Graham, Jesse M. H.   (1869 1930)

HOUSE, 50th General Assembly; representing Montgomery County; Republican. On first day of session Graham's seat was contested; he was seated Jan 4, 1897, subject to action of House after investigation by Committee on Elections; committee reported Jan 20; believed neither Graham nor contestant entitled to seat; recommended that seat be declared vacant; ground for contest was that Graham had lived in Louisville, KY, where he held civil service job in post office and where he had registered and voted; residence in Tennessee afterwards was less than the three years required by constitution; House passed resolution declaring seat vacant by vote of 76 to 0, including 56 Democrats and 20 Republicans; not voting besides Graham, 11 Republicans, 9 Democrats, and 2 Populists. Vacancy later filled by election of John Baggett. Born in Clarksville, Montgomery County, Feb 8, 1869, names of parents not determined. Attended public schools of Clarksville and Nashville, Davidson County; "spent several years at Fisk University", Nashville, "and completed the common course in English and teachers course". Married to daughter of George W. Murphy of Lebanon, Wilson County, name of wife, date, and place of marriage not indicated; she lived at Falls City, KY; names of children, if any, not indicated. Taught school at Allensville, Elkton, and Bloomfield, all in Kentucky; in addition to postal service in Louisville, mentioned above, served as clerk in post office in Lebanon; in 1895 took charge of Clarksville Enterprise, a Negro publication; later went to Philippines as clerk in US Bureau of Audit; in later years employed by Federal government in Washington, DC. In WWI, entered service as 2nd Lieut at Clarksville, Oct 15, 1917; assigned to 317th Engineers; stationed at training camp Ft. DeMoines, IN; stationed at Camp Sherman, OH; honorably discharged by Board of Officers May 14, 1918. One of founders of American Legion Post No. 143, Clarksville; officer in St. Peter's African Methodist Episcopal Church, Clarksville. Died July 25, 1930; place of burial not determined.

Sources: TN House Journal, 50th General Assembly, 1897, pp 7, 191-96, 361; Clarksville Daily Leaf-Chronicle, Nov 16, 1896; May 16, 1898; June 14, 1917; Nashville American, Dec 18, 1896; Lebanon Democrat, Dec 3, 1896; Clarksville City Directory, 1917; information supplied by TN War Records Office; information supplied by Frances L. Young, Clarksville.

Biographies submitted by Jill Hastings-Johnson, Montgomery County Archivist

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