Rev. 4 April 2011, Gen. 594







Willis Graves (1) was born about 1809-1810, possibly in Milford, Worcester Co., MA[1], and died between 16 July 1887 and 15 May 1888 in Cincinnati, OH.  He married Sarah ("Sally") Torrey Nelson, daughter of Newell Nelson and Betsey Kelley, on 20 April 1836 in Milford, MA[2].  Their intention of marriage was recorded in Holliston, Middlesex Co., MA on 8 March 1836 (stated that she was of Milford).  She was born 5 June 1810 and died 28 Nov. 1841, both in Milford, MA.  Willis married second (after Sarah died) Lydia P. Perry of Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., MA.  Their intention of marriage was recorded in Holliston between Feb. 17 and March 9, 1844, and they married March 7, 1844.  She was born about 1819 in MA.

Willis and Lydia were in the 1850 census for Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., OH, with children Willis and Edwin, when he was a carpenter.  They were in the 1860 census for Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co., OH (enumerated July 19), with him listed as gentleman (probably meaning he was living on income and didnŐt have to work), and 3 younger daughters.  There was also a listing in the 1860 census for Cincinnati (enumerated June 21), for what appears to be him, Willis G. Graves, carpenter, living in a boarding house (with a builder and some other carpenters and painters).  Perhaps he was finishing a job before he joined his family in Cleveland.  They were in the 1870 census for Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., OH, when he was listed as infirm and apparently not working.  All the children by Lydia were born in OH.  (R‑1)

Children - Graves, by Sarah T. Nelson

+2.   Willis Nelson Graves, b.c. 1837, m. Lucy M. Valentine, 4 Jan. 1866, d. 25 Nov. 1909.

Children - Graves, by Lydia P. Perry

    3.  Edwin D. Graves, b.c. July 1849.  Not found in 1860 census.

    4.  Emma J. (or B.) Graves, b.c. 1855.

    5.  Ella P. Graves, b.c. 1857.

    6.  Nellie P. Graves, b.c. Jan. 1860.






Willis Nelson Graves (2) was born about 1837 in Holliston, MA, and died 25 Nov. 1909 in St. Louis, MO.  He married Lucy M. Valentine on 4 Jan. 1866 in Hamilton Co., OH, probably in Cincinnati.  She was born 28 March 1841 in Buffalo, NY, and died 8 May 1925 in St. Louis, MO.  Both Willis and Lucy were buried in Bellfountain Cem., St. Louis, MO, as was their son Albert.

According to a sketch about their son-in-law, James Stewart Kuhn, "Willis Nelson Graves was for over forty years general manager of the Hydraulic Pressed Brick Company, and is known in the world of inventions as the inventor of the hydraulic presses which practically revolutionized the methods of manufacturing the fine building brick."

They were in the 1880 census for St. Louis, MO, when he was a brick manufacturer, and his sister-in-law, Lizzie Valentine, was living with them.  (R‑1, R‑2)

Children - Graves

    7.  Willis V. Graves, b.c. 1867, m. Nellie Broe.

+8.   Nellie Nelson Graves, b. 14 Oct. 1868, m. James Stewart Kuhn, 9 Jan. 1895, d. 6 Sept. 1953.

    9.  Albert M. Graves, b. 1871, m. Mae Warren, d. 1958.






Nellie Nelson Graves (8) was born 14 Oct. 1868 and died 6 Sept. 1953, both in St. Louis, MO.  She graduated from Central High School in St. Louis.  She married James Stewart Kuhn, son of Daniel C. (or D.) Kuhn and Elizabeth Jane Stewart, on 9 Jan. 1895 in St. Louis.  He was born 5 Sept. 1867[3] and died 12 April 1923, both in St. Louis.  They were both buried in Bellfountain Cem., St. Louis, MO.

An obituary and biographical sketch of him states that he "was for many years a successful coal merchant, entering that business as a clerk and for many years was partner and an executive in some of the leading wholesale and retail organizations handling fuel...  His father, Dr. Daniel D. Kuhn, was a highly venerated physician who practiced medicine at Saint Louis for half a century.  He was born in Pennsylvania, of Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry."

"Mrs. Kuhn and her family are members of the Tyler Place Presbyterian Church and she is also active in the Ladies Aid and foreign missionary societies."  (R‑1, R‑2)

Children - Kuhn

+10.   Lucy Graves Kuhn, b. 22 Aug. 1896, m. George Edward Mellow, 9 April 1921, d. 27 April 1965.

+11.   Helen Elizabeth Kuhn, b. 30 May 1898, m. Richard Wesley Mellow, 7 July 1919.


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[1] No record of the birth of Willis Graves could be found in the vital records of either Milford or Holliston, MA.

[2] This marriage, in the vital records of Milford, MA, p. 238, stated that Willis Graves was of Holliston, Middlesex Co., MA.

[3] Although a biographical sketch for James Stewart Kuhn says he was born in 1868, the correct date as given in an application of R‑1 to the Colonial Dames of America is 1867.