A copy of this obituary was provided to me by Louise Graham Bower. I do not know in which paper it appeared, though it was possibly the Marshall Republican, the same paper that published John Henry Graham’s obituary nineteen months later.


Mrs. Mary Matilda Bohannon Graham, daughter of the late Neal Bohannon and Mary Bohannon, departed this life Thursday September 21, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Nona Lathum, at Watts at the age of 75 years.

She was born July 29, 1869, in the Watts community, and was married to John H. Graham, October 4, 1888[2]. To this union 10 children were born.

Surviving are her husband, seven children, Mrs. Evisa Collins of Greenbriar, Ark., Jesse Graham of Watts, Jasper Graham of Morley, Mo., Mrs. Emma Mainord of Purcell, Okla., Mrs. Stella Martin of Mt. Judea, Ark., and Mrs. Nona Lathum and Dan Graham of Watts; 28 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren; three brothers, William Bohannon of Commanche, Okla., Daniel Bohannon of Watts and John Bohannon of Osceola, Ark., and a sister, Mrs. Winnie McCluskey of Oswalt, Okla.

Mrs. Graham professed faith in Christ at an early age and was a member of the Free Will Baptist church.

Pallbearers were Chester Treat, Albert Graham, Chester Bohannon, Ray Nelson, Russell Allen, and Franky Lathum.

The flower girls were Nellie Allen, Nola Collins, Ermadean Watts, Joyce Lathum, Ruby Graham and Hester Bohannon.

The funeral services were conducted Saturday, September 23, at 10 a.m. by Rev. C. E. Gray, pastor of the Methodist church of Marshall, and burial was in the Shady Grove cemetery in charge of the Coffman Funeral Home of Marshall.


[1] It’s a bit curious to me that though Tildy was married at the time of her death, her obituary was titled by her maiden name.

[2] The date of John and Tildy’s marriage was incorrectly stated here.  It was also incorrectly stated in John’s obituary. They were actually married on 3 October 1889.

JHG Marriage License
Marriage License of John Henry Graham & Mary Bohannon, 1889.


Scan of original obituary provided by Louise Graham Bower, newspaper of publication unknown, date of publication circa September 1944.

“Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NMV4-KLH : 15 January 2021), J F Graham, 3 Oct 1889; citing Marriage, Searcy, Arkansas, United States, county offices, Arkansas; FHL microfilm 1,031,118.

3 thoughts on “Obituary for Mary Matilda Graham

  1. YES – Byron – but we are reading it over 50 years later, thank goodness today they put the year on the obit’s!!!! Which I appreciate very much.
    Thank you for explaining the ‘flower girls’ and their dutys, I guess now everyone that attends a funeral if they send or bring flowers would be classified as flower girls/boys – but it is done a little different today.
    Hey – are you planning to come to the reunion this next month???
    Sure hope so and your parents too!


  2. I have never heard of flower girls at a funeral, either. I did a quick search at Google and learned that flower girls were a fairly common practice at Southern funerals in the early part of the Twentieth Century, but the practice has all but died out now. They would bring flowers and arrange them around the casket, then do the same around the head stone at the grave site.

    As for the death year being omitted from the obituary, that doesn’t surprise me. Obituaries in newspapers tell of recent deaths, and the readers in 1944 would’ve correctly assumed that the death happened that year. If you open up today’s newspaper and read the obituaries, wouldn’t you assume those listed all died in 2011?


  3. Byron – I have never heard of having FLOWER GIRLS at a funeral before – have you? I wonder what they did – throw petels on the casket or what? I wish I had known this before Ruby died, I would have asked her about it.
    Also – I find it interesting that there is no death year date in the obit – wonder why it is omitted??


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