Tag Archives: Sarah F Scott

Pink Coffin

I was re-reading my previous article on Jesse Graham & Sarah Scott when I had the following conversation with my daughter.

“What’s that?” she asked, looking at a photograph of a grave marker.

“That’s the grave of my great great grandmother, and your great great great grandmother,” I said.

“What’s the coffin look like?”

“I don’t know. She died in 1928. That was 42 years before I was born.”

“Maybe it was pink.”

“Maybe it was!”

Tidying Up The Gray Home

Merry Christmas from Graham Ancestry!

The following entries have been recently updated:

Jesse & Sarah Graham

  • Complete re-write of article
  • Added two new photographs of their grave markers
  • Added two images from the census
  • Expanded the Sources so that you can easily check my work!

Who Is Buried In William’s Grave?

  • Added a new detail derived from the 1900 census.

Surprise Packet

I received the other day a surprise packet of Graham family information from Ms. Louise Bower, whom I had met in June at the Graham Family Reunion in Marshall, Arkansas. The packet included photocopies of Louise’s handwritten notes, a photograph of Sarah (Scott) Graham, a copy of Sarah’s death certificate, Mary Matilda (Bohannon) Graham’s obituary, a photograph of John Henry Graham, Matilda and their children (including my grandpa Daniel as a baby), and a hand-printed family data sheet for John Henry Graham and his family. Some of this material Louise had provided at the family reunion, but some of it was new to me.

The family data sheet was of particular interest to me because it contained the full names, birth dates, marriage dates, and some death dates of all of the children of John Henry Graham, and the source cited for the information was a family bible that at the time it was copied was in the possession of my grandpa, Daniel Graham.  The address recorded on the family data sheet was grandpa’s address in Illinois. Grandpa moved back to Arkansas in the late 1970s, and he died in 1983. Was this family data sheet created in the 1970s? Where is the bible now?  Could this be “grandma’s bible” that my cousin Connie says that she now possesses?

Upon closer inspection I think this data sheet was created in the late 1970s. On the right-hand side of the page, though partially cut-off, is the name Nellie, with a partial address, and the name Evisa. Beneath that is Nellie again, listed as “family representative” and her relationship given as “grand-dau” – cut off. That must be Nellie Collins Allen, the daughter of Evisa Graham Collins and grand-daughter of  John Henry Graham, and this sheet is in Nellie’s own printing. Nellie died in 1982.

I had already compiled most of the information on the family data sheet from other sources, but it’s great to have it affirmed. Some of the information is new, however, so I will be updating entries here at Graham Ancestry soon.

Thank you, Louise!

Who is Buried in William’s Grave?

I recently returned from a sojourn to Marshall, Arkansas where I attended the North Arkansas Ancestor Fair and the Graham Family reunion for the descendants of Jesse and Sarah Graham.  I met a lot of friendly folks and gathered a lot of material for this journal, but at the same time I know there’s more to be had, so I want to go back next year!

The Question

The ancestors about which I fielded the most questions was William Graham, both of them.  One of them is buried at Shady Grove Cemetery in Arkansas.  The questions I got were all the same:  Which one is buried there?

The First William

The first William Graham was the son of Jesse and Sarah Graham, and was born sometime around 1865 somewhere in Alabama.  In 1880, he was living in Bear Creek Township with his parents, sisters Eliza and Mary, and brother John.

William Graham 1880 Census

And that’s really all that I know about him.  I haven’t found him on any other census, nor do I know what happened to him after 1880.

The Second William

The second William was William Thomas Graham, the second son of John Henry Graham and thus the nephew of the first William.  As I previously chronicled, this William served during the First World War and was honorably discharged.

The Grave

Here is a photograph of the grave maker at Shady Grove Cemetery, as taken by my wife:

WTGraham Grave Marker

As you can see, this William Graham was a Private in the 348th Infantry, 87th Division, and died on 12 September 1920.

The Answer

The 348th Infantry was a World War I unit that was constituted 5 August 1917 and then organized in September of that year at Camp Pike, Arkansas.  It was demobilized in March 1919 at Camp Dix, New Jersey.

We already know that the second William served in the Army during World War I, but did the first?

The Selective Service Act of 1917 authorized the federal government to raise a National Army through draft to fight the war in Europe.  There were three draft registrations for World War I:

  • The first, 5 June 1917, was for all men between the ages of 21 and 31.  This is the draft for which William Thomas Graham and his two brothers Jessie Cornelius Graham and John Jasper Graham registered.
  • The second, 5 June 1918, registered those who attained age 21 after 5 June 1917.
  • The third registration was held on 12 September 1918 for men age 18 through 45.

The first William would’ve been 52 in 1917, making him ineligible to register for military service in World War I.  Furthermore, the 1900 census sheet for William’s mother Sarah suggests that William had died some time before 1900 (see Jesse & Sarah Graham).  Thus, the man buried in Shady Grove Cemetery must be William Thomas Graham, the second son of John Henry Graham.


Ancestry.com:  United States Federal Census for 1880 and 1900;  World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917 – 1918.

US Army Center of Military History:  348th Regiment Lineage and Honors

Find A Grave: Memorial for William Graham.

Wikipedia:  Selective Service Act of 1917.

Photograph of the grave marker of William Graham, taken at Shady Grove Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas on Saturday, 4 June 2011, by Ashli Graham.

The Many Wives of Patrick, Part 3: Mary Frances Graham

It was late January 1903, and Patrick Bohannon had just buried his second wife Mary Frances Wilbanks, whom he called “Fannie” with affection.  Patrick soon found solace with Mrs Mary Frances King, née Graham, a young widow who had lost her husband and two sons in the Indian Territory a couple of years earlier.  The fact that Mary King shared the same first and middle names as Patrick’s second wife may have helped blossom this relationship.  She even had a similar nickname, “Mollie”.

Patrick Mollie Marriage DetailOn 2 September 1903, seven months after Fannie’s death, Patrick paid a $100 bond for a marriage license, with A. Bohannon signed as surety.  On the marriage license, Patrick was listed as “P. L. Bohanon” of Bear Creek, age 35, and Mollie was “Mrs Mary F King” of Watts, age 23.  Justice of the Peace F. M. Hardin conducted the marriage ceremony on 3 September 1903, and the documents were filed by county clerk J. W. Smith.


The census of 1910 was the first to show the family of Patrick and Mollie.  There is a wealth of information contained on the census form that confirms the data in this article, but there are also some things that aren’t there. I will explain both, with pictures!

Patrick and Mollie were apparently living on the farm of Mollie’s parents Jesse and Sarah Graham in Red River Township. By 1910, Jesse had passed away and all of Mollie’s siblings had moved on to start families of their own or had themselves died. Only Mollie and her mother Sarah remained on the farm, and then Patrick and his family moved in when he married Mollie, I speculate.

1910 Patrick Bohannon Census Detail

Patrick M3Look at the far right of the line for Patrick.  The M3 indicated that this was his third marriage – his previous marriages had been to Rixey Watson and Fannie Wilbanks.  The 7 indicated that this marriage to Mollie had lasted for seven years by this point, which is consistent with their 1903 marriage license.

Mollie M2Similarly, the M2 on Mollie’s line indicated that this was her second marriage, her first having been to Otha Allen King.  The 7 refers to the span of her current marriage to Patrick.  The next block is “Mother of how many children.”  The 5 was the total number of children born to Mollie, and the 3 was the number still living in 1910.  The two children that died were her sons with Otha, Jessie King and Edgar King.  The other three children were the result of her marriage to Patrick.

Patrick had three children with his first wife, Rixey.  One of those, Sarah M Bohannon, is not listed with this family on this census. She would’ve been 23 in 1910, so she may have married. But I have yet to learn where she was this year.

Patrick and Rixey’s other two children were present: Sylvannia and John Alexander (here listed as Alek).

Rixey's Children

Patrick and his second wife Fannie had two children together, Loye and Pearl, and both were present.

Fannie's Children

The other three children listed are the offspring of Patrick and Mollie. We know this because the number of children still living recorded on Mollie’s line was three, but also, because all of their ages were less than the span of this marriage, seven years.  Patrick and Mollie’s children all had names that rhymed – Hester, Chester and Lester – a touch of whimsy in lives that had seen so much tragedy.

Mollie's Children

Finally, Mollie’s widowed mother Sarah Graham was living with the family. (Or was she staying with Mollie’s sister Minnie? See The Tale of Two Sarahs.)

Mollie's Mama

Patrick and the boys, Alek and Loy, had their occupation listed as farmers. The two ladies and the rest of the children had “none” for their occupations.

About nine months after the 1910 census, Mollie gave birth to another son, Virgil Cornelius Bohannon, on 5 February 1911.  They didn’t rhyme his name to the others.

On 22 September 1912, Sylvannia Bohannon married James Madison Watts, the son of Siler and Eliza Ann Watts. Eliza was Mollie’s sister, which made James her nephew. Since Sylvannia was Patrick’s daughter from his first wife, there was no direct blood tie between Sylvannia and James. (He was her “first-cousin-in-law.”)


The 1920 census showed only Patrick, Mollie and their four children living on the farm in Red River.  All of Patrick’s children from his previous two marriages had moved on, and Mollie’s mother Sarah Graham was by then living with Eliza Ann Watts.

Patrick Mollie 1920


The 1930 census also showed Patrick, Mollie and the four children, all single, still on the farm in Red River.  Mollie’s sister Minnie, the widow of Ezekiel Henry Melton, was also living with them.

Patrick Mollie 1930

Patrick Bohannon died on 11 July 1936 at the age of 69.  He was interred at Bear Creek Cemetery in Searcy County, Arkansas, where his first two wives were buried.


The 1940 census for Red River Township recorded the widow Mollie Bohannon as the head of the household, with her son “Neal” Bohannon and daughter Hester. Mollie’s age was given as 61, which is consistent with her recorded birth year of 1879. Neal’s age was given as 30, which is off by a year from his birth in 1911. Hester’s age was given as 26. Note her age on the 1930 image above was 25 – apparently she aged only one year between 1930 and 1940!

1940 Mollie Bohannon

The value of the farm was recorded at $600. The highest grade of school completed for both Mollie and Hester was fourth, while Neal had completed up to grade six. Mollie and Hester had no occupation listed, while Neal’s was given as “farmer.” Both children were single.

DSCN2324Mary “Mollie” Frances Bohannon, née Graham died on 27 July 1944 at the age of 65.  She was interred at Shady Grove Cemetery in Searcy County, Arkansas. Note that she was not interred at Bear Creek Cemetery with Patrick, but at Shady Grove where most of her Graham relations were buried.


Patrick was “P. L. Bohanon” on the marriage documents; “Bohannon, Patrick” on the 1910 census; “Bohannon, Patrick L.” on the 1920; “Bohanon, Patrick L.” on the 1930; and “Patrick L. Bohannon” on his grave marker. Since “Bohannon” appears to be the most common spelling of his surname, that is how I have spelled it in my family tree.

Mollie was “Mrs Mary F King” on the marriage documents; “Bohannon, Mollie” on the 1910 census; “Bohannon, Mary F.” on the 1920; “Bohanon, Mary F.” on the 1930; “Bohannon, Mollie” on the 1940; and “Mollie (Graham) Bohannon” on her grave marker.


Who was the A. Bohannon who signed as surety on Patrick and Mollie’s marriage bond?

Where was Sarah M Bohannon in 1910?


Ancestry.comUnited States Federal Census for 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930;  John Oliver Sr and Descendants by dbwilliamson; Haynes Family by GaryHaynes777;  Rea Mays Family Tree by Kim Mays;  OneWorldTree;  Arkansas Death Index, 1914 – 1950.

FamilySearch.orgArkansas County Marriages, 1837 – 1957.

Find A GraveMemorial for Mollie Graham Bohannon; Memorial for Patrick L Bohannon.

National Archives: Sixteenth Census of the United States: 1940, for Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas, Enumeration District 65-13, Sheet 1 B,  enumerated on 13-14 May 1940 by Ella Parks. Retrieved from 1940census.archives.gov on 3 April 2012.

RootsWebLeming by WMunroe Munroe;  James G. and Jesse King of NC & TN and Allied Families by Susan E. Young.

Grave marker of Mollie (Graham) Bohannon photographed by Ashli B. Graham on Saturday, 4 June 2011 at Shady Grove Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas. Photograph © Ashli B. Graham.

Oh, A King and His Ladies, Part 2: Mary Frances Graham

Mary Frances “Mollie” Graham was born circa June 1879 in Bear Creek Township, Searcy County, Arkansas to parents Jesse and Sarah Graham.

The 1880 census recorded Mary, age 1, living on a farm in Bear Creek with her parents and siblings William Graham, Eliza Ann Graham, and John Henry Graham.

No data is available for the 1890 census.

By 1896, Mary was involved with the young widower Otha Allen King, whose wife Mary Leming had died some time between 1894 and 1896.

King Mollie Graham Marriage DetailOn 28 August 1896, nineteen years old Otha paid for a bond of marriage, which Jack Henley signed as surety, to marry seventeen years old “Mollie” Graham, as her name was recorded by county clerk John R. Aday.  Both Otha and Mary’s residences were given as Watts, Arkansas.  Two days later, on 30 August 1896, Justice of the Peace J. W. Martin presided over the marriage.

In May 1897, Otha and Mary welcomed into the world their son Jessie King, who was apparently named after Mary’s father.

By 1899, the King family had moved to the Choctaw Nation in the Indian Territory.  Their second son, Edgar King, was born there in November 1899.

The 1900 census recorded the Kings living in Township 8, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory.  “Oather” King was 23, Mary was 21, Jessie was 3, and little Edgar was only six months old.

Otha King 1900 Census Detail

The evidence I have found suggests that shortly after the 1900 census a terrible tragedy befell the King family.  All three male members would die.  According to a source on RootsWeb, Otha and little Edgar were buried together in an unmarked grave, with Jessie buried in an unmarked grave beside them.  Could Indians have attacked?  Had there been an outbreak of some disease?

By 1903, the heartbroken Mary had returned alone to Arkansas.

On 16 November 1907, the Oklahoma Territory and the Indian Territory were combined to form the State of Oklahoma, the 46th state to enter the Union. Otha Allen King and his two sons are buried in what is now Palestine Cemetery in unincorporated Russellville, Pittsburg County, Oklahoma.  At some point a grave marker was erected, but it shows only Otha’s name.


How exactly did Otha and the boys die? In 1900, where was Otha’s daughter Paralee from his first marriage?

Bad Lemons

Due to the similarity in the names of Otha’s two wives, Mary Leming and Mary Graham are often confused in family trees I’ve seen on the Internet, sometimes even conflated into the same person under the name “Mary Lemons”, as that’s how Mary Leming was recorded on her marriage record. This series on Otha’s two wives proves that these were two separate women with similar names.


Ancestry.com:  United States Federal Census of 1880 and 1900.

Find A Grave:  Memorial for Otha A King

RootsWeb:  Leming by WMunroe Munroe;  James G. and Jesse King of NC & TN and Allied Families by Susan E. Young.

WikiPedia:  Oklahoma

Timeline Thus Far

I thought it might be neat to take some of the dates mentioned in the articles on Graham Ancestry and arrange them in chronological order along with some other significant American historical milestones.

Nineteenth Century

4 July 1819.  The Territory of Arkansas was created from a portion of the Missouri Territory.

15 June 1836.  Arkansas was admitted into the Union as a slave state.

13 December 1838.  Searcy County, Arkansas was formed from a portion of Madison County.

June 1844.  Sarah F Scott was born in Alabama, USA.

1845.  Jesse Graham was born in Alabama, USA.

11 January 1861.  Alabama declared its secession from the Union and joined the Confederate States of America.

Civil War Began

12 April 1861.  The American Civil War began when Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter, South Carolina.

6 May 1861.  Arkansas declared its secession from the Union and joined the Confederate States of America.

15 April 1865.  United States President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC.

Circa 1865.  Jesse Graham married Sarah F Scott in Alabama, Confederate States of America.

Circa 1865.  William Graham was born to Jesse and Sarah Graham in Alabama, Confederate States of America.

20 August 1866.  United States President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation affirming the end of the Civil War.

Civil War Ended

1 January 1868.  James Newton Siler Watts was born in Searcy County, Arkansas, Fourth Military District.  The Fourth Military District was made up of Arkansas and Mississippi, both former states of the Confederacy that had not yet been re-admitted into the Union.

22 June 1868.  The United States Congress restored Arkansas to the Union.

13 July 1868.  The United States Congress restored Alabama to the Union.

5 September 1868.  Eliza Ann Graham was born in Alabama, USA to Jesse and Sarah Graham.

29 July 1869.  Mary Matilda Bohannon born in Arkansas, USA.

8 May 1870.  John Henry Graham born in Texas, USA to Jesse and Sarah Graham.

1879.  Mary F Graham born to Jesse and Sarah Graham in Searcy County, Arkansas.

1 June 1880The Tenth Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

5 August 1886.  James Newton Siler Watts married Eliza Ann Graham in Searcy County, Arkansas.

November 1887.  Elizabeth Watts was born to James and Eliza Watts.

3 October 1889.  John Henry Graham married Mary Matilda Bohannon in Searcy County, Arkansas.

2 June 1890The Eleventh Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

17 September 1890.  Evisa Jane Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

2 February 1891.  James Madison Watts was born to James and Eliza Watts.

22 July 1892.  Jessie Cornelius Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

1 October 1892.  Emma Sarah Watts was born to James and Eliza Watts.

1 September 1893.  Mary Ausidine Watts was born to James and Eliza Watts.

18 October 1893.  Callie Dona Watts was born in Oklahoma, USA.

20 February 1894.  William Thomas Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

9 May 1894.  Virgie Viola Copeland was born in Arkansas, USA.

19 January 1896.  John Jasper Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

January 1897.  William Jessie Watts was born to James and Eliza Watts.

23 August 1897.  Silas Midaner “Danner” Copeland was born in Arkansas, USA.

21 December 1897.  Mary Adaline Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

4 March 1898.  James Newton Siler Watts died at the age of 30.

1 June 1900The Twelfth Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

16 June 1900.  Sarah Rosabelle Graham was born of John and Mary Graham. She was either stillborn or died shortly thereafter.

Twentieth Century

16 February 1902.  Emma Dorothy Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

16 June 1904. Stella Viona Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

16 October 1905.  Seven-year-old Mary Adaline Graham died.

7 December 1907.  Nona Elizabeth Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

12 August 1909.  Daniel Paig Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

15 April 1910The Thirteenth Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

World War I Began

28 June 1914.  World War I began with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.

7 January 1917.  John Jasper Graham married Silas Midaner “Danner” Copeland in Searcy County, Arkansas.

11 March 1917. Jessie Cornelius Graham married Callie Dona Watts in Searcy County, Arkansas.

United States Entered World War I

6 April 1917.  The United States Congress declared war on Germany.

5 June 1917.  Brothers Jessie Cornelius Graham, William Thomas Graham, and John Jasper Graham all registered for the World War I draft at the local board in Marshall, Arkansas.

29 October 1917.  Denver Etridge Graham was born to John and Danner Graham.

4 November 1917.  William Thomas Graham married Virgie Viola Copeland in Searcy County, Arkansas.

11 March 1918. Ruby Duell Graham was born to Jessie and Callie Graham.

8 August 1918.  Erman Zebedee Graham was born to William and Virgie Graham.

11 November 1918.  World War I ended with an armistice signed at Compiègne, France.

World War I Ended

Between 1917 – 1919.  William Thomas Graham honorably discharged from the United States Army.

1 January 1920The Fourteenth Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

19 January 1920. Albert John Graham was born to Jessie and Callie Graham.

30 July 1920.  Dempsey Ray Graham was born to John and Danner Graham.

10 January 1921.  Most of the Eleventh Census (1890) was destroyed by a fire in the Commerce Building in Washington, DC.

7 February 1920.  Pernie Willodean Graham was born to William and Virgie Graham.

12 September 1920.  William Thomas Graham died at the age of 27.

1922.  Julus R Graham was born to John and Danner Graham.

9 March 1924.  Virgie Viola (Copeland) Graham, widow of William Thomas Graham, married Grover Morley Condley.

5 January 1925.  Berlene V Graham was born to John and Danner Graham.

20 August 1925.  Alvin Jesse Graham was born to Jessie and Callie Graham.

Great Depression Began

29 October 1929. The crash of the stock market marked the beginning of the Great Depression.

1 April 1930The Fifteenth Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

Circa 1930.  DeLois Graham was born to John and Danner Graham.

1935.  Alpha Graham was born to Jessie and Callie Graham.

World War II Began

1 September 1939.  World War II began with the German invasion of Poland and Slovakia.

Great Depression Ended / United States Entered World War II

7 December 1941.  The United States entered World War II following a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii by the Empire of Japan.

27 April 1942.  Jessie Cornelius Graham registered for the World War II draft.

21 September 1944.  Mary Matilda (Bohannon) Graham died at the age of 75.

2 September 1945.  World War II ended with the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri.

World War II Ended

24 April 1946.  John Henry Graham died at the age of 75.

3 August 1947.  Eliza Ann (Graham) Watts died at the age of 78.

27 September 1958.  Callie Dona (Watts) Graham died at the age of 64.

22 November 1963.  United States President John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, USA.

10 December 1966.  Denver Etridge Graham married Opal Geeham in Morley, Missouri, USA.

20 July 1969.  The Apollo 11 mission successfully completed the first landing of humans on the Moon.

15 August 1975.  Jessie Cornelius Graham died at the age of 83.

August 1979.  John Jasper Graham died at the age of 83 in Morley, Missouri, USA.

28 January 1986.  Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds after the launch of its tenth mission.  All seven crew members died.

16 February 1990.  Opal (Geeham) Graham died in Missouri, USA.

31 December 1991.  The dissolution of the USSR was completed, ending the Cold War that had existed between the USSR and the United States since the end of World War II in 1945.

11 June 1996.  Silas Midaner “Danner” (Copeland) Graham died at the age of 98 in Oran, Missouri, USA.

Twenty-First Century

11 September 2001.  Terrorists attacked the United States with hijacked jetliners, destroying the World Trade Center in New York City and damaging the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, USA.

1 February 2003.  Space Shuttle Columbia was destroyed during re-entry on its 28th mission.  All seven crew members died.

10 September 2004.  Denver Etridge Graham died at the age of 86 in Missouri, USA.

15 October 2010.  Graham Ancestry journal went online at WordPress.com.

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