GRAFF, CHARLES BRICE, County Clerk of Morgan County, residing in Jacksonville, Ill., was born near Prentice, that county, April 21, 1868, the son of Washington and Elizabeth F. (Owen) Graff. (A sketch of his father's life will be found following in this volume.) He was educated in the district schools of his neighborhood and at Brown's Business College of Jacksonville. Upon leaving the latter institution he assisted his father on the family homestead until 1890, when he purchased a farm situated about five miles below Virginia, Cass County. One year later he sold this property and purchased a farm of 203 acres near Prentice, which is still in his possession. For two years he was engaged in the grain business and general merchandising at Prentice in partnership with Charles R. Lewis, but has devoted himself principally to agriculture.
Like his father and his grandfather, Mr. Graff is a firm believer in the principles of the Republican party, to whose success he has always contributed of his time and labor. While residing upon his farm he filled the offices of Road Commissioner, School Director and Justice of the Peace. In 1896 he was the nominee of his party for the office of County Commissioner, but was defeated at the polls by 120 votes. In 1898 he was nominated for the office of County Treasurer, but was defeated by 160 votes. In 1902 he received the nomination for the office of County Clerk, and was elected by a majority of 175 votes, despite the fact that the county, with rare exceptions, has always given a Democratic majority.
Mr. Graff is identified with the Odd Fellows, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Elks and the Knights of Pythias. He was married October 6, 1887, to Alice, daughter of James W. Johnson of Arcadia, and they have one child, a daughter named Lula Fairree.
Mr. Graff is a man of exceptional business ability, and unquestioned integrity, and, regardless of politics, enjoys the confidence of all classes. He and his brother, Zadock W., settled all the affairs pertaining to their father's estate to the satisfaction of all concerned. He has brought the same intelligence and discernment into the administration of county affairs as he has always exhibited in the conduct of his private business, giving evidence of his belief that public office is a public trust of the highest nature.