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Jul 27, 1957

Navel Sea-Bee John T. Graham is en route to Mt. Vernon, called by the sudden death Wednesday (24 Jul 1957) night of his father, Fred B. Graham, 52, Mt. Vernon, oil producer and drilling contractor.


Young Graham was contacted on Barbados Island in the British West Indies where he is stationed through facilities afforded by the Posey County Red Cross chapter.  He called his mother from New York City last night and will fly to Mt. Vernon later today.


Contact with the son of the deceased oil producer made possible the completion of funeral arrangements.  Rev. J. Kenneth Forbes, minister of First Methodist Church, of which Mr. Graham was a member, will conduct the funeral service in Short-Niehaus chapel at 10 a.m. Monday.  Burial will be in Bellefontaine cemetery.  Friends may call at the funeral home 6 p.m. today.



Fred B.Graham, 52, who represented a third generation of a family engaged in petroleum production and contract drilling died very unexpectedly at 8:45 p.m. Wednesday at his home at 728 E. Sixth street.  He drilled the Posey county discovery well of The Carter Oil Company in Mt. Vernon vicinity during his long years of employment as a production superintendent by Carter.


Mr. Graham suffered his first heart seizure 18 months ago but had made remarkable progress toward recovery.  He had continued to direct operation of his contract drilling equipment and in recent months had operated in Perry county.  He spent yesterday at his home and showed no evidence of acute illness until a few minutes before his passing.


The body is at Short-Niehaus Funeral Home, Funeral arrangements will not be completed until the Posey county Red Cross chapter establishes contact with a son of the deceased, Naval Sea-Bee John T. Graham, who is stationed on Barbados Island in the British West Indies.  Burial will be in Bellefontaine cemetery.


Friends may call at the funeral home after 6 p.m. Saturday.  The family requests that contributions to the Heart Fund be made in lieu of floral offerings.


Surviving in addition to the son, are the wife of almost 28 years, nee Pauline Shafer, a native of Kansas, and for four years prior to 1954 executive secretary of Posey county Tuberculosis Assn.; a daughter, Miss Jean Graham, assistant executive officer in the administration office of Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, and two sisters, Mrs. Ruth Gewin and Mrs. Margaret Thompson, both of Coffeeville, Kans.


The deceased who had engaged continuously in oil production and drilling since he was 17 years old, was a native of Coffeeville, Kans. a son of Jared and Laura Graham.


He came to the Illinois Basin from Seminole, Okla. at the start of the oil boom in this area in 1937 and first resided at Olney, Ill.  He directed Carter Oil Co., production in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.  He came to Mt. Vernon, Ind., from Mt. Vernon, Ill. in 1942 and he and his family had resided here since.  Recognized ability, a high code of ethics and a pleasant personality made him a popular figure in oil operations.


Upon his location here he became production superintendent of the Petroleum Department of Indiana Farm Bureau Co-op.  Later, he entered the oil production business himself.


He and his family's religious affiliation was with First Methodist Church in Mt. Vernon.


Originally submitted by Betty Sellers