Catherine Nowlin Graves

#398, b. 1 July 1825, d. 19 November 1907
Father*William Graves b. 13 Jul 1792, d. 28 Jul 1841
Mother*Lucy Berger b. 26 Oct 1801, d. 12 Nov 1839
     Catherine Nowlin Graves was born on 1 July 1825 Pittsylvania County, Virginia. She was the daughter of William Graves and Lucy Berger. Catherine and John Henry Palmer, son of Burton Palmer and Rebecca Bruce, were married 31 August 1841 Montgomery County, Missouri.
Catherine Nowlin Graves died 19 November 1907, in Lebanon, Linn County, Oregon at age 82 years, 4 months and 18 days and was buried Miller Cemetery, Marion County, Oregon.
Catherine N. Palmer
Born in Virginia July 1, 1825
Died Nov. 19, 1907.
     Catherine and her sister Jane were probably sent to school before 1841 St. Louis, Missouri.
The family story is that due to the early death of their mother, in 1837, Jett and Catherine were sent to some kind of boarding school. The extremely brief mention of Jette and Catherine in their cousin David's book indicates they weren't around the neighborhood as the boys were. There is no documentation of this to date, other than the “family tradition” that John Henry Palmer met Catherine when "she was at boarding school in St Louis." A study is currently underway to determine which of the many "girls' schools" in the St Charles and St Louis areas may have been chosen.1
According to the archivist at the monestery,Catherine and John "planted fruit trees immediately upon their arrival."
Catherine and John obtained a Donation Land Claim on 1 May 1866 Mt. Angel, Marion County, Oregon.

The abstract of the DLC application notes:
"No. 1870 PALMER, John H., Marion Co; b 1818 Garrard Co, Ky; Arr. Ore. 2 Sept 1853; SC [settled claim] 23 Sept 1853; m Catharine N. 31 Aug 1841, Montgomery Co, Mo. Aff: Benj. Cleaver, John W Cleaver, Robert Scott, James McPhearson."

It's interesting that neither of the near relatives, Catharine's brother Jack Graves, or her brother-in-law William Glover signed the affidavit here. They were said to have had something to do with "saving" the land for them.

Survey State: OREGON
Acres: 290
Metes/Bounds: No
Title Transfer Issue Date: 5/1/1866
Land Office: Oregon City
Cancelled: No
U.S. Reservations: No
Mineral Reservations: No
Authority: September 27, 1850: Oregon-Donation Act (grant) (99 Stat. 496)

Aliquot Parts Sec./ Block Township Range Fract. Section Meridian State Counties Survey Nr.
SWSE 3/ 6-S 1-W No Willamette OR Marion
E½E½ 10/ 6-S 1-W No Willamette OR Marion
SWSW 11/ 6-S 1-W No Willamette OR Marion
1 10/ 6-S 1-W No Willamette OR Marion
2 10/ 6-S 1-W No Willamette OR Marion

Catherine Nowlin Graves and John Henry Palmer
arrived in Oregon September 2, according to the Donation Land Claim, which probably means they arrived at Oregon City, to put in their claim, or Graves Butte, by that date. The Indian Agent at the Utilla Indian Agency (near today's Echo, Oregon) kept a log of the immigrants as they passed through the area. The train, as it passed the agency on 15 August, consisted of 130 people, 53 men, 21 wives (one fellow had two wives) and 56 children. Included were: Graves, T. and Palmer, J., w, 3s, 2d.
Based on the "journal" of Benjamin Cleaver in 1848, and other contemporary records, it may be expected that they left Independence or St Joseph around 24 April 1853.

September 7, 1848, B Cleaver is at Laurel Hill (the Barlow Trail), 3 September 1853, J and C Palmer "arrive in Oregon" but have been in Oregon since 15 August when they are counted at the Utilla Indian Agency (Echo) Oregon. Henry Laramie was born in or near Fort Laramie 5 Jun 1853, Benjamin Cleaver was "at Fort Larama" 8 June.
Backing up, Benjamin left St Joseph 27 Jun, so the Palmers must have been on the road that week or the week before (depending on how long they stayed at Fort Laramie.)2

Children of Catherine and John

J Denton Palmer
Lenora Glover
Berger, Jonathan #3263, b ca 1700 Switzerland or Germany, d PA
Graves, Francis #708 b say 1630 d Aug 1691, Virginia
Nowlan, John # 867, b bef 1580, Ireland, d Ireland
Pinckard, John # 1404 b ca 1642 d 1690, Lancaster County, Virginia
Wade, Edward # 838, in Virginia bef 1746
Beasley, John #2041 b ca 1717 d bt 1781-1782, Buckingham County, Virginia
Bruce, John #403 b ca 1724, Kinnard, Scotland d ca 1752, Orange County, Virginia
Claye, John #1523, b ca 1588, England, d bef 1660, Virginia
Eyres, Joseph # 7329, b 17th century, Virginia or England
Ferris, Richard # 2074, b say 1620 or so, immi 1636, d Virginia
Fuquett, Gills # 3276, d Virginia
Green, Thomas # 2060 b 1700. d Virginia
Hooker, Thomas # 3118 d bef 1637, London
Humphreys, William # 7331, d Virginia
Lewis, John # 2831, b ca 1620, d Virginia
Marston?, Thomas # 2756, No further information
Povall, Robert # 409 b 1653, England d 1728, Virginia
Samson, Francis # 3266 in Virginia bef 1700
Wilson, John # 417, b say 1620s, England or Henrico County, Virginia
Woodson, John (Dr.) # 133 b ca 1586, England, d 18 Apr 1644, Burmuda Hundred, Virginia
Beasley, John #2041 b ca 1717 d bt 1781-1782
Berger, Jonathan #3263
Bruce, John #403 b ca 1724 d ca 1752
Claye, John #1523 b ca 1588
Eyres, Joseph # 7329
Ferris, Richard # 2074
Fuquett, Gills # 3276
Graves, Francis #708 b say 1630 d Aug 1691
Green, Thomas # 2060 b 1700
Hooker, Thomas # 3118 d bef 1637
Humphreys, William # 7331
Lewis, John # 2831
Marston?, Thomas # 2756
Nowlan, John # 867
Palmer, (--?--) # 1755 b ca 1708 d ca 1793
Pinckard, John # 1404 b ca 1642 d 1690
Povall, Robert # 409 b 1653 d 1728
Samson, Francis # 3266
Wade, Edward # 838
Wilson, John # 417
Woodson, John (Dr.) # 133 b ca 1586 d 18 Apr 1644
Last Edited=11 Mar 2022


  1. [S301] David William Graves. David William Graves (1837-1918), Autobiography, 1916, C158, Western Historical Manuscript Collection, Ellis Library, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.
  2. [S426] Immigration Roster, Umatilla Agency, online Hereinafter cited as Immigration Roster, Umatilla Agency.
  3. [S98] J. Denton Palmer, compiler, "Palmer Family File"; Ancestral File (ca 1999),.
  4. [S130] , #731, Oregon State Archives, Salem, Oregon.
  5. [S130] , # 25, Oregon State Archives, Salem, Oregon.