Thomas Sims Graves (1) was born 13 July 1794 in Virginia, and died 6 May 1859 in Nelson County, Kentucky. Family tradition says that Thomas served as a Sergeant in the War of 1812. He moved from Virginia to Fayette County, Kentucky in 1817. Thomas first married Harriet R. Gist on 4 March 1822 in Nelson County, Kentucky as recorded in marriage register book number one. Harriett died in 1831 in Fayette County, Kentucky. He secondly married Mary E. Graves, daughter of Benjamin Graves and Sally Cole Graves in Woodford County, Ky., 11 Oct. 1833. Nelson Graves (Mary's brother) was a witness on the marriage bond. Thomas bought land from George Keene 28 June 1834, Fayette County KY deed book 8, pages 147-149. In 1834 Thomas built a large dry stone tavern that would be known as Graves Tavern Stand . The land was located on the Versailles Turnpike Road and bounded by the waters of South Elkhorn Creek near the Fayette/Woodford County line. Early names of the little village were Slickaway, Reform and after the Civil War it became known as Ft. Springs. The Tavern Stand was a stage stop, watering hole and roadhouse. It was literally the first known house in Kentucky with running water due to the spring. The tavern consisted of three levels with the bottom level containing a spring that ran under the front wall. On 22 January 1845, Thomas S. Graves and wife Mary E. Graves transferred to Edward Willis Graves and William Fisher Graves a farm containing 47 acres and the business known as Graves Tavern Stand; Fayette County KY deed book 22, page 376. Edward & William Graves sold to John Valentine and Samuel Aiken the farm and Tavern Stand; Fayette County Deed Book 25, Pages 83-84, 28 December 1847. The Tavern was renamed Valentine's Tavern. In 1845 Thomas and Mary moved to Nelson County, Kentucky and purchased a large farm on the Bardstown-Chaplin Road about one half mile from the town of Chaplin. The farm was located next to a Methodist Church and cemetery. Thomas S. Graves died 13 July 1859.
The Last Will of Thomas S. Graves was written 25 Dec. 1858 and probated 13 June 1859.
"In the name of God and trusting in Him for life and salvation, I, Thomas S. Graves, of the County of Nelson and State of Kentucky being weak of body though sound of mind and fully admonished of making some disposition of my earthly goods do this day make and declare this to be my last will and testament and desire the same to be received and recorded as such. First, it is my will and desire that my farm and all the provisions for my family for the ensuing year shall remain for the use and benefit of my family without sale or distribution. Second, at my death all of my personal and perishable property not otherwise disposed of is to be sold immediately and the farm sold at expiration of the incoming year. Third, it is my will and desire that two thousand dollars of the proceeds of the sale of my farm shall be set apart as a fund to receive interest for the maintenance and support of my beloved wife, Mary Graves and that she be fully provided for until said fund and interest becomes available and at her death one thousand dollars of said fund is to be given and paid to my daughter, Sarah Ann Hobbs. All the home furniture that may remain after the death of my wife is to be given to my daughter before named all to be given to her and her bodily heirs for their own use and benefit and that the remaining one thousand dollars of said fund after the death of my wife to be equally divided between my two sons, James E. Graves and Benjamin F. Graves and my daughter, Mary E. Smith her part for the purpose of aiding in the education and support of her children she having the full control of the same.
Fourth, after the payment of all my just debts and one thousand and fifty dollars paid over to my son, Thomas B. Graves and a good horse saddle and bridle given to my son Benjamin F. Graves or that will be equivalent when he is twenty one years old then all of my estate that remains and not otherwise disposed of to be equally divided between all of my children to wit -- Edward W. Graves, William F. Graves, Thomas B. Graves, James E. Graves, Benjamin F. Graves, Mary E. Smith, and Sarah Ann Hobbs. That part coming to my son Edward W. Graves I wish to be given to his son, Thomas Smith Graves and wish him to comply with this request.
Fifth, I wish my wife before any sale of my personal property to give to my sons James and Benjamin a good bed and clothing such as I have heretofore given to my children.
Sixth, I hereby appoint my two sons Edward and William Graves as my executors of this my last will and desire them faithfully to comply with and execute all the provisions herein named and I also appoint them as trustees for my two sons James and Benjamin to take care of and manage Benjamin's part of my estate for him and attend to his education and support until he is of lawful age. That part coming to my son James they are to hold as his trustee for his proper use and benefit until such time as in their best judgment, he has sufficiently studied himself so as to be fully competent for the management of the same without needlessly wasting the same. Having duly disposed of all my estate as in my judgment is best so to do, I hereby set my hand this 25th day of Dec. 1858.
Thomas S. Graves
E. E. Murphy
Bryant Y. Neal
Children - Graves by Harriett Gist Graves
2. Edward Willis Graves, b. 1822, m. Elizabeth Wells, 1851, d. 6 March 1884.
3. William F. Graves, b. 12 Oct. 1824, never married, d. 30 May 1886.
4. Thomas Bushrod Graves, b. 12 Jan. 1828, m. Delia A. Wells, d. 7 Dec. 1886.
• Mary E. Graves, m. Abraham Smith, Dec. 1848.
Children-Graves by Mary E. Graves
6. Sarah Ann Graves, b. 2 Oct. 1840, m. William M. Hobbs, 14 Sept. 1858, d. 20 Nov. 1915.
+7. James Edgar Graves, b. 1834, m (1) Martha C. Johnson, c. 1870, m (2) Elizabeth B. Laird, d. 1913.
8. Benjamin F. Graves married. No children.
(Last modified: Jan 30th 2014, 10:37)Back to Top