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Henry Harrison Graham

GRAHAM, Henry Harrison. — The agricultural pioneers of fifty years ago, who broke the virgin soil of the State of Illinois and proved by the practical results of their lives of independent toil the wonders of its productiveness, should be placed foremost in the ranks of those who have made it one of the greatest commonwealths of the Union. They were as faithful and brave in the performance of their homely duties as the most patriotic of soldiers who uphold their country's name on its fields of battle. Henry H. Graham is of this yeoman nobility, which death is slowly cutting down to a small company. Mr. Graham's parents, William and Elizabeth (Jackson) Graham, were both natives of Marion County, Ky., his father removing thence to Fulton County, HI., accompanied by his wife and four children. This transfer of the family home took place in the fall of 1835. Henry's birth occurring in Fulton County on the 23d of April in the year following. He was the fifth in a family of children which eventually numbered ten, was strengthened by the usual work which falls to the lot of a farmer's lad and obtained his schooling in the district schools of his vicinity. Early in life Henry H. Graham determined to rely upon himself, remaining with his parents only until he had reached the age of sixteen years, when he removed to Lancaster Landing, on the Illinois River. He was skilled in the management of oxen, and in 1854 began to make a business of breaking the prairie soil for new settlers. In 1859, he drove four yoke of oxen to Pike's Peak and, after prospecting a few months in the West, returned to Fulton County without having selected a location. For two years thereafter he continued his old occupation of "breaking prairie," after which (1862-65) he rented and operated a farm in Warren County, Ill. During the last year of the war, having then been married for three years, his affairs had so prospered that he bought sixty-five acres of land in Walnut Grove Township, which he transformed into a good family homestead and occupied during the following decade. Disposing of this property he purchased eighty acres near Good Hope, where, in 1874, passed away his good wife and the mother of his five children. After the death of his wife, Mr. Graham sold his Good Hope farm, buying 145 acres in the center of Macomb Township. There he lived and labored until May, 1902, when he removed to the city, purchasing a home on North Johnson Street, in which he now lives a retired and contented life. The household is conducted, as to its domestic matters, by his widowed daughter Sarah, whose husband, Alexander McCutcheon, was accidentally killed on the farm in 1902, his death being occasioned by the kick of a mule. The family also includes Mrs. McCutcheon's three children: Sadie, Elizabeth Caroline and Naomi. In September, 1862, Mr. Graham was married to Miss Mary Dry, an intelligent Pennsylvania girl, and to them were born the following children: Clellon, Elizabeth (now Mrs. Orry Pugh), Franklin, Sarah (mentioned above) and Henry. Aside from the manifold duties incident to the life of a successful farmer and a faithful father and husband, he has found opportunity as called upon by his fellows, to devote considerable time and much ability to public affairs, having served as Road Commissioner of Macomb Township for a period of five years. He has also been School Director. Politically, he is affiliated with the Democracy.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 887, extracted 04 Jan 2019 by Norma Hass.

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