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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