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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Polk County, Arkansas published by Southern Publishing Company in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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John B. Graves needs no special introduction to the readers of this volume, for he is well known throughout this section. That the following brief sketch of his honorable and eventful life is afforded a place here, will be a matter of much interest to the many who have come to know him so intimately, and felt the influence of his life and generosity. Born ten miles west of Lebanon, Tenn., February 17, 1849, he is a son of George B. and Nancy (Brown) Graves, who were natives of Tennessee, and is a grandson of John G. Graves, the latter moving from North Carolina to Tennessee at an early day, where he was not only one of the earliest settlers, but also one of the first and most successful merchants. George B. Graves inherited English blood from the paternal side of his family. While farming was his vocation in life, he figured to some extent as a Whig politician, and besides holding various local positions of honor and trust, was sheriff of Wilson County for a number of years. Socially, he belonged to the fraternity of Odd Fellows, who conducted the funeral rites at his death. His demise left a widow and two children to survive, the former yet living. There were five children in all, their names being: Louisa (a talented lady, member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and the deceased wife of W. H. Harrington, of Wilson County, Tenn.), Elizabeth (died when quite young), Mary G. (who died in Tennessee, the wife of T. Legon), Byron (a farmer, of Wilson County), John B. (is the third in this family). He spent his school days in his native county, receiving his education in Silver Springs Academy. After attaining man’s estate he turned his attention to farming and stock-raising, and that calling has since continued. He moved to Bowie County, Tex., in 1874, but two years later came to Polk County, Ark., and here has since made his home on his present farm, which is situated two miles south of Potter, and contains 190 acres of land, a considerable portion, of which is under cultivation. He has served two years as constable, and has also been a school director of his district. He was married in 1874, to Miss Martha Jetton, of Wilson County, Tenn., by whom he has four children: Beady, George D., Arthusa and Alice T. Mr. and Mrs. Graves are members of the Christian Church, Mr. Graves being also an elder. He is a member of the Farmers’ Alliance, is lecturer of his lodge, and is a Democrat. He has traveled far, and in early life was acquainted with Andrew Johnson. Graves End, London, was named in honor of his family.

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This family biography is one of 32 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Polk County, Arkansas published in 1891.  For the complete description, click here: Polk County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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