Edmon A. Graham
Edmon A. Graham, St. Joseph, Mich. The name of Graham is inseparably woven with the history of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, and has been for the past quarter of a century, and especially with the marine interests of the twin cities, whose ports have grown to be of so great importance in the commerce and passenger traffic of the Great Lakes.
For twenty years our subject has been known to the thousands of pleasure seekers from all over the country, who annually visit St. Joseph and the resorts of the beautiful river of that name. His first experience in steamboating began in the middle 'seventies, when he, with Capt. James Brooks, bought the stern-wheel steamboat Union, and ran her in the excursion and freight service up to the St. Joseph river. Toward the latter part of that decade Mr. Graham had built at the lumber yard of Preston & Shaw, of St. Joseph, the first May Graham, a side-wheel steamer for the same service. To suit the time and conditions of a later period the May Graham has been practically three times rebuilt, until she is now a model boat for the excursion service and fruit trade of the St. Joseph river, on which thousands of people each summer visit the points of interest along that historic and picturesque stream. The May Graham had a carrying capacity of 400 passengers, is well equipped and ably officered with the most efficient and accomodating of men, the versatile captain, James S. Fikes, having been the master throughout her history. Some twelve or fifteen years ago Mr. Graham came into possession of the Morrison docks at St. Joe, and later he made additions thereto, and in a manner reconstructed the same, until they are almost complete, substantial and roomy, having a length of 750 feet, with a wall five inches thick all over, on thirty-foot piling set five feet from center to center, and all built of new timber, costing not less than $16,000, and now called the Graham Docks.
Mr. Graham is a native of Indiana, born at La Porte, November 14, 1841, and descended from English stock on his father's side. His parents were John and Lucinda (Nichols) Graham, natives of New York State, and the former in early manhood came and settled on a farm near La Porte, Ind. His death occurred in Boone county, Ill., in 1875. He had made several moves from the time of his settling in Indiana until that of his death, coming in 1864 to Berrien county.
Our subject remained with his father until he became of age, when he went to Elkhart, Indiana, and in 1864 came with him to the county named. Then for a period of twenty years he was interested in and operated a sawmill, which was built four or five miles south of St. Joseph, and in connection therewith was engaged in the lumber business. Mr. Graham as above intimated, has been closely identified with the growth and progress of the twin cities, and he is today interested in a number of the enterprises of St. Joe, and is one of her leading and substantial citizens. He is a broad-minded and public- spirited man, and has made his influence felt as a successful business man, and has accumulated a fair share of this world's goods. In politics he is identified with the Republican party, and socially is a member of the I. O. O. F. He is the agent at St. Joe for the Graham & Morton Transportation Company.
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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.