Transcribed by: Ellen Booth.Page 327
GEORGE W. GRAHAM. After many years’ active connection with agricultural interests, George W. Graham is now living retired and his rest is well merited, for he worked persistently and indefatigably in former years, thereby gaining the competence that now enables him to put aside further business cares. He is a native son of Ireland, his birth having occurred in County Westmeath on the 28th of November, 1832. His parents, Mathew and Ann (White) Graham, were also natives of that country, of Scotch descent, and on emigrating to America in 1851 settled in New Jersey, where the father carried on farming until his death, which occurred in 1855, when he was sixty-five years of age. His wife survived him for about five years, passing away in 1860.
Mr. Graham, of this review, pursued his studies in the schools of his native country and in New Jersey, and after putting aside his text-books he began farm work in that state. Believing, however, that he might have better business opportunities in the middle west, he came to Illinois in 1856, locating in Fancy Prairie, Menard county, where he rented a tract of land and continued its cultivation for about three years. On the expiration of that period with the money that he had gained through his industry and economy he purchased eighty acres of land and began improving it, erecting thereon a good house and other buildings. He afterward bought eighty acres additional and subsequently secured forty-three acres more and now owns one hundred and twenty acres of very fine and productive land, his farm yielding to him a good financial return. Year by year he performed the work of plowing, planting and harvesting as one of the energetic and successful agriculturists of his community, but in 1889, having acquired a comfortable competence, he retired from the work of the fields and removed to Athens, where he purchased his present residence—a fine large home. It is fitting that he should spend the evening of his life here, surrounded by many of the comforts and luxuries that go to make life worth the living.
At the time of the Civil war Mr. Graham proved his loyalty to his adopted country by enlisting in 1862 as a member of Captain Burnap’s company---Company F, of the First Illinois Cavalry. He was in Missouri and Arkansas during the greater part of the time, participated in one engagement in the latter state, but in July, 1862, he was honorably discharged at St. Louis, and then returned to his home.
In April, 1865, Mr. Graham was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Susan Young, a daughter of William P. Young, one of the early and honored pioneer settlers of this county. Her death occurred February 15, 1903, and was greatly deplored by many friends, who esteemed her for her excellent qualities of heart and mind. She held membership in North Sangamon Presbyterian church, of which Mr. Graham is also a member. He belongs to Pollock Post, No. 4, G.A.R., and has been a member of the school board and also school trustee. His co-operation has always been counted upon to promote measures for the substantial upbuilding and improvements of the community, with which he has now been identified for almost a half century and where he has so directed his labors as to win success and also gain the good will and trust of his fellow men.