Tag Archives: John Jasper Graham

A Gathering of Grahams

Forty-five years ago today, this brief article appeared in The Daily Standard of Sikeston, Missouri recounting a gathering of Grahams. I’m not sure of the occasion – no obvious anniversaries or birthdays were on 19 October 1970, the date of the visit. Maybe they just missed each other’s company.

Visits Uncle

Monday evening Mr. and Mrs. Albert Graham[1] and family of Harvey, Ill.[2], visited his Uncle Jasper Graham. Others visiting Mr. and Mrs. Jasper Graham[3] were Mr. and Mrs. Blane Rains[4], of Oran, Denver Graham[5] of Sikeston, Mr. and Mrs. Dempsey Graham[6] and family of Oran.


1. Albert John Graham, son of Jessie Cornelius Graham and Callie Watts, and his wife Mary Ellen Treat, daughter of James Carter Treat and Mary Margaret Watts.

2. I didn’t know that Albert and family lived in Harvey for a time! Now I’ll have to visit the library again to page through the old phone books.

3. John Jasper Graham, Jessie’s brother, and Silas Danner Copeland.

4. Blain Rains and his wife Junia Barnes, daughter of Harmon Barnes and Alcidine Watts.

5. Denver Etridge Graham, son of Jasper and Danner.

6. Dempsey Graham, son of Jasper and Danner, and his wife Lillian Harris.


The Daily Standard (Sikeston, Missouri), “Visits Uncle”, published on Thursday, 22 October 1970. Retrieved from newspapers.com on Tuesday, 20 October 2015.

Obituary: Berlene Graham

Berlene Graham Cody, a daughter of John Jasper Graham and Danner Copeland, passed away yesterday. Last December, I published a short biography of her that was taken from an advertisement for Perry County Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, where she was residing.

Rest in peace, Berlene.

Berlene Graham Cody

Berlene Graham Cody, age 88, of Perry, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, March 17, 2013. She was born January 5, 1925 in Watts, Arkansas, a daughter of John Jasper Graham and Danner Copeland Graham. She was a homemaker and a member of Hickory Grove Freewill Baptist Church and attended Welcome Home Missionary Baptist Church. She is survived by her son, Elton Cody of Perry; brothers, Demsey Graham and wife, Lillian of Missouri; J.R. Graham and wife, Corrine of Tennessee; sister, Delois Graham Goetz of Missouri; grandsons, Clint Cody and Cole Cody both of Perry; granddaughters, Michelle Cody Young and husband Duane of Conway; Miranda Cody of Michigan; Holly Cody Smith and husband, Adam of Michigan; two great-granddaughters, and one great-grandson. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, George Cody; son, Keith Cody; and a daughter-in-law, Annette Cody. 

Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 19, at Welcome Home Missionary Baptist Church with Mr. Charles Smith, Bro. Cleo Young, and Bro. Mike Arndt officiating. Burial will be at Hamilton Cemetery by Harris Funeral Home of Morrilton. The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Monday, March 18, at the funeral home.


Harris Funeral Homes, “Berlene Graham Cody,” published 17 March 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2013.

Berlene Cody

I recently came across an advertisement for the Perry County Nursing & Rehabilitation Center of Perryville, Arkansas. The ad was unusual in that it featured a profile of one of the residents of the center: Berlene Cody, née Graham, the daughter of John Jasper Graham and Danner Copeland. The profile gives a good representation of life on the farm in the first-half of the Twentieth Century.


PCNC Resident

imageBerlene was born on a small farm in Searcy County, Arkansas, and was delivered by a midwife. She had three brothers and one sister. Growing up, she helped out a lot on the family farm by milking cows and gardening. She said they would have to put the milk in the well to keep it cold because they did not have electricity or own a refrigerator. They took baths in the creek. She learned to cook and sew at a very early age. Her aunt, Nona Graham, taught her to sew. She used a treadle sewing machine to make their clothes. After she married, she continued to sew for her family. Even when they finally got electricity, she continued to use her old non-electric treadle sewing machine.

When she was a child, her daddy would parch peanuts for them as a special treat. He cooked the peanuts in the fireplace using a one gallon bucket with holes punched in it. He would also make popcorn in the bucket.

The family packed up and moved to Sikeston, Missouri, when she was around 11 years of age. After high school, she worked in a shoe factory, then a straw factory. She met and married George Cody in 1947, and soon afterward they moved back to Arkansas. Her family then moved to Louisiana because of a desire to cotton farm. They saved up enough money to return, and buy a place, in Perry County.

Mrs. Cody enjoys church & family and has two sons, Elton and Keith. She has always enjoyed cooking, gardening, sewing and canning. Her favorite foods are chocolate gravy & biscuits, with a big ole’ glass of milk; brown and white beans; corn bread and sweet potatoes; and peaches. Her favorite President was Franklin D. Roosevelt.


Advertisement for Perry County Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Petit Jean Country Headlight, page 11, published Wednesday, 9 November 2011. Retrieved on 27 December 2012.

Tidying Up The Gray Home

A revision was published to the article on John Jasper Graham, adding in new information taken from the obituaries of John and his wife Danner.

  • Expanded the paragraphs regarding John and Danner’s deaths
  • Added a photograph of their grave marker
  • Corrected the spelling of “Delois”
  • Expanded the section on name variations
  • Made some grammatical corrections
  • Added photograph credits and both obituaries to the list of Sources.

Also, since none existed, I have created memorials at Find A Grave for both John and Danner.

Obituary: Silas Danner Copeland

Here is the death notice for Danner Graham, published in The Sikeston Standard-Democrat on Tuesday, 11 June 1996.

Danner Graham

SIKESTON – Danner Graham, 98, died at 6:50 a.m. June 11, 1996, at the Sikeston Convalescent Center.

Arrangements are incomplete at Amick-Burnett Funeral Chapel in Sikeston.

The following day a full obituary was published in the same paper. Notice the subtle differences in the first paragraph between the two. The dateline on the death notice was Sikeston, where Danner’s death actually occurred, while the dateline on the obituary was Morley, where she resided. Also, the death notice reported the time of death, while the obituary did not.

Danner Graham

MORLEY – Danner Graham, 98, died June 11, 1996, at the Sikeston Convalescent Center.

Born Aug. 23, 1897, at Searcy County, Ark., daughter of the late Bud and Callie Cypert Copeland[1], she was a member of Calvary Temple Assembly of God Church in Sikeston and had taught Sunday school for many years at Hope Baptist Church near Oran.

On Jan. 7, 1916[2], she married John Jasper Graham who preceded her in death on Aug. 11, 1979.

Survivors include: three sons, Denver Graham of Sikeston, Dempsey Graham of Oran and Julius Graham of Memphis, Tenn.; two daughters, Berlene Cody of Perry, Ark., and Delois Goetz of Sikeston; and eight grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Preceding her in death were one brother, one sister, three half sisters and two half brothers.

Friends may call after 5 p.m. today at Amick-Burnett Funeral Chapel in Sikeston, where services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday.

Burial will follow in the Old Morley Cemetery near Morley.


[1] Her parents’ full names were Silas Richard Copeland and California E. Cypert. This is the only instance where I’ve seen S. R. Copeland referred to as “Bud.”

[2] Year of marriage is incorrect. Danner and John were married in 1917, not 1916. This same error occurred in John’s obituary.


The Sikeston Standard-Democrat, “Danner Graham,” page 5, published on Tuesday, 11 June 1996. Retrieved from microfilm at the Sikeston Public Library on Monday, 8 October 2012.

The Sikeston Standard-Democrat, “Danner Graham,” page 5, published on Wednesday, 12 June 1996. Retrieved from microfilm at the Sikeston Public Library on Monday, 8 October 2012.

Obituary: John Jasper Graham

Originally published in The Daily Standard of Sikeston, Missouri on Monday, 13 August 1979.

John Graham

MORLEY – John Jasper Graham, 83, a retired farmer, died at 9:40 p.m. Saturday[1] at Southeast Missouri Hospital at Cape Girardeau, where he had been a patient since Aug. 2.

He was born Jan. 19, 1896 in Watts, Ark., to the late John Henry and Mary Beohannon[2] Graham. Three brothers and one sister preceded him in death[3].

On Jan. 7, 1916[4] he married Silas M. Copeland[5] of Marshall, who survives.

Other survivors include: three sons, Denver E. Graham of Canalou, Dempsey R. Graham of Oran and Julius R. Graham of Memphis, Tenn.; two daughters, Mrs. Berlene Cody of Perry, Ark. and Mrs. Delois Goetz of Sikeston; one brother, Daniel P. Graham of Marshall, Ark.; one sister, Mrs. Emma Mainard of Purcell, Okla.; eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Friends may call at the Amick-Burnett Funeral Chapel of Oran. Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church in Morley with the Rev. Delbert Bishop, pastor officiating, assisted by the Rev. Willis E. Osbon of the Morley Church of God.

Burial will follow at the old Morley Cemetery.


[1] Saturday was 11 August 1979. The Social Security Death Index did not list John’s day of death, only the month and year, so here we obtain it by calculating backwards from the newspaper’s date of publication.

[2] Yet another spelling variation of this surname. Mary’s own obituary spelled it “Bohannon”.

[3] This sentence is incorrect. Preceding John in death were his brothers Jessie and William, and his sisters Evisa, Mary, Sarah, Stella, and Nona. “Two brothers and five sisters preceded him in death,” would be exactly right.

JJGrahamMarriageDetail[4] The marriage date given here is wrong. John and Danner were actually married on 7 January 1917. A digital image of their actual marriage form can be viewed at right.

[5] This middle initial of “M” is curious. We already knew that Danner’s first name was Silas, after her father, from its inclusion on the census forms of 1920 and 1930. All other available records report her name as Danner. I’ve seen several family trees report her middle name as “Midaner” with no sources cited. Danner could be derived from Midaner.


The Daily Standard [Sikeston, MO], “John Graham,” page 8, published on Monday, 13 August 1979. Retrieved from microfilm at the Sikeston Public Library on Monday, 8 October 2012.

Tidying Up The Gray Home

Today is my grandpa’s 103rd birthday. I dedicate today’s tidying to Daniel Page Graham.

The following changes have been published:

John Jasper Graham

  • Added images from the 1920 and 1930 United States Census
  • Added data and an image from the 1940 United States Census
  • Added in section headers by decade to make the article easier to follow
  • Made some revisions to the text for clarity
  • Added ages at death and place of burial for John and Danner
  • Added a section addressing name variations
  • Moved paragraph speculating about Danner’s name
  • Removed the Questions section, since most of them were answered by this update
  • Updated the Sources section and moved it to second page.

Mancel Coker & California Copeland

  • Added relationship between Otis Jasper Bohannon and William Thomas Graham.
  • Moved the Sources to second page.

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