John S. Graves

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John Spotswood Graves (1892-1960) was a prominent Charlottesville attorney and businessman. He served as city attorney from September 1, 1922[1] until September 1, 1930, when he was replaced by Edward V. Walker. He was also the first Albemarle County Attorney. [2]

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Graves was born in Greene County on March 12, 1892 to L.W. and Lilian Priest Graves. He graduated from the Fork Union Military Academy in 1910 and attended the College and William & Mary for one year before transferring to the University of Virginia. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in 1914, a master's in 1915 and a law degree in 1917.

Major John S. Graves, was a partner in the firm Gilmer and Graves of Charlottesville which formed in 1919. He also had ownership stakes in the Charlottesville Lumber Company and the Albemarle Stone Company.

Graves was president of the Nelson and Albemarle Railway Company from 1935 to 1956, president of the National Bank of Gordonsville from 1949 until the bank merged with the People's National Bank of Charlottesville in 1958. [3]

Graves married Martha Daniel Graves in May 1917. They had two daughters

Graves lived at 1315 Rugby Road at the time of his death. He is buried in Maplewood Cemetery in Gordonsville.

Military service and organizations

Graves joined the U.S. Army as a private in 1917 shortly after receiving his law degree. In World War I (1914-18), he worked his way up to major before being discharged in 1919. Major Graves became the first commander of the Charlottesville and Albemarle American Legion Post when it was formed in 1919.

Graves was also a member of the Charlottesville Elk's Lodge, the Widow's Sons Lodge, the Redland Club and Farmington Country Club.


  1. Web. New Council Takes Hold, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, Sep. 2, 1922, retrieved Feb. 11, 2023.
  2. Web. Graves Given County Civil Legal Work; Was City Attorney 8 years, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, January 2, 1934, retrieved February 11, 2023. Print. January 2, 1934 page 1.
  3. Print: John S. Graves Dies, Lawyer, Businessman, Staff reports, Daily Progress, Lindsay family January 8, 1960, Page A1.