This is the obituary of Jesse Hunnicutt Graham published in the Sumter County Journal newspaper of York, Alabama on Thursday, 26 October 1939. York is just across the state line from Meridian, Mississippi, where Jesse Graham resided. Jesse was the son of John William Graham and Rebecca Jane Hunnicutt, and a nephew of Jesse Flournoy Graham and Sarah Scott.

Jesse Hunnicut Graham obit, 1939.

“Jesse Hunnicut Graham…” Most records spell his first name as Jessie. That particular spelling is considered the feminine form of the name; the masculine form is Jesse. He inherited the name from his paternal grandfather, Jesse Graham.

As for his middle name, it was the maiden name of both his paternal grandmother Elizabeth Caroline Hunnicutt and his mother Rebecca, who was Elizabeth’s niece. It’s usually spelt with a double T.

Since Jesse’s parents were first cousins, he was his own second cousin.

“…age 76…” This age is consistent with the dates on his grave marker, born 28 December 1862, died 22 October 1939.

“…passed away at his residence…” A 1923 city directory of Meridian listed his residence as 317 41st Avenue. Google Maps street view shows an overgrown lot with no structures at that location today.

“…Mrs. Mary Vance Graham…” She was Mary Katherine Vance and she was Jesse’s second wife. There was a significant age difference between Jesse and Mary – 18 years. I’m not certain when or where they were married because I haven’t found a record, but I have a best guess. On the 1920 Lauderdale County census, Mary is single and residing with her parents. I haven’t found Jesse on the 1920 census, but his first wife Matilda Edmonds died in 1917, so he was a widower then. The 1930 Lauderdale County census recorded Mary and Jesse married with an 8 years old son. This census also recorded Mary’s age in 1930, 49 years, and her age at her first marriage, 39 years. That places their marriage about 1920, after the census. This is supported by the 1923 city directory which listed Jesse and Mary as husband and wife.

Jesse and Mary in the Meridian city directory, 1923.

“…Virgil of Hobbs, New Mexico…” Son of Jesse and Matilda.

“…R. G. of DeKalb, Miss…” Roland Grady Graham, son of Jesse and Matilda.

“…J. W. of Meridian, Miss…” John William Graham, son of Jesse and Mary. Named after his paternal grandfather.

“…Miss Willie Graham of Selma, Ala…” Daughter of Jesse and Matilda.

“…Mrs. Annie Sparrowgrove of Granville, Ohio…” Annie Graham, daughter of Jesse and Matilda. She first married Columbus Page, a man some 13 years her senior. That marriage apparently ended in divorce. She next married a Mr. Clark, and that marriage ended at his death. Her third husband was Robert Sparrowgrove.

“…pallbearers…” Robert Betsill and James Betsill were Mary’s nephews, sons of her younger sister Elizabeth Vance and James Betsill.

John Henry Vance and James Vance were Mary’s nephews, sons of her younger brother Henry Madison Vance.

Jesse Graham and Hardy Moore Graham were Jesse’s nephews, sons of his younger brother Sanford Martin Graham.

(The Grahams sure loved the name Jesse. I’ve mentioned four generations of Jesses in this article.)

Emmett Barefield was Mary’s nephew, son of her older sister Alice Vance and Amos Barefield.

Edwin Gray’s mother was Jennie Barefield, a daughter of Alice and Amos. What would you call his relation to Mary? Son of a niece. Grand nephew?

Bibliography

Ancestry.com. U.S., Newspapers.com Obituary Index, 1800s-current [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2019. Sumter County Journal; Publication Date: 26 Oct 1939; Publication Place: York, Alabama, USA; URL: https://www.newspapers.com/image/552967859/?article=f961dd6b-960a-41c8-b0d9-ce3cc9d0860b&focus=0.5715446,0.061137784,0.70265216,0.2612478&xid=3355

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 12 April 2021), memorial page for Jessie H. Graham (28 Dec 1862–22 Oct 1939), Find a Grave Memorial no. 68202394, citing Union United Methodist Church Cemetery, Oak Grove, Kemper County, Mississippi, USA ; Maintained by Ralph (contributor 47335878) .

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 12 April 2021), memorial page for Matilda Edmonds Graham (16 Mar 1856–12 Dec 1917), Find a Grave Memorial no. 68202346, citing Union United Methodist Church Cemetery, Oak Grove, Kemper County, Mississippi, USA ; Maintained by Ralph (contributor 47335878) .

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 12 April 2021), memorial page for Mary K Vance Graham (1 Nov 1880–19 Nov 1955), Find a Grave Memorial no. 30672210, citing Sageville Cemetery, Lauderdale County, Mississippi, USA ; Maintained by DeeDee (contributor 46899697) .

Ancestry.com, U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 (Beta) (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.Original data – Original sources vary according to directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page. Check the directory title), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Record for Jesse H Graham. https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=2469&h=814698334&indiv=try.

“317 41st Ave, Meridian, MS 39307.” Map. Google Maps. Google. 12 April 2021. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/maps/PJwCA4rxmRPsz4xq6

Ancestry.com, 1920 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 on roll 323 (Chicago C), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Year: 1920; Census Place: Meridian, Lauderdale, Mississippi; Roll: T625_883; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 37. Record for Mary K Vance. https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=6061&h=51067100&indiv=try.

Ancestry.com, 1930 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. .Original data – United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Year: 1930; Census Place: Beat 1, Lauderdale, Mississippi; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0017; FHL microfilm: 2340888. Record for J H Graham. https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=6224&h=37048450&indiv=try.

Ancestry.com, Ohio, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1774-1993 (Lehi, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Record for Anna Clark. https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=61378&h=901113657&indiv=try.

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