THE GRAHAM HOUSE
The Home of John C. and Preasha Graham
In 1914 John Graham built this home for his growing family. As a lumberman he moved his household from community to community, as his business expanded. Beside Eula and Raymond born to his deceased wife, he and Preasha had Lawrence, Lyman, Lucille, and Lois and brothers, Charlie and Jesse rescued from the T. B epidemic in his home state of Missouri.. Ithe location was on a hill just east of New Hope Baptist church that reminded him of his Baptist Church in Piedmont, Missouri.
Eventually they would have 9 children of their own, but helped raise many children of both extended families. Later during the Depression there were 32 people who stayed there at different periods when times were hard. This house was in walking distance of the school and teachers often boarded with the Grahams. Although they lost all their business and turned to farming to survive, there is no record of any seeking food or shelter ever being refused help.
Preasha had just turned 17 when she married the 28 year old widower and began her own family. She was tiny and disciplined. well organized and competent even in her youth. John worked hard and made much money before the crash, he gave most of it to those worse off. This practice he continued until his death long after his income was an “old age” pension.
They had first settled at Gordo, Alabama where my father, Lawrence and her oldest son was born. As Gramdpa bought land with timber to cut, they lived in temporary “tarpaper shacks” alongside his employees’ families. The pictured house was the only permanent one they ever owned.