ROBERT B. GRAVES has been closely identified with the farming and stock-raising interests of Will County for a quarter of a century, and has been no unimportant factor in extending its agriculture, and thus in promoting the material prosperity of this part of the country. He owns and is successfully managing a fine farm in Plainfield Township, that is well stocked and is well improved in point of cultivation, and supplied with neat and substantial buildings. Mr. Graves is a veteran of the late war, in which he did honorable service as a brave and patriotic soldier, and in commemoration of that eventful period of his life and of his country's history he is now a respected member of the Grand Army of the Republic, belonging to Bartleson's Post, No. 6.
Our subject's native place is among the beautiful hills of Orange County, Vt., in Williamstown, December 18, 1832, being the date of his birth. He comes of sterling New England stock, and his father, David Graves, was a native of Massachusetts, as was also his father. The latter removed from the old Bay State to Vermont in the early years of it settlement and became a pioneer of the State. The father of our subject was but a boy when his parents went to the Green Mountain State to hew a new home from the wilderness and he was there reared and married, Amelia Pearson, a native of that State, becoming his wife. He resided in Williamstown until 1846, and then came to Illinois, the removal being made with a team to Burlington, and thence by steamer to Whitehall, and from there by way of the Champlain and Erie Canal to Buffalo, and thence by lakes to Chicago, arriving there in September of that year. He located in Cook County, buying two hundred and fifty acres of choice land in Shaumburg, which including improvements, stock and crops, cost him $2,000. He soon became prominent in the public life of the town and assisted it organization, and was otherwise useful as a citizen. He lived there ten years and then sold his farm advantageously and removed to McHenry County, where he bought another farm, where he dwelt until 1867, when he sold that place and coming to Plainfield, died in the home of our subject at the good old age of eighty-four,. They reared three children: Daniel, who lives at Ashton, Dak.; Robert B.; William E., a resident of Pevely, Mo.
Robert Graves was a boy of thirteen years when he came to Illinois with his parents. He was reared to the life of a farmer and was actively engaged in this occupation when the great rebellion broke out. In 1862 he laid aside his work to take up arms in defense of his country's honor, leaving his pleasant home and many warm friends to go forth to the hardships and struggles of a soldier's life. He became a member of the Fifth Independent Battery of Illinois Light Artillery, and going South with his company, took part in several battles and skirmishes with the enemy. He was an actor in the battle Kingston, in the siege and capture of Knoxville, Tenn., and was at the battle at Strawberry Plains. In the winter of 1862-64 he and his comrades were in camp in Tennessee and suffered greatly from the rigors of the cold January so well remembered by the soldiers. The men were poorly clad, not having drawn any clothing since the preceding April. Our subject was protected only by a blouse that was unlined and a thin pair of pantaloons that were nearly through at the knees. Fortunately they were in a well-wooded country, and they were enabled to keep up good fires. After the fall of Atlanta, Mr. Graves joined Thomas' command at Nashville, and during the winter went to Washington, D. C., from there to Alexandria, where he embarked for Newbern, N. C., and from there marched to Wiser's Forks, and thence to Goldsboro, where he once more came under Sherman's command, and was there when Johnston capitulated. From there his company was sent to Greensboro, and thence to Charlotte, and from there to Chicago, where it was discharged, July 18, 1865, after three years faithful and honorable service.
After his military experience Mr. Graves came to Will County and rented a farm in Wheatland, and in 1868 bought his present farm, which is located one mile southeast of Plainfield Village. There are one hundred and four acres of exceptionally fine farming land, that is under high cultivation, is provided with all the necessary machinery, and ample buildings, and is well stocked with horses and cattle of a high grade, Morgans being his favorite in the former, and Holsteins in the latter.
Mr. Graves has been twice married. The maiden name of his first wife was Marilla Ketchum, and they were united in marriage March 22, 1856. She was born in North Adams, Mass., and was a daughter of Levi Ketchum. After a married life of seventeen years this devoted wife and mother was removed from the household over which she had presided so faithfull, her death occurring June 11, 1874. One son was born of her union with our subject - Walter R.
Mr. Graves was married to his present estimable wife, formerly Marietta King, September 15, 1875. Mrs. Graves was born in Erie County, N. Y., a daughter of Alvin J. and Ann King. She is a good and true woman and look carefully after the interests of her family. The home circle is completed by the two children born to her and her husband - Alice A. and Robbie K.
Mr. Graves is a man of honor, truthfulness and strict integrity in all his business and social relations, and is classed among our most useful and highly esteemed citizens. He is public-spirited and is actively interested in whatever will advance his adopted town, and takes part in the administration of its civic affairs, doing his share to advance it materially, socially and morally. He is now serving his fourth term as Assessor of the township, discharging the duties of his office so ably and impartially as to deserve and receive the commendation and confidence of his fellow-citizens. He is a man of sincere and liberal religious views, which find expression in the Universalist faith, and he his family are members of the society of that denomination in Plainfield. In politics his a stanch Republican.
[Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Will County, Illinois. Published by the Chapman Bros., Chicago, Illinois in 1890, pages 598-599.]
Robert L. GRAVES,
An old resident of Plainfield and one of the early members of the association, died at his home in that town on Tuesday, July 12th, last (1908), at the age of seventy-six years. He was born in Vermont in 1832 and came to Plainfield in 1845, that being thereafter his home. When the war broke out in 1861 he went to the front, doing his whole duty nobly and remaining in the army until the close of the war. He was for many years the assessor of his town, proving himself at all times to be an honest and most faithful official. Mr. Graves left a widow, one daughter Alice (GRAVES), and a son, Robert (GRAVES), to mourn for his demise.
- WILL County Illinois 1908 Necroligist Report
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