Grafton was the gr-gr-grandson of Lieut. Thomas Beall of the 2nd Maryland Reg. in the American Revolution. Reared in West Virginia, he graduated in 1899 from Linsly's Military Institute, Wheeling, W.V. His first assignment was as a Midshipman aboard the U.S.S. Alabama during the Spanish American War. Subsequently he served aboard the U.S.S. Nebraska & the U.S.S. Georgia in the Atlantic Fleet. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy and graduated in the class of 1905. By 1910 he was promoted to Lieutenant aboard the Battleship Delaware. While the ship was stationed at Hampton Roads, VA, a court-marshall instigation was served against him stemming from an accusation that he was asleep on his watch on July 5 while he was Officer of the Watch. His defense was that he became violently ill and passed out before he was found by another officer. On Aug. 19, 1910 he was found guilty, reduced 31 numbers and publicly reprimanded by the Sec. of the Navy.
By Sept. 1919, he was now a Lieut. Cdr. and he gave a speech in favor of the absolute independence of Finland from Russia. As reported by the N.Y. Times, during part of the speech he said "Fight against any subjection to any benevolent constitutional monarchy, force secret diplomacy out in the open and have faith in America. We shall realize all that America stands and fought for. The United States is now at the power point in the world today. America does not merely talk freedom and self-determination, it senses and feels it." He continued to serve honorably as the Officer-in-Charge of the recruiting station at New Haven, Conn. in 1920 and was later assigned to the U.S.S. Selfridge in 1923 & the U.S.S. Beaver, a submarine tender, in 1924. In 1925 he became an instructor to the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. By 1930 he was living at Coronado, CA with his wife and son as reported by the April census. Endocarditis took his life while he was at the Charleston Naval Base in 1932. He was descended from Thomas Beall as follows: David & Mary Davis Beall, Alpheus Benjamin and Mary Ann Hill Beall, Grafton Asbury & Martha Dunlevy Beall (Cdr. Beall was their youngest child).
Katherine Lightfoot Carrington Beall
1891–1967 (m. 1919)