Illustrated Atlas Map of Menard County, Illinois 1874
Published by W.R. Brink & Co., of Illinois


Peter Graham
Page 42

Was born in the City of New York in 1802, and is the son of Peter and Margaret (Darling) Graham. He lived in the city of his nativity till about the twenty-third year of his life, when he went to the City of New Orleans and engaged in the carpenter s trade. Here he remained about three years, working at his trade in the city and on the steamboats plying between New Orleans and St. Louis, doing work also in the last mentioned place. In 1829 he went from St. Louis to the City of Jacksonville, Illinois, where he worked some eighteen months, assisting to build in the time the Presbyterian College and also doing work on the old courthouse. He next came to Athens, Menard County, and assisted in building the first frame house erected in this town, where he has himself ever since lived, engaged in carpentry, which he has followed constantly since 1817. He assisted in the building of the old State house of Springfield.

July 19, 1832, he married Miss Mary Ann Akers, daughter of Henry and Susan (Lowden) Akers, of the City of Jacksonville, who is yet living, and by whom he has had ten children: Henry C., a well known and prominent farmer of Menard County; Harriet, the wife of Charles Cantrall, of Sangamon County; Mary E., the wife of Young Cantrall, of Athens, Menard County; William, who died in the Union army during the late civil war with the Southern States; John W., of Iowa; Mrs. Ursula (Charles) Hurt, of Page County, Iowa; Newton, a young man, residing with his brother Henry; Emma, the wife of Henry Cantrall, of Sangamon County; Miss Eliza F. and Miss Ettie, residing with their parents.

The Graham family is of Scotch descent. Duncan Graham, Mr. Graham s grandfather came from Scotland to the American Colonies a short time before the breaking out of the war resulting in the freedom of the States and the formation of the present Federal Government. In this war he was an active patriot and soldier. After the establishment of peace and American independence he settled in the City of New York, where he lived to raise a family of three or four sons. Thomas, James, and Peter, Mr. Graham s father, are the only names now remembered. Peter raised nine children, Thomas, James, Robert, William, John, and Peter are the names of the sons; Margaret, Eliza, and Ellen, his daughters. Margaret married William Thompson, and Eliza married George Wright.

Mr. Graham and wife both originally belonged to the Protestant Methodist Church, though he has not formed a church relationship since the organization of this denomination at Athens dissolved, though still an active Christian. Mrs. Graham has, however, since joined the Christian Church of Athens, where she still retains her membership.

Mr. Graham, in politics, was originally an Old Line Whig, and on the breaking up of this party he joined the Republican party, where he has ever since been a laborious worker, and was, during the late Rebellion of the South, an uncompromising Union man.

Mr. Graham is one of our old pioneers, and has led a life of active industry, and one, too, without a tarnish, and, we are proud to add, has brought up a family who promise to keep the family escutcheon without a stain.

Mr. Henry C. Graham, the eldest of the family, is one of Menard s most opulent farmers and successful live-stock traders. He has a model farm, under fine drainage and improvements, and has very liberally furnished a view of his premises for the County. He married, January 6, 1857, Miss Fanny L., daughter of Levi and Ann Cantrall, by whom he has four amiable and very promising children: Miss Mary A., William H., Arminta, and Joseph S.

Mrs. Graham s parents are settlers of Menard County. Her father was a pioneer of Sangamon, having settled there in 1819.

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