Biography of John D. Graham

This gentleman is one of the heaviest property owners in the town of Nezperce, a man of substantial qualities, dominated with wisdom and integrity and a leader among his fellows.

John D. Graham was born in Missouri, on September 27, 1847, being the son of William and Harriet L. (Duncan) Graham, natives of Holmes County, Ohio. The paternal grandfather of our subject came from Ireland and died in February, 1894, aged seventy-eight, while his maternal grandparents came from Pennsylvania and died in 1892. When John was five years old he crossed the plains with his parents with ox teams and they located in Benton County, Oregon, seven miles from Corvallis. Later the family came to The Dalles and built a toll bridge across the Des Chutes.

John was educated in the public schools and when twenty-five he went to Klickitat County and raised stock for twenty-nine years. It was 1887 that he came to Grangeville, Idaho. He purchased two hundred and forty acres and raised stock until the reservation opened and then located a homestead two miles from Nezperce. Mr. Graham owned a livery barn here until recently, has a fine residence in the town, has much real estate, and half interest in the mercantile business conducted by Mr. Schultz; he also owns the Nezperce hotel building and considerable other property.

Mr. Graham has the following brothers and sisters; Robert M., in Bickleton, Washington: Thomas B., in Dayton, Washington; Maria L., widow of H. South, in Prosser, Washington; Frankie, widow of Ij. F. Morris, at Lewiston: Delia, wife of Alec O’Dell, in Dayton, Washington: Georgia, wife of Logan Mulkey; and Mrs. Mary Bailey. Mr. Graham is a member of the W. W., Nezperce Camp, No. 445. He is a good, strong Democrat in politics and has held school offices for twenty years. Mr. Graham and his wife are members of the Christian church, while his children affiliate with the Baptist.

On November 4, 1877, Mr. Graham married Miss Phoebe A., daughter of David and Phoebe (Pugh) Story. She was born in Hancock County, Illinois, on January 12, 1858, and came with her parents across the plains with ox teams in 1864. Her mother died in 1869, and was born in 1826, being a native of Indiana. Mrs. Graham’s father was born in Alabama and is still living, aged eighty-four. Mrs. Graham has two brothers and three sisters, Caleb, a farmer in Goldendale, Washington; David M., a school teacher in Grangeville; Sarah, wife of D. Jordan, in Columbia. Washington; Alary, wife of T. L. Masters, at Goldendale, Washington; Patsey E., wife of A. Carlyle, at Republic, Washington. Eight children have been born to Mr. Graham and his estimable wife: William V., Bessie D., wife of Ollie Waechter, Everett, Washington; Edna L., wife of B. L. Schultz, a merchant of Nezperce; five deceased.

Mr. Graham is a genial and affable gentleman and has the good will of all who know him; he and his wife are leading members of society.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903

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