The History of Otsego County, New York
D. Hamilton Hurd
Published by Everts & Fariss, Philadelphia
GRAVES, Calvin - Cooperstown
Calvin GRAVES, son of Abner and Mary Graves, was born in
Walpole, N.H., Sept. 11, 1794. In the same year his father left the
comforts and conveniences of his New England home, and with his
family emigrated to Otsego County, then considered an outpost of
civilization. At that time Rochester was a swamp and Syracuse a
"salt lick." There were but a few rude structures on the site of the
present flourishing city of Utica, and Buffalo had not yet received
its first permanent white settler. Otsego County was a wilderness,
and the red man still wandered through the adjacent forest. This
was the state of the country when Abner Graves raised the standard
of home in Cooperstown. He was, however, well qualified to
endure the hardships incident to pioneer life. He died, at the close
of an active and useful career, at the advanced age of ninety years.
Like many of the prominent and successful business men of
to-day, Calvin Graves, the subject of this memoir, received the
rudiments of his education at the district school. He was a faithful
attendant at the school early taught in the village by Oliver CORY;
and although the educational advantages of those early days were
meagre [sic], still he succeeded well in his studies, and subsequently
entered the Cooperstown academy, where he pursued his studies
with diligence and attention, and succeeded in acquiring an education
that well qualified him for his subsequent successful business career.
At the age of fifteen years he commenced business with his
father, and during the War of 1812 they had charge of the commissary
depot, and furnished the troops from this county with rations.
In 1820 he united in marriage with Fanny CARLISLE, a native
of Walpole, N.H., born in December, 1795. They have three
children living, - two daughters and one son, - viz.: Harriette M.
WILSON, resides in Cooperstown; she has two sons, Frank B.
and George B. Wilson, merchants, in the city of Detroit. The other
daughter married Hon. George GREEN, and resides in Cedar Rapids,
Iowa. They have seven children living, Calvin G., George, William,
Elizabeth, Robert, Francis, and Woodward. Judge Green is a
prominent business man, and at one time was president of five
different railroads. He is now largely interested in railroads in the
west and southwest. John C. Graves married Lucy L. KEYES,
and resides in Cooperstown. They have one child, Fanny G., wife
of Lionel H. COOKE, M. D., a practicing physician in the city of
Calvin Graves has been largely engaged in mercantile business,
real-estate transactions, etc., and has ever been closely identified
with the interests of the village. He was a member of the first
board of directors of the old Otsego County bank, and upon the
organization of the First National bank was chosen its president.
Mr. Graves is a self-made man. Early in life he learned that
the way leading to success was no royal road, but was open to
strong hands and willing hearts.
"Honor and fame from no condition rise;
Act well your part, there all the honor lies."
He early established methodical business habits, and his energy
and perseverance, coupled with integrity of character worthy of
emulation, had rendered his life a success. Politically, he is a
Republican, and has labored earnestly to advance the interests of
that party. He manifests an interest in religious matters, and his
long and active career has ever been characterized by a consistent
Christian spirit. He is a member of the Presbyterian church.
Although now past the Scriptural age of threescore and ten,
and somewhat infirm in body, he retains his mental faculties in a
remarkable degree, and vividly relates scenes and incidents of "ye
olden time." He is one of Cooperstown's most highly-esteemed
and venerable citizens, and may the remaining years of his earthly
pilgrimage be passed peacefully, and when the insatiate archer,
Death, summons him away, may he go
"Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him,
And lies down to pleasant dreams.
Excerpt from History of Otsego Co., NY, page 280
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