Biography of Thomas Graves

THOMAS GRAVES. This gentleman is one of those thrifty and energetic farmers of which Searcy County, Arkansas, has become well known, and in the conduct of his affairs has shown good judgment and business foresight. He is a native of Tennessee, born September 27, 1827, a son of Jacob and Mary (Counts) Graves, who were born in Connecticut and North Carolina, respectively, but who were early residents of Tennessee, in which State the mother was called from life, the father’s death occurring in Mississippi some time after the war, when nearly one hundred years old. He was a farmer and black-smith by occupation, and a participant in one of the Indian wars under Gen. Jackson. His father, William Graves, was a soldier of the Revolution and was of Irish descent. The maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, John Counts, was of German extraction and he also served in the Colonial Army during the Revolution.

The subject of this sketch was one of twelve children born to his parents, four of whom are living at the present time, and he is the only one of the family who came to this part of the State. He and three brothers, John, William and Jacob, served in the Union Army during the Civil War and were brave and faithful soldiers to the cause they espoused. The early days of Thomas Graves were spent in Tennessee and Mississippi, and unfortunately he received only a small amount of schooling. In 1849 he became a resident of Arkansas and located in Yell County on the Arkansas River. From that section he enlisted in the Third Arkansas Cavalry of Volunteers, under Col. Lyon, and during the eighteen months that he was in the service he fought some hard battles, and was wounded near Dardanelle, on the Arkansas River, by a gunshot, which so undermined his constitution that he has never enjoyed good health since. He was wounded three times in the same fight. After the war he returned to Yell County, but in 1874 came to Searcy County, and here has become a well-known and well-to-do citizen. He is the owner of 320 acres of fine farming land on Bear Creek, the result of his own good management, foresight and energy, and he has always interested himself in everything tending to benefit his section. His farm is situated ten miles from the town of Marshall and that place is his post office address. Socially he is a member of the A. I. & A. M., and Marshall Lodge of the I. O. O. F. He was married in Yell County to Miss Eliza Englebright, a daughter of John J. and Mary (Stinnett) Englebright, who were of English and Irish descent, respectively, the former being a native of the Hoosier State and a son of John J. Englebright. The Englebrights were early settlers of Yell County and the grandfather died there in 1848, his son, John J., also passing from life there in 88. Mrs. Englebright was born in Georgia and was a daughter of Maj. Henry Stinnett. Mrs. Graves was one of the eleven children born to her parents, four of whom are living at this time. She had two brothers who participated in the Civil War: Marion, who was a soldier in the Confederate Army, and Henry, who was in the Union Army. Mrs. Graves was born January 18, 1837, in Yell County, Arkansas, where she obtained a good education in the common schools. In 1857 her union with Mr. Graves was consummated, and this worthy couple have long been connected with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. They have many warm and devoted friends, have the respect of all who know them and are of the stuff of which substantial and desirable citizens are made. They have no family.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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