Newspaper Articles

Edward Vaulter Graham and Willie Ester Durr Married at the Avalon Inn – Mercer County

My project for today was to find information on the Old Stone Tavern of Bardstown.  As I looked through old newspapers, I found the Old Stone Inn of Harrodsburg.  In fact, there were many Stone Taverns in Kentucky at various times in history.  What I thought most fascinating about this article was the wedding photographs that accompanied it.  And so, I introduce to you Mr. and Mrs. Edward Vaulter Graham.  Edward Vaulter Graham and Willie Ester Durr were married September 14, 1910, in Mercer County, at the Avalon Inn on Main Street in Harrodsburg.  Vaulter was the son of Samuel Bunton Graham (1853-1924) and Amanda Sanders (1849-1924).  He was born June 29, 1889.  Willie was born February 18, 1891, the daughter of John Thomas Durr and Sarah Ellen Reed.

Edward Vaulter Graham and Willie Ester Durr .

As mentioned, I found they were married at the Avalon Inn on Main Street in Harrodsburg.  It was once known as Old Stone Tavern.  It was built by M. Bush in 1792 as that name and date were chiseled into the cap stone, and served Harrodsburg for more than 160 years.  It was purchased by the Harrodsburg Baptist Church to provide space for their expansion about 1958.  This inn was long famous for its fine food and lodging.

From the Sunday Herald-Leader, of Lexington, January 11, 1959 – ‘The writer was told by Mr. and Mrs. Vaulter Graham of the Duncan section of Mercer County that they were married in the best parlor at the inn almost 50 years ago.  The Grahams, the parents of nine children, said the setting for the ceremony and the hospitality they were afforded could not have been surpassed.’

According to census records Vaulter and Willie had nine children – Rufus M., Mabel B., Jessie E., Edward Thomas, Virginia, Annell, Anita, Margaret Joyce and Kenneth Durr.  

Although they were married just 49 years when the article was written, they did live to see their 50th – their golden anniversary – September 14, 1960.  Vaulter died January 29, 1961.

The Lexington Leader, Fayette County, Kentucky

Monday, January 30, 1961

Edward Vaulter Graham

Harrodsburg – Edward Vaulter Graham, 71, a retired farmer of the Duncan section of Mercer County, died at 9 a.m. Sunday at Haggin Memorial Hospital here after a long illness.  A native of Washington County, he was a member of Hopewell Baptist Church.

Survivors are his wife, Mrs. Willie Durr Graham; three sons, Rufus and Edward Graham, Harrodsburg, and Durr Graham, at home; six daughters, Mrs. E. B. Williams, Danville; Mrs. Matt Meadows, Cincinnati, Ohio; Mrs. Samuel Carey, Harrodsburg; Mrs. Rufus Yocum, Mercer County; Mrs. Morris Carey, Lexington, and Miss Joyce Graham, Harrodsburg; a brother, Everett Graham, Harrodsburg, and seven grandchildren.

Funeral services will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Hopewell Baptist Church by the Rev. Jim Highland and the Rev. E. A. Somers.  Burial will be in the church cemetery.  Active pallbearers will be Curtis Sherrow, Richard Green, William Royalty, and Lyle, Marshall and Herman Graham.  Members of the Men’s Adult No. 1 Sunday School Class will serve as honorary pallbearers.  The body is at the Glave Sims Funeral Home here.

Willie Ester Durr Graham followed her husband to the grave within five months.

The Lexington Leader, Fayette County, Kentucky

Tuesday, May 23, 1961

Mrs. Willie Durr Graham

Harrodsburg – Mrs. Willie Durr Graham, 70, widow of Vaulter Graham, died Monday at the home of a daughter, Mrs. Rufus Yocum, VanArsdall Road, after a long illness.  Mrs. Graham resided at Bondville in Mercer County and was a member of the Hopewell Baptist Church.  She was a native of Washington County.

Other survivors are three sons, Rufus, Edward and Durr Graham, Harrodsburg; five daughters, Mrs. E. B. Williams, Danville, Mrs. Matt Meadows, Cincinnati, Ohio; Mrs. Samuel Carey, Harrodsburg; Mrs. Morris Carey, Lexington, and Miss Joyce Graham, Harrodsburg; four sisters, Mrs. Everett Riley, Springfield; Mrs. Ed Durr, Mercer County; Mrs. Cleo Dennis, Harrodsburg, and Mrs. James Caldwell, Indianapolis, Indiana, and seven grandchildren.

Funeral services will be conducted at 2:30 p.m.  Wednesday at the Hopewell Baptist Church by the Rev. Jim Highland and the Rev. Leroy Tracy.  Burial will be in the church cemetery.  Pallbearers will be Curtis Sherrow, Richard Green, William Royalty, Tommy Johnson, Lyle and Herman Graham.  The body is at the Glave Sims Funeral Home.

After typing the two obituaries I realize I knew and went to church with one of their daughters – Virginia Graham Carey.  Virginia Carey was a lovely woman, but at the time I did not know her maiden name.

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