Graham, Isaac

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Isaac Graham (1800-1863) [ignore the biography on the Find-a-grave page] was a frontiersman/trapper who came to the Santa Cruz area in 1841, after his release from jail in Mexico in what became known as "The Graham Affair", publicized in the U.S by the writing of Thomas Farnham. On the Rancho Zayante land grant owned by Joseph Majors, Graham established a distillery, built a sawmill, and created a community of American immigrants. Although not a Mexican citizen like Majors, Graham was able to buy the rancho grant with Majors acting as proxy. To get his lumber to market, Graham built a wagon road to Santa Cruz. That road established part of the route used by today's Graham Hill Road. In 1845 Graham married 21-year-old Catherine Bennett The story of their rocky marriage is told in Quite Contrary, The Litigious Life of Mary Bennett Love, a 2014 biography.

Graham's 1863 death left the estate burdened with debt, and the land passed to his lawyer, Edward Stanly. Stanley established the town of Felton on part of Graham's former holdings.

The Graham-Bennett marriage produced one child, daughter Mathilda Jane "Jennie" (Rice). Jennie and her son Jesse Rice were Soc. of Pioneers members. Riptide has a photograph of Jennie.

Riptide has a photograph of sons-by-first-marriage Jesse Jones (d.1897) and Isaac Wayne (1826-1900). The same photo can be found on Isaac Wayne's Find-a-Grave page. Jesse found his bigamous father at Zayante, and stayed for several years before killing Dennis Bennett in a gunfight. Isaac Wayne apparently stayed in Texas.

Catherine divorced Graham and remarried, to Daniel McCusker, who is profiled in Riptide (CE19).