Lee County Biography


William Graves occupies a leading place among the farmers and stock-men of this part of Lee County, where he has made his home since boyhood, as he is a man of enlightened and progressive views, carries on his operations systematically and in a thoroughly business-like way, and keeps pace with the times in the introduction of new and approved methods. He and his associates have changed China Township from an uncultivated waste to a finely developed farming region, and his farm on section 15, with his extensive and valuable improvements, is one of the many choice farms for which this township is justly noted.

Mr. Graves was born in Broome County. N. Y. February 19, 1839. He comes of sterling New England stock, and his parents, William and Steal M. (Bostwick) Graves, were both natives of Massachusetts. He died in Broome County, N. Y., and she in Amboy, IL. Our subject is the second in order of birth of tho nine children born to his parents. He passed the early years of his life in his native county until 1852, when be came to Yorkville, Kendall County, this State, a sturdy, self-reliant lad of fourteen years, and for a year he was a resident of that place. In 1853 he joined his mother in Lee County, she having come hither with three of her children, and settled on section 15, China Township. Our subject grew to man's estate here, and early entered upon his career as a farmer and stock-raiser, to which he has always been devoted, and he has risen to a place of prominence among his fellow-farmers. He is now the owner of three hundred and forty-eight acres of excellent, well- cultivated land, and he has erected a good class of farm buildings, and made other improvements, has his pastures well stocked with cattle, horses and mine of fine breeds, and everything about the place is indicative of watchful care and superior management.

Mr. Graves and Miss Martha A. Thomas were united in marriage February 15, 1870, in China Township. Mrs. Craves is a native of this county, born in China Township, March 17, 1848,a daughter of Evans and Harriet (Whilmore) Thomas, early pioneers of this county, of whom a sketch is given in the biography of Evans Thomas. Mr. and Mrs. Graves are the parents of these four children: Grace, the wife of Harry Williamson; Lewis E.; Mamie and Hazel.

Our subject has much originality and decision of character, an evenly-balanced mind, and his fellow-citizens And him wise and helpful in counsel. They are appreciative of these traits, and knowing full well that he is a safe man to trust, and has the requisite qualifications for civic positions, they have elected him to one of the highest offices within their gift, selecting him to represent China Township on the Lee County Board of Supervisors, and he has held that of Lee for three years. He has been School Director, and as such has assisted in raising the standard of education in this vicinity, so that our schools compare with the best in the county. His politics are of the Republican order, and he is unswerving in his loyalty to his party.

Portrait & Biographical 1892


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