Tag Archives: World War II

Cecil Clarence Watts

Here’s one for all of my Watts cousins out there.

Cecil was the first born child of Marcus Houston Watts and Minnie Rosettie Bohannon (or Bohannan). He was born on Thursday, 1 May 1919 in the Watts community of Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.

1920

On Tuesday, 20 January 1920, census enumerator Fredrick Houghton visited the farm of Mark Watts in Red River Township. Mr. Houghton recorded Mark, Minnie – his wife of two years – and their eight month old son Cecil. The farm was owned by the Watts family.

Mark-Watts-1920-Census1

1920 Census, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.

Tuesday, 29 October 1929, the United States stock market crashed, beginning the Great Depression, a decade-long period of high unemployment, reduced spending, and uncertainty about the future of the economy.

1930

Census enumerator William Cotton came to a farm in Shady Grove Township of Searcy County on 23 April 1930. There he found Mark Watts and family, renting the farm with its value recorded as $10. Mark and Minnie had four sons: Cecil C., 10; Donald L., 8; Sam D., 3 and 5/12; and Carriel C., 3/12. Their only daughter was Hazel M., 6. Cecil had attended school and could read and write, but not the other children. The census indicated that Mark was a veteran of the World War.

Mark-Watts-1930-Census2

1930 Census, Shady Grove Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.

By 1935 the Watts family had moved back to Red River Township.

CCC 80th Anniversary:  1933 - 2013In 1933, as part of the New Deal programs designed to stimulate the ailing U.S. economy, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which provided jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by the government. Army Reserve officers were placed in charge of the CCC camps.

Probably around 1937, when he would have been eighteen years old, Cecil joined the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC paid Cecil $30 a month, of which $25 was sent to his parents, as required.

On Friday, 1 September 1939, halfway around the world, the German military invaded Poland. Two days later, France and Great Britain declared war on Germany. These acts would come to have dire consequences for young Cecil Watts of rural Searcy County.

1940

1940 Census Mark Watts

1940 Census, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.

The 1940 census was enumerated in Red River Township on Tuesday, 14 May 1940 by Ella Parks. The Watts farm was valued at $500. Cecil, age 21, had a seventh grade education and was single. He was a laborer with the Civilian Conservation Corps, had worked every week in 1939, and earned a total of $270 in wages.

President Roosevelt, in response to the war in Europe, signed into law the Selective Service and Training Act on Monday, 16 September 1940, enacting the first peacetime conscription in U.S. history. All men between the ages of 21 and 35 years were required to register with local draft boards starting on Wednesday, 16 October 1940.

Cecil Watts Draft Card Front

Front of Cecil’s draft card, October 1940.

Cecil, 21, registered with the draft board in Marshall on the appointed date. His draft card included his full name, Cecil Clarence Watts, his birth date, and gave his home address as Watts, Searcy County, Arkansas. The “person who will always know your address” was “Mr. Mark H. Watts,” his father. Cecil’s employer and place of employment were both entered as “none,” which suggests that Cecil had left the Civilian Conservation Corps by this time. The back of the card noted a physical description of Cecil: white; five feet, seven inches in height; 130 pounds; brown eyes; brown hair; light complexion. The card was signed by registrar Lindsey M. Parks (of some relation to census enumerator Ella Parks, no doubt).

On Sunday, 7 December 1941, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan at Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hawaii. The following day, the United States declared war on Japan. The Axis states, of which Japan was a member, responded by declaring war on the United States.

In early 1942, with a military draft now in effect and the nation at war, any federal program not directly associated with the war effort was not a priority. A committee of the United States Congress recommended to discontinue the Civilian Conservation Corps by 1 July 1942.

Cecil Watts Uniform

Cecil circa 1942, shortly after enlisting in the Army. It’s difficult to tell, but it seems as if he’s not yet wearing any insignia of rank on his sleeve.

The military had to be on Cecil’s mind. His father, Mark Watts, was a veteran of the Great War – now being called World War I. The CCC camps where Cecil had been working and living operated in a military fashion by officers from the Army Reserve. There was a surge of national patriotism following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. And with the impending end of the CCC, Cecil would need a job. On Thursday, 19 March 1942, Cecil joined the United States Army, whether by voluntary enlistment or draft is not clear.

US_Army_WWII_T5C

Technician Fifth Grade rank insignia, which Cecil would’ve been wearing on his sleeve by 1944.

By December 1944, Cecil was a Technician Fifth Grade serving with the 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 5th Armored Division in Germany. According to the 85th Cavalry’s after action report, on Sunday, 10 December 1944, most of the Squadron “moved to assembly area vicinity KLEINHAU, Germany and prepared to execute mission under control of 4th Cavalry Group.” The general mission assigned to the Squadron was to seize and hold ground from the German military.

“During the period 11 – 22 December 1944, the enemy held the sector opposing our attack with estimated two (2) battalions of 941 Infantry Regiment and two (2) battalions of 6th Parachute Regiment supported by estimated five (5) battalions artillery and unknown number of 80mm and 120mm mortars. At least one platoon of Mark V tanks was also used by the enemy in his defense. Enemy was well trained and extremely accurate in his artillery and mortar fire and seemed to have an abundance of ammunition. Morale of troops was only fair but they were aggressive and not disposed to surrender readily.”

The 85th suffered severe losses from enemy artillery and mortar fire. Technician Fifth Grade Cecil Clarence Watts was killed in action on Monday, 18 December 1944. His body was returned to his family in Watts, Arkansas and he was interred at Rambo Cemetery.

On 24 December 1944, the 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron was relieved of their mission and moved to a new assembly area in Hoof, Belgium.

On 13 May 1948, Mark Watts applied for a government-issued headstone for Cecil’s grave. (It’s unknown how Cecil’s grave was marked between 1944 and 1948.) The OQMG form 623, Application for Headstone or Marker, recorded Cecil’s dates of birth, enlistment, and death, his unit, and his military serial number, 37107380. The application was verified on 19 May 1948. The headstone shipped from Columbus, Mississippi on 31 July 1948, to be delivered to the freight station at Marshall, where the North Arkansas Funeral Home of Pyatt, Marion County, Arkansas, would transport it to Rambo Cemetery to be placed at Cecil’s grave.

Cecil Watts Headstone Application

Application for Headstone or Marker, 1948.

Military marker for Cecil C. Watts, Technician Fifth Grade. Don't know the relationship.

Cecil Watts headstone at Rambo Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas, April 2010.

Cecil’s name is included on the Searcy County Veterans Memorial located at the county courthouse in Marshall, Arkansas.

Graham Connection

Cecil was at least twice connected to the Grahams of Searcy County. First, he was the grand nephew of John Henry Graham and Mary Matilda Bohannon through the Bohannon side of his family. Second, he was the nephew of Jesse Cornelius Graham and Callie Watts through the Watts side of his family.

Sources

A complete list of sources appears on Page 2.

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Evisa Jane Graham

If you’ve been paying attention, then you’ve noticed that I’ve been working my way through the children of John and Mary Graham, my great grandparents.

By my reckoning, Evisa Jane Graham was the first child of John and Mary.  She was born on 17 September 1890 in Searcy County, Arkansas, probably in Red River Township.  Since she was born late in the year, odds are that she was not recorded on the 1890 census, since it was enumerated in June of that year.  And at any rate, the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire in 1921.

She first showed up on the 1900 census at age nine, recorded as “Eliza J”, living with her parents on the farm in Red River Township, along with her three younger brothers, Jessie, William and John, and a young sister, Mary.

On the 1910 census she was recorded as “Visa”, age nineteen and single, still living on the same farm in Red River Township with her family, now consisting of her two parents and seven siblings.

CollinsGrahamMarriageDetail

The Arkansas County Marriages collection at FamilySearch has an entry for Posy Collins and his betrothed, one “Evisie Graham”.  The entry lists the groom’s first and last name, his birth year of 1884, his age 28, his bride’s name, her birth year of 1890 and a marriage date of 25 September 1912.  It also lists both the bride and groom as residents of Watts, Searcy County, Arkansas.  The marriage was officiated by Justice of the Peace John C Heard.

On 11 March 1915, their son Coy Dell Collins was born.

On 28 April 1917, their daughter Nellie Viona Collins was born.

On 12 September 1918, Posey registered with the local draft board in Marshall, Arkansas.  His draft card recorded the following details:

Posey Collins WWI Draft CardName: Posy Alpain Collins
Home Address:  Atlas, Searcy, Arkansas
Age:  34
Date of Birth:  18 November 1883
Present Occupation:  Farming
Nearest Relative:  Mrs P A Collins

The back of the card recorded his physical description as medium height, medium build, brown eyes, and black hair.

Since the armistice with Germany was signed two months later, bringing an end to World War I, it is doubtful that Posey was ever actually drafted into military service.

The 1920 census recorded Posey, Evisa and their two children living on a farm in Mount Vernon Township of Searcy County.

Circa 1924, their second daughter Emma N Collins was born.

The 1930 census recorded the family renting a farm in East Fork Township, Faulkner County, Arkansas.  Posey’s occupation was listed as farmer, and their son Coy, then 15, was listed as a farm laborer.  Evisa and the girls had their occupations recorded as “none”.

On 27 April 1942, Posey once again registered with the local draft board, this time for the Second World War.  His draft card recorded the following details:

Collins WW2 frontName: Posie Aplelean Collins
Place of Residence:  RFD 2, Greenbrier, Faulkner, Arkansas
Age: 58
Place of Birth:  Rock Springs, Searcy, Arkansas
Date of Birth:  10 November 1883

Evisa’s name was initially written on the card as Posey’s employer, but then it was scratched out and replaced with “Farming for Self”.  The back of the card recorded Posey’s physical description as 6 feet in height, 140 pounds, blue eyes, gray hair, and dark complexion.

In 1965, Evisa was issued her Social Security number.

Posey died on 4 February 1966 in the city of Conway, Faulkner County, Arkansas.  He was buried at Crestlawn Memorial Park in Faulkner County.

Evisa died on 15 January 1968 in Conway, Faulkner County, Arkansas.  She was buried beside her husband at Crestlawn Memorial Park.

PoseyEvisaCollinsGravestone

Name Variations

There are several name variations for Evisa.  She was recorded as “Eliza J Graham”  (1900 census), “Visa Graham” (1910 census), “Evisie Graham” (marriage documents), “Evisa J Collins" (1920 census and the Social Security Death Index), “Visa J Collins” (1930 census original document image), “Vasa J Collins” (1930 census transcription at Ancestry), and “Mrs. Enissy Collins” in the obituary of her father, John Henry Graham.  No document that I reviewed listed Evisa’s middle name, but I found it recorded as “Jane” in the Grimes Family Tree on Ancestry.  In my tree I have recorded her as Evisa Jane Graham.

Posey had not only several name variations, but also a birth date variation.  His name was recorded as “Posy Collins” (marriage documents), “Posy Alpain Collins” (WW1 draft card), “Posy A Collins” (1920 census), “Posey A Collins” (1930 census), “Posie Aplelean Collins” (WW2 draft card), and “Posey Appleton Collins” (Grimes Family Tree).  His birth date was recorded as 10 November 1883 (WW2 draft card and Grimes Family Tree) and 18 November 1883 (WW1 draft card).  In my tree I have recorded him as Posey A Collins with the earlier birth date.

Questions

Did Evisa and Posey have any more children?  What is the definitive version of Posey’s first and middle names?  Which birth date is correct for Posey?  Where in Searcy County was Atlas?

Sources

Ancestry.com:  United States Federal Census of 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930;  Social Security Death IndexWorld War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917 – 1918US World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942;  Grimes Family Tree.

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

ArkansasGravestones.org:  Memorial for Evisa J CollinsMemorial for Posey A CollinsMemorial for Coy Dell Collins.

Marshall Republican:  Obituary for John Henry Graham.


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.


Obituary: Denver Graham

Found at the Sikeston Standard Democrat’s web site.  Denver Graham was one of the sons of my grand uncle John Jasper Graham.

SIKESTON – Denver E. Graham, 86, died at 5:45 a.m. Sept. 10, 2004, at Missouri Delta Medical Center.

Born Oct. 29, 1917, in Watts, Ark., son of the late J.J. and Danner Copeland Graham, he was a custodian for Sikeston Public Schools and a farmer before retiring. He served with the U.S. Army 32nd Division Infantry in World War II and member of the House of Prayer Independent Baptist Church in Grant City.

On Dec. 10, 1966, at Morley, he married Opal Geeham who preceded him in death on Feb. 16, 1990.

Survivors include: two brothers, Dempsey Graham of Morley and J.R. Graham of Memphis, Tenn.; two sisters, Berlean Cody of Perry, Ark., and DeLois Goetz of Sikeston; and several nieces and nephews.

Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at Blanchard Funeral Chapel, where services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The Rev. Robert Burnes, pastor of the House of Prayer Independent Baptist Church, will officiate, assisted by the Rev. Curtis True, pastor of Church on the Rock.

Burial will follow in the Dogwood Cemetery near East Prairie.

Pallbearers will be: Wayne Graham, Kevin Goetz, Elton Cody, Clint Cody, Cole Cody and Allen Rhyne.


Jessie Cornelius Graham

Jessie Cornelius Graham was born in Searcy County, Arkansas on 22 July 1892.  By my reckoning, he was the second child of John Henry Graham and his wife Mary Matilda (Bohannon), and their first son.  He was likely named for both of his grandfathers, paternal Jesse Graham and maternal William Cornelius Bohannon.

Jessie, age 8, was recorded on the 1900 census living with his parents, two brothers and two sisters, in Red River Township.  The middle initial C was recorded here.

The 1910 census recorded Jessie, age 17 and this time without the C, still living with his parents and then seven siblings in Red River Township.  It was recorded that two of his siblings had died, but without their names.

On 5 January 1917, Jessie signed as security when his younger brother John Jasper paid a $100 bond for a license to marry Miss Danner Copeland.  On this bond he signed his first name as "Jesse".

On 9 March 1917, Jessie himself paid for a marriage bond to marry to Miss Callie Dona Watts of Watts, Arkansas.  Jessie was 25, Callie 23.  Security on the bond was signed by a M. H. Watts, likely of some relation to Callie.  The bond and license were attested by Barney Castleberry, Clerk of the County Court of Searcy County.  On 11 March 1917, Justice of the Peace H.D. Barnes did, duly and according to law, solemnize the rite and publish the banns of matrimony – Jessie and Callie were married!  (Misters Castleberry and Barnes performed this same deed for Jessie’s brother William and his betrothed Virgie Copeland later that November.)

Jessie's WWI DetailOn 5 June 1917, Jessie registered for the draft for the Great War.  His draft registration card recorded his name signed as Jessie Graham, age 24, a married farmer living in Watts, Arkansas.  He was tall, with a slender build, light blue eyes and black hair.

One year after their marriage, on 11 March 1918, their daughter Ruby Duell Graham was born.

The 1920 census recorded Jessie and Callie making a living as farmers only two farms down from Jessie’s parents.  Between those two farms was the farm of Ezekial Henry Melton and his wife Minnie B (Graham), Jessie’s uncle and aunt.  (In fact, on this one census page, everyone is related somehow.  There’s Watts, Grahams, Bohannons, Meltons and Thompsons, and all of them factor into my family tree.)

Their son Albert John Graham was born on 19 January 1920.  Or was he?  That date of birth came from the Social Security Death Index, but the 1920 census was enumerated in Red River Township one week after, on 27 and 28 January 1920.  If that is the correct birth date for Albert, he should have been recorded on the 1920 census, but he was not.  Albert first appears on the 1930 census, enumerated on 12 July 1930, where his age was recorded as 10.  So, 1920 seems to be the right year for his birth, but either the date recorded by the SSDI is off or the census enumerator overlooked Albert!

The 1930 census recorded another son, Alvin Jesse Graham, born on 20 August 1925.

Alpha Graham, a son and their final child, was born circa 1935.

On 27 April 1942, Jessie registered for the World War II draft in Marshall, Arkansas.  This time his name was recorded as Jesse C Graham, age 50, still a married farmer living in Watts, Arkansas.  His height was 5’10”, weight 200 pounds, eyes blue, hair brown, and complexion light.  Callie was listed as the “person who will always know [his] address”.  He signed the card “J.C. Graham”.

Callie died on 27 September 1958 at the age of 64 and was interred at Rambo Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas.

Jessie died on 15 August 1975 at the age of 83 and was buried beside his wife at Rambo Cemetery.Jessie Graham Grave Marker His obituary was published in the Arkansas Gazette on 19 August 1975.

Name Variations

The census enumerators recorded these variations of Jessie’s first name:  1900 – “Jessee”; 1910 – “Jessie”; 1920 and 1930 – “Jesse”.  The SSDI recorded him as “Jesse”.  I have two examples of Jessie signing his own name, first as "Jesse" on his brother John’s marriage bond, and second as "Jessie" on on his Word War I draft registration card.  His name was spelled "Jessie" in his obituary and on his tombstone.  I have recorded him as "Jessie Cornelius Graham" in my tree.

I’ve seen one instance of Callie being called California Watts in a member family tree at Ancestry.

Some family trees have spelled Ruby’s middle name as Dewell.

Questions

What was the middle name for Minnie B?

Why wasn’t Albert recorded on the 1920 census?  Is his recorded birth date incorrect?

Did Jessie ever actually serve in the military?

Sources

Ancestry.com:  United States Federal Census of 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930;  Social Security Death IndexWorld War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942.

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

Find A Grave:  Memorial 42275262 and Memorial 42275261.

Tombstone photographed by me on 10 April 2010 at Rambo Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas.

Personal correspondence with Michael Graham, Jessie’s grandson, December 2010.


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