Alabama Pioneers Honored

BIOGRAPHY: William Graham, (ca. 1800-1859)



(ca. 1800- 1859)

North Carolina, Autauga, Montgomery and Coosa Counties, Alabama

(Excerpt from History of Coosa County: by the Rev. George Evans Brewer, 1887)

Another son of Archibald Graham, was William, who also came with his father to Alabama from North Carolina, in 1820. He settled in Montgomery and became a merchant. After serving some years as Judge of the County court of Montgomery, he moved to Coosa in 1841, and farmed. In 1847 he was elected State Treasurer, holding the office ten years, and then retired to his farm near Prattville, where he died in 1859. He was taller than his brother, John G., but his body was not so well rounded. He was, however, a man of good appearance and pleasant address, and was loved for his probity and many good qualities. He was a Presbyterian.

ADDITIONAL EXCERPTS From (Reminiscences of Public Men in Alabama: For Thirty Years, with an Appendix By William Garrett 1872)

William Graham, of Autauga, was a native of North Carolina, and a brother of Daniel Graham, who was many years Secretary of State of Tennessee. He was also a brother of John G. Graham, formerly of Alabama, but now a citizen of Texas, and of Mr. Samuel S. Graham, of Coosa county.

Mr. Graham, the new State Treasurer, was so competent and faithful in office, that he retained it for a period of ten years, without opposition, and then declined a reelection. His business habits, and his skill in accounts, his fidelity, his scrupulous neatness in keeping his books, all in the finest lines and figures, yet all intelligible and all exact to the fraction of a cent, made him a valuable officer to the State, and the loss of his services, by retirement, was a subject of much public regret.

For many years he had been clerk of the Circuit Court of Montgomery county, was always popular, and yet always quiet and taciturn, without ever using any art at electioneering, as the term is generally understood. He had fixed principles of rectitude, and a method of managing his affairs, from which he never departed. Even his personal movements were under the same rigid discipline. I have seen him walk a great deal, but never in a hurry beyond a regular gait. I have seen him ride much, but he never put his .horse beyond a walk. He was firm and patient in adhering to his rules of action. The night before his first election, when his friends thought he had strong opposition, they asked him to meet them in consultation as to the best means of success. He replied that it was his night for going to church, and that he would leave the election to the chapter of accidents.

After a long life of faithful public service, and suffering at times the antagonisms of fortune, this good member of the Presbyterian Church descended to his grave several years ago, leaving a spotless name as a heritage to his family and numerous descendants.

From (Memorial Record of Alabama: A Concise Account of the State’s Political, Military, Professional and Industrial Progress, Together with the Personal Memoirs of Many of Its People, Volume 1, Brant & Fuller, 1893)

Maj. Archibald Graham, also a Scotchman, married a Scotch lady, Miss Euphemia Graham. They came to the United States with their parents, who died in North Carolina. These grandparents came to Alabama in 1818, located in Autauga county, where he died in 1825, aged sixty-two years, and she in 1848. Maj. Archibald Graham was a planter on a large scale, was the father of a very intelligent family and his descendants are now numbered among the best families of the county. The eldest son, Judge William Graham, was state treasurer from 1848 until the opening of the Civil war.


Donna shares how she “got bitten” by the genealogy bug. She imparts her amazement at how much can be learned about the history of this country as well as one’s own family by researching one’s family tree. And what’s more amazing is that she was able to go back with her family to the 1600s in England, over 400 years. The author has a website where she is asked many “how to” questions by the participants. She advises one to use a computer for their research and seems to describe the use of genealogy software as an easy task and quite intuitive. She identifies many excellent genealogy websites for the new user, some of which I hadn’t known about despite my history of 20 years of searching for my family tree, much of it on the internet. The author provides sample interview questions for eliciting past stories from family elders. She gives quite a few tips on how to organize your materials to make the best use of your time. She includes everything a “newby” to the genealogy research field will need to get started and more. And for those with more experience, she includes tips on how to break down the “brick walls” that researchers inevitably encounter and she advises readers to challenge the assumptions in family lore and stories when the brick wall is hit. She also identifies many of the pitfalls inherent in requested records. And if you’ve ever gone to a courthouse to search without preparing yourself for the kinds of questions you’ll need to ask, you will appreciate the author’s advice about getting ready first. You’ll save yourself time in the long run.


One comment

  1. Does anyone have information on the Crossland family? Specifically Meredith Crossland.