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John W. Graham was born in St. Joseph county, Michigan, May 27, 1842. His father, John Graham, moved to Iowa, in 1853, and settled in Jones county, where he bought land and made a farm. He was formerly a miller. He died in Jones county in 1869. His widow, Mary Graham, still survives and lives in that county. John W. Graham was married September 25, 1867, to Mrs. Ruth Van Dresser, who was born September 25, 1844, in Indiana. Her father, James H. Waldron, settled in Jones county in 1853, and still lives there. Mr. and Mrs. Graham came to Cass county in June, 1872, and bought one hundred and twenty acres on section 31, Union township, which is now all under cultivation. All of the improvements have been made by Mr. Graham. They have six children--Leon W., born in July, 1868; John H., born in July, 1870; Nellie May, born in March, 1874, Minnie, born in December, 1876, Sadie, born in September, 1878; and Emma, born in January, 1882. Mr. Graham was a member of company G, Thirty-first Iowa Volunteers. He was present at Sherman's defeat on the Yazoo river, in December, 1862, at the capture of Arkansas Post, at Jackson, Champion Hill, siege of Vicksburg, battle of Lookout Mountain, and other engagements. He participated in Sherman's grand march to the sea and through the Carolinas to Washington, and was present at the grand review of Sherman's army at that city. He took part in twenty-seven battles. His regiment was never engaged without his being in the ranks. He was mustered out as a non-commissioned officer. Mrs. Graham was first married to Charles Van Dresser, March 7, 1865, and lived at Wyoming, Jones county. She had, by her first marriage, one child, Charles L., who is an adopted son of Mr. Graham.

Contributed by Lisa Varnes-Rex from "History of Cass County, Iowa. Together With Sketches of its Towns, Villages and Townships, Educational, Civil, Military and Political History: Portraits of Prominent Persons, and Biographies of Old Settlers and Representative Citizens." Springfield, Ill.: Continental Historical Company, 1884, pg. 736-737.

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