Carter T. Graham: Baptist Pioneer of Southeast Missouri

Rev. Carter Terrant Graham was my third great grand uncle. He was a son of my great-great-great-great grandfather Elijah Graham, born 1761 Caswell Co., NC, died 14 Nov 1841 Marion, Izark Co., AR, and his wife Sarah Elizabeth (Lee) Graham, born 1760/1773 NC, died 25 Sep 1845 Springdale, Washington Co., AR. Carter T. Graham was a brother of my great-great-great grandfather William S. Graham who married Sarah Ann Skaggs.

Carter Terrant Graham was born in KY according to various Internet genealogists, but in NC or TN according to the book Historical Sketches of the Baptists of Southeast Missouri by H.F. Tong (St. Louis: National Baptist Publishing Company, 1888). The death certificate for his daughter Sarah Ann (Graham) Farquhar, however, states that Carter Graham was born in Green Co., KY. In addition, the censuses of 1850 and 1860 refer to KY as his birthplace.

He was born 6 Sep 1800. The 1860 census claims that he was born about 1802, but according to the 1850 census he was born about 1800. Carter Graham died 5 Oct 1861 in MO and is buried in Farquhar-Graham Cemetery in Madison Co., MO.

On 11 Oct 1827 in Madison Co., MO he married Agnes (or Agnys) B. Henderson. (The date has been given as 11 Oct 1829, but Madison Co., MO marriage records state 11 Oct 1827.)

Agnes was born 19 Mar 1809 in TN and died 29 May 1890 in Madison Co., MO. (Actually, she is said to have been born 19 Mar 1809, but according to the 1860 census she was born about 1816.) She is buried in Farquhar-Graham Cemetery in Madison Co.

Carter Graham first came to Madison Co., MO in 1822, according to Robert Sidney Douglass, History of Southeast Missouri (1912). Another source claims, however, that this was in October of 1827.

At any rate, Carter Graham became a born again believer about 1834 in Madison Co., MO., when he apparently was age 34. He was then baptized in Big Creek by Elder Henry McElmurry of the St. Francois Association of United Baptists. Soon afterward, Carter Graham became known as “Elder Carter Graham.”

The following year, in 1835, Elder Graham organized a Baptist church at his home at Big Creek, about 18 miles south of Fredericktown. This is likely to have been around the Buckhorn community, as that is where the early Madison County Grahams were known to have been living.

Henry McElmurry became the first pastor of the Big Creek church. Later, Carter T. Graham became Big Creek’s second pastor.

H.F. Tong, in his 1888 book Historical Sketches of the Baptists of Southeast Missouri, refers to Carter T. Graham as “a frontier man.” As a pioneer Madison Co., MO Baptist minister, Carter T. Graham’s name appears frequently in county records.

He was a member of the Black River Association. As a Baptist pastor, he usually had charge of four churches.

Elder Carter T. Graham was still living in Madison Co., MO in September 1851, when he participated as a minister in the first annual meeting of the St. Francois Association of United Baptists. This meeting was held at the Little Vine Church.

Carter Graham is listed in the 1850 census as a farmer living in Madison Co., MO. His birthplace is listed as KY.

In the 1860 census, Carter Graham appears in German Twp., Madison Co., MO, at age 58. His birthplace is again listed as Kentucky. He is listed with his wife “Agnys” and their children. Carter’s occupation is listed as “Farmer & Bap. [Baptist] Preacher.”

Carter Graham preached at Big Creek for the last time on Sunday, 15 Sep 1861. The next day he became ill. He died not long afterward, on 5 Oct 1861.

About 19 years later, the 1880 census was taken in Madison Co., MO. Carter T. Graham’s widow Agnes Graham was then living with her son Samuel in German Township. Samuel was a farmer, and the only other person living in the household was 18-year-old Martha Moody, listed as an adopted daugher.

In 1921, H.A. Hovis of Madison Co., MO wrote a reminiscent virtual “tour” of some of the county’s farms. In the process, he referred to a number of Madison County’s earlier farmers. Among his comments was the following:

We now come to the Carter Graham farm. This is perhaps, one of the best known families in the county. Rev. Carter Graham was a preacher of more than ordinary ability, widely known and highly respected. He died about 60 years ago. His wife lived to a ripe old age. His son, Samuel, lived on the farm all of his life and died about thirty years ago. His son, Napolean died in early manhood having just completed his education. His daughter, Jane, died perhaps 30 years ago. His daughter, Sarah Ann, when about 35 years of age became the wife of Mr. David Farquhar. Of this union were born two sons and one daughter. Napolean and Samuel are highly respected gentlemen, the latter having served as Representative from Madison county in the last general assembly of Missouri. The daughter is the honored wife of Judge Charles Barrett. Mrs. Farquhar is the only living member of her father’s family.


(1) George Washington Graham

George W. Graham was born 1828 or 1829 in MO. He married Samaria Ivy, who is also referred to as Samora or Smerah.

Samaria is said to have been born 10 Feb 1830, but her death certificate says 2 Feb 1830. According to census records, she and her parents were both born in AL.

The family of George and Samaria Graham appears in the 1860 census in German Twp., Madison Co., MO, where George was a farmer. George died 23 Dec 1874 in Madison Co. He is said to be buried in Farquhar-Graham Cemetery near Buckhorn, but that comes from the same source that claims that his wife is also buried there. Her death certificate contradicts this information.

In the 1880 census in the same township, Samaria appears with children but without her husband, who had died by that time. She died 1 Jun 1915 in Cedar Creek Twp., Wayne Co., MO. She is said to be buried in Farquhar-Graham Cemetery near Buckhorn, Madison Co., MO, but her death certificate says that she is buried in Zion Cemetery.

The children of George and Samaria Graham included Sarah A., Eliza A., Mary J., Edward H., Elizabeth C., Nancy N.C.S.R., and James S. Graham.

(2) Eliza Graham

She was born about 1831 in MO.

(3) Samuel Graham

He was born in 1833 or 1834 in MO.

(4) Edward Graham

He was born about 1838 in MO.

(5) John B. Graham

He was born about 1838 in MO. He married Susan G., born about 1850 in KY.

The family appears in the 1880 census in German Twp., Madison Co., MO, where John was a farmer. Susan had previously been married to John Jones. She and John Jones had a son named Joseph P. Jones, born 9 Oct 1858 in Madison Co. Joseph P. Jones was living with his mother and with John B. Graham and family after his mother had remarried.

Joseph P. Jones died 7 Feb 1928 in Perry Twp., St. Francois Co., MO. According to his death certificate, “The Jury Verdic [sic] Was From Exposure & Heart Trouble (Found in woods near Thos. Setttles farm.)” He was buried 14 Feb 1928 in Bonne Terre Cemetery, Bonne Terre, St. Francois Co., MO.

After Susan remarried to John B. Graham, they became the parents of the following children: Joseph L., Carter T., Mary E., and Washington Graham.

(6) Sarah Ann Graham

She was born 1 Feb 1840 near Big Creek at Buckhorn, Madison Co., MO. She died of chronic bronchitis on 24 Aug 1927 in Big Creek Twp., Madison Co. and was buried in Graham Cemetery in Madison Co. on the following day.

She married David Farquhar, who was a farmer. He was born in Northern Ireland on 16 Aug 1841, and was a son of David and Judith Farquhar, who were both born in Scotland. The younger David died of acute dysentery on 23 Jul 1911 in Big Creek Twp., Madison Co., MO, and was buried in Graham Cemetery on 24 Jul 1911.

(7) Robert B. Graham

He was born about 1844 in MO.

(8) Lively C. Graham

She was born about 1847 in MO.


One response to “Carter T. Graham: Baptist Pioneer of Southeast Missouri

  1. I am a descendant of Carter T. Graham. My grandfather was Charles T. Graham of this family, born around 1881 in Madison Co. Not sure of the generations before him. Charles T. Graham was also a Baptist preacher later in life, and died in 1960 in Bartlesville, OK.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s