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Joseph and Rebecca Graham

Rebecca Graham, next to the youngest daugh­ter of James Graham, Sr., mar­ried Joseph Graham, her cousin in the year 1803. Joseph Graham was [71] the son of David Graham, Sr., who lived in Bath county. David Graham, Sr., and James Graham, Sr., the orig­i­nal set­tler at Lowell, were broth­ers; there was also another brother whose name was Robert, who set­tled at Fort Chiswell in Wythe county, Virginia, shortly before the Revolutionary War. Tradition has failed to fur­nish us with but a very mea­ger account of this branch of our prog­en­i­tors, but the untir­ing effort on part of the author of these annals has revealed the fact that these three broth­ers, David, James and Robert, were born in Ireland. Having thus referred to this branch of the fam­ily which we will take up later, we will now return to the sub­ject in hand. After the mar­riage of Joseph and Rebecca Graham, they set­tled for a short time in Bath county, Virginia, but returned to the neigh­bor­hood of Lowell in about one year and lived for a time on the William Graham place, and a por­tion of that time on Graham Island, now the Riffe Island. The house in which he lived stood not far from the present dwelling of Thomas Riffe.

[72] In the year 1813 they moved to what is now the Clayton neigh­bor­hood on Hungarts Creek and set­tled on the place where David Graham Ballengee now lives. At the time of their loca­tion in their new home, there were but few other set­tlers in the same local­ity and those who were near enough to be termed neigh­bors were mere squat­ters and had sought tem­po­rary homes near the moun­tains for the pur­pose of hunt­ing wild game rather than a per­ma­nent abode. Thus, a short dis­tance to the west stood the cabin of Bailey Woods. While to the north and a lit­tle far­ther dis­tance away was located the cabin of Martin McGraw. The Woods’ cabin stood on the land now occu­pied by A. H. Honaker. The McGraw cabin was on the farm now owned by C. H. Graham. These were, so far as we know, the only set­tlers on the Graham lands at that time. The stay of these tran­sient set­tlers was short.

About one mile south­east of the Graham place on what has since been known as the Eads farm there lived William Withrow, who moved away [73] in a short time. This prop­erty was after­wards occu­pied by Peter Eads and fam­ily who came from Albemarle county, Virginia, and set­tled here about the year 1830. There also lived, at the time of Graham’s locat­ing here, a fam­ily by the name of McGraw, about two miles to the south, on what has since been known as the Nowlan place. Eastward, about three miles, at the mouth of Griffiths Creek, lived a fam­ily by the name of Griffith. The head of the fam­ily, Thomas Griffith, was killed by the Indians in 1780. He was the last vic­tim of the sav­ages in this sec­tion of the coun­try. This place was after­wards occu­pied by Enos Ellis and is still occu­pied by his descen­dants. It is thought that Ellis may have lived at this place before the Graham settlement.

On the spot where Joseph Graham first located his house there had been a hunter’s cabin, pre­vi­ously occu­pied by a man named Stevenson or Stinson. This hunter had prob­a­bly not “lived” in his cabin for many years, as the sur– [74] vey made twenty-seven years before and patented in the name of James Graham, Sr., fails to include the Stevenson or Stinson cabin. A spur of Keeney’s Knob over­look­ing the Graham farm is to this day called “Stinson’s Knob”.

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