Thomas S Graves

#611, b. 1 July 1836, d. 15 October 1886
Father*William Graves b. 13 Jul 1792, d. 28 Jul 1841
Mother*Lucy Berger b. 26 Oct 1801, d. 12 Nov 1839
     Thomas S Graves was born on 1 July 1836 Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He was the son of William Graves and Lucy Berger. Thomas S Graves married Isabella Drown 11 November 1873 Phoenix, Arizona Territory,
Arizona Citizen, Tucson, 22 Nov 1873, 2:3

In Phenix, November 11, 1873, at the residence of the bride's mother, by Justice M. P. Griffin, Mr. Thomas Graves and Miss Isabel Drown, both of Phenix, Arizona. -- (California papers please copy.)

Marriages, Maricopa Co. Index, viewed at the Arizona Historical Society, Tucson, gives

p. 13 Thomas Graves and Isabella Drown, November 11, 1873, by N. O. Griffin, J. P.

Marriage License, Maricopa County, AZ
Nov 11 1873
I do hereby certify that Thomas Graves and Isabella B Drown were joined in marriage by me in the town of Phenix, County of Maricopa, Territory of Arixona on the 11th day of November AD 1873.
Mr P Griffin, Justice of the Peace.
Recorded 12 Nov 1873.1,2 Thomas S Graves died 15 October 1886, in Pinal, Pinal County, Arizona at age 50 years, 3 months and 14 days.

Pinal County Record, October 15, 1886, 3:2

Mr. Thos. Graves died very suddenly this evening while sitting in a chair in front of the Grand Hotel. He has been a victim of that dread disease consumption for a number of years and had been growing rapidly worse for several days past, and came into town to see if he could not get relief from the hemorrhages of the lungs which he was subject to at frequent intervals. He was sitting in a chair, at the above named place, when he was attacked with a hemorrhage and was seen to waver as if about to fall out and they just had time to rush to his assistance and carry him to his room when he expired without a struggle. Kind friends removed him to the room formerly used as the ice house and laid the remains out. The deceased was one of the oldest and best known prospectors in this section and was highly respected by all. We understand that he has relatives in California. The deceased was buried this (Saturday) afternoon.1

Arizona Weekly Enterprise, Florence, Oct 23, 1886, 3:3

In the death of Mr. Thomas Graves, who crossed the silent river, at Pinal last week, the territory loses an honorable and honored pioneer. His taking off was not sudden nor unexpected, as consumptin had been gradually drawing him toward the graves for years past. The only wonder is that death did not claim him sooner. Mr. Graves was a conspicuous figure in the scenes and incidents of Arizona's early history, and through all the trials and temptations of life preserved a fair name and fame. He was a man true to himself and friends, always kind and courteous, even tempered and cheerful, and his name will never fade from the memory of those who knew him intimately. Peace to his ashes.1
     Tom begins to appear in the Arizona Territorial papers in 1868, first in the Prescott Arizona Miner later in Florence, Tucson, Globe, and Tombstone papers. He was a prospector, miner, way station and hotel proprietor, teamster, and butcher/farmer. Here are some of the articles.

In the meantime, a letter from Tom's brother, William J, in San Luis Obispo, to his aunt, Catherine Palmer, in Mt. Angel, reads,

San Luis Obispo, Sept 20, 1872

My dear Sister
Day before yesterday I received a letter from you the first and only since I have received for years. I am truly sorry to hear of your poor health but sincerely hope that by this time you will have entirely recovered. . .

I have not heard from Nick [Catherine's son Horatio Nixon] for some time. Tom writes frequently but as Nick is some distance from him I do not believe he has seen him for some time. Tommy's health is very poor and I have written advising him to come to California. You can see by the picture that he is very thin. I am fearful that he is consumtive.. . .. Dont fail to send your picture. . . Tom's in Ehrenburg, Arizona. ..

Your Brother,
William J Graves

* from Shakespeare, a "bourne" is an archaic term for a destination.

Child of Thomas and Isabella

Last Edited=1 Jul 2023


  1. [S372] Thomas Graves, Clippings, vertical file, HB HAY BIO GRA,THO, Hayden Arizona Collection, Arizona Historical Society, Arizona Historical Society, Tucson, Arizona.
  2. [S395], online, Arizona, County Marriage Records, 1865-1972 for Thomas Graves.