JAMES ACHESON GRAHAM. After a journey from Marshall County, Indiana, by railroad James Acheson Graham arrived in Ness County in December, 1885, his immediate destination being the home of his brother-in-law, Mr. Orbison. Almost immediately he filed on the northeast quarter of section 28, township 15, range 25, and after a contest of five years secured a patent. He then went on the claim and improved it and was an active farmer there for a few years. As was the case with most of the early settlers he lived in a sod house, and had a similar construction for the shelter of his horses and other stock. Mr. Graham by his industry disproved an old standing assertion that no man could make a living from one quarter section of Western Kansas land. He did make a living, but it is to be regretted that he sold his farm too soon to reach the full reward due him for his early trials and sacrifices.
He gave up the farm in 1899 to become postmaster of Ransom. At the same time he began buying grain, and as a commission man he has been in the service of one firm and its various successors for seventeen years. He also conducts an independent business in the handling of feed and coal.
Until the contest for his claim of land could be settled Mr. Graham spent the first four years of his Kansas residence in Ness City, and supported himself by common labor and as a farm hand. He has lived a clean life, has never got wealthy, but has enjoyed the confidence of the community and his career may properly be held up as a worthy example of good citizenship and upright manhood.
In the early years of the last century there lived in Ireland William Graham, who was married in his native country to Miss Brines, and soon afterward be brought his bride to America, settling on a farm in Wayne County, Ohio, where he died in early life. He and his wife had the following children: Elizabeth, who became the wife of John Pedicord; Susan, who married John Cornell; Margaret, who married John Beatty; Anna, who married John Scott, while her sister married Henry Scott; Thomas, who spent most of his career near Kendallville, Indiana; and Reverend Mr. Graham, father of James Acheson.
Reverend Mr. Graham was a farmer and also a local minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was born in Wayne County, Ohio, also lived in Fulton County of that state, and afterward followed farming and preaching in Kosciusko, Elkhart and Noble counties, Indiana. Reverend Mr. Graham's first wife was Miss McCullough. Of that union there were the following children: Henry, who is a lawyer at Warsaw, Indiana; Ezra, who died as a young man; Minerva, wife of Phineas McCullough, of Millersburg, Ohio; and Martha, widow of James Orbison, and now living in Bronson, Kansas. Reverend Mr. Graham married for his second wife Clara Smith. Her father, James Smith, was born in Pennsylvania, was left an orphan and he and his brothers were bound out for service. Mrs. Clara Graham was born in Wood County, Ohio, and now lives in Puyallup, Washington. Her children are: Ella, wife of Charles McWhorter, of Marshall County, Indiana; James A.; Emerson E., a local preacher living at Puyallup, Washington; Thomas A., a Methodist preacher in Northern Oregon; Hattie, of Puyallup, Washington; Anna, wife of Emery Apple, of Marysville, Washington; George G., a minister of the Methodist Church; Herbert, living in Marshall County, Indiana.
James Acheson Graham was born in Fulton County, Ohio, November 1, 1860. As a boy he went to Indiana and acquired his education in the country schools of several different counties. He was twenty-five years of age when he came to Kansas, and the chief experiences of his life has already been noted.
From his father he inherited an inclination toward the republican party, his father having voted for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Reverend Mr. Graham gave the best years of his life to his church, and died in 1892, at the age of sixty-eight. Mr. Graham later became an active prohibitionist, but was appointed to the office of postmaster at Ransom during the McKinley administration. He served three years in the postoffice, and he has also been a member of the school board. Since 1888 he has taken an active part in the affairs of the local Methodist Episcopal Church, and has served as a class leader much of the time. He has occasionally been a lay delegate to the church conferences, and in Sunday school he has been superintendent and teacher of a class.
In Trego County, Kansas, February 22, 1898, he married Miss Ida May Hazen, daughter of J. F. and Anna (Marine) Hazen. Her father came from Ohio and settled in Ness County, near the Graham home, and spent the rest of his days as a farmer. Mrs. Graham was born in Riley County, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Graham have two children: Harold and Ralph.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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