Charles P. Graham
CHARLES P. GRAHAM. There is no more important profession than that of the school teacher, for into his hands are confided the training of the plastic minds of the rising generation whose success in after life depends so much upon the inclinations fostered in childhood. The capable, conscientious and thoroughly trained educator, imbued with an appreciation of the dignity and importance of his work, and an enthusiasm for it and its results, cannot help but be a constructive force in his community, and as such Charles P. Graham, principal of the high school of Rural Retreat, is rendering an effective service to his fellow citizens.
Charles P. Graham was born at Jonesville, Lee County, Virginia, September 11, 1884, a son of Henry B. Graham, grandson of John P. Graham, and great-grandson of Henry Graham, who was born abroad, of Scotch-Irish descent, in 1795, and came to the United States in young manhood, settling at Pennington Gap, Virginia, where he was married, and where he became a planter and slaveowner upon an extensive scale. There be died after a long and useful life in 1888. John P. Graham was born at Pennington Gap, in 1831, and died there in 1891, having spent his life in that locality. He was a physician of note, and also served as treasurer of Lee County for two terms, being in office at the time of his death. While he served in the Confederate army, after the war was over he espoused the principles of the republican party, and continued faithful to them the remainder of his life. He married America Pennington, who was born at Pennington Gap, in 1833, and died there in 1907.
Henry B. Graham was born at Pennington Gap, July 5, 1853, and is now a resident of Jonesville, having spent his entire life in Lee County, where he has been a successful farmer and stockraiser, and a very public-spirited man. In political sentiments he is a republican. The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, has in him an earnest member and generous supporter. He married Martha E. Gilley, who was born at Pennington Gap, May 26, 1852. Their children are as follows: W. Patton, who is instructor in mod ern languages in the University of Virginia, was graduated from Emory and Henry College, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, from the University of Virginia, with the degree of Master of Arts, and also studied abroad at Paris, France, and in other places; Orra, who resides near Jonesville, is the wife of James M. Flannery, a .farmer and raiser of pure-bred Shorthorn cattle and Poland-China bogs; George V., who resides near Jonesville, is a farmer; Hagan L., who was graduated from Emory .and Henry College, with the degree of Bachelor of Science, resides at Abingdon, Virginia, and is a farmer and principal of the school at Harley, Virginia; Charles P., whose name heads this review; James T., who resides at Jonesville, was graduated from Emory and Henry College, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and from the University of Virginia, with the degree of Master of Arts, is a veteran of the World war, during which he was stationed at Camp Lee, where he was trained in the Officers Training Camp, was commissioned a first lieutenant and was ready for oversea duty when the armistice was signed, and he is now principal of the high school at East Stone Gap, Virginia; and Ellen, who was graduated from Martha Washington College, with the degree of Master of Arts, is a teacher in the high school at Rural Retreat. The above-named children are living. Those who are deceased are: Harvey J., the fourth child, who was graduated from Emory and Henry College, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, studied theology in Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, and died at Jonesville in 1906, when he was only twenty-six years old; Marion R., the sixth child, who died at Jonesville in 1901, when he was nineteen years old; and the eighth child, William G., who died in infancy.
Charles P. Graham attended the public schools of Lee County, the Jonesville Institute into the senior year, and then entered Emory and Henry College, in the fall of 1906, and was graduated therefrom in June, 1910, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. While attending college he was a member of the Calliopean Literary Society, and during his senior year was its president, and also represented the society in a public debate. After graduating from college he was principal of the Ceres High School of Bland County for four years, and for the subsequent three years held the same position in the high school of Elk Creek, Grayson County. Going next to Bridle Creek, he served very acceptably as principal of its high school for two years, and in October, 1917, came to Rural Retreat, and for a time was engaged in farming. In December, 1919, he was induced to enter once more the educational work, for which his capabilities and training so admirably fit him, and be became principal of the high school of Rural Retreat. He has under his supervision twelve teachers and 350 pupils, and has affairs in. prime working condition, many of his ideas being new and stimulating to teachers and students alike.
Mr. Graham owns his fine farm of 150 acres, which is located five miles south of Rural Retreat, on which he carries on general farming, trucking and stockraising. He owns a comfortable residence on his farm, where he maintains his home. For some years he has been a member of Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and he is now serving it as a steward. Professionally he maintains membership with the Virginia State Teachers’ Association and with the Wythe County Teachers’ Association. In addition to his regular courses Mr. Graham has done postgraduate work in the summer schools of the University of Virginia, in 1914, and in 1915 and 1916 taught in the summer schools of the Virginia State Normal School of Radford, Virginia, and in the summer of 1917 taught in the summer school at Galax, Virginia.
On August 6, 1917, Mr. Graham married at Elk Creek, Virginia, Miss Olive Virginia Delp, a daughter of George L. and Charlotte (Hale) Delp, residents of Elk Creek, Virginia. Mr. Delp is a farmer and stockraiser of Elk Creek, and a man of high standing in his home community. Mrs. Graham was graduated from old Sullins College, Bristol, Virginia, with the degree of Bachelor of Science.
Mr. and Mrs. Graham have four children: Charles Hale; Bruce McConnell; Ray James and Martha Charlotte.