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Milam County, Texas

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George S. Graves

SOURCE: History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties. (Chicago, IL: Lewis, 1893), p. 529 & 530.

George S. Graves , Justice of the Peace, merchant and Postmaster at Lilac, Milam county, was born in the town of Independence, Washington county, Texas. January 12, 1856, and is the youngest child of Dr. John H. and Julia Graves, of North Carolina, who moved to Texas in 1852, and six years later settled in Milam county, where they spent the remainder of their lives.

An extended notice of them is given in the sketch of their eldest son, Thomas H. Graves, which appears elsewhere in this volume. The subject notice was raised in Milam county in the vicinity where he now lives. Lack of school facilities interfered with his early education but by industry and application on his own part he acquired some knowledge of books as he grew up and having determined on a college course he entered Davila school at the age of sixteen, where he remained for five years, defraying his own expenses and taking the full course prescribed by the curriculum. His inclination leading him to indoor pursuits he began the mercantile business at Lilac in 1879, which, with the exception of two years, he has followed at that place since.

The same year when the post office was established at Lilac he received the appointment as Postmaster and has held it since. In 1890 he was elected Justice of the Peace of Precinct No. 5, and re-elected in 1892, which office he has since held. Mr. Graves has been moderately successful in the worldly way, but his chief value to the community in which he resides is not so much for the amount of his accumulations as for his services as a citizen.

He has become to the people of his locality one of those indispensable factors always found in well regulated communities on whom everybody feels at liberty to call for advice in matters of law, business, politics and the like, and who in the course of a year does as much work gratuitously as many men do on handsome salaries. To his credit it may be said that he does such work cheerfully and does it well.

He has been frequently solicited to run for office, but has never consented, simply accepting the offices he has held as a matter of accommodation to his friends and neighbors. In politics he is a Democrat and takes an active interest in everything of a political nature. Public enterprises - whatever will improve, elevate or adorn the society in which he moves and the country in which he makes his home - meet his cordial approbation and receive his prompt advocacy and assistance. The education of the masses through free schools provided or greatly assisted by the State government has always found in him a friend and a supporter and he has contributed from his own means in putting the schools in the locality where he resides on a permanent and advantageous footing, he and his two brother, Thomas H. Graves and Fred A. Graves, having erected a building near where they live; they have a good school maintained nine months in a year.

Mr. Graves married Miss Emma L. Ballard of Milam county, on September 15, 1881. Mrs. Graves was born in Hallettsville, Lavaca county, October 22, 1858, being a daughter of Joseph J. and Sallie Ballard, her father a native of Kentucky and her Mother a native of Georgia. Her father was a representative of the distinguished Ballard Family of Kentucky, being a great-grand-nephew of Bland Ballard, an associate of Daniel Boone in pioneer days in the "Blue Grass State."

Joseph J. Ballard came to Texas in 1854 and settled in Hallettsville, Lavaca county, where he was prominent in business and politics until his death, which occurred in 1861. Mrs. Graves's mother whose maiden name was Hillyer, was a descendant of an old Georgia family, being a daughter of Dr. John F. Hillyer, a prominent physician, Doctor of Divinity and Doctor of Laws of the State, and a niece of the eminent jurist, Junius Hillyer, and of Granby Hillyer of Atlanta, Georgia. She died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Graves, while on a visit October 6, 1883. Mr. and Mrs. Graves have had born to them three children, two of whom are living: Ruth C. Graves, born March 24, 1885 and Ada E. Graves born December 20, 1887. Mr. and Mrs. Graves are members of the Methodist Church, of which Mr. Graves has been a Steward for a number of years.

We must say a special thank you to Sylvia Thomas of Georgetown, Texas, for typing the above biographical sketch for use on the Milam County TXGenWeb site.

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Created on 4 July 2004 and last revised on ____________