Having attained the age of ninety two years, to Joseph Emerson Graham is accorded the honor of being
one of the oldest citizens of New Hartford township. The entire life of Mr. Graham, who is a retired farmer, has
been spent in Oneida county of which he is a native, except nine years in Madison county, his birth having occurred
in Paris on the 20th of August, 1819. His parents were William and Ann (Burley) Graham, both of whom were old and
well known residents of this county.
Reared upon a farm Joseph Emerson Graham spent his early years as did the average boy of that time who lived in
the more sparsely settled communities. His preliminary education was obtained in the district schools of his town.
ship, after the completion of which he attended the Sauquoit Academy and the Delancey Institute at Hampton, from
which institution he received his teacher's diploma with the class of 1842, there being but three others to constitute
the class. An ambitious youth of a family of moderate means he was compelled to earn money to supplement his course
in the district schools, and during his vacations worked at such employment as he could obtain, to acquire the
wherewithal to enable him to attend school in the winter. After the completion of his teacher's course he taught
school in the winter and worked on a farm in the summer for nine years, during which period, by practicing the
most rigid economy and self denial, he was able to save the necessary capital to enable him to buy a farm in the
town of Paris. He continued to reside upon this place until he removed to New Hartford in 1872, locating upon a
small farm which he had bought and engaging in general farming.
On the 18th of March, 1845, in New Hartford was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Graham and Miss Caroline E. Hecox,
a native of this village and a daughter of Obed and Emily (Kenyon) Hecox, and one son, Charles W., was born to
Mr. and Mrs. Graham in 1846, who died in 1871, while Mrs. Graham died January 22, 1910, aged eighty four years.
Mr. Graham is worthy chief of the Good Templars and for many years was one of the vestrymen of St. Paul's Episcopal
church. He has noted the rise and fall of the different political parties, the variation in their principles and
their policy during his long life, but he has never affiliated with any one body, always granting his support to
the men and measures he felt were at the time best adapted to subserve the highest interests of the people at large.
During his earlier years he participated in municipal affairs and served his township as highway commissioner and
school director, while he also acted as trustee of the village. During the entire period of his business career
Mr. Graham was identified with agricultural pursuits and for twenty years he acted as president of the New York
Farmers' Club, but for some years past has been living retired. Having lived through the greater part of the history
of the American Union, Mr. Graham has been an interested observer of the wonderful development and progress of
the nation which has steadily forged ahead until it has attained its first rank position.
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Oneida County, NY
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