The family of my grand uncle John Jasper Graham can be found on the 1950 Federal Census residing in Sylvania Township, Scott County, Missouri, in enumeration district 101-47. This area was enumerated on Wednesday, 10 May 1950 by Lucia Reinagel and the Grahams recorded on sheet number 10.

Sylvania Township, Scott County, Missouri, Enumeration District Map, 1950

Column 1. Name of street, avenue, or road: Oran Painton Road.

Oran is the largest city in Sylvania Township. Painton is a populated place in neighboring Stoddard County, some eight miles directly west of Oran. The road that runs between them is presently named State Highway W.

Column 2. House (and apartment) number: Blank.

Column 3. Serial number of dwelling unit: 75.

Column 4. Is this house on a farm (or ranch)? Yes.

Column 6. Agriculture questionnaire number: 62. (Unfortunately, these records were not retained by the Census Bureau.)

Rows 3 thru 6 recorded the Graham family.

Family of John Jasper Graham, Scott County, Missouri, 1950

The head of the household was Jasper J. Graham, a white male, aged 54, born in Arkansas. His name was properly John Jasper Graham, as on his 1917 draft registration card, but he often went by his middle name. Jasper indicated that he worked 30 hours sharecropping during the previous week.

Sharecropping became widespread in the United States following the American Civil War when southern landowners found themselves with a great deal of land to farm but no way to pay for labor. The sharecropping system developed, where farm laborers were allowed to live on and farm a plot of land in exchange for a percentage of the crop given to the landowners as rent. This means that Jasper did not own the farm where he was residing in 1950.

Jasper’s wife was Danner Graham, a white female, aged 52, born in Arkansas. Her job was keeping house. She answered supplemental questions that indicated she lived in the same house one year ago, both of her parents were born in the United States, and her highest grade of school completed was fifth grade (On the 1940 census, she indicated her highest grade completed was fourth). The rest of the supplemental questions were about wages earned, of which she had none.

Supplemental questions, Danner Graham, 1950

Denver E. Graham was their son, a white male, aged 32, born in Arkansas. He worked 20 hours in the previous week as a farmhand for a private employer, probably his father.

Deloys Graham was their youngest child, a white female, aged 11, born in Arkansas. She was too young to answer the employment questions — they were for people aged 14 or older.


1950 U. S. Census, Scott County, Missouri, Enumeration District 101-47, population schedule, sheet 10, dwelling 75, Jasper J. Graham household; digital image, National Archives (

Wikipedia contributors, “Sharecropping,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,