Biography of John D. Graves
Discover your family's story.
Enter a grandparent's name to get started.
JOHN D. GRAVES. Mr. Graves is accounted a prosperous farmer and stock-man of Stone County, Missouri, and like the majority of native Missourians he is progressive in his views and of an energetic temperament. He was born in Livingston County August 28, 1847, to the union of James C. and Lititia (Webber) Graves, the former a native of Virginia, born March 15, 1803, and the latter of Boone County, Kentucky, born October 10, 1808. The Graves family came originally from England and settled in the Old Dominion at a period antedating the Revolution. Joseph Graves, our subject’s grandfather, was born in Virginia, but at an early date moved to Kentucky with his family, and passed the remainder of his days in Boone County. In that county James C. Graves, father of subject, grew to mature years and married. In 1831 he came to Livingston County when it was a wilderness, and was one of the first settlers of the State. He became prominent in county affairs, and was sheriff of the same for some time. He also held the office of justice of the peace for twenty years, and was an upright, law-abiding citizen. He was a Democrat in politics and a man strong in his convictions. Mrs. Graves’ father, Phillip Webber, was a native of Wales, and came to the United States when a mere boy. During the Revolutionary War he served as captain in the Light Horse Cavalry from Virginia. At an early date he settled in Kentucky, was a pioneer there, and there passed the closing scenes of his life, dying when quite an aged man. Previous to his marriage to Miss Webber, the father of our subject had married a Miss Frances Chrisenberry, who bore him four children: William, Frances A., Joseph N. and Eliza J., only Joseph and Frances now living. The mother of our subject had also been married before to a Mr. Graig, by whom she had two children: Charles, who died on Platte River in 1849, while on his way to California, and Ellen, who died young. By his marriage with Miss Webber, Mr. Graves became the father of the following children: Emily, deceased, married F. G. Work; Caroline resides in Livingston County, and is the wife of G. R. Brassfield; James B., who is residing at Cedarvale, Kan., served three years in the Civil War, and for eighteen months was in Southern prisons, principally Andersonville (he enlisted in U. S. Grant’s regiment in Illinois, now has a farm in Kansas, and is married); Harriet A., a resident of Livingston County, Missouri, is the wife of H. H. Hughes; Sarah J., wife of M. H. Davis, resides in Idaho; John D., subject; and Horace, Angeline and Malissa died young. The parents of these children were members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and well thought of by all.
Our subject spent his early life in his native county, and received but a limited education. When the war broke out he was but fourteen years of age, and he enlisted thirty days before the Eighth Missouri Cavalry was disbanded, but owing to this he did not serve. In selecting an occupation for life milling seemed to suit him, and he has followed that for the most part up to the present. He is a natural mechanic and a thorough millwright. In 1881 he left his native county and located in Mercer County, Missouri, where he followed milling and merchandising for some time. In 1889 he came to Stone County and located at Galena, where he built a steam mill. This he operated for two years, and then traded for a farm on White River, Stone County. After living one year on this farm he bought another farm near Galena, and in 1893 moved to that. Mr. Graves owns a tract of land of about 500 acres on White River, with a mile and three-quarters river front, and he also owns a tract on the edge of Galena, where he now resides. In politics he has always affiliated with the Republican party, and he is a public-spirited and prominent citizen. He is a Mason, a member of Lodge No. 388, at Farmersville, Missouri Mr. Graves selected his wife in the person of Miss Ellen M. Hosman, who was born March 15, 1857, to the union of James and Martha (Lydic) Hosman. Her parents were among the earliest settlers of Livingston County, Missouri, where they reside at the present time. Mr. and Mrs. Graves’ union has been blessed by the birth of five children: Myrtle, wife of Dutton J. Reynold; James C., at home; Mattie, at school; Merle, at school; and Oliver, who died in Colorado when eighteen months old, while Mr. and Mrs. Graves were traveling through the West.