Captain J. L. Graham

Captain J. L. Graham, familiarly known as "Captain Jack," captain and manager of the steam ferry between Vevay, Ind., and Ghent, Ky., was born at Vevay, Oct. 28, 1869 his parents being Robert T. and Mattie (Lester) Graham.  Robert Graham was born in Ghent, in 1834 and died in Vevay in 1903.  He was a son of Timothy and Martha Graham, both natives of Virginia, and his wife was born at Jacksonville, Ind., in 1840.  She is still living.  Capt. Robert Graham founded the ferry between Vevay and Ghent and operated it for more than forty years.  At first he had a skiff for persons and a hand flatboat for horses and vehicles.  This was succeeded by the horse power transfer boat, which in turn gave way to the modern steam ferryboat.  The present steamer is named the Eva Everett, after the twin brother and sister of Capt. J. L. Graham.  Everett is now assistant engineer on the boat.  The Graham family have been brought up to the business and it is worthy of note that Miss June Graham, a sister of the subject of this sketch, is a successful pilot, probably the only female pilot in the United States.

The Eva Everett runs from early in the morning until late at night every day in the year, except when the ferry is obstructed by ice.  The distance from landing to landing is about one mile, yet the little boat covers it in six minutes.  Both boat and proprietor are popular with patrons. Captain Graham and his father have both made an enviable record as life savers.  During the old flat boating days the father saved a number from a watery grave, and the son has fourteen lives to his credit.  Such a record speaks well for his bravery and shows that in times of danger or emergency his presence of mind can be relied on to master the situation.

Captain Graham has never married, preferring to live with his mother, to whom he has always been a dutiful son.  He takes great interest in Free Masonry, being the only Knight Templar in Switzerland county, and is a member of the Christian Church.



from Memoirs of the Lower Ohio Valley, 1905