V. L. GRAHAM of Forest City is well known throughout the county for being connected with the Grange interests. He was born in Richland County, Ohio on April 9, 1836 and was of Scotch ancestry. His father, John GRAHAM, was from Bedford County, Penn., moved at age 21 to Richland County, Ohio and there married Ruth Sanders who was a resident of the state of New Jersey. V. L. GRAHAM was second youngest of 13 children, was raised in Richland and Knox counties, and married Hannah Z. McDONNALD in 1861. He was a carpenter and joiner, a trade he followed in Knox and Morrow Counties.
He came to Holt County, Mo. in Oct., 1868 and has resided here since. In the winter of 1868-69, he had his home at Nickell's Grove and the following spring bought a farm at the Union schoolhouse, 4 miles north of Oregon. He engaged in farming in Lewis township three years, came to Oregon in the fall of 1873, and the next fall moved to Forest City where he has since lived.
He was one of the first men of the county to identify with the Grange, or farmers' movement, and has been involved in the progress of the organization known as the Patrons of Husbandry. He gave his attention to projects bettering the prospects of farmers and was chairman of the first county meeting called in Holt County In Sept., 1872 he was appointed county agent and for three years was actively engaged in disposing of farm products and purchasing of supplies under the auspices of the Grange organization. He shipped the first load of grain from the county three months after becoming county agent and has handled the greater part of grain and stock shipped from the county. He has obtained good prices and gave general satisfaction to the agricultural classes. He also extensively purchased supplies for the farmers and made the farmers' movement a success throughout the county.
He is now engaged in the manufacture of cement and cooper stuff and is connected with the Forest City Cement and Stave Factory, a firm composed of himself, Philip SNIDER and Philip SCHLOTZHAUER. The factory is located on the railroad two miles below Forest City. The factory is a thriving business, turning out as good a quality of cement as can be made in the United States. Mr. GRAHAM has always been a Democrat, though conservative in his policies and never willing to sacrifice principle to party.
Source: An Illustrated Historical Atlas Map, Holt County, MO., p. 35
Submitted by Dave Roberts, Lyon County, Kentucky, former Holt County resident.