Thomas Graden
Margaret Oswalt
(1798-Abt 1840)
Alexander Graden


Family Links

1. Sophia Zimmerman

Alexander Graden 1

  • Born: 4 Nov 1816
  • Marriage (1): Sophia Zimmerman on 8 Jan 1840 in Jefferson County, Ohio, USA
  • Died: 24 Sep 1882, Nokomis, Montgomery County, Illinois, USA at age 65

bullet  General Notes:

dates provided by Lance D. Gill

The following information was provided by, Carolyn Graden Dossey.


Alexander Graden was born November 4, 1816 probably in Jefferson County, Ohio. He was the oldest son of Thomas and Margaret Oswalt Graden. Alexander was raised with known siblings John, Jacob, Mary, Susan and Charlotte. Father,Thomas was a farmer. Before Thomas's second marriage Alexander himself was married.

On January 8, 1840 in Jefferson County, Ohio Alexander married Sophia Zimmerman, another Jefferson County native. Sophia was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Leas Zimmerman. Sophia was born January 15, 1819. According to official records this is the date of the marriage although in 1952 Estella Graden wrote in a letter that her grandparents were married on January the 9th. A copy of a page from a family Bible also gives the date as the 9th. Alexander's brother John married Sophia's sister Maria on 26 October 1843. Both were married at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jefferson County. Through out the remainder of their lives these families would live near each other.

In 1841 there was a land transaction between Alexander and a Samuel Oswalt in Jefferson County. Samuel appears to be a brother to Margaret. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Harrison County and by 1850 they were in Gallia County, Ohio. Eight children were born to this marriage. Twins Elizabeth and Margaret were born September 16, 1840 in Harrison County, Ohio. Mary was born on January 27, 1843. Charlotte was born on March 3, 1847; John L. was born on January 3, 1851. An infant son was born on 14 Oct. 1843 and it is assumed he was either born dead or died that day (according to a page from a family Bible). Hiram Malachi was born on September 10, 1857 in Gallia County Ohio. Thomas Millard was born January 8, 1860 in Gallia County, Ohio. There is also an "adopted" son or sons, Sam and or William Miller who was born about 1840. The story written by Emit Graden, grandson of Alexander and Sophia was that Alexander went to the neighbors when the twins were babies and brought home two Miller boys, one a baby who needed Sophia's milk. They were raised by the Graden's (I can find no proof of this in the Census records.) Emit also says that the boys were soldiers in the Civil War and were given land in Kansas for their service. Emit could remember one visiting and telling him a story about jackrabbits.

In 1840 Alexander and Sophia appear on the census records for Harrison County with another male in the household age 10-15. On the 1850 and 1860 census they are in Gallia County, Ohio. In 1870 they appear in the census for Montgomery County Illinois. In 1880 they are listed with children Elizabeth, Charlotte, and Millard still living at home.

Alexander served during the Civil War as a First Lieutenant in Co. B 16th Battalion Ohio Volunteer Militia. At Age 47 he was enrolled and listed his residence as Addison on July 1, 1863 and signed his name as Alex Graden. In July of 1863 this unit was attached to 2nd Brigade, 9th. Division, 13th. Army Corps. In August they were attached to the 4th Brigade, 1st Division, 13th Army Coprs, Dept. of the Tennessee, and to the Dept of the Gulf to September of 1863. We have no record to date of how long he served.

Several family stories have been passed down about the Civil War years along the Ohio River. One story involves Elizabeth (Lizzy) and a horse that she was very attached to. Morgan's raiders came through and although all the livestock had been hidden they found the horse. Lizzie becomes very upset and crying begged the raiders not to take the horse. When they took the horse anyway she begged them to return it when they were through with it. Sometime later the horse appeared. Her nephew Emit would remember Lizzie had a kind heart when it came to animals. He encountered chickens, sparrows and robins recovering from injuries. Lizzie also recalled for Emit a childhood memory of an eclipse of the sun.

According to another family story the family, especially the sisters Sophia and Maria were involved in the Underground Railroad and the family was asked to leave Ohio for their own safety. They supposedly left during the night and moved to Illinois. We do know that they left Ohio during the war as they bought property in Montgomery County for $5000 from Eliza and Sarah Ann Sanders in 1864.

In 1866 Sophia signed the constitution for St. Marks Church in Nakomis. "St. Marks Church got its start in Audubon Township in 1852 when Daniel Easterday moved his family from Jefferson County, Ohio, Audubon Township. In 1855 Rev. D. D. Swaney formally organized the congregation and a constitution was adopted. A house of worship was built at a cost of $$800 and was dedicated as Zion's Evangelical Lutheran Church.

After the railroad came to Nokomis the town grew rapidly and a large number of the Zions members moved into town. It was decided by the Lutherans to sell the church property in Audubon, re-organize the congregation and erect a house of worship in Nokomis. A new house of worship was erected in Nokomis in 1866 at the cost of $4,500. At this time the church faced Oak Street. In 1885 the church edifice was turned to its present position. In about 1890 the parsonage was built."

In 1874 the farm of 200 acres is in the county atlas. On the farm is a school also. Living not far away were daughter Margaret and her husband William Shoemaker and family. Alex's brother John and Sophia's sister Maria were also close by. Also living in Audubon Township were Pococks.

In 1882 Alexander died and was buried in the Nokomis Cemetery. The following undated a newspaper article has been copied. "In the death of Mr. Alexander Graden which occurred at the family residence in this place: last Sunday morning we loose one of our oldest and most esteemed citizens. He was, as all knew him an industrious, unassuming gentleman and wherever known had friends. Mr. Graden had for the past few months been failing in health and during the person of his last illness was a great sufferer. His years number three score and five, ten months and twenty days. The funeral services took place Monday morning at 10 o'clock from the Lutheran Church, Rev. Booher conducting the exercises. His remains were lain to rest in the city of the dead, the new cemetery east of town." According to one family source Alexander died because of injury to his foot.

In 1888 Tom sent a telegram to his brother John from Wabash Indiana, with the following message: "How is Mother" which leads one to believe she must have been ill at that time. Sophia lived her remaining years with her unmarried daughters with all moving into the town of Nokomis.

Sophia's will: I Sophia Graden, of the Town of Nokomis in the county of Montgomery and State of Illinois being of sound and disposing mind and memory do hereby make and publish this my last will and testament in the manner following to wit:

First: I give devise and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth Graden the sum of Five hundred dollars and to my daughter Charlotte Graden the sum of five hundred dollars. Second: I devise and bequeath all the balance of my estate real and personal and mixed to my six children and their descendants to be divided equally between them share and share alike twit to my sons John L. Graden, Hiram M. Graden, and Thomas M. Graden one share each to my daughters Elizabeth Graden and Charlotte Graden one share each and to the children of my daughter Margaret Shoemaker one share.

Lastly I do nominate and appoint my son John L. Graden to be my Executor of this my last will and testament. Witness say this fifth day of July 1890. Witness D. H. Zepp and Jacob Easterday Signed Sophia Graden (her mark)

Her personal estate at the time of her death was $1071.31. Her estate papers show her funeral expenses to be $65. The final accounting of her estate was $4.85 to Coll. Taxes, $3.00 Wild and Webster. Adj. notice, $60.00 John L. Graden Executor' com., $16.50 W. G. Webster Attorney, $478.50 Elizabeth Graden, $478.51 Charlotte Graden, and $29.95 to A. N. Banes for court costs. Her legal heirs at the time of her death were: John L. Graden, Nokomis; Thomas M. Graden, Nokomis; Hiram M. Graden, Goff, Kansas; Elizabeth Graden, Nokomis; Charlotte Graden, Nokomis; Ella M. Pocock, Nokomis; Leora Matilda Kellogg, Jacksonville, Illinois; Luther F. Shoemaker, Nokomis; John W. Shoemaker, Nokomis; Luther E. Shoemaker, Nokomis; Katharine M. Shoemaker, Nokomis.

Family information for Alexander and Sophia: Elizabeth born Sept. 16, 1840 Harrison County, Ohio and died Dec. 26, 1930 in Nokomis, Illinois (never married) Margaret born Sept. 16, 1840 Harrison County, Ohio and died Dec. 24, 1884 in Montgomery County, Illinois Married William Shoemaker on Jan. 9, 1862 in Gallia County, Ohio Mary Jane Graden born Jan. 27, 1843 in Ohio died Nov. 20, 1847 in Ohio Charlotte Graden born Mar. 3, 1847 in Ohio died Oct 17, 1926 in Nokomis Illinois (never married) John Leas Graden born Jan 3, 1851 in Gallia County, Ohio died Dec. 16, 1918 in Nokomis Illinois married Elmina Pocock March 27, 1879 Hiram Malachi Graden was born Sept. 10, 1855 In Gallia County, Ohio and died April 1, 1923 Woodlawn Kansas married Sarah Ellen Sanders in Christian County, Illinois May 8, 1881 Thomas Millard Graden was born Jan. 8, 1860 in Gallia County, Ohio and died in Nokomis Sept. 5, 1932 married Mary Eugenia Sperry Oct. 8, 1885

Sources: Probate records of Jefferson County, Ohio 1820 Census of Jefferson County, Ohio 1830 Census of Jefferson County, Ohio 1840 Census of Harrison County, Ohio 1850 Census of Galia County, Ohio 1860 Census of Galia County, Ohio’ 1870 Census of Montgomery County, Illinois 1880 Census of Montgomery County, Illinois Probate records of Montgomery County, Illinois Sophia Newsprint of obituary of Alexander Graden (Newspaper and date unknown) Richard Graden of Nokomis Illinois Memories of Emit Graden Land Record of Montgomery County, Illinois Letter from Estella Graden to Hiram Lester Graden 1952 Marriage records of Harrison County Ohio Marriage records of Montgomery County, Illinois Marriage records of Jefferson County, Ohio Kansas Death Certificate Cemetery Records of Goff, Kansas Newspaper Goff, Kansas

Records need checking: Land Records for Galia County, Ohio Newspaper for nearest town in Galia County Land Records for sale of land by Sophia in Montgomery County Newspaper records for family info in Nokomis during the periods they lived there and obits of siblings, etc Records of Stark County, Ohio Check again for probate records on Alexander Obit for Sophia

January 20, 2003 Carolyn Graden Dossey 2312 Wilson Ave. Leavenworth, KS 66048

913-682-7402 email: or <>


Alexander married Sophia Zimmerman, daughter of John Zimmerman and Elizabeth Margaretha Leas, on 8 Jan 1840 in Jefferson County, Ohio, USA. (Sophia Zimmerman was born on 15 Jan 1819 in Jefferson County, Ohio, USA and died on 16 Sep 1912 in Nokomis, Montgomery County, Illinois, USA.)



1 Notes from David A. Leas and/or the 1950 Leas Family Genealogy.

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