COLONEL F. A. GRAVES
The name of Graves is a notable one in the history of Glenn County and the Sacramento Valley, for members of this family have been men of achievement in the affairs of this section, have won material rewards beyond the ordinary, and have been men of clean honorable lives, public spirited and enthusiastic participants in the interests of the community. A worthy representative of the family is Colonel F. A. Graves, who is now residing at Orland, and is operating an extensive farm of fifteen hundred acres on the Newville road seven miles northwest of Orland, where he does general farm and stock raising, having about eight hundred head of sheep. Colonel Graves has faithfully moulded his life according to the principles advocated by his worthy sire, and is one of the most respected and influential men of Glenn County. He has never aspired to the limelight personally, but has lent his support to everything which he considers of merit in city and county.
Fremont Ashurst Graves was born in Missouri, May 24, 1860, a son of Fountain Columbus and Levina J. (Ashurst) Graves, both of whom were born in Pulaski County, Kentucky, the father on July 6, 1828. They crossed the western plains to California in the year 1861, Fountain C. Graves having been captain of a train of fourteen wagons on the long trip. En route they traded their ox teams for mules to facilitate their speed. They went direct to Colorado, then took the northern route through Utah, and first settled at Red Bluff, California. After looking over the country Mr. Graves located in Colusa County, in the portion that is now Glenn County, five miles northwest of Orland, where he passed the remainder of his life. He was a stockman, raising sheep, cattle, and hogs. He also did considerable dry farming, and owned one thousand acres of land, on which tract his son, W. R. Graves, now lives. He was known widely as an honorable man, of kindly nature, and he reared his family according to the highest Christian principles. He had great ability as a mechanic, and was very dexterous in making things which he needed. He was an active worker in the interest of irrigation, which greatly enhanced the value of property in general, the main irrigation ditch being known as the Stony Creek irrigation ditch. Fountain C. Graves was likewise a prime mover in the establishment of the Newville road to the Sacramento River, and circulated the first petition which was completed for this road. He located the Chamberlain brothers on the site of the present city of Orland, and predicted correctly that this location would be a worth-while community in the future. He was a Republican, and a member of the Masonic blue lodge at Orland, and the chapter and commandery at Chico. The father of Fountain C. Graves was Hiram T. Graves, who was a native of Madison County, Kentucky, and his grandfather was Robert Graves, who came to Kentucky from the Carolinas in a very early day. Both Fountain C. Graves and his wife passed away in Glenn County, California. It was Mrs. Graves who wanted to come to California, her people having previously removed to this state, settling in Colusa County. Mrs. Graves took an active part in many interests of pioneer times, was matron of the Eastern Star in Orland and was a most kindly woman, guided by high principles in every relation of life, so that all who knew her delighted in her friendship.
To Fountain C. Graves and his wife there were eight children, as follows: Fernando Cortez, now deceased, who was a farmer; F. A., of this review; Betty, who married W. H. Bates, and now living in Woodland, California; W. R., who married Jessie Boyd, and lives on the old Graves homestead; Amy H., who married W. P. Gay, a rancher residing at Orland; Harry, a rancher and stockman living on the Newville road; Carrie, who married Edward Nielson, a retired merchant now residing in Willows, California; and Annie B., who married W. A. Glenn, a sheep and stockman, living fourteen miles northwest of Orland on the Newville road. Colonel F. A. Graves was married November 3, 1887, to Nellie Estee, a daughter of Frank and Charlotte (Maloney) Estee, the mother a native of Belfast, Ireland. Mrs. Graves was born at Marysville, California. Her parents, who were early pioneers of California, both died while she was very young. Colonel and Mrs. Graves are the parents of two children: Leslie B., is engaged in raising sheep and turkeys at Willows, and married Ethel Simpson; and Lavene, who is now employed by the Bank of America at Oakland, California.
Colonel Graves carries on general farming on his fifteen hundred acres of land, and is now running about eight hundred head of sheep. He lives in the city of Orland, where he moved in 1916. He is a Republican in politics and served as under-sheriff for seven years and three months, but has never sought public office. He belongs to the Masonic lodge at Willows, also the Eastern Star, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Orland. His wife is also a member of the Eastern Star, and a prominent worker in the Orland Improvement Club.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: Wooldridge, J. W. Major, History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 2 Pages 346-348. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.