Graham & Hardys of Arkansas:Information about Bruce Leon Graham
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Bruce Leon Graham (b. November 11, 1898, d. March 22, 1979)Bruce Leon Graham (son of John Henry Graham and Amy Susan Yeager)137 was born November 11, 1898 in Caddo Mills, Texas137, and died March 22, 1979 in Dallas, Texas(Buried:Grove HillDallas)137.He married Frances Stickney Barnes on December 20, 1923 in Royce City, Texas137.
Notes for Bruce Leon Graham:
[Adonijah Graham v07t4132.ftw]
Bruce was the youngest of eight children and was born when his mother was 38 and his father 40.Some of his brothers and sisters had already left home. One (Alice, I think) was married by then and asked her mother to just let them raise Bruce as their's ...but she said no.He worked very hard in his father's cotton fields, and also took care of a retarded brother named Robert.Robert died at about age 14, and it seemed to hurt Bruce a lot.On a visit to the old homestead near Caddo Mills about 1970, he seemed a bit unhappy to walk around where there were so many (unpleasant?) memories.That old homestead burned down only about a month after we were there.At some time in the past, the area had been known as "Graham Park", where the townsfolk would come for picnics under the big trees.We visited the site again in April, 1996, with Charles & Jeanne Smith.
Bruce told of a time when he had worked all week, sunup to sundown, under a blazing Texas summer sun in his dad's fields.On Saturday, he askedhis father for a dime to go to a movie.His dad answered: "Son, you've earned it, but I don't have a dime to give you."..which was true.Bruce said that he decided right then that he would not earn his living as a cotton farmer.He left home to join the Navy in 1918, serving on the cruiser "Cleveland" on convoys back & forth across the Atlantic in World War I.At times, his convoy was attacked by German submarines, although the Cleveland was never torpedoed. When the war was over, the Cleveland was assigned duty in South America.When Bruce was discharged in 1919, he came to Dallas (where his highschool sweetheart, Frances, now lived), and worked in the County Clerk's office.
The Barnes family attended East Grand Baptist Church, but Bruce continued to attend a Christian church as he had been raised.One morning, his little daughter, Dorothy, asked:"Daddy, whu don't you go to church with us?"So he started going to the Baptist church, which meant he had to be baptized again. At some point, they all moved to the First Baptist Church in downtown Dallas, where the pastor was George W. Truitt.
At night, he attended a pseudo-law school (Jefferson University) and then took the bar exam & passed.Bruce & Frances married in 1923, doing so in Royce City, so the brother-in-law Charlie Smith, wouldn't know, because Charlie worked in the County Clerk's office in Dallas and saw all marriage licenses.They kept the marriage a secret for a while, with Frances continuing to live at home.Evententually, the secret was out and Bruce moved in to the place on Fitzhugh.The first home of their own was 3119 Hester, a duplex, where they rented out the other side. This little duplex was demolished in 1994 to build apartments.Bruce worked for Curry McCutcheon, for himself, and finally for Burford, Ryburn, Hicks & Ford in Dallas, gaining a significant reputation as a trial lawyer.His main work was in cases involving the Dallas Railway Company (steetcars & buses), Baylor Hospital and Buckner's Orphans' Home.On many a Monday morning, he had to go to the courthouse prepared to try any one of four lawsuits.The stress of this undoubtedly contributed to his heart attacks.
The family moved to 5918 Mercedes in1944 and to 3932 Greenbrier in 1951.In 1960, Bruce semi-retired and moved to Greenville, Texas.He built a law office behind the carport and continued to do some legal work (wills, real estate contracts, etc.) for a few more years.About 1975, for health reasons, he & Frances moved back to Dallas and bought a duplex apartment on Ellsworth.Jamie Barnes, Frances' sister, bought & lived in the upper half.Bruce had severe heart attacks in 1947 and 1950, but quit smoking and lived until March 22, 1979.He died of complications after surgery to remove a big toe (diabetes problem) at age 80.He is buried at Grove Hill cemetery in Dallas.
In the 1950's, Bruce owned a farm north of Greenville, and he enjoyed going there to putter around on Saturdays with his brother-in-law, Charlie Smith. He also liked to fish, and would take his small boat to nearby lakes.Once in a while, he would make a trip to fish in the Gulf.
He served as a Deacon for a number of years at the First Baptist Church in Dallas, and was a member of the Baraca S.S. Class.He was also a 33rd degree Mason and a Shriner.
More About Bruce Leon Graham and Frances Stickney Barnes:
Marriage: December 20, 1923, Royce City, Texas.137
Children of Bruce Leon Graham and Frances Stickney Barnes are:
- +Dorothea June Graham.
- +James Gordon Graham.