General John Card Graves
General John Card Graves, prominent as a professional and businessman of Buffalo, N. Y., was born Nov. 18, 1839, and is descended from pure New England ancestry. The first member of this branch of the Graves family to come to New England was John Graves, who emigrated from England and settled in Concord, Mass, in 1635. He had two sons, Benjamin and John.
Benjamin Graves lived in Concord, and took part in the Indian wars from 1655 to 1657, serving in Capt. Wheeler's company. He married the daughter of John Hoar, from whom have descended the prominent Hoar family of Massachusetts, and to which family belongs the present United States Senator Hoar from that State. Mr. Graves lived at Concord until the close of the seventeenth century, when he removed with his family to Saybrook, Conn., where he died. He had three sons, viz: Benjamin, John and Joseph. Benjamin removed to Colchester; Joseph remained at Saybrook, and John went to Killingsworth. They all reared large families. From John descended the large family at Walpole, N. H. Benjamin had a son named Jedediah, who lived for many years at East Haddam, Conn., and from there removed to what is now Sherman, Conn., sometimes between 1753 and 1760. There he died in 1800, aged ninety-two years. From his son, Russell, descended, among others, Hon. John Graves, of Russia, Herkimer county, N. Y., who was the father of John Ezra Graves, the father of John C. Graves, the subject of this sketch. Hon. John Graves was one of those pioneers of Herkimer county, N. Y., was a farmer by occupation, and was a member of the State Assembly several terms and also sheriff of his county.
Hon. Ezra Graves was born December 2, 1803, was reared upon the farm, and educated in the common school. Choosing the profession of the law he was admitted to the Bar and settled in Herkimer, N. Y., to practice his profession. For several years he served as county judge, and was State prison inspector during the years 1873, 1874 and 1875. In 1868 he was a member of the State constitutional convention, and was for many years prominent in politics. In 1825 he married Miss Maria Card, daughter of Jonathan Card, an extensive manufacturer, of Herkimer county, and they had nine children, four sons and five daughters, of whom the folowing are living: John C. Graves, of Buffalo; Mrs. Margaret E. Mayton, of Herkimer, N. Y., and Dr. George Graves, also of Herkimer.
John Card Graves, after attending the common school, was sent to Fairfield Academy, Herkimer county, which he left to enter Hamilton College, graduating from same in 1862, in the classical course. While a student in Hamilton College, he induced enough of his fellow students to enlist to form a company, of which he was chosen captain; but as the quota of the State was full for three-months' service, the services of the company were declined, and as the boys could not afford to leave college for two years the company was disbanded. Soon afterward Captain Graves was chosen major of the Eighty-first N. G. S. N. Y., and held this position until his removal to Buffalo in 1867. He was chosen lieutenant-colonel of the Sixty-fifth Regiment in 1878, and soon afterward colonel, serving in that capacity until he was elected brigadier-general of the Eighth Brigade, which has since been changed to the Fourth Brigade, and is composed of the Sixty-fifth and Seventy-fourth regiments and the separate companies of Rochester, Medina and Jamestown. Soon after graduating from Hamilton College he entered his father's law office as a student, was admitted to the Bar in December, 1862, and entered into partnership with his father, continuing with him until 1867. In that year he removed to Buffalo, and in 1869 was engaged by the Buffalo Fire & Marine Insurance Co. to take charge of its fire department business, managing it successfully until the great fire in Chicago, October 9, 1871, which compelled the company to go out of business, and he was chosen to wind up its affairs. In January, 1875 he was appointed clerk of the superior court, and held the position for twelve years. In 1886 he became interested in the building of the Frontier elevator, mention of which is made elsewhere; in 1893 he aided in building the Eastern elevator, and became president of the company. He has recently been made superintendent of the park system in Buffalo, in which he served as a commissioner for about fourteen years.
General Graves became a Mason in 1861, joining Herkimer Lodge No. 423, was made master of the lodge, and held that position until he removed to Buffalo. He then became a member of Washington Lodge No. 240, of which he is still a member and which he was master two years. He is a member of Keystone Chapter, of Hugh de Payne Commandery, and also belongs to the Palmoni Council, A. S. R., and to the Rochester Consistory, thirty-second degree.
General Graves was married, in 1864, to Miss Augusta C. Moore, daughter of A. C. Moore, of Buffalo, and they have the following named children: Mrs. Carroll Graves Putnam, Charles B. Graves, Mrs. Katharine Graves Brown, Maria Card Graves, John Herkimer Graves, Angeline Augusta Graves and Ruth Graves, all of Buffalo except Mrs. Brown, who resides in Chicago, Ill. The General is a Republican in national issues, but is not a partisan in any sense of the word.
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This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.