Joseph A. Gravatt

Contributed by Travis Clark


Contributed by Stephen E. Williams


JOSEPH A. GRAVATT, druggist, of the firm of Gravatt & Moon, New Vienna, was born at New Lexington, Highland Co., Ohio, July 11, 1835 ; is a son of Peter R. and Charity (Tilton) Gravatt, natives of New Jersey. The grandparents, Robert and Mary Gravatt, natives of New Jersey, emigrated to Ohio and settled near New Lexington, Highland County, where they resided about eighteen years, thence removed to Waynesville, Warren County, where she died about 1857, and he in 1858. The maternal grandfather, Sylvester Tilton, a native of New Jersey, became a resident of Ohio about the same time as the Gravatt family, and died near New Lexington, Highland County, about 1847. Peter R. Gravatt was a young single man when he came to Ohio with his father in 1831, and soon after married and entered the profession of teaching, which occupation he followed the greater part of his life. In the spring of 1849, he removed with his family to Dayton, Ohio, where, during the great cholera epidemic of that year, he took the disease and died, aged forty-five years. He was twice married, first to Charity Tilton, by whom he had three children, one only now surviving, Joseph A. She died in 1838; subsequently, he married for his second wife, Rachel Purneo, of Warren County, Ohio, by whom he had two children, one now survives, Henry P., now editor of the Wayne County Democrat, at Wooster, Ohio. The subject of this sketch was but three years of age when his mother died, and at fourteen years of age he lost his father, and was thus left an orphan and thrown upon the world to make his own livelihood. After working on a farm for a short time, he learned the carpenter trade, obtaining a limited education in the common schools. He followed his trade about nine years. In 1861, September 9, he enlisted in the defense of his country, in Company A, Forty-eighth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and soon after, was appointed Hospital Steward, in which capacity he served till mustered out of service January 17, 1865. After his return home, he engaged again in the carpenter trade, and in the manufacture of doors and sash for two years; thence entered as clerk in the drug store of C. C. Bowers, and continued as clerk about three years, when he bought out the interest of Mr. Good, of the firm of Johnson & Good, druggists, in New Vienna. This partnership continued about two years, when the firm changed to Nordyke & Gravitt; thence, in February, 1881, the firm became Gravatt & Moon, under which title the business is still conducted. They have a large and fine stock of drugs, and are doing a prosperous trade; second to none probably in New Vienna. Thus, Mr. Gravatt has arisen from a poor orphan boy to a prominent and leading business man of the town, being a worthy example to the rising generations, of what may be accomplished by energy and close application to business, coupled with good management and economy. On September 29, 1859, Mr. Gravatt was united in marriage with, Virginia A., daughter of James and Ellen Evans, he a native of Virginia and she of Delaware. By her he has had seven children, five now survive-Charles, Eugene, Anna, Ellen and Henrietta.


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