Charles B. Graves, formerly a justice of the supreme court of Kansas, is one of the distinguished jurists and able lawyers of the state. He is a native of Indiana, born at Richmond, Wayne county, Nov. 13, 1841, son of Quaker parentsPusey and Jane (Mitchell) Graves. His father was born in Delaware, in 1813, and was brought by his father, Nathan Graves, to Indiana when three years of age. Nathan Graves was a birthright Quaker and native of Delaware, a founder of the Quaker colony in Wayne county, Indiana, where he spent the remaining years of his life and there died. Pusey Graves was reared on a farm. He learned the trades of plasterer and cooper, which trades he followed in Wayne county, Indiana, until 1851, in which year he went to the gold fields of California, returning east in 1853 and locating in Illinois, where he remained until 1859, when he removed his family to Woodson county, Kansas, becoming a pioneer of the state. He became prominent in public affairs during the formative period of the state's history, serving as a member of the last territorial legislature. He also served twelve years as probate judge and clerk of the courts in Woodson county. Retiring from active life, he spent his declining years in the home of his son, Judge Charles B. Graves, and died in 1898, aged eighty-five years. John Mitchell, the maternal grandfather of Judge Graves, came to America from Leeds, England. Judge Charles B. Graves was eighteen years of age when his father came to Kansas. He obtained a common school education in Indiana and Illinois, and after coming to Kansas worked on the farm and was variously employed until the Civil war came on. He enlisted in defense of the Union, Nov. 15, 1861, in Company F, Iola battalion, which was afterward consolidated with the Ninth Kansas cavalry, with which he participated in the engagements at Prairie Grove (Ark.), Newtonia (Mo.), and the other numerous engagements of that regiment, which principally was employed in the irregular and hazardous warfare along the border, rendering valiant and faithful service against the various irregular forces of the enemy, but finding little opportunity to win distinction, such as it might have achieved if attached to one of the larger commands, which participated in the more important battles of the conflict. Just before President Lincoln's emancipation proclamation, Judge Graves was sent to Missouri with an expedition which liberated 125 slaves, who were brought to Kansas, and a number of them enlisted in the First Kansas colored troops and served with credit in the army service. Serving until the close of the war, Judge Graves returned home and was admitted to practice law, in 1869, at Burlington, Kan. He engaged in the practice of that profession for a short time at Neosho Falls, Kan., and then at Burlington, where he remained until 1883, going to Burlington after being associated for a brief period with Judge Watson and Governor Crawford at Emporia. In 1880 he was elected judge of the district court, the district composed of Osage, Coffey, Lyon and Woodson counties. Such were his services on the district court bench that he was honored by reëlections, serving as district judge twelve years. In 1883, in order to be more centrally located in the judicial district, he removed to Emporia, where he has since resided. As a fitting tribute to and in recognition of his ability as a jurist, Governor Hoch appointed him a justice of the supreme court of Kansas, in August, 1905. In 1906 he was elected to this position, in which he served with distinction until 1910, when he retired from the bench and resumed the practice of law at Emporia, as a member of the law firm of Graves, Hamer & Harris. In politics Judge Graves is a Republican; in church faith he adheres to the Quaker belief, and his fraternal relations rest with the Masonic order, which he joined while in the army service, at Trading Post, Kan. He is also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the Triple Tie fraternity.
In 1872 Judge Graves married Harriet S. Hawkins, daughter of James and America (Stevens) Hawkins, the former a Kentuckian who came to Kansas in an early day and followed farming here until his death. Maternally Mrs. Graves is related to James Garrard, third governor of Kentucky. Six children were born unto Judge and Mrs. GravesOrlin H., Stella, Hugh C., Scott S., Ina, and Roscoe W. Orlin H. inherited his father's predilection for the law and has rapidly forged to the fore in his profession, being at present judge of the county court at Pryor, Okla.; Stella is assistant librarian in the law department of the Kansas State Library at Topeka; Hugh C. resides at Chatfield, Minn.; Scott S. is in San Diego, Cal.; Ina is a teacher at home, and Roscoe W. is in high school. Mrs. Graves is a member of the Congregational church and is a lady of sterling qualities of heart and mind. The family is highly respected and is numbered among the best and most favorably known of Emporia.
Judge Graves began life with a worthy ambition to achieve success and honor. Not the best opportunities were afforded him in his youth to obtain an education, but he applied himself diligently to his studies and his predilection led him to the study of the law, a profession for which succeeding years disclosed his fitness. He succeeded first as a practitioner of the law, and then as a district judge won an enviable reputation, and as a justice of the supreme court of the state he met the most sanguine hopes of his many friends, rendering a service of ability. Fair and just, learned and gifted, and possessed of an analytical turn of mind, his decisions on both the district and supreme court benches have placed him among the ablest jurists of Kansas.Pages 720-722 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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