an extract from...
THE CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF OREGON:
Four miles northwest of Eugene on the Irving road is located the ranch of James Graville, one of the most progressive and highly prosperous ranchmen of Lane county. He was originally a subject of England, having been born at Epworth, Isle of Axholme, Lincolnshire, England on the 25th of March 1845. His parents were Henry and Mary Ann (Standerin) Graville, likewise natives of England, where they passed their entire lives, the mother's death occurring in 1850 and that of the father in 1908. In the paternal line our subject is descended from an exceptionally long-lived family, four of his father's brothers and sisters having passed the venerable age of ninety before their demise. James Graville is the eldest of the three children born to his parents and the only son. his two sisters, Anna and Harriet are both deceased. For his second wife Henry Graville chose Sarah Ann Clark, and to them were born five children: who lives in Wisconsin; William, of England; Albert, also of England; Elizabeth, of Australia; and Edwin, of England, deceased.
James Graville, who was a child of only five and a half years when his mother died, began, at the age of nine, earning his own living. He was placed in the service of a well-to-do yeoman of his native county, who owned and operated a farm of seven hundred acres. When he first began working he received twelve cents a day, without board, but as he was a strong, energetic youth and developed at a very early age he made rapid progress -and subsequently became superintendent of the place. He later withdrew from farming and learned the brick and tile business, but as the work in the open air was more congenial he once more turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. He was employed on several farms from then until 1870 when he decided to become a citizen of the United States, so he took passage for this country arriving here in 1871.
He arrived at his destination, a village in Wisconsin with a capital of fifteen dollars, but he had no fears regarding the future, as he was young and strong and possessed the determination of purpose and energy that open the road to success. Very soon thereafter he found employment as a farm hand. continuing to follow this line of work for three years. During that time he very pleasantly and profitably devoted his leisure hours to the study of entomology, the knowledge thus acquired having proven of incalculable value to him as an orchardist. Later he took up the machinist's trade, which he followed during the remainder of his residence in Wisconsin.
From early youth he had been able to appreciate the value of thrift and diligence, having learned this lesson in the great school of experience, so he always managed to save a portion of his earnings, however small they might be. Therefore, when he decided to come to the northwest to live in 1903. he was the owner of two good farms in Wisconsin and had other interests. Disposing of his property there he travelled over a large portion of the country looking for a permanent location, finally deciding that he preferred Oregon and the section where he is now residing to any place he had visited. He invested in one hundred and twenty six acres of land, which was partially cultivated and improved, and has ever since made this his home. The pleasant two-story residence now occupied by Mr. Graville and his family was erected before he bought the place, but during the period of his owner-
Mr. Graville is a very practical man, but he is progressive in his ideas and conducts his operations in strict accordance with the most highly approved methods of the modern agriculturist and orchardist. He has a fine prune orchard of five acres and he also raises other fruit and such cereals as are used in the feeding of stock. Much of his attention is given to the breeding and raising of high grade cattle and hogs and in this he is meeting with lucrative returns as in his other pursuits. In addition to his fine ranch, he has other interests and has acquired a very comfortable competence being one of the most prosperous citizens of his community.
Mr. Graville was married in 1876 to Miss Mary Ann Bennett, A daughter of Samuel and Pamley Bennett, and to them have been born seven children: Earl, Elma and Ralph are all living in Canada; Laura received a common school education in Wisconsin and is now living at home; Arthur was educated in the public schools of Eugene and possesses fine mechanical skill; Epha is the wife of Earl Biger a farmer of Eugene. Frank, the oldest, died in infancy.
The family attend the Methodist Episcopal church in which the parents hold membership and Mr. Graville votes the republican ticket. While living in Wisconsin he was supervisor of his township and a member of the board of health and a school director. He is now serving as a school director but has never held any other official position since he came to Oregon. He is one of the foremost citizens of his community, however, his general efficiency and business sagacity making him a leader in every progressive public movement, while his upright principles and integrity have won for him the esteem of all with whom he has had transactions.