One of the substantial citizens of Marion county is the gentleman to a
review of whose life work we now call the attention of the reader. Mr.
Graham is a man who, while advancing his own interests does not lose sight
of the fact that it is his duty to lend his influence in furthering the
interests of his community.
Samuel H. Graham was born in Marion county, Indiana, in 1855, the son of John and Sarah Elizabeth (Oldharrt) Graham. Grandfather Graham was born in Pennsylvania. He came to Butler county, Ohio, and then to Rush county, Indiana, where he died, after a busy and useful life as a farmer. He had a large family. Grandfather Oldham was an early settler in Marion county, Indiana, where he had a farm of one hundred and twenty acres. He also raised a large family, some of his sons becoming soldiers in various Indiana regiments. The father of the subject was born in Butler county, Ohio, and moved to Rush county, Indiana, when ten years of age, having been reared to manhood in that county. He then went to Fayette county, rented a farm and later moved to Marion county, Indiana, where he bought eighty acres on which he lived for three years, and it was while living there that our subject was born. He then sold this farm and moved to Franklin county, Indiana, where he lived for twenty years and then came to Clay county, Illinois, where he bought a farm on which he spent the balance of his life, dying April 1, 1888, at the age of sixty-four years, his wife having preceded him to the narrow house on August 9, 1881, while on a visit in Indiana. She was fifty-two years old. Fourteen children were born to this family, six boys and eight girls, eleven of them reaching maturity. The subject's father affiliated with the Baptist church and his mother was a Methodist. John Graham was a Democrat, and was School Director, and always supported the schools.
Samuel H. Graham, our subject, attended the public schools in Indiana, remaining in the common schools until he was twenty years old, attending high school at Hartsville, and later the University at Valparaiso. He applied himself diligently and became a well educated man and commenced teaching on June 7, 1876, which he continued for twenty-five years and in all these years he never taught in more than eight different districts. However, his services were much sought after, his reputation as an able instructor having been widely known. After his career as a teacher, Mr. Graham for a short time engaged in agricultural business in Fayette county, Indiana, but moved to Clay county, Illinois, when yet a single man and resided with his father up to the time of his death in 1888, then moved to Marion county, Illinois, in 1890. He had been living in Clay county, this state, since 1881, and then came onto the farm which he had previously bought and where he has since resided, his present highly improved farm consisting of ninety-nine acres. He was administrator on his father's estate in Clay county. Our subject carries on farming of a general nature and handles some good stock.
Our subject was united in marriage on May n, 1890, with Eunice K. Wilkinson, a native of Iowa, and the daughter of Stephen and Lois (Maak) Wilkinson, natives of Ohio, who moved to Iowa, and then back to Ohio, later to Indiana and then to Vanert, Ohio. Mrs. Wilkinson died in Hamilton county, Ohio, and Mr. Wilkinson at Van Wert. There were fifteen children in this family, seven of them living to maturity.
Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Graham as follows: Elsie Floy, born in 1891, and died the following July: Walter T., who was born in 1892, is living at home with his parents; Earl, who was born in 1894, is also a member of the family circle; Harold was born in 1897; Roy Sylvester was born in 1901.
Mr. Graham in his fraternal relations is a member of the Woodmen and the Royal Neighbors. He has been Auditor, serving with much credit to himself and to the satisfaction of all concerned. In politics he is a Democrat and has been County Chairman of the Board since April, 1908; also has been Supervisor of his township and has been Town Clerk for eight or nine years; also Town Collector, School Director for fifteen years. He still holds the positions of the Chairman of the Board and School Director and Supervisor. He was a Justice of the Peace for four years, and a delegate to the state, judicial and county conventions. He is also a member of the Board of Review of the county. In religion our subject subscribes to the Baptist faith, while his wife affiliates with the Methodists.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 411-413.