Among the wealthy land owners of Santa Clara County we note the subject of this sketch. His fine property is located in the Moreland District, on Saratoga Avenue. He has been identified with the county's interests for thirty-five years, settling here in 1853.
He claims Tennessee as his native State, dating his birth in Claiborne County, January to, 1831. When he was ten years of age, his parents removed from Tennessee to Buchanan County, Missouri. There he lived until twenty-two years of age, engaged in helping his father to open a farm in the heavy timber of Buchanan County. In 1849 his elder brother, Jacob, came to this State, and four years later the subject of our sketch joined him in this county. In the year of the latter's arrival, the brothers purchased a tract of over 200 acres in the Moreland District. This place was on Campbell Creek, facing on Saratoga Avenue, a little more than one mile from Mr. Graves' present residence. The brothers worked that property until 1862, when they bought 190 acres, which comprise the homestead which our subject now owns. Soon after this purchase, the property was divided, the elder brother retaining the farm on Campbell Creek. Mr. Graves now owns 265 acres, having sold, in 1887, 110 acres, at $200 per acre. He devotes the larger part of his ranch to general farming, although sixty acres are in orchards, twenty-seven acres having reached a bearing age. Prunes, apricots, and peaches are the leading fruits. The fine residence was erected in 1868, at a cost of $6,000, besides the labor which Mr. Graves, personally bestowed upon it. It is surrounded by beautiful grounds, and approached from Saratoga Avenue by a shaded avenue 300 yards in length.
In 1867 Mr. Graves was united in marriage with Miss Kate Toney, who was born in Cedar County, Iowa, in 1848. Of ten children born of this union seven are living, all of whom are members of their parents' happy home. Their names are: Ernest, Walter, Clara, Jesse, Ivy, Nettie, and Beulah. Belle and Myrtle died in infancy, and Stella at the age of three and one-half years.
Mr. and Mrs. Graves are consistent members of the Free Methodist Church. Mr.
Graves was formerly a Democrat, but is now a pronounced Prohibitionist. He
commenced life in California a poor man, his whole capital not reaching the
moderate limit of $50. Industry, frugality, and good business qualifications
have with him been well rewarded, for his position is that of a prosperous,
respected citizen of a favored community. But he is rich not only in money and
lands, but also in all the relations of life—in his happy family, his neighbors
and associates, whose love and esteem the genial qualities of his character have
easily won. He is indeed fortunate in the possession of so pleasant a home in so
lovely a country, while the community is fortunate in having him as one of its
representative citizens and highly esteemed members of society.
Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.