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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 909~


Lodell T. Graves


The office of biography is not to give voice to a man's modest estimate of himself and his accomplishments, but rather to leave upon the record the verdict establishing his character by the consensus of opinion on the part of his neighbors and fellow citizens. In touching upon the life history of the subject of this sketch the writer aims to avoid fulsome encomium and extravagant praise; yet the desire is to hold up for consideration those facts which have shown the distinction of a true, useful and honorable life- a life characterized by well-defined purpose, perseverance and inflexible integrity.

Lodell T. Graves was born in Lacon, Ill., on the 13th day of May 1858, and is the son of Rev. A. P. and Elvira L. (Bonney) Graves, the former having been a native of Vermont. At the age of two years the subject was deprived by death of the loving care and attention of his mother and at that time was placed in the family of William C. TAYLOR, a farmer at Concord, Minnesota, by whom he was reared. He remained with this worthy man until he was twenty years old and received his education in the public schools of that neighborhood, supplementing this by becoming a student, in 1878-79, in the Upper Iowa University. He was thus fairly well equipped for life's duties and he at once plunged boldly into business affairs. His first venture was as a banker at Emmettsburg, Iowa, where he remained three years, after which he engaged in the same business at Huron, South Dakota, where he remained five years. He then moved to Los Angeles, California, which was his home during the following eleven years, during which time he carried on a collection and commission business, for which he had an unusual aptitude and in which he met with a very gratifying degree of success. At the end of the period mentioned Mr. Graves returned to Iowa, locating again at Emmettsburg, where during the following six years he engaged in the real estate business. In the fall of 1904 he came to Fayette and engaged in the real estate business, which lines he still carries on. He is a shrewd and practical business man, possesses an accurate knowledge of real estate values and a soundness of judgment which makes his advice of value in business affairs. He is held in high esteem by his business acquaintances and associates and has earned a place in the front ranks of Fayette's business men.

On August 22, 1883, Mr. Graves was united in marriage to Libby Taylor, a daughter of William and Harriett (Walker) Taylor, and they have become the parents of two children, namely: M. Roy and Arthur Bonny. The former, who is in business in Oelwein, married Fay Brooks. Religiously Mr. and Mrs. Graves are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, to which they give an earnest and liberal support. Fraternally Mr. Graves belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Mrs. Graves is a member of the auxiliary order, the Daughters of Rebekah. They both enjoy a wide acquaintance in the city of their residence and take an active and leading part in the social functions of the community, being highly esteemed because of their splendid personal qualities and their genial dispositions.

William Taylor, father of Mrs. Graves was born in 1832 in Ohio, and when he was three years old his parents moved to LaGrange county, Indiana, of which locality they were pioneer settlers. There Mr. Taylor lived until 1857. In 1856 he had married Harriett Walker and in the following year they came by wagon to Harlan township, Fayette county, Iowa, where he bought two hundred and forty acres of land, for which he paid about a dollar an acre. He was a successful farmer and added to his original holding until he became the owner of about six hundred acres of good land. In addition to the cultivation of the soil, he was also interested in the handling of livestock, buying and shipping great numbers great numbers of animals. At one time he drove an immense flock of sheep from Indiana to this state. In the handling of these animals he was eminently successful, so that among his friends he was often called "Sheep" Taylor. Mr. Taylor died in May, 1904, and Mrs. Taylor died on March 11, 1910.

To Mr. and Mrs. Taylor were born three children, namely: Ida May married J. S. Briggsand lives in Center township, this county, being the mother of two sons; Libby, the wife of Lodell T. Graves, of this sketch; Ora W. is a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church and is located at Rochester, Minnesota. All of the children completed their education in the Upper Iowa University, and Ora also took a theological course at the Garrett Biblical Institute, Evanston, Illinois. He is a man of marked ability and stands high among the clergy of his church. William Taylor took a keen and intelligent interest in educational matters and for the long period of thirty years rendered invaluable service as a trustee of the Upper Iowa University, to which he also contributed liberally, even when in moderate financial circumstances. He was a man of splendid personal qualities and enjoyed the esteem of all who knew him.

~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Ann Borden


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