Stark County Illinois Obituaries and Death Notices

Connie Rae Gerard

Stark County News

March 20, 1946

Connie Rae GERARD, three-weeks-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ray GERARD of this city, died at 1 o'clock Monday afternoon at Kewanee Public hospital where she had been taken the day before.

She was born February 27 at the home in Toulon. Surviving are three sisters, Mrs. Geraldine CALEF, Barbara and Donna, of this city.

Funeral services were held at 3:30 this afternoon from the Kidd Funeral Home with Rev. C. Earl PAGE, pastor of the Congregational church, in charge. Song service was given by Mrs. Henry EIERMANN, accompanied by Mrs. Dwain WALLACE.

Burial was in Toulon cemetery.

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

Eugene D. Gerard

December 5, 1951

Stark County News

Funeral services for Eugene D. GERARD, 75, retired farmer and former resident of Osceola Grove community, were held Monday afternoon from Cox Memorial Home in Wyoming.

Death occurred Friday night at the William MARTIN home in Wyoming where he had been making his home with his niece, Mrs. Frankie MARTIN.

Burial was in Osceola Grove cemetery.

Mr. GERARD was born April 5, 1876, at Reedsville, Missouri, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Ward GERARD.

Surviving is a sister, Mrs. Eugenia STURM, of Kewanee.

Preceding him in death were his wife, a daughter, three sisters and five brothers. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Lula Gerard

Lulu GERARD, only child of Eugene and Jennie GERARD, died August 21. She was born September 19, 1901. The burial was in the Osceola cemetery Thursday. The funeral was conducted by Rev. SLYTER from the home at 10:30. She was only sick a few days, the trouble being inflammation of the bowels."

(Note: Later, compiler found a more complete obituary in the Bradford Republican (or at least a more effusive obit):

"Lulu, only child of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene D. GERARD, was born at the home of her grand parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace DUNN, Elmira Township, September 19, 1901. It was there that the angels came for her Aug. 20 1907. Lulu was a bright, loving, amiable child, winning the love of all who saw her by her pleasant, affectionate ways. Another choice flower has been gathered from humanity's garden to adorn the paradise of Our Heavenly Father, where her loving heart will hold greater charms to the Beautiful City where she awaits to meet and greet her loved ones whom she has preceded to that land of light and love. The funeral services, conducted by Rev. S.O. SLYTER, were held Thursday of last week. Interment at Osceola Grove cemetery. The Republican extends most sincere condolences to the heart broken parents in their grief."

(Note:Her tombstone, found by compiler in 1994 in Osceola Grove Cemetery, spells her name Lula.) - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Willis D. Gill

Stark County News

June 11, 1891

GILL-In Toulon, Friday, June 5, 1891, of catarrh in the stomach, Willis D. Gill, aged 45 years, 5 months and 28 days.

He was born in Bustl, Chatauqua county, N. Y., December 8, 1845, and came to Illinois with his parents in 1864, settling in Toulon, where he has resided ever since. His father, Giles Gill, died in 1883. Willis married Miss Angie Paul June 15, 1883, who survives him. One child was born to them, little Ray, who died at the age of one year. In 1887, Mr. Gill, with his wife, united with the Toulon Baptist church, and has ever been a faithful and consistent Christian. Always affectionate, his kindness of heart led him to be charitable towards all, even to those who wronged him. He had few enemies and only those who understood his quiet ways could know the sorrow of his heart. His sufferings were borne with an uncomplaining patience, and he looked upon death calmly and with a strong hope and faith in the life and rest that would follow after all his sorrow and suffering. He had been fast failing in health for some years, and for several months before his death he was unable to do any work At last his appetite failed utterly, and soon after, at the close of the day, Friday, June 5, he passed quietly away.

The funeral services were held at the Baptist church Sunday afternoon, conducted by the pastor, Rev. E. W. Hicks, and was attended by a large audience of friends and neighbors, many of whom had known him ever since he was a boy. He leaves a wife, mother, three brothers and two sisters. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Lucinda (Porter) Gingrich

Stark County News

Feb. 26, 1908

Lucinda (Porter) Gingrich, daughter of Daniel and Catherine Porter, was born in Westmoreland county, Pa., January 5, 1823. When she was only a few months old, her parents moved to the state of Ohio, where they resided until 1833, when the family again moved. This time they located at Decatur, Ill., where her father engaged in milling and mercantile businesses, at which he was very successful until his death.

In 1841, when she was 18 years of age, the family sold the Decatur property and moved to Stark county, locating in West Jersey township.

She was united in marriage to Daniel Gingrich August 18, 1850; to this union five children were born, two sons and three daughters: Alvorado A., Daniel P., Estella D., Ophelia C., and Viletta A. The sons survive her, but the daughters preceded her on the journey from whence none ever return.

On the morning of February 12, 1908, at the age of 85 years, 1 month and 7 days, she quiety passed away at the old homestead where she lived for nearly three score years, and was laid to rest in the family lot in the Stringtown cemetery, near the loved ones that had gone before. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Amy Elizabeth "Libby" Graves


Funeral services for Miss Amy Elizabeth Graves, 73 years old, lifelong resident of the Duncan community, were held Sunday, December 22, at 2 p.m., at the Kidd Funeral Home in Toulon, with Rev. P. Henry Lotz, pastor of the Toulon Methodist church, in charge. Burial was in the Stringtown Cemetery.

Bearers were Earl Graves, Maurice Graves, Edward Best, Herbert Best, Homer Graves and Roy Whitten, nephews of the deceased.

Miss Graves passed away at her late home on Thursday, December 20, at the age of 73 years, 10 months and 29 days. She was the daughter of Joseph and Mary Jane Whitten Graves and was born January 21, 1872, and grew to womanhood in that community. She was a member of the Methodist Church in Duncan and in her earlier years was active in Sunday School and Church work. Her entire life was spent in the Duncan community.

She is survived by four brothers, John and Marion of Winterset, Iowa; Theodore of Duncan and Elza of Princeville; a sister, Mrs. Alice Best of Princeville, and a number of nieces and nephews. A sister, Carrie preceded her in death.

Relatives from a distance in attendance at the funeral were John Graves, Earl Graves and Mr. and Mrs. Marion Graves of Winterset, Iowa.

Clinton E. Graves

Last Rites For Clinton Graves Are Held Monday

Clinton E. Graves, retired grain dealer and former president of the Illinois Grain Dealers Association, died Thursday, October 20, in Peoria. He had been a supervisor of McClean county for many years and active in the Masonic Consistory in Bloomington. He was the last survivor of the family of 11 children of Jacob and Amy Wilkinson Graves of the Duncan community.

He was born September 5, 1872, on the Jacob Graves homestead near Duncan and was united in marriage with Nellie Stephens of Weston in 1898. He was preceded in death by his wife and son Claude; six brothers, Elba, Lyman, Elton, Emory, Smiley and Stanley; and four sisters, Jennie Addis, Arilla Schiebel, Mary Fouts, and Julia Shurts.

He is survived by numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Funeral services were held in the Cook Memorial Home in Fairbury at 2 p.m. Monday with Rev. Goodale officiating. Pallbearers were former employees and business associates of Mr. Graves and the soloist was a nephew, Howard Graves of Wyoming. Burial was in the Fairbury cemetery.

Those attending from this area were Pauling Seckman, Lucille Allen and Alice Best of Toulon; Milo Graves of Princeville; Lois Tuttle of Castleton; and Minnie Ogburn and Mr. and Mrs. Howard Graves of Wyoming.

Cora Mae (Kissenger) Graves

Funeral Services For Mrs. Lyman Graves Will Be Saturday

Mrs. Lyman (Cora Mae) Graves, 90, passed away early this morning, Thursday, April 2, in her home on North Galena Avenue in Wyoming. She had been in failing health since November.

She was born October 13, 1873, in Stark county, the daughter of William and Charlotte Kissenger Holgate.

She was united in marriage to Lyman S. Graves September 26, 1896. She is survived by two children, Howard Graves and Mrs. Marian Irwin, both of Wyoming; three grandchildren, Jacob Graves, Mary Winifred Hill, and Francine Torbert; and seven great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and two sisters, Catherine Klyde Starr and Caroline Smith.

Funeral services will be Saturday at 3 p.m. in the Cox Memorial Home in Wyoming and visitation will 5 p.m. Friday.

(Courtesy of Gerald Graves)

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

Elba Graves

Funeral Services for Elba Graves, 94, Will be Thursday

Funeral services for Elba V. Graves of Duncan will be held Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock in the Kidd Funeral home in Toulon. Interment will be in the Stringtown cemetery.

Mr. Graves was born January 20, 1862 in Vinton Co., Ohio, and died Tuesday evening, January 17, in his home in Duncan at the age of 94. He came to Illinois when he was two years old with his parents, Jacob and Sidney Stephens Graves, and had lived in the Duncan area since that time. He attended schools in the Duncan community.

Mr. Graves was united in marriage to Miranda Moody April 23, 1890 and she preceded him in death in March, 1933. Mr. Graves was in the grain business in Duncan for 65 years and retired in 1949.

Surviving are the following sons and daughters: Walter Graves and Milo Graves of Princeville; Mrs. Lois Tuttle of Castleton, Homer Graves and Mrs. John (Stella) Hohenbery of Duncan, Oliver Graves at Des Moines, Ia., Archie Graves of Fort Dodge, Ia., and Ernest Graves of Elmwood. Also surviving are ten grandchildren and six great grandchildren; two brothers, Lyman Graves of Wyoming, and Clinton Graves of Peoria, and a sister, Mrs. Mary Fouts of Ottawa, Kan.

Preceding him in death were four brothers, Smiley R., Stanley, Emery, and Elton; and three sisters, Mrs. Jennie Addis, Mrs. Arrilla Schiebel, and Mrs. Julia Shurts.

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

Emma (Fox) Graves



Funeral services for Mrs. E. A. Graves were held at the Methodist Church this Thursday afternoon, with Rev. Burress officiating. Burial in the cemetery at Hayfield.

Emma, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Fox, was born near Lancaster, Ohio, August 6, 1874. She moved to Illinois with her parents when a small child and grew to womanhood there.

On October 19, 1893 she was united in marriage to Austin Graves. To this union 5 children were born: Byron and Wilbur of Dodge Center, Everett, Faye, (Mrs. Aden Throndson) and Leatha (Mrs. Percy Janes) of Hayfield.

Mr. and Mrs. Graves, with their family, came to Hayfield, Minnesota in 1913 and for the past eleven years have been residents of Dodge Center.

She passed away very quietly at her home on September 27th at 5 a.m. at the age of 74 years, 1 month and 21 days.

She leaves to mourn her husband and children; also three sisters, Mrs. Elva Gingrich of Toulon, Illinois, Mrs. Myrtle Large of Princeville, Illinois, and Mrs. Eli Huddleston, Huron, South Dakota; two brothers, Arthur of Rogers, Arkansas and Elmer of Brown City, Michigan; also 13 grandchildren and 8 great randchildren.

Had she lived until October 19th, she and Mr. Graves would have celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary.

Funeral services are being held this afternoon at the Methodist Church, with Rev. R. N. Burress officiating.

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

Grace (Caskey) Graves



Princeville - Mrs. Grace C. Graves, 86, of Rural Route 1, a former elementary teacher in the Princeville and Duncan areas, died at 8:30 a.m. yesterday (June 1978) in the Methodist Medical Center, Peoria.

Services will be at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in Bouton-Hammitt Funeral Home here. The Rev. Robert Spencer will officiate, and burial will be in Stringtown Cemetery, near Duncan.

Visitation will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. tomorrow in the funeral home.

She was born at Winona, Minn., October 6, 1891, a daughter of Oliver and Mary E. Caskey Gard. She married J. Elva Graves October 14, 1919, at Toulon.

Surviving are her husband; a son, Maurice of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and three grandsons.

A sister, a half sister and a half brother preceded her in death.

Mrs. Graves received her teaching certificate from Winona State Teacher's College. Before coming to the Princeville area, she taught school at Dresbach, Minn.

She was a member of Princeville Presbyterian Church.

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

Harold Graves

Harold Graves, Toulon Farmer,

Buried Monday

Harold E. Graves, 57, farmer residing south of Toulon died at his home at 11 p.m. Thursday, March 16, 1972.

Mr. Graves was born Aug.27, 1914 at Winterset, Iowa, the son of Marion R. and Irma G. Evans Graves. He was married Aug. 11, 1946 in Toulon to Betty Mahany.

He was a veteran of World War II and a member of Toulon Post 8825 VFW, Toulon Lodge 93 AF&AM, and the Toulon Congregational Church which he also served as a trustee. He was active in Boy Scout work for 15 years, organized the first West Jersey Troop and was a member of the Virgil Honor Society Order of the Arrow.

Surviving, are the wife; his father of Winterset, Iowa; three sons, James David of Toulon, Ronald Dean with The Air Force in Turkey, Donald Ray, at home. Also surviving are a brother, Robert of Winterset, Iowa; three sisters, Mrs. Myron (Eileen) Lee of Clarendon Hills, Mrs. Irwin (Zella) Edwards of Winterset, Iowa; and Miss Helen Graves of Decatur, Ga. His mother preceded him in death.

Services were held Monday at 1:30 p.m. at the Kidd Funeral Home with Rev. Frank Rottier of the Toulon Congregational Church officiating.

Mrs. Jean Grigg was organist and pallbearers were Kenneth Grigg, Everettl Dutton, Clarence Reith, James Shearer, Rex Olmsted, and Edward Best.

Burial was in the Toulon cemetery.

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

Irma Gertrude (Evans) Graves



Died Monday at Memorial Hospital in Winterset

Mrs. Marion Graves, a long-time resident of Madison county, died Monday at the Madison County Memorial Hospital in Winterset. She was 84 years of age.

Funeral services for Mrs. Graves were held this Wednesday afternoon, June 29th from the First Methodist church in Winterset.

Irma Gertrude Graves was born July 30, 1881 in Peoria county, Illinois, the daughter of David Griffith Evans and Cynthia Jane Graves. She was married to Marion R. Graves on Dec. 19, 1906 at Princeville, Ill.

For the past 56 years she had made her home in Madison county. For many years she and her husband lived on a farm in Lincoln township, moving to Winterset in 1948.

She was a member of the Methodist church, Clover club, a charter member of the Women's Society of Christian Service, the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and Royal Neighbors of America.

Surviving, in addition to her husband are five children: Mrs. Aileen Lee of Clarendon, Ill., Mrs. Zella Edwards of Winterset, Harold Graves of Toulon, Ill., Miss Helen Graves of Atlanta, Ga., and Robert Graves of Winterset; and one sister, Miss Leila Evans of Peoria, Ill., and eight grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by two sisters and one brother.

Officiating at the funeral Wednesday was the Rev. Everett K. Burham and Rev. Lloyd Knouf. Burial was in the Winterset cemetery.

(Note: She died June 27, 1966 at Winterset, Madison co., Iowa)

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

James H. Graves


Dec. 9., 1931

Living only a few hours after he had suffered a stroke of paralysis, James H. Graves, a life-long resident of the community southeast of Toulon, passed away Friday evening at his home on Route 30. Had he lived until December 22, Mr. Graves would have been 81 years of age.

Two years ago, he suffered a slight stroke of paralysis but recovered sufficiently to carry on his business as usual. Early Friday morning he suffered a second stroke which in a few short hours proved fatal.

Funeral services were conducted at 1:30 at the Wyoming Congregational church.

Rev. Vernon W. Cooke, the pastor, being in charge. Appropriate organ music was played by Mrs. Frank J. Graves, of Abingdon, a niece of the deceased.

Body bearers were Sol Cox, Jesse Cox, Binnie McMillen, Fred McMillen, William Hagerty, and Jesse Adleman.

Interment was in Sheets cemetery.

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

Joab Graves

Last Saturday evening the sad news was received here of the death of Joab Graves, who died at the home of his son, John Graves, in Joliet, Illinois, Saturday morning, March 26, 1898.

Mr. Graves was born in Ross county, Ohio, January 4, 1816. Was married to Elizabeth Shreck, a native of Ohio. Their union was blessed with six children, all of whom are living---Phillip and Samuel in Oklahoma; Jonathan, at Burlington Junction, Missouri; John, at Joliet, Illinois; Mary, wife of Noah Springer, and Nancy, wife of John Barler, residents of Stark county, Illinois.

Mr. Graves moved with his family to Illinois in an early day, and purchased 320 acres of land in Essex township, where he lived until the fall of 1874, when he sold his farm and moved to Crawford county, Kansas, where he was engaged in farming until some time after the death of his wife, which occurred near Cherokee, Crawford county, Kansas. For some years afterward he made his home with his son Phillip in Oklahoma, but of late years with his son John, in Joliet.

The deceased was a brother of the late John Graves, and was the last member of a family of ten children, all of whom lived to the age of over 70 years.

The remains were brought here for interment. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Lindsey, of the Pleasant Valley United Brethren church, Tuesday, March 29, at 2 o'clock, afterward the mortal body was laid to rest in the Stringtown cemetery.

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

John Graves

unknown Stark co. newspaper

Obituary of John Graves

Another old (______) has been taken from among us. The subject of this sketch, John Graves, died very suddenly at the home of his son, Joseph Graves, near Duncan, Thursday morning, March 17, at half past 1 o'clock.

Mr. Graves was of North Carolina parentage, and was born in Ross county, Ohio, December 26, 1809. August 28, 1832, he was united in marriage to Miss Amy Wilkinson. To them was born a family of seven children. One son died in infancy, and another at the age of two years. Ann, wife of Sylvester Ratcliffe, died in Vinton county, Ohio, July 1881; Alma, wife of William Whitten, died near West Jersey, Illinois, April 22, 1897. Joseph and Jacob Graves, of Essex township, and Amy, wife of Sylvester Bamber, of West Jersey township, are the remaining survivors of the family.

Mr. Graves disposed of his possessions in Ohio, and emigrated to Illinois in the fall of 1864 and purchased a farm in West Jersey township, where he engaged in farming until after the death of his wife, which occurredd September 16, 1877. He then sold his farm to his son-in-law, Sylvester Bamber, and passed the last twenty years of his life among his children wherever he felt disposed to stay. He identified himself with the Christian church when (________) quite young. (___) by the Rev. Lindsey. Remains laid to rest at the Stringtown Cemetery.

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

John W. Graves



DECEMBER 25, 1954

John W. Graves, a prominent Madison county farmer for half a century, died at his home in Scott township on Christmas day. He was 84 years of age.

Mr. Graves was a native of Illinois, where he was born in Stark county July 5, 1870, a son of Joseph and Mary Jane Whitten Graves. He attended rural school there and Abbington academy at Bloomington, Illinois.

He was married at Toulon, Illinois to Nannie M. Biggs, on February 26, 1806. They farmed near Duncan, Illinois for eight years, then moved to Iowa and farmed near Truro for five years. In 1909 they moved to the present home in Scott township.

After moving to Madison county, he attended the Oak Run church in Ohio township, later transferring to Zion Federated church in Scott township, wherehe was active as long as his health permitted. He was a charter member of the Modern Woodmen of America chapter at Duncan, Illinois, continuing his membership there until his death.

Surviving are his wife; three children, Mrs. Edith Haines of Peru, J. Earl Graves of Winterset and Mrs. Mary Ham of Winterset; seven grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren; three brothers, Theodore and Elva Graves of Princeville, Illinois, and Marion Graves of Winterset; and a sister, Mrs. Alice Best of Toulon, Illinois.

Funeral services were held Tuesday from the Richards Funeral Home, conducted by the Rev. Charles Bellus. Burial was made in the Winterset Cemetery.

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

Joseph Earl Graves

Feb. 11, 1961

Outstanding Citizen of This Community Dies at Hospital Here

(Winterset, Madison co., Iowa)

J. Earl Graves, one of Madison county's most prominent farmers for many years, died Saturday, Feb. 11, at Memorial hospital in Winterset, after an extended illness. He was 61 years of age.

Mr. Graves was one of the most influential citizens of Madison county for many years. He was active in a long list of farm organization and community activities, including the Madison county Livestock and Fair association, of which he had served as secretary since it was organized, 14 years ago. He was a member of the Madison county Memorial hospital association from the early days of that organization, and was serving as its president at the time of his death.

He was a member of the original AAA committee in Madison county which administered the federal farm program in the county. He was a past president of the Madison County Farm Bureau and was extremely active in its affairs, including the 4H club fair in which he took a special interest for more than 20 years. He was a past president of the Madison county Angus association and a member of the board of directors of the Farmers Cooperative association.

Joseph Earl Graves was a native of Illinois, where he was born in Stark county on March 1, 1899, a son of John W. and Nannie Biggs Graves. He had been a resident of Madison county since 1904.

He was married May 27, 1923 to Madalene Hann, who survives him. He also leaves his mother, Mrs. John Graves of Winterset; a daughter, Mrs. Lois Groth of Winterset; two grandchildren, Marvin and Carolyn Groth; and two sisters, Mrs. Edith Haines of Peru and Mrs. Mary Ham of Winterset.

Funeral Services were held Monday from the Winterset Methodist church, conducted by the pastor, the Rev. John C. Porath. Burial was made in the Winterset cemetery.

Here From Distance To Attend Graves Rites

Among those from a distance here Monday to attend funeral services for J. Earl Graves, were:

Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Wood and Jessie Anderson of Panora, Ia.; Mr. and Mrs. Rex Johnson of Creston; Mrs. Melvin Walrod, Mrs. Curtis Hartsook of Omaha, Nebr.; Mrs. Roma Jean English of Jefferson, Ia.; Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Benson of Ames; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Schulz of Peoria, Ill.; Mr. and Mrs. Lester Sievers and Mary of Walnut, Ia.; Mr. and Mrs. Dudley Walker of Rock Island, Ill.; Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Graves of Hayfield, Minn.; Mr. and Mrs. Byron Graves of Dodge Center, Minn.; Mr. and Mrs. Roy Whitten, Mrs. Bessie McLennan and Harold Graves of Toulon, Ill.; Mr. and Mrs. R.F. Powers of Greenfield, Iowa.

Oliver Graves of Des Moines; Mr. and Mrs. Archie Graves of Ft. Dodge, Ia.; Edward Best of Wyoming, Ill.; Elza Graves of Princeville, Ill.; Alice Best of Toulon, Ill.; Ruby Eldridge of Centerville, Ia.; Myrtle Biggs of Peoria, Ill.; Mrs. Ione Hann of Des Moines; Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Madsen of Clife, Ia.; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Morris, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Morris and Richard Morris, all of Muscatine, Iowa; and Mr. and Mrs. Leland Lapp of Perry, Ia.

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

Joseph S. Graves


JANUARY 27, 1914

Joseph S. Graves, eldest son of John and Amy Graves, was born near Allensville, Vinton county, Ohio, June 7, 1833, and departed this life January 27, 1914, aged 80 years, 7 months and 20 days. His illness was of short duration and death came unexpected to his family. He came to Stark county, Illinois, in the fall of 1863, and December 12, 1867, was united in marriage to Mary Jane Whitten. They have resided in the home in which he passed away, for nearly forty years.

To this union were born nine children, six of whom with the mother survive. They are John, Theodore, and Marion, of Winterset, Iowa; Alice, wife of Logan Best; Libbie and Elza, who are still at home. Three children, Carrie, Alva, and Etta, preceded him in death. He is also survived by one sister, Mrs. Amy Bamber, of West Jersey, and seven grandchildren.

Funeral services were held at the Stringtown church Thursday afternoon, January 29, Rev. Bowlin, pastor of Monica Church, officiating. Interment was in the Stringtown cemetery. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

J. Elza Graves

Princeville - J. Elza Graves, 93, of Rural Route 1 died at 7:40 a.m. yesterday at a nursing home in Durham, North Carolina. (January 3, 1982)

Born August 19, 1888, near Duncan, the son of Joseph and Jane Whitten Graves, he married Grace Gard October 14, 1919, in Toulon. She preceded in him in death June 4, 1978.

He is survived by a son, Maurice of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and three grandsons.

He was also preceded in death by three sisters and four brothers.

He was a farmer, retiring in 1960. He attended the Toulon Academy.

Services will be at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Hammitt Funeral Home, the Rev. Norman Mendell officiating. Burial will be in the Stringtown Cemetery. Visitation will be an hour before services.

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

Joyce Elizabeth (Freeman) Graves


Oct. 31, 1875, in the eighty first year of her age, Elizabeth Graves, in Essex township, Stark county, Illinois, after a lingering and painful illness of six weeks. She was stricken with palsy during the summer from the effect of which she never fully recovered.

It would seem necessary that one who had experienced so much of this life should have something more than a brief newspaper paragraph announcing her departure from this land.

The deceased was born Sept. 25, A.D. 1795, in Mecklenburg county, Virginia, near the Roanoke River. Her maiden name being Elizabeth Freeman. At the age of fourteen years she removed to Chatham county, North Carolina. She was married to John Graves in 1813. In the year 1821 she removed to Ross county, Ohio near Richmondale. She lived at this place some twenty three years. In the year 1844 it was decided that the family should remove to Illinois, one of the sons having visited Illinois four years previous and brought back glowing accounts of the new far west.

Before they departed for their new western home, after they had packed their goods, she must suffer the terrible shock of losing her husband. What must have been the feelings of this wife and mother as she turned her steps from the graves of her husband and three children never to look on them more. To traverse a distance of over 550 miles through forests, swamps and wild prairies to form a home in a new country. They arrived in Stark county, Illinois, in the fall of 1844, they journey having occupied two weeks.

The country was then very sparsely settled. She purchased a small farm and began housekeeping; the four youngest children that were living remaining with her some years after. Finally on the marriage of the last one she broke up housekeeping and went to live with her son James with whom she lived nearly twenty years. A perfect type of a pioneer woman, the writer will ever remember with the deepest pleasure the many interesting stories that his grandmother used to relate as he sat by her side while she was weaving on the loom.

She was the mother of twelve children; three daughters and nine sons, two daughters and six sons are still living and were present as the last sad rites were performed--forty eight grandchildren and twenty four great grandchildren all alive at this writing. She bore her suffering patiently and calmly, retaining her faculties most of the time to the last. She passed away after having placed her trust in Him who doeth all things well. A very brief though touching discourse was delivered at the house by the Rev. D. G. Stouffer, of West Jersey, Ill., who took for his text Psalms xc,10 verse. The remains were then followed to their last resting place at Sheet's cemetery by a large concourse of people.

This article would be incomplete without adding a word of praise to Mrs. James Graves for her untiring efforts to render the last moments on earth pleasant to the departed relative. She gave her personal and sole attention both night and day, only quitting as her own strength failed. The sincere thanks of the family and relatives are tendered to the neighbors who so kindly assisted in the hour of need.

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

Lyman Graves


Funeral services for Lyman S. Graves, one of Wyoming's oldest and most prominent citizens, were held in the Cox Memorial Home at 2 p.m. Monday with Rev. Joseph W. Carroll of the Wyoming Congregational Church officiating. The organ music during the service was played by Mrs. Merle Snider. Pallbearers were Harry Kerns, David Crone, Warren Kopp, T. B. Malone, Arthur Colgan, and Gene Lukecart. Burial was in the Wyoming cemetery.

Lyman S. Graves, son of Jacob and Sidna Barnett Graves, was born on the Jacob Graves homestead near Duncan November 2, 1869 and died in his home in Wyoming July 11, 1959, aged 89 years, eight months, and nine days.

He was one of a family of 11 children: Elba, Elton, Smiley, Emory, Stanley, Clinton, Jennie Addis, Arrilla Schiebel, Julia Shurts, and Mary Fouts, all whom, with the exception of Clinton, preceded him in death.

He was married September 26, 1896 to Cora May Holgate in Wyoming, who survives with two children, Marian Irwin and Howard H. Graves; three grandchildren, Francine Torbert, Mary Winifred Hill, and Jacob Graves; and six great grandchildren.

He received his early education in the country schoolhouse adjoining the Graves farm near Duncan and was graduated from Wyoming High School in 1889.

His first employment was with the Hammond General store in Wyoming. He subsequently worked for Chicago, Peoria, and Galesburg firms as a salesman. The greater part of his life, however, was spent in the Wyoming community where he was bookkeeper for the Brown-Upperman and Moran companies for many years.

He was ever interested in the welfare of the community and served in various public capacities, being clerk of the high school board of education at the time the original building was erected. He was a committeeman for the Wyoming Centennial celebration. He was postmaster for 14 years, being appointed by President Harding in June, 1921 and serving until Feb. 25, 1935. He was mayor of Wyoming for 8 years serving two terms from 1937 to 1945. - Contributed by Karen Seeman - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Mrs. Mabel Graves

Mabel Graves, 83, of 211 E. Shawnee Avenue, died of a respiratory ailment Thursday at Craigmont Care Center, 2348 E. Ninth Street, December 17, 1981.

Services will be 1 p.m. at Dahlstrom Funeral Home, with burial in Stringtown Cemetery in Elwood, Illinois.

She was born in Elkhart, but lived in Des Moines for 61 years. She was a member of Union Park United Methodist Church and a graduate of Drake University.

She is survived by her husband, Oliver, three sisters, Besse Abraham of Des Moines, Sylvia Butler of Harlan, and Erbel O'Conner of Lisle, Illinois. - Contributed by Karen Seeamn - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Mary (Ratcliff) Graves


After a Lingering Illness She Passed Away Last Thursday Morning

The death of Aunt Polly Graves last Thursday morning was not unexpected by her relatives and friends, who knew that nothing but death would relieve her of her suffering. She passed away peacefully at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Jonathan Graves. Her long sufferings were lightened by all the ministrations that a devoted daughter and relatives could bestow.

Mary Ratcliff was born near Londonderry, Ross county, Ohio, Feb. 18, 1823, where she grew to womanhood. On Jun 11, 1843, she was united in marriage to Joseph Graves, of the same county and state, and made her home in Ross county for twenty five years.

In the month of April, 1868, Mr. and Mrs. Graves moved with their children to Stark county, Ill., where they resided for fourteen years, when they moved in the spring of 1882 to the homestead one mile east of Burlington Junction, which has been her home since. Her husband died in 1888, since which time she has lived alone until about two months ago when in failing health she came to make her home with her daughter, Mrs. Jonathan Graves, where she died aged 80 years, 2 months

and 24 days.

Mrs. Graves was one of twelve children, three of whom are still living, Jeremiah Ratcliff, of Londonderry, Ohio, nearly 87 years old, Moses Ratcliff, of Jewett, Cumberland county, Ill., aged 78 years, and Mrs. Elizabeth Brown, of near Londonderry, who is nearly 76 years old. To Mr. and Mrs. Graves were born twelve children, five sons and seven daughters, of whom seven are not living, Mrs. Rachel Graves, Mrs. Sarah Ault, John Graves, James Graves, Wm. M. Graves, Mrs. Mary Waliker (or Wallker) of Clinton, Iowa, and Thuram Graves, of Walter, Oklahoma. The late Mrs. Elizabeth Claypool was also a daughter. She leaves to morn their loss, besides the brothers, sisters and children, 40 grand children and 6 great grand children, besides a host of relatives and friends. The funeral occurs this Friday afternoon at 3 o'clock, Rev. J. D. Mendenhall officiating.

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

Mary Jane (Whitten) Graves


DECEMBER 8, 1921

Mrs. Joseph Graves, almost a life long resident of the Duncan community, died at her home one mile west of that place last Thursday, aged seventy-five years, lacking five days.

Mrs. Graves had been a sufferer for a long time, and for more than a year had been almost a helpless invalid. Sometime ago she underwent an operation, but received only temporary relief, and her health continued to fail until the end came.

Mary Jane Whitten was born in Licking county, Ohio, December 13, 1846. In her ninth year she came with her parents, Theodore and Elizabeth Whitten, to Stark county in 1855. She was united in marriage with Joseph S. Graves December 12, 1867.

Soon after marriage Mr. and Mrs. Graves moved to the present homestead one mile west of Duncan, where for half a century they enjoyed the peace, content and honor of that beautiful paradise called home.

To this union were born nine children. Carrie E., Alva L. and Etta had gone before, and the husband, Joseph S. Graves, died January 27, 1914. The surviving children are: John W. and Marion R., of Winterset, Iowa; Amy Elizabeth and Theodore, at home; Mrs. Alice Best, Duncan, and Elza of Princeville. There are also living ten grandchildren and one great granddaughter; three brothers, William, Elmer and Elza Whitten, and three sisters, Mrs. Linda Trickle and Mrs. Clara Gingrich, of Toulon, and Mrs. Hattie Atkinson, of Yale, Iowa.

Mrs. Graves was a member of the Methodist church from girlhood, and had been a member and worker in the Duncan congregation since its inception.

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

Nancy (Cox) Graves

Stark County News

Mrs. Nancy Cox Graves, daughter of Nathan and Ann Dixon Cox, was born in Chillicothe, Ross county, Ohio, January 17, 1826. She was the youngest child in a family of ten children, of whom only one sister survives. When she was ten years of age the family removed to Illinois and settled in Stark county, so that she was one of the pioneers of the state. She was raised in the Quaker faith and the principles of that faith governed her every day life, which was one of earnest effort to do right. On October 28, 1841 she was married to Thomas Graves of Ohio. They had a family of ten children, all of whom survive her, and five of whom were with her at her death. Eight years after his death, she left the old home in Illinois and has since made her home with her daughter, Mrs. Moran, in Omaha, Nebraska.

Her bright and energetic disposition rendered her beloved by all who knew her. For two years she has been stricken with paralysis, and on the morning of December 17 received a fatal stroke. After lingering two weeks she passed quietly and peacefully to rest. She was ready and glad to go, her last words being that she was "going home."

The remains arrived in Wyoming on Monday morning, accompanied by her son and daughter, Archie L. and Miss Gussie, and were conveyed to the M.P. church in Essex, where funeral serviced were conducted in the afternoon by the Rev. William Walters. A large concourse of people were present to pay a last tribute of respect to the memory of the departed. The interment was in the Sheets cemetery near by.

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

Nannie Mable (Biggs) Graves



Native of Virginia, Lived in Madison County Since 1904

Mrs. Nannie M. Graves, a resident of Madison county since 1904, died Sunday, March 1, at a Winterset nursing home where she had been a patient for the last five years. She was 85 years of age.

Mrs. Graves was a native of Virginia, where she was born near Front Royal on July 28, 1878. She was the former Nannie Mable Biggs. She moved with her family to Illinois in 1884, living near Toulon. There she was married, on Feb. 26, 1896, to John Graves. They came to Madison county in 1904, and this had been her home since that time. Her husband and a son, J. Earl Graves, preceded her in death.

She was a member of the Zion Federated church. Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Edith Haines and Mrs. Mary Ham, both of Winterset; seven grandchildren; 19 great grandchildren; one great, great grandchild; two sisters, Mrs. Will Ripsch of Pontiac, Ill., and Mrs. Fred Schulz of Peoria, Ill., and a half-sister, Mrs. Ray Eldridge of Peoria.

Funeral services were to be held this Wednesday at 2 p.m. from the Collins Funeral Home, conducted by the Rev. Earl Travis. Burial was to be made in the Winterset cemetery.

(Died March 1, 1964)

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

Oliver S. Graves

Unknown newspaper


Oliver S. Graves, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Graves, died at the family home four miles east of town last Saturday and was buried at this place Sunday afternoon.

Oliver S. Graves was born in Stark county, Ill., March 14, 1872, and died at Burlington Junction on September 16, 1906, aged 34 years, 6 months, 2 days. He has been troubled with rheumatism for several years past and had had very poor health the last year, still it was not generally known that he was in any immediate danger and his death was a surprise to the public generally. The funeral was held at the home Sunday afternoon, Rev. W. H. Rust, pastor of the Christian church conducting the services, after which the body was laid away in the Ohio cemetery at this place.

He was the only child and unmarried. The parents have the sympathy of the entire community in their bereavement. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Robert J. Graves

September 6, 1968, Illinois

Robert J. Graves

Robert J. Graves, of La Grange, beloved husband of Catharine, father of Robert Jr., and William, son of Mrs. Sadie Graves of Princeville, Illinois, brother of Mrs. Martha Brown of Peoria and Mrs. Mary Belsley of Metamora.&l and Hallowell and James Funeral Home, 1025 W. 55th Street, La Grange after 2 p.m. Sunday. Funeral 2 p.m. Monday at First Presbyterian Church, 150 S. Ashland Avenue, La Grange, Interment Bronswood Cemetery, Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church of La Grange. 352-6500

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

Mrs. Tacy Graves

Tuesday, April 6, 1897

Died, at her home in Essex township, March 25, 1897, Mrs. Tacy Graves, (nee Francis) aged 80 years, 5 months and 11 days.

She was born in Ross county, Ohio, October 14, 1816. November 29, 1838, she was married to Lemuel Graves. In the fall of 1844, she came to Stark county, which was her home for nearly fifty-three years. She was the mother of five children--two daughters and three sons--of who three survive her. The eldest son died when quite young; one daughter, the youngest, died when a young lady, just budding into womanhood. She also had nine grandchilren.

At the age of nineteen years, she became a member of the Methodist church, of which she remained a member till the time of her death, having been noted, during her whole life, for her many Christian virtues. The writer, who had an acquaintance with her covering a period of fifty years, never heard any person speak of her with any but the highest respect.

After the death of her husband, which occurred some nineteen years ago, her eldest daughter was her constant companion. As in the past few years she was much afflicted, she received all the care and sympathy possible from friends and relatives.

In the new M. E. church, recently dedicated, near the Sheets' Cemetery, the last sad rites were conducted by the Rev. D. G. Stouffer, an old and much respected friend of the deceased, who announced to the congregation her favorite hymns: "Rock of Ages," and "Jesus Lover of my Soul." He rendered a very appropriate and touching discourse, which was followed by a few remarks from Rev. Miss L. A. Starr.

The remains were then placed by the side of her husband and children in the Sheets' Cemetery. Thus another old landmark has passed to the great beyond.


The thanks of the afflicted family are gratefully tendered to the many friends and relatives who so kindly assisted during the last sad hours of our bereavement.

-Serepta Graves

-Marshall Graves and Family - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Theodore Parker Graves



Funeral services were held Thursday afternoon in the Kidd Funeral Home in Toulon for Theodore Parker Graves, formerly of the Duncan community. Rev. E. B. Morton, pastor of the Toulon Methodist church, was in charge of the service.

Pallbearers were Edward Best, Earl Graves, Harold Graves, Roy Whitten, Walter Reismeyer, and Homer Graves. Burial was in the Stringtown cemetery.

Mr. Graves, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph S. Graves, was born near Duncan March 28, 1874. He passed away in a convalescent home in Toulon where he had been a patient for a week.

Mr. Graves attended rural schools near Duncan and followed farming as an occupation. He lived in the Duncan community his entire life except for about twenty years, which were spent near Winterset, Iowa. The past nine years he had lived with his brother, Elza, near Princeville. He was a member of the MWA Duncan camp and the Methodist church.

He is survived by two brothers, Marion of Winterset, Iowa, and Elza of Princeville; one sister, Mrs. Alice Best of Toulon; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters and two brothers.

Mr. and Mrs. Marion Graves, Mrs. Irwin Edwards, Mrs. Mary Ham and Earl Graves of Winterset, Iowa, and Mrs. Edith Harnes of Peru, Iowa, spent several days last week in the Elza Graves home and attended the funeral services.

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

Viella (Gingrich) Graves

March 2, 1938

Unknown Stark co. Newspaper

Mrs. Oscar Graves is Laid to Rest Friday

Funeral services for Mrs. Oscar Graves, 63 years old, well known resident of Princeville and mother of Mrs. Merle Kerns, of Toulon were conducted at 2pm Friday at Princeville Presbyterian Church. Rev. Lee H. Smith, pastor of the church was in charge. Interment was in Princeville cemetery.

Mrs. Graves passed away at her home in the northwest part of Princeville early last Wednesday morning following an extended illness of nearly two years. For the past eight months she had been bedfast.

Mrs. Graves was well known in the Princeville and Duncan communities where she spent her entire life. She had numerous friends in Toulon where she had visited frequently at the home of her daughter.

Mrs. Viella D. Graves, the wife of Oscar Graves and the third of seven children of Alexander and Harriet Caskey Gingrich, was born July 30, 1874 at the Gingrich homestead in Duncan, Stark County, Illinois.

Her life was spent in the vicinity of her birthplace. She received her education in the schools of Stark County, having attended Wyoming High School.

On August 14, 1895, she was united in marriage to Oscar Graves by the Rev. C. M. Taylor, then pastor of the Princeville Presbyterian church, and later, Oct. 2, 1921 shortly after moving to town, she with Mr. Graves became an active member until illness prevented her attendance.

Mr. and Mrs. Graves had lived on their farm near Princeville until about 19 years ago, when they moved to Princeville, which had since been their home and where her death came.

Besides her husband, Mrs. Graves is survived by three children, Edna M., wife of Merle Kerns, Toulon; Leo who resides on the home farm near Princeville; and Evelyn D., wife of Berwyn Dell, also of Princeville. A devoted daughter, Florence E. passed away in 1929. She is also survived by five grandchildren; Harriet and Virginia Kerns, Leo Jr. and Martha Graves, and an infant son, Robert Gene, of Mr. and Mrs. Berwyn Dell, born February 21, just two days before his grandmother passed away. - Contributed by Karen Seeman

Walter C. Graves


Funeral services for Walter C. Graves, 69, were held Wednesday afternoon in the Bouton Memorial Home with Rev. Ralph Walters of the Presbyterian church in charge. Burial was in the Princeville cemetery.

Mr. Graves, Princeville police magistrate for the last 20 years, passed away in the Methodist hospital in Peoria Sunday afternoon following a long illness. He had been a patient in the hospital since January 10.

Born in Duncan April 26, 1891, he was a son of Elba and Miranda Moody Graves. He was married to Miss Sadie Fritz December 16, 1914. Mr. Graves was a lifelong resident of the Princeville area. He was a retired Caterpillar Tractor employee.

Surviving are his wife; two daughters, Mrs. Burnell (Martha) Brown of Peoria and Mrs. Merle (Mary) Belsley of Metamora; a son, Robert of LaGrange; two sisters, Mrs. Lois Tuttle of Castleton and Mrs. Stella Hohenberry of Yates City; five brothers, Milo of Princeville, Homer of Yates City, Ernest of Elmwood, Oliver of Des Moines, Iowa, and Archie of Fort Dodge, Iowa; and six grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a son, Marvin, who was killed while serving as a pilot with the U.S. Air Force.

Unknown Burlington Junction (MO) newspaper

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

William Graves

Stark County News

Another worthy old settler has departed this life. On Tuesday, June 16, 1908, at the home of his son Austin, at Stringtown, Illinois, William Graves died, having attained the age of 87 years, 6 months and 27 days.

Mr. Graves was born in North Carolina, November 20, 1820. While in infancy he removed with his parents to Ohio. He was united in marriage to Miss Ann Ratcliffe, November 20, 1842. This union was blessed with four children, one of whom died in infancy. The three surviving are S. S. Graves, of Beatrice, Nebraska; Mrs. N. M. Cox and Mrs. C. H. Cox, of Wyoming, Illinois. The mother of these children died in January, 1856.

Mr. Graves was married in 1856 to Rebecca Stretch. This union was blessed with four children, three sons and one daughter: Mrs. D. G. Evans, of Princeville; Thomas L., of Esmond, South Dakota; Oscar, of Princeville, and Austin, of Stringtown, Illinois.

All of the sons and daughters were present during the last illness and at the funeral of their father, except S. S. Graves, of Beatrice, Nebraska, who was detained by physical infirmity.

The deceased was one of the family of twelve children, nine brothers and three sisters, all of whom have preceded him except two sisters, Mrs. Perry Winn and Mrs. Michael Alderman, both of Toulon.

He came to Illinois in 1864 and located on a farm near Duncan, Stark county, where he lived until three years ago. His companion for forty-nine years died in 1905, since which time he has been content to sojourn with his children, whom he greatly loved, and who were pleased to comfort him in his old age.

Mr. Graves was a man of strong constitution, which was never abused by evil habits. He labored diligently and was a very successful farmer. By the combination of industry, wisdom and economy he was able to give each of his seven children a farm of eighty acres. He never became a member of any church organization, but was friendly to it. He believed in the teachings of the Bible, read it, and advised his children to attend church service and Sunday school. He was an affectionate brother, a kind and gracious father, a desirable neighbor and a worthy citizen. He will be greatly missed by his two aged sisters, seven children and their companions, a number of grandchildren and a host of relatives and friends.

The funeral services were conducted at Essex chapel, Thursday afternoon, by Rev. Joseph Jenkins, pastor of the Toulon Baptist church, who spoke comforting words and drew appropriate lessons from Jesus' words, "Our Father." The body was laid to rest in the cemetery where lies his wife, Rebecca, five of his brothers and their wives. The large congregation gathered at this busy season demonstrates the high esteem in which he was held.

- Contributed by Karen Seeman

J. G. Greene

August 21, 1879

Stark County News

Dr. J. G. Greene of Wyoming, died recently of paralysis, with which he was stricken three years ago. He had lived in W., 23 years, and was 55 years old at the time of his death. He was a very superior physician, and universally respected. " THE HENRY REPUBLICAN" - Contributed by Nancy Piper

Earle Griffin

January 12, 1870

At Castleton, Stark county, Jan. 6, of lung fever, Earle, aged 1 year, son of Henry and Ellen Griffin and nephew to Mrs. John Kline of this city. "TAKEN FROM THE HENRY REPUBLICAN, HENRY, IL" submitted by Nancy Piper

Mrs. Nancy Griffin

Henry Republican, September 20, 1877

At Castleton, Stark county, Sept. 17, of paralysis, Mrs. Nancy Griffin, aged 68 years, sister of Mrs. N. M. Rollins and Mrs. M. Snider of this city.

Local Items - Mrs. Nancy Griffin sustained a very severe attack of paralysis on Sunday, which resulted fatally on Monday. Her sisters, Mrs. N. M. Rollins and Mrs. Manuel Snider, were summoned by telegraph, who attended the funeral on Tuesday. Mrs. Griffin was highly respected, as also her family of several sons and daughters. Her death will be deeply mourned by all who knew her - Contributed by Nancy Piper

Clara M. (Carlson) Gustafson

Mrs. Clara M. Gustafson, 85, of 609 E. Republic Ave., widow of John G. Gustafson, died at 3;40 this morning at St. Francis hospital where she had been a patient since Wednesday.
Daughter of John and Mary Carlson, she was born Nov. 7, 1865, in Skara Sweden. She married Mr. Gustafson in Putnam on Feb. 1, 1887. He died in Bradford Oct. 14, 1900.
Mrs. Gustafson had retired in Peoria since 1927 and at the Republic ave. address for 13 years. She was a member of the Bradford Methodist church.
Surviving are two daughters: Mrs. betty Lindstrum and Mrs. Agnes Phenix, both of Peoria; one brother; August Carlson, Spring Valley; two sisters,
Mrs. Sophie Swanson, LA., CA. and Mrs. Emma Johnson, Spring Valley and one grandchild.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at the Wilton Mortuary chapel. Burial will be in the Bradford cemetery. Friends may call at Wilton's after 3 p.m. Sunday.
[Sunday, Oct. 13, 1951, Peoria Journal Star - Submitted by C. Horton]

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