Joseph and Rebecca Graham

Rebec­ca Gra­ham, next to the youngest daugh­ter of James Gra­ham, Sr., mar­ried Joseph Gra­ham, her cousin in the year 1803. Joseph Gra­ham was [71] the son of David Gra­ham, Sr., who lived in Bath coun­ty. David Gra­ham, Sr., and James Gra­ham, Sr., the orig­i­nal set­tler at Low­ell, were broth­ers; there was also anoth­er broth­er whose name was Robert, who set­tled at Fort Chiswell in Wythe coun­ty, Vir­ginia, short­ly before the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War. Tra­di­tion has failed to fur­nish us with but a very mea­ger account of this branch of our prog­en­i­tors, but the untir­ing effort on part of the author of these annals has revealed the fact that these three broth­ers, David, James and Robert, were born in Ire­land. Hav­ing thus referred to this branch of the fam­i­ly which we will take up lat­er, we will now return to the sub­ject in hand. After the mar­riage of Joseph and Rebec­ca Gra­ham, they set­tled for a short time in Bath coun­ty, Vir­ginia, but returned to the neigh­bor­hood of Low­ell in about one year and lived for a time on the William Gra­ham place, and a por­tion of that time on Gra­ham Island, now the Riffe Island. The house in which he lived stood not far from the present dwelling of Thomas Riffe.

[72] In the year 1813 they moved to what is now the Clay­ton neigh­bor­hood on Hun­garts Creek and set­tled on the place where David Gra­ham Bal­lengee now lives. At the time of their loca­tion in their new home, there were but few oth­er set­tlers in the same local­i­ty and those who were near enough to be termed neigh­bors were mere squat­ters and had sought tem­po­rary homes near the moun­tains for the pur­pose of hunt­ing wild game rather than a per­ma­nent abode. Thus, a short dis­tance to the west stood the cab­in of Bai­ley Woods. While to the north and a lit­tle far­ther dis­tance away was locat­ed the cab­in of Mar­tin McGraw. The Woods’ cab­in stood on the land now occu­pied by A. H. Honaker. The McGraw cab­in was on the farm now owned by C. H. Gra­ham. These were, so far as we know, the only set­tlers on the Gra­ham lands at that time. The stay of these tran­sient set­tlers was short.

About one mile south­east of the Gra­ham place on what has since been known as the Eads farm there lived William With­row, who moved away [73] in a short time. This prop­er­ty was after­wards occu­pied by Peter Eads and fam­i­ly who came from Albe­mar­le coun­ty, Vir­ginia, and set­tled here about the year 1830. There also lived, at the time of Graham’s locat­ing here, a fam­i­ly by the name of McGraw, about two miles to the south, on what has since been known as the Nowl­an place. East­ward, about three miles, at the mouth of Grif­fiths Creek, lived a fam­i­ly by the name of Grif­fith. The head of the fam­i­ly, Thomas Grif­fith, was killed by the Indi­ans in 1780. He was the last vic­tim of the sav­ages in this sec­tion of the coun­try. This place was after­wards occu­pied by Enos Ellis and is still occu­pied by his descen­dants. It is thought that Ellis may have lived at this place before the Gra­ham settlement.

On the spot where Joseph Gra­ham first locat­ed his house there had been a hunter’s cab­in, pre­vi­ous­ly occu­pied by a man named Steven­son or Stin­son. This hunter had prob­a­bly not “lived” in his cab­in for many years, as the sur- [74] vey made twen­ty-sev­en years before and patent­ed in the name of James Gra­ham, Sr., fails to include the Steven­son or Stin­son cab­in. A spur of Keeney’s Knob over­look­ing the Gra­ham farm is to this day called “Stinson’s Knob”.

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