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EDGAR MARVIN GRAVES, born and reared in the town of Greenfield, is working his way to fame as a business man of this town. More often than otherwise the young man will leave his native hearth to seek his fortune in a larger town or city, when, if he had used his eyes he would have seen opportunity beckoning him at his very door. This was not the case with Edgar M. Graves, however, for he saw opportunities in his own town and made use of them until today he is recognized as the owner of a prosperous electrical business.
The Graves family is one of the most ancient in England, and is represented by many men of honor and distinction. of interest to his family and friends is the line of ancestry here traced:
- Thomas Graves, born in England before 1585, came to New England with his wife, Sarah, and five children, the youngest of whom at that time was about sixteen years of age. They settled in Hartford, Connecticut, where Thomas was a property holder in 1645. Being over sixty years of age, he was exempted from training in the militia. In September, 1661, he moved to Hatfield. His death occurred in November, 1662, and his son, Isaac was appointed administrator of his estate in Massachusetts, and Nathaniel in Connecticut of his marriage were born the following children: Isaac, John, of further mention; Samuel, Nathaniel and Elizabeth.
- John Graves, son of Thomas and Sarah Graves, was born in England about 1645, came to Hartford with his parents. Later he settled in Wethersfield, where, on May 18 1654, he became a freeman. He was several times selected to run the boundary lines between Wethersfield and the adjoining towns. Some time later, with his wife and five children he accompanied his father and Brother Isaac to Hatfield, and with his brother was killed by the Indians, September 19, 1677, while they were engaged in the building of a house for John Graves, Jr. The Indians came suddenly upon them and gave them no chance to save themselves. Mr. Graves married (first) Mary Smith, daughter of Lieutenant Samuel Smith, of Wethersfield; (second) Mary (Bronson) Wyatt, daughter of John Bronson and widow of John Wyatt, of Haddam, Connecticut. The children of John Graves were: John, Mary, Isaac, Samuel, of whom further; Sarah, Elizabeth, Daniel, Ebenezer, Bethiah and Nathaniel.
- Samuel Graves, the third son of John Graves, was born about 1657, at Wethersfield, Connecticut He removed with his parents to Hatfield, from which place they went, about 1725, to Sunderland, where he died March 11, 1731. By his wife, Sarah, who died October 15, 1734, he had the following children: Sarah, born July 1, 1687; Jonathan, born October 27, 1689; Abraham David, born December 9, 1693; Noah, of whom further; Mehitable, born December 19, 1696, and Samuel, born January 30, 1697.
- Noah Graves, son of Samuel and Sarah Graves, was born December 19, 1695. He came with his father to Sunderland, where he died on March 17, 1773. He was twice married; (first) to Rebecca Wright, who died in 1744, and (second) to Widow Rachel Newton. Among the children of his first wife was Benoni, of whom further.
- Benoni Graves, son of Noah and Rebecca (Wright) Graves, was born February 16, 1736. He served as a soldier in the War of the Revolution. In 1764 he married Mary Clark, and among their children was Elijah, of whom further.
- Elijah Graves, son of Benoni and Mary (Clark) Graves, was born February 18, 1770, and died September 13, 1839. He married, February 27, 1803, Resign Hatch, who was born in 1781.
- Luther Graves, son of Elijah and Resign (Hatch) Graves, was born April tr, 1811, in Sunderland, and died in. Greenfield April 17, 1890. He married Louise Smith, of Dover, Vermont, and to them were born the following children: Charles E., Kate L. and James Luther, mentioned below.
- James Luther Graves, son of Luther and Louise (Smith) Graves, was born in Greenfield May 14, 1849, and died February 25, 1906. Mr. Graves was a mechanic by occupation, and for some fifteen or twenty years was engaged with the Warner Manufacturing Company, in the drop forging department. Previous to this he had learned the plumber’s trade and had worked at this for a time. During the Spanish-American War his services were of value in the armory in Springfield. He married, December x6, 1873, Emma Kelley, born in Gill, of this State, and the daughter of Giles Norman and Martha (Caldwell) Kelley. Children: Edgar Marvin, of further mention; Ruth Martha, and George Luther.
- Edgar Marvin Graves, son of James Luther and Emma (Kelley) Graves, and the subject of this biography, was born in Greenfield, Connecticut, September 7, 1890. In the public schools of this town he received his education and then started his business career by entering the Greenfeld Electric Light and Power Company, of which he was the superintendent of meters. He remained with this company until 1821, when he bought out the Cook Electrical Company, of which today (1925) he is the sole owner. He is doing an extensive business in electrical construction work, installing systems, and retailing all kinds of electrical appliances. His business has been successful from the beginning, and with his handling it is taking on a larger scope.
Mr. Graves is a respected citizen of the community, and is associated with the Masonic organization, being a member of Republican Lodge. Free and Accepted Masons; the Lodge of Perfection, of the Scottish Rite: and the Princes of Jerusalem. In religion he is an Episcopalian, being a member of the church of that denomination.
Edgar Marvin Graves married, November 12, 1918, Rachel Elizabeth Hanson, of Northwood, New Hampshire, daughter of Josiah and Vienna (Stone) Hanson. To them have been born one child, Barbara Jane, born May 17, 1923.