The enterprising citizen whose name heads this article needs no
introduction to the people of Marion county. He has been for some time
prominently identified with the financial and industrial interests of the
community where he resides and always manifesting an active interest in the
public welfare. His long life has been a most active and useful one in every
respect, and has resulted in the accumulation of an ample competence for his
closing years as well as in much good to his fellow men and the community at
large, where he has many warm friends.
Samuel D. Graham was born in Rush county, Indiana, in April 1836, the son of Hezekiah and Sarah (Smith) Graham. Grandfather Graham was born in Scotland and came to Pennsylvania in the seventeenth century. Both he and his brother, Isaac, came from Scotland and both fought in the Revolutionary war. Grandfather was a captain and he had his eyes burned by the explosion of a gun in the hands of one of his own soldiers and eventually lost his eyesight from the effects of it, having been blind for twenty years before his death. He never drew his pension although it was allowed. It is in the hands of the government yet. He was about eighty years old when he died, leaving eight children living out of a family of nine, all of whom lived to maturity, five of whom moved to Ohio, where they made homes and reared families and where they died. Grandfather was deacon in the Baptist church for forty years, and he and Grandmother Graham were Baptists and always lived the Christian life.
Grandfather Smith was a native of Pennsylvania, who moved from there to Butler county, Ohio, after the death of his first wife. He and our subject's father were married by the same minister and with the same ceremony. In Grandfather Smith's family there were seven children, who lived to maturity. The youngest daughter by this marriage, Rebecca McClelland, was the mother of Gen. George B. McClelland. There was no issue from the second marriage. Grandfather Smith lived to be well advanced in years. After his remains had been buried twelve years, they were taken up for removal and it was found that his body was petrified. Grandfather Smith was a Revolutionary soldier and one of his sons-in-law, Oren Davis, was with him as a soldier, and his son, Charles was in the Black Hawk war.
The father of the subject left Pennsylvania when twenty years old. He did not have early school advantages, but in time became educated and a well read man through his own persistent efforts, being particularly well informed on historical matters and events. He settled in Butler county, Ohio, buying timbered land which he cleared and developed into a good farm, living there for about twelve years, when he moved to Rush county, Indiana, in 1831, remaining there until his death, which occurred at the age of seventy-two years, his date of birth having occurred on August 6, 1799. His wife was born in October 1800. He was twice married, his first wife being the mother of our subject. She died at the age of thirty-seven years, having given birth to eleven children, seven of whom lived to maturity. The father was married again, there being born to the last union ten children, all of whom lived to maturity. The father and mother were Baptists. The former spent his entire life on a farm, leaving a farm and a goodly share of money to his heirs, and also left land in Iowa, all of which shows that he was a thrifty and prudent man of affairs.
Hezekiah Graham, father of the subject, in addition to his own family of eighteen children took four orphan boys and one girl and kept them until they reached maturity and in addition to these he was always hunting and finding homes for other orphan children, and his own smokehouse and granary were always open to the poor and needy. He believed with the great philosopher, Henry Drummond, that "The greatest thing a man can do for his Heavenly Father is to be kind to some of His children."
Samuel D. Graham, our subject, had but little opportunity to attend school, having spent altogether less than six months in the schoolroom. He worked on his father's farm until he was twenty-six years old, then hired out as a farm hand for ten years, during which time he saved his earnings and bought a farm in Fayette county, Indiana. He lived there for ten years, then sold out and bought another farm in Union county, Indiana, and sold this at the end of two years, when he moved to Illinois, settling in Marion county, buying a farm of one hundred and eighty-five acres of improved land, near Kinmundy in 1882. In 1903 he bought his splendid modern residence and two acres of ground in Kinmundy, where he has since resided. He sold his farm here and bought a farm in Butler county, Missouri, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres of improved bottom land on which his son resides and successfully manages. Since coming to Kinmundy our subject has lived in peaceful and honorable retirement, conscious of a well spent life, which has been a very active one and has resulted in success in an eminent degree. He always benefited himself in his land deals and was an unusually good farmer, keeping his farms well improved and in a high state of cultivation.
Our subject was married in 1870 to Mrs. Rhoda E. Prichard, nee Patterson, a native of Union county, Indiana. Her father, Alexander Patterson, was born December 7, 1815, and came to Ohio when fifteen years of age, later to Union county, Indiana, where his father had purchased an eighty-acre farm. He lived and died on that farm. Mrs. Graham became the mother of three children by her first marriage, all of whom are deceased. One of the oldest brothers, James M. Patterson, was a soldier during the Civil war from Indiana, and was killed at Winchester, Virginia, in the battle of September 19, 1864. Her people were of Scotch-German descent. Her grandparents on her father's side were married September 6, 1798. Grandfather Patterson was born April 14, 1769, and Grandmother Patterson was born July 29, 1776.
The following children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Graham: Harvey McClelland, born August 23, 1871, was accidentally killed in 1904; William H., was born in 1873, is living on a farm in Missouri, is married, but has no children living: Tillie Alma, who was born December 15, 1878, died January 28, 1879; Katie L., born May 6, 1880, is the wife of Melvin Hamilton, and is living in Indiana. They have two children living.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Graham are active members of the Baptist church. Our subject is a loyal Democrat, but seldom takes much interest in political affairs, however, his support is always for the good of the community in all questions.
Our subject has been a great reader, having read the Bible through not less than six or seven times, besides scores of other good books and much pure literary matter. He relates that he has been acquainted with not less than five hundred of the Grahams and that he never knew or heard of one of them who ever used intoxicants of any kind or character, and but few of them who ever used tobacco, and about one-half of them are church people.
Extracted 07 Jul 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 139-141.