Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Cool Guy

Today is my great-grandfather, Guy Graham's birthday. Guy was born Horace Guy Graham on February 3, 1877 in Centerview, Missouri. He was the seventh of eleven children born to Civil War veteran Robert Barnett Graham and Nancy King Graham.

Guy grew up on the family farm in Missouri. His childhood was described as, "a farm-bred boy who divided his time between the acquirement of an education and the work of the fields." (1) According to an Idaho historical book, after Guy attended the State Normal school as well as the Missouri State University at Columbia. (2) I did some research and contacted the archives at the University of Missouri-Columbia. According to their records, Guy was a student for a winter short course in agriculture for the school year 1900-1901. The archivist described the course to me as one that would be taken by farmers for training in a specific area without going for a four year degree-the precursor of today's extension programs.

Guy enlisted in Company L, fourth Missouri Regiment during the Spanish American war. I have not done much research on Guy's military record. I do have a copy of the muster roll that shows his service dates from April 27, 1898 to February 10, 1899. This is an area where I would like to do some research in the future.

Guy married fellow Centerview resident Jennie Olivia Shipp on February 25, 1904. The couple soon relocated to Fruitland, Idaho, where they purchased a fruit farm. There he became known as an expert on apple farming. He, "closely studied every question relating to fruit raising, the condition and needs of the soil, the best methods of protecting the trees and evertying that has to do with the propagation of fine fruit." (3) He testified before the United States Congress in 1936 on agricultural matters. (4)

Guy was active in politics as well. In 1915, he was appointed horticultural inspector for the state of Idaho. He later became the Commissioner of Agriculture for the state of Idaho. He also served terms in the state Legislature in both the house and Senate. This is another area I would like to learn more about and verify. I would welcome any comments from fellow grandchildren of Guy's who many know more about his political life than I do at the moment. In 1952 he was a delegate in Chicago at the Democratic National Convention.

Guy and Jennie had eight children. My grandfather, Don, was the second youngest. My grandpa followed in his father's agricultural footsteps and became a fruit farmer as well. My dad told me that the farm he grew up on in Fruitland was adjacent to Guy's place. On his last birthday, dad shared some of his memories of his Grandpa Graham. His first comment was that, "He was just a really cool guy!" I regret very much that I did not have a voice recorder at the table that night! (Lesson learned)

I would love to learn more about Guy's character and personality by hearing other descendant's memories and stories about him. I encourage anyone with anything to share to leave a comment in the box below so we can all learn about this really cool guy!

Below is a picture of three generations of Graham men: Guy, my dad Greg as a child, and Donald.

1. "History of Idaho. The Gem of the Mountains." Illustrated, Volume III, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1920, page 761.
2. Ibid
3. Ibid, page 762
4. "Long and short haul charges: Hearings on H.R. 3263, May 11 to May 28, 1936 by Unite States Congress. Senate. Committee on Interstate Commerce.

1 comment:

  1. Greg looks a lot like Keller does at the same age.