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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
Harry W. Graham, in the general newspaper business in Chillicothe, is a representative of some of the oldest families in America, his ancestors having been prominent in this country since Revolutionary times. He was born in Toledo, Iowa, January 6, 1867, and is a son of Gilbert H. and Annie M. (Wells) Graham. On the paternal side he is connected with the Adee and Ludington families, both of whom date back to the days of the American Revolution. The Adee family in Missouri today is descended from John Adee, who came to America about two hundred years ago. He was a weaver in early life and moved from Providence, Rhode Island, to Rye, in or before 1729, and there engaged in farming and real-estate operations. He died in 1784, having lived in America during the greater part of his life. He was born in England and from there came to America with his family in the early part of the eighteenth century. This family was of French extraction, dating back to Count Adee, whose ancestral home was at Clermont, forty miles from Paris. The second brother of the viscount was a contemporary of the celebrated Mary Queen of Scots, and accompanied that unfortunate queen when she left France to take her place on the throne of Scotland in August 1561. Later a branch of this family moved to Circencester, Gloucestershire, England, and there their monuments may still be seen bearing the family coat of arms, namely, three crosses, points downward, one in pale and two in saltier, encircled with a coronet. John Adee had four sons and one daughter, Jonathan, William, Daniel, John and Hannah. His son, Jonathan, who died at the time of the outbreak of the Revolutionary war, had five children Samuel, Phoebe, Sarah, Rebecca and Jonathan. Of these Samuel was a boy of ten years at the time of the outbreak of hostilities with England and even during his childhood was an enthusiastic patriot. In April, 1793, he moved to the town of Bovina, Delaware county, New York, being one of the first settlers in that community. He was an energetic man and met the pioneer conditions which he found there with confidence and courage. Settling in the midst of a dense forest where he was obliged to kindle large fires at night to keep off the wild animals, he erected in three days a log cabin which in the course of seven or eight years gave way to a fine frame dwelling, while a farm well and highly cultivated attested his enterprise and perseverance. His wife was Sarah Bloomer, of White Plains, where she lived during the troubled times of the revolution, when the country was scoured alternately by "Redcoats" and the patriot soldiers of Washington. Samuel Adee died in October, 1828, and was survived by his wife until March, 1843. They had the following children, Joshua, Elizabeth, Ann. Jonathan, Deborah, Darius, Esther and Stephen B. The latter, inheriting his father's energetic nature, remained on the old homestead and occupied himself with its cultivation and improvement. In 1831 he married Miss Elizabeth D. Ludington, a sister of, Millicent (Ludington) Graham, grandmother of the subject of this review. Elizabeth Ludington was as a lineal descendent of Lady Jane Pinckney, daughter of Sir John Pinckney, Earl of Derby, and a famous lawyer in England. His son, Thomas Pinckney, came to America in 1687 and was commissioned governor of the Carolinas. He was accompanied by his sister Jane, who married a Mr. Fowler, and their daughter Jane married Thomas Faster. By this union there was a daughter, Mary, who afterward became the wife of James Northrup, and their daughter Jane married Henry Ludington. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ludington were the great-grandparents of Harry W. Graham of this review and their daughter, Elizabeth D., married Stephen B. Adee.
The Ludington family is also of old American establishment, Henry Ludington's father, Samuel Ludington, and his five brothers having served under Washington during the Revolutionary war, one as a colonel on his staff. The family is of English origin, the grandfather of these six Revolutionary soldiers having been born in Liverpool. He was an officer in the English navy but after the expiration of his term of service moved to America with his family and settled at his place in Putnam county which bore his name. Their patriotism made them famous, many members of the family having taken prominent parts in the war for Independence. Samuel Ludington marched with the Continental troops from New York and was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia. In 1795 he moved to Ludingtonville with his family and he and his son Henry cleared up adjoining farms in Bovina, New York, all of the property being now owned and occupied by Henry Ludington's son, Thomas Ludington, great-uncle of Harry W. Graham, of this review.
In a more direct line Harry W. Graham is a descendant of Thomas Graham, father of John Graham, born in Roxburyshire, Scotland, March 7, 1754 He lived in the parish of Robertson, on a farm called Bradley, situated on the Boswick river, not far from Harwick and there made his home until about the year 1798, when he and his wife, who was in her maidenhood, Miss Jane Grey, left the homestead on account of difficulties concerning land titles and went to the parish of Lootland to a farm called Teanside, in Roxburyshire, where they lived about one year. About 1800 they left Scotland and taking eight of their children, came to America, settling in the town of Bovina, Delaware county, New York, where they lived a number of years and where all of the children were married. Jane, the wife of John Graham, died there and was buried in Stamford, Delaware county. After her death John Graham went to Erin, Chemung county, New York, and there spent the remainder of his life, making his home with his son John. He died October 7, 1841, in the eighty-seventh year of his age. He and his wife had nine children, Isabella, Jane, William, James, John, Euphemia, Jenitt, Thomas and Margaret, all of whom were born in Scotland. Of these Isabella married James Thompson, of Scotland. She never came to America, and was buried in the parish of Eames, in Roxburyshire, or Dumpeyshire. She and her husband had fourteen children, thirteen of whom died in Scotland. One son, John Thompson, left Scotland in the year 1831 sailing from Liverpool on the 6th of June of the same year. After landing in New York he made his way to Cuba, Allegany county, where he still resides.
On the maternal side also Harry W. Graham is a representative of a family whose members have been prominent in America for mail generations. His mother, Anna M. (Wells) Graham, was a daughter of Elisha and Elizabeth (Cornell) Wells. The latter was a niece of Ezra Cornell, founder of Cornell University of Ithaca, New York, She was born in Licking county, Ohio, and had one brother, Gideon, and a sister, Anna, Her husband, Elisha Wells, maternal grandfather of the subject of this review, was a son of Osmond Wells, who had five children, Elisha, Orlando, John, Ann, who was twice married and Jane, now Mrs. Partridge, of West Liberty, Ohio. Orlando Wells married Elizabeth Stewart, a sister of Green Stewart, and they had the following children: George, Edward, Fred, Grace, Lord Byron, Charles and Seymour. Grace married John Booker, an engineer in the employ of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad, and they reside in Sedalia.
Gilbert H. Graham, father of the subject of this review, upheld honorable traditions of his family by active and loyal service in the Civil war, having held the position of quartermaster sergeant and commissary quartermaster in the Eighteenth Illinois Volunteer Regiment. He was in the thick of the battle at Chickamauga and took part in many other important engagements between 1861 and 1865 After the close of hostilities he spent several years in the mercantile business and later acted as agent for the American Express Company. He now resides in Denver, Colorado, having survived his wife since July 22, 1902. She is buried in the Greenwood cemetery in that city.
In the acquirement of an education Harry W. Graham attended public school in Ohio and Kentucky. After graduating from the Bellevue high school he entered Augusta College in Augusta, Kentucky, and there he spent one year, laying aside his books at the age of seventeen. He obtained employment under J. G. Isham, a manufacturer of gas chandeliers, and after one year identified himself with the Methodist Episcopal Mission Chair, traveling as a chorister through Kentucky and Missouri. He afterward spent one year completing his education in the St. Charles Military College and then entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church, South. He did able and consecrated work in this capacity but was forced to abandon it for something more lucrative and for seven years was identified with an express company, maintaining this connection until he established himself in the general newspaper business in Chillicothe. During this time also he was interested in selling pure-bred live stock as an auctioneer and did such able and successful work in that capacity and as an agricultural specialist, that he was employed as live-stock and general farm specialist by a number of agricultural publications, his duties in this connection taking him all over the corn belt of the middle states. While in this work, he was appointed a delegate, in the spring of 1912, by Governor Herbert S. Hadley, of Missouri, to the southern commercial congress convention, at Nashville, Tennessee, to represent the state, and later was appointed, by the executive officers of this congress, a member of the American Commission for the study of European systems of co-operative rural credits, to represent the state of Missouri on this tour of European countries, the commission to leave New York, April 26, 1913. Being advised by the governor, that no funds were available in this state for this work of investigation, he declined the appointment. Being an able, progressive and far-sighted business man, all of his interests are capably and carefully managed and therefore profitable and his success places him today among the representative citizens of this section of Missouri.
On December 29, 1887, Mr. Graham married Miss Mary Ophelia Ford, a daughter of J. T. and Ophelia (Howell) Ford and a descendant of a family w hose ancestry dates back to the Pilgrim Fathers, its members having been prominent in American affairs for many generations Mrs. Graham is connected with the Bartlett family, one of whose early representatives signed the Declaration of Independence. Her father was a pioneer in Missouri and for many years engaged in general farming in this state, later retiring to spend the evening of his life in rest and comfort. He died in 1893, having survived his wife since 1887. Both are buried in Edgewood cemetery, in Chillicothe. To Mr. and Mrs. Graham were born four children: Locksley E., who is a student at Cornell University; Lucille C., who is attending high school; Frank M., who is also pursuing his studies; and Charles W., who died in infancy and is buried in the Edgewood cemetery.
Fraternally Mr. Graham is connected with the Masonic order, holding membership in the lodge, chapter, commandery and shrine. He is also a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias, the United Commercial Travelers, and the Knights of the Maccabees. His religious views are in accord with the doctrines of the Christian Scientist church of which he has been a member for the last two years. He is very progressive and liberal in his political views and interested in public affairs, having served ably and conscientiously for one year as city auditor. He is a worthy representative of the best type of American citizen, a man of admirable characteristics, broad views and modern ideas, whose political and commercial efforts are conducted on a high mental and moral plane. His sympathies are keen and conservative and his means ever at the disposal of well directed and feasible plans for the general improvement, and he is in consequence a worthy representative of the long line of patriots and soldiers from which he comes.