Lydia Kimble Graham

Charleston Daily Mail
April 2, 1936

Last Widow of War of 1812 Is Dead at Home Near Franklin

Mrs. Lydia Ann Graham Dies at Age of 97; Led Simple Life in Rural Residence

(Photograph on Page Twelve)
Franklin, April 2 (AP)

Mrs. Lydia Ann Graham, who would have been 98 years old in May, last surviving widow of the war of 1812, died at her home at Brushy run, near Franklin, yesterday of infirmities incident to her age.

She had been in fair health until the last few weeks. Her home was in a rural area, minus the conveniences and comforts available in modern times, and her manner of living was suited to her circumstances. Until illness forced her to curtail her labors, she attended daily to chores about the place.

She was the widow of Isaac Graham, born in the 1790's, who served as a musician's boy in the war. She was 32 when she married the war veteran. He died in 1881, leaving her a family of three children who still survive, Mrs. M. D. Calhoun, with whom she made her home; Mrs. William G. Calhoun, of Pendleton county, and Mrs. George Kesner, of Cresaptown, Md. Her husband by a previous marriage had reared 11 children, all now dead.

During the recent winter severities she consented to pose for photographers who sought her out when she was established officially by the government as the lone surviving widow of the war of 1812. They found her with a tot in arms, the child perfectly content. Her son-in-law, Down Calhoun, said Mrs. Graham retained striking cheerfulness of manner throughout her advanced years, always welcomed callers and never grew impatient except when efforts were made to "hurry" her in her work. Then she showed, he said, sharpness suggestive of a much younger person.

Funeral arrangements had not been completed this morning.

Military and Wartime