Graves Family of Moundville

The John L. Graves family moved to Moundville in about 1884 from Butler county, Kansas.

Less than two years later, Mrs. Graves died on February 11, 1886, at their Moundville home. Mrs. Graves had been born in Madison County, Kentucky and her maiden name was Martha Hill, daughter of Humphrey Hill. She was the first of her immediate family to be buried at the old Moundville Cemetery. Her grave marker (where she is called Mattie) and her obituary are reprinted below.

Katy Carthy tells that "Martha (Mattie) came from a very wealthy and political family before the Civil War (relatives were govenors, senators, representatives). They were slave owners and lived in Kentucky. Mattie's daughter, Katie Belle (my great-great-grandmother) told stories about going to hide in the caves nearby when the union army came through. The leader of the union army in that area was then Colonel Sherman, who went on to become better known as the General who led the armies in a scorched earth campaign through Georgia. Needless to say, when Sherman and his troops came through Kentucky the Graves family lost everything."

Later in 1886, a daughter of John and Martha also died. Ella H. Graves was born January 18, 1867, and she died December 2, 1886. The Graves family gravestone is show below and it is Ella's information that is seen from the west.

The next year, another daughter died. Emma M. Graves died May 20, 1887 of consumption (tuberculosis). She had been born in Madison County, Kentucky, on June 4, 1864. She had suffered from consumption for about nine months. It is not unreasonable to assume that Emma is buried in Moundville Cemetery, but no marker remains.

John L. Graves died April 9, 1893. His information was not engraved on the grave marker. There are empty spaces between Martha and Ella's grave markers.

There is another Graves death that I have found. Mattie Graves died July 3, 1884 at the age of 1 year, 7 months. Cause of death was Cholera Infantum. Dr. Robinson attended and burial was at Moundville Cemetery. This information is from early Vernon County death records. No grave marker for Mattie has been found and also there is no proof that she was the daughter or granddaughter of John L. and Mattie Hill Graves, but the information has been added here since it fits in and hopefully someone will confirm or disprove it. My "best guess" is that she was a grandaugher - the daughter of one of John and Mattie's sons. Census records give the names of those sons:

The 1880 census for Towanda, Butler County, Kansas listed the family:

John L Graves


Martha Graves


William Graves


James Graves


Junius Graves


Emma Graves


Ella Graves


Ulla Graves


The 1860 census for Madison County, Kentucky listed the family and overlaps some names from the 1880 census

John L Graves


Martha Graves


Mary E Graves


Silas H Graves


Catharine B Graves


William Graves


James Graves


The 1880 census shows son, Silas Graves and his wife Elizabeth, living in Linn County, Kansas, which is not far from Vernon County, Missouri. It is not known exactly when Silas moved to Vernon County. In 1888, both Silas and William Graves were witnesses in a horse theft incident near Moundville. So it is reasonable to assume that they may have come there at about the same time as their parents. Therefore, it is likely, that baby Mattie was the daughter of either Silas or William. By 1900, Silas had moved on to Woodward, OK. In that census, the wife of Silas stated that she had had six children and six were living. William was still living in Vernon County and his wife, Florence, stated that she had had 10 children and 7 were still living. Perhaps this means that Mattie was a daughter of William Graves?

Mattie (Martha) Graves - age 57

Ella Graves, 1867 - 1886

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