Monday, April 02, 2018

Barzillai Shuford Graves (1854-1942)

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The researcher is advised that not all the claims made in the following two obituaries have been confirmed. Example: The second obituary claims that Barzillai Shuford Graves was the first president of the Bank of Yanceyville. This is incorrect as he was not born when the Bank of Yanceyville was chartered in 1852. And, doubtful is whether he was the Mayor of Yanceyville. Also, note the differences between the two reports.

"B. S. Graves, Of Caswell, Is Stricken"

Yanceyville, May 3 (Special to Daily News) -- Barzillai Shuford Graves, Caswell county's grand old man, died at his home here tonight about 9 o'clock of infirmities due to old age. Mr. Graves, whose name had been prominently connected with political, religious and civic activities in this section for almost 70 years, had been in failing health during recent months.

Mr. Graves got an early start in politics. Before he was 21 years old he was elected sheriff of Caswell county and served in this capacity for several terms. Later he was named clerk of Superior court and remained in office for a number of years. He had also been a member of the board of county commissioners for several terms. He was a delegate to the Democratic national convention which first nominated Franklin D. Roosevelt for President.

The oldest Mason in Caswell county, Mr. Graves for 60 years was a charter member of Clinton Masonic lodge and also held membership in the John A. Graves lodge and the Caswell Brotherhood lodge. He was a lifetime member of Yanceyville Baptist church.

Me married Miss Mallie Graves, daughter of Judge Graves, of Mt. Airy. She preceded him in death. Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. J. P. Burke, of Hendersonville, wife of Rev. Mr. Burke, and a grandchild.

Arrangements for the funeral were incomplete tonight, but services probably will be held Tuesday.

"B. S. Graves Passes In Yanceyville/Prominent Caswell Leader Dies At 87"

Yanceyville, N.C., May 4 (Special to The Bee) -- Barzillai Shuford Graves, former mayor of Yanceyville, Caswell county sheriff, chairman of the county Board of Commissioners and clerk of Superior court, died last night at his home after a period of gradually declining health. His age was 87.

Mr. Graves held a number of additional responsible positions in the county during his lifetime and was a pioneer advocate of the county's good-road policy. He was the first president of the Bank of Yanceyville, which position he filled with distinction for many years, and was an outstanding leader in other constructive movements.

He was a charter member and first master of the former John A. Graves Masonic lodge, which recently was re-named Caswell Brotherhood No. 11. Last year he received the 50-year certificate for membership in the lodge.

Mr. Graves began his career of county work at the age of 22, when he was elected sheriff. He held that position for 12 years, later taking on more responsible work.

Surviving are his wife, the former Miss Malvina Graves, of Mount Airy; one daughter, Mrs. J. P. Burke, of Hendersonville; two sisters, Mrs. T. L. Sellars and Mrs. C. T. Holt, of Burlington, and one granddaughter, Miss Betsy Graves Burke. He also leaves a number of nieces and nephews.

An interesting note in the family history of Barzillai Graves is that his great grandfather was the first white child born in North Carolina, west of the Blue Ridge mountains.

Funeral services will be conducted tomorrow morning at 11 o'clock at Yanceyville Baptist church, which he served as deacon and as superintendent of the Sunday school.

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