John Thomas McGraw (1856-1920)

 

Note: there are 4 sources included in the biography for John Thomas McGraw
Source (1): Prominent Men of West Virginia;
Source (2): Genealogical and Personal History of the Upper Monongahela Valley West Virginia
Source (3): Bench and Bar of West Virginia
Source (4): Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale College


Source(1): Prominent Men of West Virginia
By George Wesley Atkinson, LL.D., and Alvaro F. Gibbens, A.M.
Published by W. L. Callin, Wheeling, W.Va 1890
Pages 567-568

JOHN THOMAS McGRAW.
No branch of the United States service is more important in its bearings upon the people than that which regulates the amount they directly, or indirectly, pay toward the public treasury. Hence the position of Internal Revenue Collector, in a State even so small as West Virginia, is a responsible and coveted trust. To fill its various duties well, between the Government and the governed, requires tact as well as executive ability.

The recent incumbent, and appointee of four years ago to that office, will be recognized in the portrait facing this sketch. He is the son of Thomas McGraw, the pioneer merchant and grocer of Grafton, in Taylor county. There was born on the 12th day of January, 1856, the son, John T. McGraw. His ancestors were Thomas McGraw, who was one of the first settlers of the town of Grafton, and Mary B. Luley, both having emigrated from Ireland at a very early age.

Mr. McGraw was educated primarily at the excellent college of St. Vincent, in Wheeling, of this State, and afterwards in the celebrated Yale University, at New Haven, Connecticut, graduating from the Law Department of the latter institution in the class of 1876. He was admitted to the Taylor county Bar in the same Centennial year, and has practiced his profession, with office at the county seat thereof since that time. Shortly after coming to the Bar he was appointed one of the West Virginia counsel for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, and has since continued as such legal adviser and attorney. In the fall of 1880 he was elected Prosecuting Attorney for Taylor county, and served efficiently and popularly in that capacity until the spring of 1885.

In 1882 he was appointed an aide-de-camp, with the rank of Colonel, on the Staff of Hon. Jacob B. Jackson, Governor of West Virginia. He held such semi-civil and military position during that administration of four years. In the spring of 1886, upon the expiration of his term of service as Prosecuting Attorney, he was appointed by President Cleveland, during the vacation of the Senate, Collector of Internal Revenue for the collection district including all the counties of the State of West Virginia, and at the following session of the Senate was nominated and confirmed as such Collector. An ardent Democrat in his political faith, and believing that each National Administration should have its responsible and important offices in the hands of those in sympathy with its policy, on the 18th of May, 1889, he surrendered his commission and voluntarily resigned his office, to take effect at the end of the fiscal year, June 30, on which date the office was promptly, and in excellent shape, transferred to Albert B. White, of Parkersburg, who was appointed by President Harrison to succeed to the office upon the acceptance of the resignation of Col. McGraw.

In his management of the collections through his jurisdiction of our fifty-four counties, he was satisfactory to the people who had business duties and relations with the Collector, and eminently so to the Government over him. During the administration of President Cleveland he was appointed the United States Disbursing Agent for the public buildings at Clarksburg, Charleston and Wheeling, and as such disbursed the funds appropriated by Congress for the construction and enlargement of these buildings.

He has resumed the practice of law at Grafton; is unmarried; comparatively young in years and features, and with a promising future before him.


Source(2): Genealogical and Personal History of the Upper Monongahela Valley West Virginia
By James Morton Callahan
Professor of History, West Virginia University
New York, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1912
Volume III, Pages 1350-1351

McGRAW - This family was one of the earliest to settle at what is now the city of Grafton, West Virginia. The first of the line to emigrate to America was Thomas McGraw, a native of Ireland. He came to this country when quite young. He helped to develop Taylor county, West Virginia, and saw it grow from a wilderness state to a finely settled, well developed section. He was a pioneer merchant at Grafton, selling groceries for many years to the people of Grafton and vicinity. He married Mary B. Ludey, born in Ireland and came to America when young. Thomas McGraw and wife were the parents of a number of children, including John T., of whom further.

(II) John T., son of Thomas and Mary B. (Ludey) McGraw, was born January 12, 1856, in Grafton, Taylor county, West Virginia (then Virginia). He received his primary education at St. Vincent's College in Wheeling, Virginia, after which he attended Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, graduating from the law department with the class of 1876. The same year he was admitted to the bar in Taylor county. West Virginia, since which time he has successfully practiced his profession at Grafton. Soon after being admitted to the bar he was made one of the council for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company and has held such position ever since. In the autumn of 1880 he was elected prosecuting attorney for Taylor county, serving in that office until 1885. In 1882 he was appointed aide-de-camp with rank of colonel on the staff of Governor J. B. Jackson, holding such semi-civic and military position four years. In the spring of 1886, upon the expiration of his term as prosecuting attorney, he was appointed by President Grover Cleveland, during vacation of the senate, collector of internal revenue for the collection district, including all the counties of the state of West Virginia, and at the following session was nominated and confirmed as such by the United States Senate. He is an ardent Democrat and believes that each national administration should have responsible and competent offices In the hands of those in sympathy with Its policies, hence on May 18, 1889, he surrendered his commission and voluntarily resigned his office, to take effect at the end of the fiscal year, June 30, on which date the office was promptly turned over to Albert B. White, who had been appointed by President Harrison to succeed to the office. In his management of the office of collector throughout the fifty-four counties in West Virginia he satisfied the people who had business relations with him. During the administration of President Cleveland he was appointed United States disbursing agent for the public buildings at Clarksburg, Charleston and Wheeling, and as such disbursed the funds appropriated by congress for the construction and enlargement of these public buildings. Through his connection with the military above named, he is usually styled Colonel McGraw. He is one of Grafton's most energetic, public-spirited men, ever doing all in his power for the uplift of Grafton and Taylor county. He is unmarried.


Source(3): Bench and Bar of West Virginia
edited by Geo. W. Atkinson, LL.B., LL.D., of the West Virginia Bar
Virginian Law Book Company, Charleston, W. Va., 1919
Pages 232-233

Hon. John Thomas McGraw, LL.B.
Among the middle-aged, brilliant and successful members of the legal profession in central West Virginia is the subject of this sketch. He was born in the city of Grafton, Taylor County, Virginia, January 12, 1856. He waa educated at St. Vincent's Academy at Wheeling in the prescribed classical course. Later he graduated from the law department of Yale University with the degree of Bachelor of Laws in the class of 1876. In the autumn of that year he was admitted as a member of the Grafton Bar and has since successfully practiced his profession in that city to the present time. Shortly after he opened his law office he was made one of the principal attorneys for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, and as such legal adviser and attorney he is still employed. In 1880 he was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Taylor County and served efficiently and popularly for the term of four years.

In 1882 he was appointed an Aide-de-Camp, with the rank of Colonel, on the staff of Hon. J. B. Jackson, Governor of West Virginia. In the spring of 1886, after his term of Prosecuting Attorney had expired, he was appointed by President Cleveland Collector of Internal Revenue for the State of West Virginia, which office he held for four years, and proved to be efficient and successful. In the meantime his general practice as an attorney had grown to larger proportions. While he was Internal Revenue Collector he was appointed Disbursing Agent for the new Government buildings at Wheeling, Charleston and Clarksburg, which was an additional responsibility, entirely independent of his duties of Revenue Collector. All of his public duties were discharged efficiently and to the entire satisfaction of all concerned therewith. All the while he never neglected to give attention to his large and rapidly increasing law business.

Colonel McGraw, from early manhood, has been an ardent Democrat. He was for years not only an active member of local Democratic committees, but for a score or more of years he has been the West Virginia member of the Democratic National Committee. He was, therefore, a powerful factor in local and national politics, as well as in the practice of the law. He has been a candidate for Congress, and because of the fact that he is one of the highest grade platform speakers in any political party in this or any other State, he is the idol of the Democratic party in West Virginia, and is admired by the people generally.

Colonel McGraw is not only an active laywer and politician, but he is one of the foremost public spirited citizens of the entire State. He is a developer and a pusher in bringing to public notice the great natural advantages and resources of his native State. No history of West Virginia can be truthfully written without giving Colonel McGraw prominent mention in almost every chapter. He is a brilliant lawyer, a prominent politician end a leading public spirited citizen.

In religion he is a Roman Catholic, and has never married.


Source(4): Yale University Obituary Record
of Graduates Deceased During the Year Ending July 1, 1920
New Haven, Published by the University; 1921
pages 1612-1613

John Thomas McGraw, LL.B. 1876
Born January 12, 1856, in Grafton, W. Va.
Died April 29, 1920, near Baltimore, Md.

John Thomas McGraw was born in Grafton, W. Va., January 12, 1856. Before entering the Yale School of Law in 1875 he attended St. Vincent's College, Wheeling, W. Va.

Shortly after taking his law degree, he was admitted to the West Virginia Bar and began practice in Grafton. He was elected prosecuting attorney for Taylor County in 1880 and served in that capacity until 1885, when he was appointed by President Cleveland collector of internal revenue for the district of West Virginia. He held that office for four years. During Cleveland's second administration he was the Government distributing agent for West Virginia, disbursing funds appropriated for public buildings of the state, and was aide-de-camp, with the rank of Colonel, on the staff of Governor Jackson. He was at one time chairman of the Congressional Executive Committee of the 2d district of West Virginia, and for many years had been a member of the Democratic State and National Executive committees. He was a delegate-at-large from West Virginia to the National Democratic Convention in 1896; was the Democratic candidate for Congress from the 2d district of West Virginia in 1898; and was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1899. After Nathan B. Scott was declared elected by one vote, he contested the seat, but the contest was decided against him. He had large coal, timber, and railroad interests in his native state. Mount St. Mary's College had conferred the degree of LL.D. upon him.

He died from heart disease, near Baltimore, Md., April 29, 1920, while on a train en route from New York to his home in Grafton.

He was married many years ago. A son, John T. McGraw, Jr., who was a non-graduate member of the Class of 1911, died June 25, 1911. John McGraw Warder, ex-'21 S., is a nephew.


Additional Information

Find A Grave Memorial - John Thomas McGraw

1900 Census, Taylor County WV
Grafton, Ward 1; ED:129, Sheet 20B
Lines 66-72; Enum-Dwelling #344; Enum-Family #352; owns-home, free-of-mortgage
McGRAW, Jno T.; (head) born Jan-1858; age 40; single; WV-Ireland-Ireland; Lawyer
", Mary (mother) born Sept 1835; age 64; widow; 6-children/4-living; Ire-Ire-Ire
", Rose (sister) born Aug 1871; age 28; single; WV-Ireland-Ireland
", John Jr (nephew) born Jan 1888; age 12, single; WV-WV-WV; at school
JONES, Edward (servant) born Mar 1862; age 38; mar-11-yrs; WV-Va-Va
", Lucinda (servant) born June 1870; age 29; mar-11-yrs; 0-children; WV-WV-WV
CARTER, Missouri (servant) born Feb 1870; age 30; single; Va-Va-Va

1920 Census, Taylor County WV
Grafton City, 1st Precinct, Court House District; ED:123, Sheet 9A
114 Beech Street; Owns-home, Free of mortgage
Lines 37-43; Enum-Dwelling #198; Enum-Family #209
McGRAW, Mary B. (head) age 86, widow; immi-1841/Na; Ireland-Ireland-Ireland
", John T. (son) age 64, single; WV-Ireland-Ireland; Lawyer, Gen'l Practice
", Rose (dau) age 44, single; WV-Ireland-Ireland
JACKSON, Isola (maid) age 45, single; WV-WV-WV; Servant, Private Family
SHINGLETON, Edwin (servant) age 19, single; WV-WV-WV; Servant, Private Fammile
DeDEVIRT, F. T. (secretary) age 40, single; immi-Nov/Na; Spain-Spain-Spain; Secretary, Private
GRANNON, Agnes (nurse) age 46, widow; Ohio-Ohio-Ohio; Nurse, Private Family

 

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