Allison, Nathaniel Thompson. History of Cherokee County, Kansas, and Representative Citizens. Chicago, IL: Biographical Publishing Co., 1904. Online index created by Carolyn Ward, instructor at USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, and State Coordinator for The KSGenWeb Project.

Peter Graham

PETER GRAHAM, postmaster at Scammon, and a popular and highly respected citizen whose portrait accompanies this sketch, was born in Scotland in 1844, and is a son of James and Jeane (Currie) Graham.

Both parents were natives of Scotland, and the father died there at the age of 65 years and the mother at the age of 73 years. The father was a tanner by trade, and a much esteemed business man in his locality. He had three children,—Peter, Robert and Jennie. The last named is a widow, still living in Scotland, while Robert is a very prominent citizen of Glasgow, Scotland, where he occupies a position of trust and responsibility.

Peter Graham was reared in his native land, and there learned the business of a currier. In 1871, with his family, he came to America, seeking a desirable location in which to establish himself and carry on his business. Not finding it in Boston. Massachusetts, where he landed, he came as far West as Chicago, reaching that city during the great fire of 1871. This of itself prevented his finding an opening there, and he removed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For a time he found work in dressing leather in a tannery there, and then went to Illinois and was employed in a blacksmith shop. He then secured employment in the mines about Braidwood, Illinois, where he continued until the great flood of 1882 wrecked the property and deluged the mines, causing the death of 68 people.

In 1884 Mr. Graham reached Kansas and settled at Scammon, Cherokee County, becoming a coal miner for the Keith & Perry Coal Company, now the Central Coal & Coke Company, and worked for a year and a half. In 1886 he was called from the mines to accept from President Cleveland the appointment of postmaster at Scammon. Mr. Graham accepted the office and efficiently performed its duties for 18 months, when a question of political preference arose and he was superseded by a stanch Democrat. The election of President Harrison caused his reappointment to the office in which he was retained by President McKinley and President Roosevelt. The many years of his public service have demonstrated his usefulness to the good people of Scammon, who have learned to place implicit confidence in his integrity, and to feel grateful for the faithfulness with which the duties of the office are performed.

Mr. Graham was married in 1866, in Scotland, to Annie Kerr, who was born in that country. Three of their children were born there, and the others, five in number, were born in America. Those living are as follows: James C., who married Lee Ann Evans, of Weir City, Kansas, and has four children,—Ada, Tira, Peter and James; Jennie, who married Charles Quarton, of Scammon, and has two sons,—Robert and Thomas; Kate Smith, born in Illinois, who married W. P. Allen, of Scammon, and has three sons,—Peter, Gilbert and James; and Thomas R., born in Scammon, who attends the Cherokee County High School at Columbus. Four children died in infancy,—Thomas dying in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Ann, Kate and a babe, in Illinois.

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