Mercer County PAGenWeb

Alexander E. Graham

ALEXANDER E. GRAHAM, a retired banker, well known in financial circles of western Pennsylvania and Ohio, was born in a log house with in a mile and a half of Mercer, Pennsylvania, October 31, 1839, a son of Mark and Nancy (Reed) Graham, both parents being natives of Pennsylvania. The paternal grandfather, Arthur Graham, was born in Ireland, and became a pioneer of Findley township, Mercer county, Pennsylvania, settling two miles south of Mercer, where he cleared a farm and died there at an advanced age. The maternal grandfather, William Reed, also a native of Ireland, was an early settler in Mercer county. The paternal grandmother was a Scotch lady, hence Alexander F., of whom this sketch is especially written, is of Irish and Scotch descent. His father, Mark Graham, was a farmer, and died when fifty-seven years of age. He had six children, as follows: Samuel, deceased;

Alexander E., of this notice; Mattie, deceased: James M., of Mercer; William, deceased; and Arthur W., who resides on the paternal homestead.

Alexander E. Graham was reared on the farm and early taught to labor for his livelihood. He obtained a common school education and left home when twenty-one years of age. When the Civil war broke out his older brother went to the war for the Union cause, and Alexander returned home to assist his father, remaining about, two years, and when twenty-three years of age began the real battle of life for himself. After earning sufficient money, by hard labor, he attended Duff’s Commercial College at Pittsburg, after which training he accepted a position with John J. Spearman in the offices of his furnace industry at Wheatland, and was there four years. His next position was one in the office of a rolling mill at Greenville, where he served two years. After this John Murdock, president of the Savings Bank of Sharon, offered him a position as bookkeeper in his banking house. He remained there from 1873 to 1878. When the bank failed he was appointed an assignee to close up the business, which took him three years. In the meantime he had charge of a rolling mill plant at Middlesex, Pennsylvania, for one year. He was then bookkeeper in the McDowell Bank of Sharon, remaining there until 1884, when he went to Grove City and established the Grove City Banking Company—a private bank—which was changed to the First National Bank. In 1896, before this change, W. C. Alexander became a partner in the business with Mr. Graham and when this change was effected Mr. Graham was made president and remained in such position until, on account of ill health, he resigned in 1903 and was succeeded by Mr. Alexander. Mr. Graham has since that date lived a retired life.

Politically, he was a supporter of the principles of the Republican party, casting his first vote for Abraham Lincoln, in November, 1860. He belongs to the Presbyterian denomination. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and was made a Master Mason in 1867. He was married in 1871 to Miss Charlotte Heald, by whom he has one child now living—Mark W., of Grove City. Emma died when aged sixteen years.

[Note: Mr. Graham died at his home in Grove City, March 3, 1909.]

Source:Twentieth Century History of Mercer County, 1909, pages 754-755

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