression.

1 April 1930The Fifteenth Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

Circa 1930.  DeLois Graham was born to John and Danner Graham.

1935.  Alpha Graham was born to Jessie and Callie Graham.

World War II Began

1 September 1939.  World War II began with the German invasion of Poland and Slovakia.

Great Depression Ended / United States Entered World War II

7 December 1941.  The United States entered World War II following a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii by the Empire of Japan.

27 April 1942.  Jessie Cornelius Graham registered for the World War II draft.

21 September 1944.  Mary Matilda (Bohannon) Graham died at the age of 75.

2 September 1945.  World War II ended with the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri.

World War II Ended

24 April 1946.  John Henry Graham died at the age of 75.

3 August 1947.  Eliza Ann (Graham) Watts died at the age of 78.

27 September 1958.  Callie Dona (Watts) Graham died at the age of 64.

22 November 1963.  United States President John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, USA.

10 December 1966.  Denver Etridge Graham married Opal Geeham in Morley, Missouri, USA.

20 July 1969.  The Apollo 11 mission successfully completed the first landing of humans on the Moon.

15 August 1975.  Jessie Cornelius Graham died at the age of 83.

August 1979.  John Jasper Graham died at the age of 83 in Morley, Missouri, USA.

28 January 1986.  Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds after the launch of its tenth mission.  All seven crew members died.

16 February 1990.  Opal (Geeham) Graham died in Missouri, USA.

31 December 1991.  The dissolution of the USSR was completed, ending the Cold War that had existed between the USSR and the United States since the end of World War II in 1945.

11 June 1996.  Silas Midaner “Danner” (Copeland) Graham died at the age of 98 in Oran, Missouri, USA.

Twenty-First Century

11 September 2001.  Terrorists attacked the United States with hijacked jetliners, destroying the World Trade Center in New York City and damaging the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, USA.

1 February 2003.  Space Shuttle Columbia was destroyed during re-entry on its 28th mission.  All seven crew members died.

10 September 2004.  Denver Etridge Graham died at the age of 86 in Missouri, USA.

15 October 2010.  Graham Ancestry journal went online at WordPress.com.


Jesse & Sarah Graham

Jesse Graham was born circa 1844 somewhere in Alabama.  I have found conflicting information about his parents, so I will not commit to any names yet.

Sarah F. Scott was born on 5 June 1844 somewhere in Alabama.  Jesse and Sarah were wed circa 1864 in Alabama.

While residing in Alabama they had at least two children:  William, born circa 1865, and Eliza Ann, born in 1868.

At some point, the family moved to Texas.  Their son John Henry Graham was born there in 1870.  I haven’t yet found this family in the 1870 census.

By 1879 the family had settled in Bear Creek Township, Searcy County, Arkansas, and their daughter Mary Frances Graham was born.

The facts in the preceding paragraphs were derived from the 1880 United States Federal Census.

In June of 1882, the couple welcomed another daughter, Minnie Graham.

The 1890 census, of course, was lost in a fire in 1921, and therefore no census data is available on this family for that year.

1890

On 22 May 1895, Jesse obtained a plat of land under the Homestead Act of 1862. The plat was “the East half of the South West-quarter, the North West-quarter of the South West-quarter and the South West-quarter of the North West-quarter of Section four in Township thirteen North of Range sixteen West of the Fifth Principal Meridian in Arkansas containing one hundred and sixty acres and sixteen hundredths of an acre.”

Jesse Graham

Grave marker of Jesse Graham, Shady Grove Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas.

1900

In early 1900, Jesse Graham died at the approximate age of 55.  He was interred at Shady Grove Cemetery in Searcy County, Arkansas.

The 1900 census recorded the widow Sarah, 55,  living with her 17 years old daughter Minnie.  This census also recorded that Jesse and Sarah had a total of eight children, with four living in 1900.  Drawing upon the two census gives us this list of children, numbered only for convenience and not birth order:

  1. William Graham, born c. 1865
  2. Eliza Ann Graham, born 5 September 1868
  3. John Henry Graham, born 8 May 1870
  4. Mary Frances Graham, born c. June 1879
  5. Minnie Melinda Adeline Graham, born 10 June 1882
  6. Unknown
  7. Unknown
  8. Unknown

Eliza, John, Mary and Minnie have all been confirmed as alive in 1900, so it was William and the three unknown children that had died by 1900.  Their places of burial and the circumstances of their deaths are, at present, unknown to me.  William was recorded on the 1880 census, so his death occurred sometime between 1880 and 1900, a span of twenty years.

1910

Sarah was apparently enumerated twice in the 1910 census (see The Tale of Two Sarahs).  The first time was for Red River Township, enumerated on 2 May 1910.  It recorded Patrick Bohannon as the head of the household, married to Mary F. “Mollie” Graham, and resided with them was Sarah Graham, mother-in-law, age 65, widowed, mother of eight with four living.

1910 Patrick Bohannon Census Detail

1910 Census for Patrick Bohannon, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas, showing Sarah Graham living with the Bohannons.

The second time was for Wiley’s Cove Township, enumerated on 4 May 1910.  It recorded Ezekial H. Melton, 62, as the head of the household, married to Minnie Graham, 28, with a 34 year difference in their ages.  Resided with them was Sarah Graham, mother in law, age 66, widowed, mother of eight with four living.

1920

By the 1920 census Sarah, then 76, had moved to Shady Grove Township to stay with her eldest daughter Eliza Ann, who was the widow of James Newton Siler Watts. Interestingly, Eliza’s age was recorded as 45 – she would’ve actually been 52 in 1920.

Eliza Watts 1920 Census Detail

1920 Census for Eliza Ann (Graham) Watts, Shady Grove Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.

Sarah Scott Graham

Grave marker of Sarah (Scott) Graham at Shady Grove Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas.

Sarah F. Graham, née Scott, died in Watts, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas on 14 November 1928 from “old feeble age”.  Her death was reported to the Arkansas State Board of Health by her grandson Lester Bohannon.  Sarah was interred beside her husband Jesse at Shady Grove Cemetery on 18 November 1928.

Variations

Jesse’s name was recorded as “Graham, Jesse” on both the 1880 census and on the Graham Family Data Sheet, and as “Jesse Graham” on his land patent.

Sarah’s name was recorded as “Graham, Sarah” on the 1880 census, in both districts from the 1910 census, and in the Arkansas Death Index.  She was “Graham, Sarah F” on both the 1900 and 1920 census.  The Graham Family Data Sheet recorded her maiden name as “Scott, Sarah”.  Her first name was spelled “Sarrah” on her Certificate of Death.

Sarah’s Certificate of Death appeared to record her birth date as 5 June 1838, but then gives her age at death as 84 years, 4 months and 9 days.  That does not add up.  If we calculate her age using the birth year of 1844, as given by the 1880 census, the result is 84 years, 5 months and 9 days, which is just about right.

Sources

Ancestry.com. United States Federal Census for years 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920; Census Places: Red River and Wiley’s Cove, Searcy, Arkansas. Retrieved on 25 December 2011.

Ancestry.com. Arkansas Death Index, 1914-1950. Retrieved on 25 December 2011.

Arkansas State Board of Health. Certificate of Death for “Sarrah Graham”, photocopy provided by Louise Graham Bower.

Grave markers photographed by Ashli B. Graham on 4 June 2011 at Shady Grove Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas.

John Henry Graham Family Data Sheet, transcribed by Nellie Collins Allen from the Graham Family Bible, 1973.

General Land Office Records, Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior. Homestead certificate number 10164, application 13986. Retrieved on 18 January 2012.


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