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Franklin Ward Graves
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Birth: 1789
Rutland County
Vermont, USA
Death: Dec. 25, 1846
Nevada County
California, USA

A member of the Donner/Reed Party.

Franklin Ward Graves was born near Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. He was the son of Zenas & Hannah Graves. He married Elizabeth Cooper about 1820 in Dearborn County, Indiana. Mr. Graves was described as "a genuine backwoodsman and pioneer, who found his most congenial associations on the frontier."

The Graves family left St. Joseph Missouri about May 25, 1846 with the Smith Company. In August, the Graveses overtook the Donner Party somewhere in Utah, and joined their party.
When the party realized they would have to overwinter in the mountains, Graves built his cabin near Truckee Lake about half a mile from the Breens and Murphys. His was a double cabin, divided down the middle, with his family at one end and Mrs. Reed and her children in the other.

Mr. Graves left the camp in mid-December with "The Forlorn Hope". He, along with Charles Stanton fashioned several pairs of snowshoes which enabled the members of the group to navigate over the thick, heavy snows. His daughters, Mary Ann and Sarah, along with Sarah's husband Jay Fosdick, left with the group, also. After ten days, the group was out of provisions, caught in a blizzard and in serious trouble. Knowing that the group was starving, Graves, knowing he was dying, urged his daughters to use his body as food.

Two of his surviving daughters:
Mary Ann Graves Clarke
Lovina Graves Cyrus

Family links: 
  Elizabeth Cooper Graves (1800 - 1847)*
  Sarah Graves Spires (1825 - 1871)*
  Mary Anna Graves Clarke (1826 - 1891)*
  William Cooper Graves (1829 - 1907)*
  Eleanor Graves McDonnell (1832 - 1894)*
  Lovina Graves Cyrus (1834 - 1906)*
  Nancy Blaisdell Graves Williamson (1838 - 1907)*
  Jonathan B Graves (1840 - 1847)*
  Franklin Ward Graves (1842 - 1847)*
  Elizabeth Graves (1845 - 1847)*
*Calculated relationship
Body lost or destroyed
Specifically: Franklin Graves left the Lake Camp with "The Forlorn Hope" and died of starvation along the trail
Created by: Cindy Baldogo
Record added: Sep 17, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 58797347

- Suzanne Hye
 Added: Feb. 13, 2016

 Added: Oct. 13, 2015

- Sue Barnett
 Added: Sep. 14, 2011
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