Biography of Charles Edward Graham of Yountville

Charles Edward Graham, an honored veteran of the Civil War now living in Yountville, where he is filling the position of adjutant of the Yountville Veterans’ Home of Napa County, was born in Cornwall, England, on the 29th of September 1838. His father was the Rev. Elliott Graham, of Ludgvan, England, and his mother bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Leeds. She was a daughter of Sir Joseph Leeds, of Croxton Park, Cambridgeshire, England.

The early boyhood days of Mr. Graham were spent in his native country, and his preliminary education was acquired in the common schools there. Completing his studies in Eton College, after leaving school he made a four years’ trip around the world, visiting many points of interest on the face of the globe and gaining a comprehensive knowledge of different countries, their customs and their peoples through his extensive travel. He came to the United States in 1863 and established his home in New York. In America he was employed as a traveling salesman by various business houses of New York City, and in 1880 he came to California, where he continued in the same line of business as the representative of different commercial enterprises of San Francisco. Later he accepted a position as assistant weigher in the custom house at San Francisco, serving in that capacity for three years, when he again went upon the road as a traveling salesman and was thus employed until 1893, when he came to Yountville, Napa County, to accept the position of adjutant in the Yountville Veterans’ Home. He has since remained here and has displayed capable management in his department.

At the time of the Civil War Mr. Graham offered his services to his adopted country, enlisting in March 1864. He became a lieutenant of the Fifth New York Heavy Artillery and was afterward promoted to the rank of adjutant in the same regiment. With his command he participated in a number of important engagements, and his bravery and loyalty were displayed on a number of southern battlefields. Following the close of hostilities, he was mustered out at Hart’s Island on the 25th of July 1865. He now maintains pleasant relationships with his old army comrades through his membership in George H. Thomas Post, G.A.R. His fraternal relations connect him with the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

Mr. Graham was married in New York in 1865 to Miss Frances Taverner, a daughter of a well-known English educator, Professor J. W. Taverner. The children born of this union are: Charles E., who is financial agent for H. E. Huntington of New York; Maude E., at home; Frances, who attained fame as a singer and is now the wife of W. F. Braugham, of England, who is now in Vancouver.

Source: Leigh H. Irvine; A History of the New California Its Resources and People, 2 Volumes; New York and Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1903.

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