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Since 1914 Clarence Graves has been engaged in the conduct of a mercantile business in Talala and is readily conceded to be one of the leading merchants of the community. A native of Kansas, he was born in Wyandotte County, on the 30th of September, 1864, a son of Charles and Albora (Gutherie) Graves. His parents came to Indian Territory in 1875 and located on a farm on Russell creek. The father was born in Maryland but upon the outbreak of the Civil war, his sympathies being with the south, he enlisted in the Confederate army, serving throughout that conflict and participating in many of the important battles. He resided on the homestead on Russell creek for many years and his demise occurred in the Soldiers Home at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Mrs. Graves died on the home farm in 1881.
In the acquirement of his early education Clarence Graves attended the schools of Wyandotte County, Kansas. He removed with his parents to the Territory, however, in 1875, but remained here only a short time and then went to North Dakota, where he engaged in cow punching for four years. He was likewise active in that line of business in the Cherokee strip for two years, at the termination of which time he enrolled in the Spaulding Business College at Kansas City, Missouri, for one year. Subsequently he came to Talala and made his initial step into mercantile circles as an employee of W. C. Rogers, one of the leading merchants here. In June, 1914, he became sole owner of the store, in the conduct of which he has achieved substantial success. He carries an eight thousand dollar stock of general merchandise, and his store is modern in every respect. He has an extensive patronage and believes that satisfied patrons are the best advertisement.
On the 4th of April, 1898, Mr. Graves was united in marriage to Miss Effie Griffith, a daughter of William A. and Della (Hockett) Griffith, both natives of Coffeyville, Kansas. To their union the following children have been born: Charles W., who is twenty-two years of age, graduated from the high school at Coffeyville with the class of 1919, for one term attended the Agricultural College at Stillwater, this state, and is now assisting his father in the conduct of the store. Fred E., twenty-one years of age, was graduated from Talala high school with the class of 1920 and is in the employ of the Citizens First National Bank at Independence, Kansas. Clarence, Jr., nineteen years of age, was graduated from the local high school with the class of 1921 and is also a graduate of the Dranhon-Lehman Business College of Muskogee. Nina is attending school. Florence died in 1912.
Fraternally Mr. Graves is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He has always been one of the public-spirited citizens of the community and was a member of the school board here for two years. For four years he held the office of Treasurer of Talala. Mr. Graves is one of the representative business men of his community and has many friends who appreciate his true personal worth and many sterling traits of character.