William Graham, the earliest member of the family here under consideration of whom we have definite information, was a native of Ireland, in which country his entire life was spent. He was a manufactuer of cottom goods, from which occupation he drived a goodly competence for his declining years in addition to a comfortable livlihood for his family.
He married (first) Agnes Welch, who bore him three children:
John, see forward; Sarah; William, who came to America and died at Beaver Falls, N.Y.
He married (second) Phena Morrow.
William Graham died at the age of fifty-five years.
(II) John, son of William and Agnes (Welch) Graham, was born in county Down, Ireland, Aug. 1844. He received a limited education in the schools of his day, and was reared to farming pursuits in his native land. In 1866, when twenty-two years of age, he emigrated to the United States, landing in Portland, Maine, from whence he came directly to New York City, where for a period of three months he was employed as a dyer and bleacher of cotton goods, a trade he had learned previous to his emigration. After resigning his postion, he removed to Lewis county, N.Y., locating in the town of New Bremen, where he obtained employment in the tanning business, which was a prominent industry in that locality at that time. he followed that line of work from 1866 to 1900, a period of thirty-four years, and during that time, by the exercise of thrift and frugality, accumulated sufficient capital to purchase a farm, to which he removed in 1900, and there he and his wife are spending their declining years, enjoying the fruit of their previous labor, and honored and respected by all with whom they are brought in contact.
Mr. Graham is a member and steward in the capacity of assessor of his town. He is a member of New Bremen Grange, No. 558, Patrons of Husbandry.
In 1868 he was married to Celestia, born in Lewis county, N.Y., daughter of John Wakefield, a representative of an old Lewis county family. Five children were born of this marriage, two of whom are living. , namely:
William J., see forward.
Mary, wife of Rev. C. B. Wallace, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church; resides at Forestport, N.Y.
(III) William J., son of John and Celestia (Wakefield) Graham, was born in the town of New Bremen, Lewis county, N.Y., Nov. 18, 1868. His early education was acquired in the district school, and this was supplemented by attendance at the Lowville Academy. Upon the completion of his studies, he turned his attention to farming, continuing along that line for three years. At the age of seventeen he entered the employ of the United States Leather Company, in the capacity of clerk in their store, remaining for a short period of time. He then took up his residence in Lowville, and entered the employ of Stoddard & Bateman, dry goods merchants, with whom he remained four years, acquiring a thorough knowledge of the business in all its details, which was of great value to him in his later career.
In the spring of 1893, in company with John Gasser, he purchased an interest in the dry goods store of D. E. Shepherd, and later the two partners, Messrs. Graham and Gasser, purchased the entire stock and became one of the leading firms in that line in Northern New York, conducting business under the style of Graham & Gasser. They are thoroughly reliable business men, conscientious in the discharge of their duties and responsiblities, courteous and considerate in their treatment of their patrons, and thus fully deserve the success which has crowned their efforts. Apart from his business life, Mr. Graham is a man whom all respect and esteem, whose personality has won for him a host of friends and acquaintances who appreciate him at his true worth. He attends the Methodist Episcopal church, casts his vote for the candidates of the Republican party, and holds membership in the Lowville Lodge, No. 134, Free and Acccepted Masons, and the Lowville Club.
Mr. Graham married, Nov. 29, 1894, Mary Ella, daughter of David D. Roberts, of Utica, N.Y. One son, David Roberts Graham, born May 8, 1902.
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