James W. Graves. One of the honored old residents of Wagoner is James W. Graves, whose long career has been spent in various states, chiefly in Indiana, and who has resided at Wagoner for the past seven years.
It was near the battlefield of the famous battle of Tippecanoe in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, that James W. Graves was born November 17, 1839, a son of Benjamin and Mary E. (Pierce) Graves. His father was born in Virginia and became a pioneer settler in Indiana. The Graves family is of English origin, and the American progenitor was named Benjamin and came from England to America about 1650, subsequently settling in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The Pierce family is of Scotch-Irish lineage, and also located in Virginia at a very early date. The Graves family has paid tribute to the nation by furnishing soldiers in all its wars from the Revolution to the Spanish-American, and of very few other American families can that be said.
James W. Graves grew to manhood in Indiana, and gained a fair common school education. On the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted as a Union soldier, entering the ranks as a private, and continuing throughout the entire war, for four years, at the end of which time he was honorably discharged as first lieutenant of his company. He was in the infantry branch of the Union army, and for the greater part of the time was under the command of General Sherman. At the close of the war he marched with the victorious troops of that leader in the Grand Review at Washington, and soon afterward resumed the life of a civilian. He has long been a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and from the age of twenty-one a member of the Masonic fraternity. Politically his support has been stanchly given to the republican party, though he never held office but once, and that was during his residence in Minnesota, where he served as sheriff of Nicollet County during the turbulent times following the Civil war.
Shortly after his marriage Mr. Graves removed to Minnesota and lived in that state until 1876. He then returned to Indiana, settling in Newton County, and became identified with merchandising at the Town of Morocco. His reputation for fair dealing and his unswerving honesty brought him a large trade, and when he sold out possessed a competence sufficient for his needs. He then removed to a farm in Newton County, and finally after selling his property in Indiana in 1908 moved to Wagoner, Oklahoma. He has since been a resident of that city, and while he has investments there and in that vicinity has no business cares that require his constant attention.
Mr. Graves married Miss Jemima B. Brennisholtz, who was a native of Montgomery County, Indiana. Her father, John Brennisholtz, was born in the Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania, being of Swiss lineage on the paternal side and maternally of French and Irish blood. To James W. Graves and wife were born four children: Orlando M., who is a detective by profession; John C.. a well known lawyer at Wagoner; Cora, wife of R. W. Sutcliff of Wagoner; and Sherburne, a real estate man of Wagoner.