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Henry County >> 1888 Index

Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry County, Iowa 
Chicago: Acme Publishing Company, 1888.


Unless otherwise specified, biographies submitted by Pat Ryan White.

Rolin R. Grant

An early settler of Henry County, IA, and a prominent farmer of New London Twp., residing on Sect. 7, and post-office of Mt. Pleasant, is a native of Kentucky, and was born in Fleming County, Sept 18, 1827. His parents, James and Sarah (Saunders) Grant, were natives of the same county, and were descended from old Virginia families of Scots descent.  Mrs. Grant was a double cousin of P. and A. Saunders.

Our subject, Rolin Grant, was reared on a farm and when a young man was employed as a merchant's clerk, He emigrated to Iowa in 1848, where he spent two years as salesman with Presley and Alvin Saunders. In 1850 he purchased a small farm near Mt. Pleasant, and began life as a farmer.

He was married , Nov. 4, 1852 to Miss Eliza A. Tolle, a daughter of William and Sarah Tolle, residents of Center Twp. Mrs. Grant was born in Fleming Co., KY, and has borne to her husband six children, only three of who are now living: Lena D.; Emma; Walter D., who died at the age of three and a half; Willie, who died when but fifteen months old; Florence, wife of Charles Leedham, residing in Mt. Pleasant, who has one daughter, Olive May; Rector, the youngest child of Mr. Grant, died when but a babe of six months.

Mr. and Mrs. Grant and daughters are devoted members of the Christian Church. In about 1854 Mr. Grant bought a sawmill which he operated for two years, during which time he sawed the first timber used in building the State Hospital for the Insane at Mt. Pleasant. In 1856 he traded the farm on which he resided in part payment for 162 acres of raw land, situated within three miles of Mt. Pleasant. Though there was nothing on the land when he bought it, he has by energy and industry transformed it into one of the finest farms in the county, with good farm buildings and well stocked.   In early life Mr. Grant was a Whig, but later a Republican, and is now a Greenbacker. He is a member of the Hurricane Grange No. 385, and is one of the most highly respected and influential farmers of Henry County.

Enoch Graves submitted by Dick Barton

Enoch Graves, Mt. Pleasant, one of the pioneer settlers of Henry County, Iowa, was born in Bedford County, Pa., of which place his parents, Joseph and Elizabeth (Stillwell) Graves, were also natives.  He was one of a family of eight children, of whom he is now the only surviving one.  Joseph Graves was a farmer by occupation, and during the time of the Revolutionary War nobly served in his father's place.  In politics he was a Jackson Democrat, and an active worker for his party.

The subject of this sketch received his education in a log school-house, with its huge fireplace, greased paper windows, puncheon floor and seats, while his books consisted of a Testament and speller.  He was only able to attend school in the winter, as all boys in those days had to work on the farm in the summer after they were large enough to plow. In the year 1827, Mr. Graves went to Butler County, Ohio, where in 1829, he was married to Miss Mary Spencer, who was born in 1812, in Westmoreland County, Pa.  Remaining in Ohio till 1845, he came to Iowa, which was then but a Territory, coming by water part of the way, and completing the journey with teams to Henry County, locating in Wayne Township.  At this time the county was very thinly settled, there being only twelve voters in the township, five of whom were Democrats and seven Whigs.  Mr. Graves took a claim and developed a fine farm in the wilderness.

Mr. and Mrs. Graves have had a family of thirteen children, five of whom are living:  Gideon now resides in California;  Washington is a resident of Red Oak, Iowa; William, of Hayes County, Neb.; Margaret, the wife of John Crawford, of Wayne Township; Eliza, the wife of W. K. Herbert, of Mt. Pleasant.  They had one son among those who so gallantly defended their country during the late war.  He was wounded by a piece of shell at Pittsburg Landing.  He served through the war and was discharged, but died in Kansas from disease contracted by exposure while in the service.

Mr. Graves has always taken an active interest in educational and church work, and together with his wife, has long been earnestly laboring in the vineyard of the Master.  They have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for fifty years, three years of which time Mr. Graves has been a Class-Leader.  He is a zealous Republican, and has held the office of Constable for three years.

Mr. and Mrs. Graves have long been residents of this county, and have witnesses its growth almost from the beginning.  They have seen the progress which civilization has made and have taken an active part in this same progress.  They have helped to mold its present form, till it ranks among the first of the counties which make up the great State of Iowa, and have gained their competency by industry and economy.  Many a time has Mr. Graves been compelled to shoulder his rifle and kill the deer or turkey which furnished their next meal.  It thus appears how they have toiled to make a start in life, and have made many sacrifices, yet by these very sacrifices they can now the more fully appreciate their comfortable surroundings, and have the satisfaction of a home honestly won, a competency fairly gained.  They removed to Mr. Pleasant in 1872, since which time Mr. Graves has lived a retired life.