Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Eastern Arkansas
Chicago: Goodspeed Publishers, 1890
Philip Yancey Graves. The estate upon which Mr. Graves now resides, and to which he has given such close attention in its cultivation, embraces 520 acres, a well-improved farm, substantial and convenient buildings being a leading feature of these improvements. He is a son of John and Mary (Yancey) Graves, the former a native of North Carolina, and the latter of Tennessee, their marriage taking place in the latter State, where the father died in 1841. Philip Y., his son, inherits Scotch blood from his paternal ancestry, and was born in the State of Tennessee, on October 8, 1830, and after his father's death, being the eldest of the children, the support of his widowed mother and three younger children devolved almost entirely upon him. He worked out by the day and month, and at the age of fifteen years, began working on a tract of timber land, on which his father had held a claim, and which was partly improved. He began clearing off the timber and making it into shingles and clapboards, for which he found a market at Somerville, Macon, Moscow and other places. After clearing off the timber from about five acres, and erecting thereon a good log-house, he was compelled to give up all claim to the land, as others had a clearer title than he. In 1855, in company with Joseph Hollis, he purchased some cypress timber near La Grange, Tenn., and this was made into shingles and sold at that place for the academy and college, which were in process of erection at that time. He followed this occupation in Shelby and Hardeman Counties, but in 1857 he gave this up and moved to Tippah County, Miss., where he rented land and engaged in general farming. About one year later he removed to Arkansas, and was married in Mississippi County, of this State, to Mrs. Elizabeth Hollis (nee Tingle), the widow of Joseph Hollis, his former partner. In the fall of 1859 he returned to Mississippi, but owing to rheumatism contracted from exposure while pursuing the shingle business, he was compelled to give up work for about four years. From 1861 to 1865 he farmed in Marsball County, then returned to Arkansas and purchased 160 acres of land, four miles north of Beebe, upon which were some log buildings and other improvements, twenty acres being under cultivation. He now has 150 acres under the plow, and seven acres in an orchard consisting of peach, apple and plum trees. He finds a market for his fruit at Beebe, his peaches averaging about 50 cents per bushel, and the apples 60 cents. He also ships to St. Louis. His land is well adapted to raising any kind of grain or grasses, and he has raised as high as twenty-two bushels of wheat to the acre. Mr. Graves is a Democrat, a member of the Agricultural Wheel, and he and family are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, at Antioch, Ark. Mrs. Graves had five children by her first husband, two of whom are now living: Arminta (married in 1866, R. W. Bell) and Caroline (who became the wife of S. S. Hayney in 1868, and is now Mrs. F. W. Rodgers). The children of Mrs. Graves' second marriage are: Penelope (born March 22, 1859, is the wife of N. M. Parker, who has a farm near Beebe, but works at the carpenter's trade. They have three children: Fred D., John W. and Gertrude). Ella was married to John H. Pendleton, a native of Tennessee, in 1881, and has two children: James D. (born March 6, 1884) and Bettie Estelle (born November 13, 1885).