MILES A. GRAVES. Mr. Graves is an honored citizen and farmer of Jack county, representing the first precinct on the board of county commissioners and doing efficient service for the people of his county. A citizen of the county for twenty-seven years, he has grown up here and his straightforward life has established him in the universal confidence of his municipality.
Blount county, Alabama, was Mr. Graves’ native place and he was born September 26, 1861. His father was J. T. Graves, who died in Jack county in 1900 at the age of fifty-seven and who was born in the same county as his son. James Graves, grandfather of Miles A., was a farmer and died by accident in Blount county. He married Eliza Walker, who bore him William, Jesse, Elizabeth, Nancy and Robert.
J. T. Graves adopted the vocations of his father when he took up the duties of life and served four years in the Ninth Alabama Infantry, was first sergeant of his company. He was wounded in the Seven Days’ fight and at the battle of Chickamauga and served and suffered that the cause of the stars and bars might prevail. He married Nancy, daughter of William Martin, and his wife died in Jack county in 1885. The children born to them were: Miles A.; Eliza, who married A. G. Smith and died here; William, of Lubbock county, Texas; Mollie, wife of J. W. Nichols, of Jacksboro; Robert, of Lubbock county, Texas; Cordelia, wife of Henry Bilberry of Jack county, and Arthur, who tills a farm “in the Free State of Jack.”
The Graveses came to Texas from Lincoln county, Tennessee, by wagon, consuming some five weeks on the road. Ox teams comprised their outfit when they drove into Jack county and they settled on Carroll creek. In 1888 Miles A. brought his family to the West Fork and rented land for four years. He began life at the bottom and the process of climbing the ladder was a slow and tedious one. He strained several points, apparently, when he contracted to buy eighty acres of land on the Sion Pritchard survey, in order that he might begin the work of building him a home. A log house and few other primitive improvements greeted him when he took possession of the land, but these readily and quickly yielded to permanent and comfortable structures when they were ready to be made. He traded his yoke of steers in on his farm and was then without a team to cultivate it but he worked out of the predicament and, notwithstanding occasional failures in crops, he paid for and improved his farm and added to other lands to its area till it embraces four hundred and forty acres.
The state of Texas received J. T. Graves and his family from Lincoln county, Tennessee, as above stated, wither they went from their Alabama home in 1866. They first stopped in Lamar county, remaining there five years and beginning their citizenship in Jack in the year 1878. As an opening stroke to his independent career Miles A. Graves bought a yoke of cattle on time and with them hauled rock to pay for a horse which had come to him through the time channel. Other similar maneuvers occurred in the early part of his career before he reached the rock of safety and became able to really stand alone.
November 15, 1883, Mr. Graves married Miss Ella Miller. Mrs. Graves was a daughter of J. A. and Margaret Miller, who lived in Missouri and Arkansas prior to the advent of the family to the empire of the west. She was born in Collin county March 26, 1865, and is the mother of Henry, Eva, Robert, Ethel, Lee, Myrtle, Minnie and Esta.
Mr. Graves was called to the commissioners’ board by his Democrat constituents in 1900, in 1902 and again in 1904, and he has been instrumental in building the Jacksboro and other bridges, buying the county farm at a cost of $2,700.00 and has carried his share of the other public business without embarrassment and with sincerity and honor. He is a Master Mason and hold a membership in the Methodist church.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 307-308.