Revised 24 Aug. 1993, Gen. 279







William Gardner Graves (1) was born 1833-34 in Plattsburg, NY, to a family living in Rutland Co., or Orwell, Addison Co., VT (according to Freda Graves and Marlowe G. Smith). (An early genealogy by Marlowe Smith gives William's date of birth as 23 Jan. 1830, and states that his father, mother, and one sister were wiped out by an epidemic when he was 14, and that he "was taken into an uncle's family, as there were seven Graves brothers living in Vermont.")

William died 15 July 1903 in Stoughton (or Evansville?), WI, and was buried 17 July 1903 in Maple Hill Cem., Evansville, WI. He married Sarah Ann Rice, daughter of William Oratis Rice and Aurelia or Orilla (Bush)(Clark) Van Camp, on 1 Jan. 1856 in Spring Grove, Green Co., WI. She was born 3 Sept. 1831 in Boonville, Oneida Co., NY, died 29 June 1920 in Stoughton, WI, and was buried 1 July 1920 in Maple Hill Cem., Evansville, WI.

William was a blacksmith by trade. He served in the Civil War in that capacity with the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry. He and his wife were both interested in current events, literature, and history, and their house was always the center for discussions. He was also interested in music, and taught the yearly "singing school" in Cooksville.

Their first child was born in Decatur, Green Co., WI, the next in Decatur or Clarence, Green Co., WI, and the rest in Cooksville, Rock Co., WI.

According to Freda Graves and Marlowe Smith (mentioned above), William Gardner Graves was descended from Thomas Graves, 1645 immigrant to Hartford, CT. In 1973, Marlowe G. Smith, grandson of William Gardner Graves, wrote a family history, "A Rice-Graves Genealogy", taken for the most part from the reminiscences of his mother, aunts, uncles, and what he remembered of his grandmother's stories. He wrote: "After several generations, Joel Graves and family moved to Rutland Co., VT, and their son, Horace Brainerd Graves, was the father of Grandfather William Graves. Horace had married Annie Brown of Plattsburg, NY, and they lived near the village of Orwell... It appears that Horace and Annie Graves both died when Grandfather Graves was but eleven years of age, and he was raised by an uncle, whose name we do not know. He also had a sister Frances who died young. Actually, Grandfather was born at Plattsburg, NY, as his mother went home to her family for the blessed event."

In exploring this lead, a Horace B. Graves, occupation blacksmith, was found very much alive in the 1850 census of Orwell, Addision Co., VT, with wife, Anna, and children Mary, George, Sarah, Henry, Rhoda, Sophronia, Theda, and Joseph. Horace is shown as born in VT, and Anna and the children were all born in NY.

There was also a Horace Brainerd Graves (who may or may not be the one mentioned above) who was descended from immigrant John Graves of Concord, MA, by the following line of descent: (1) John, (2) Benjamin, (3) John, (4) Nathan, (5) Nathan, (6) Horace, b. 1809, m. Anna Brown, lived at East Chazy, NY. (R-1)

Children - Graves

+2. Wyatt Herbert Graves, b. 9 June 1856, m. Emma A. Boynton, d. after 1946.

3. Carrie May Graves, b. 12 Oct. 1858, d. 1861 (Cooksville, WI).

+4. Harriet Eva Graves, b. 18 Dec. 1862, m. William Parish, 1882, d. 28 Jan. 1945.

+5. Annie Gertrude Graves, b. 10 March 1866, m. Chris Witmer.

+6. Edith Lenore Graves, b. 1 Aug. 1868, m. Riley C. Searles, 21 April 1887, d. after 1932.

+7. Miriam Lorena Graves, b. 31 March 1871, m. Albert Gilley, 31 March 1892, d. 1965.

+8. Lillian Evangeline Graves, b. 4 May 1875, m. Peter Allison Smith, 14 Feb. 1901, d. 12 Feb. 1977.

9. Horace Wayne Graves, b. 14 Jan. 1877, m. Catherine A. Joyce, d. 24 Sept. 1953. He was a blacksmith.

+10. William Dallas Graves, b. 8 March 1882, m(1) Nyna Elizabeth Jones, m(2) Luella ------, m(3) Freda C. Straight, 17 May 1945, d. 5 April 1965.






Wyatt Herbert Graves (2) was born 9 June 1856 in Decatur, Green Co., WI, and died after 1946 in Trempealeau, Trempealeau Co., WI. He married Emma A. Boynton in Galesville, Trempealeau Co., WI.

He was a lawyer for the Northwestern Railroad, organized the first bank in West Salem, WI, and founded the West Salem Journal. At the time he retired from the bar in 1946, he was the oldest practicing lawyer in Minnesota. (R-1)

Children - Graves

11. Maida (or Meta) Graves


Harriet Eva Graves (4) was born 18 Dec. 1862 in Cooksville, Rock Co., WI, died 28 Jan. 1945 in Hibbing, MN, and was buried in Stoughton, WI. She married William Parish in 1882. They lived in Stoughton, WI. Harriet taught school for a time before her marriage, and was said to have possessed an unusually fine singing voice. Both their children were born in Stoughton, WI. (R-1)

Children - Parish

+12. Edith Esther Parish, d. Hibbing, MN.

13. William Lisle Parish, m. Elfie Strand, d. Duluth, MN.


Annie Gertrude Graves (5) was born 10 March 1866 in Cooksville, WI, and died in Garfield, WA. She married Chris Witmer. She taught school for several years before her marriage. (R-1)

Children - Witmer

14. Florence Witmer, b. Deerfield, MN, m. James McCabe, d. 12 Sept. 1944 (Spokane, WA).

15. Earl Witmer

16. Ruth Witmer, m. ------ Mosbeck.

17. Faith Witmer

18. Carol Witmer, m. Westford Ferrell.


Edith Lenore Graves (6) was born 1 Aug. 1868 in Cooksville, WI, died after 1932 in Madison, WI, and was buried in Evansville, WI. She married Riley C. Searles in 1887. He was born in 1862 and died 25 Feb. 1932. They were farmers. (R-1)

Children - Searles

19. Frances Maude Searles, b. 27 Feb. 1890 (Evansville, WI), m(1) Aime Todd, Jr., m(2) Daniel William Holland, d. 25 Dec. 1931 (Evansville, WI). She was a soloist with church and community-wide choirs.


Miriam Lorena Graves (7) was born 31 March 1871 in Cooksville, WI, and died in 1965 in Stoughton, WI. She married Albert Gilley on 31 March 1892. They operated a truck garden and greenhouse business. (R-1)

Children - Gilley

20. Donald C. Gilley; was Director of the Annapolis "Singing Midshipmen" until his retirement in 1977.


Lillian Evangeline Graves (8) was born 4 May 1875 in Cooksville, WI, and died 12 Feb. 1977 in Rochester, NY. She married Peter Allison Smith on 14 Feb. 1901. He was born 14 March 1863 in Cranberry Twp., Venango Co., PA, and died 23 June 1923 in Evansville, WI. (R-1)

Children - Smith

21. Marlowe G. Smith, b. 9 Jan. 1903 (Evansville, WI), d. 5 Jan. 1985 (Rochester, NY). He was in charge of music for the Rochester (NY) cith schools, and was on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester.


William Dallas Graves (10) was born 8 March 1882 in Cooksville, Rock Co., WI, died 5 April 1965 in Sparta, WI, and was buried 8 April 1965 in Cashton, WI. He first married Nyna Elizabeth Jones, daughter of David M. P. Jones and Sarah Emilie Aller, on 7 Aug. 1900 in Stoughton, Dane Co., WI. She was born 7 Aug. 1878 in Washington Twp., Sauk Co., WI, died 19 May 1965 in Stoughton, WI, and was buried 22 May 1965 in Evansville, WI. They were divorced 5 Dec. 1927 in Beloit, Rock Co., WI. He secondly married Luella ------. His third marriage was to Freda C. Straight. He was a construction engineer. (R-1)

Children - Graves, by Nyna E. Jones

22. Frank Darrell Graves, b. 11 June 1910, m. Patricia Dorothy Sheehan, 1 Aug. 1931, d. 18 Feb. 1945.

Children - Graves, by Freda C. Straight

23. Joan Graves


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