In 1869, Colonel Edwin S. Graham and his brother, Gustavous A. Graham came to Texas as shareholders in the Texas Emigration & Land Company and visited the North Texas area several times. In 1871, the brothers purchased a salt works from Martin Bowers on Salt Creek near the present town site.
Col. Graham's diary reflects that the territory was populated with buffalo and the fact that those animals seems to prefer Young county area above that of much of the surrounding areas, caused him to get the idea that this territory would be one of the finest cattle raising districts in the entire state of Texas.
In 1872, the two brothers decided to establish a town in the Salt Creek Valley adjoining their salt works. G.A. Graham and his chainman, Absalom B. Gant surveyed and platted a town site with unusually wide streets, spacious lots and a commerce park. The name of the town Graham, coming from her founders.
Graham was made the second county seat of young County following the reorganization of Young County in 1874. Young County was established in August 1856 from the lands of Bosque and Fannin Counties. Young County was named by the Texas Legislature for Colonel William Cooke Young, a Texas Ranger, Confederate Soldier and Texas pioneer. Young was killed in an ambush in Fannin County on 16 October 1862. The County's second courthouse was erected in 1876 at Graham, Texas. The Graham Leader, the town's first newspaper issued its first edition on August 16, 1876, edited by Major J.W. Graves. This weekly publication is still in existence and is the oldest publication in Northwest Texas. In its 132 years, it has only missed one weekly paper.
In 1877, farmers began arriving in the territory near Graham in considerable numbers with the opening of the Brazos River Indian Reservation lands. In that year, there was 100 buildings in town. In 1878, Graham had the only terminus of telegraph lines in Northwest Texas and so was the only means of connection with the outside world for a considerable distance in every direction. J.M. Brantley opened the first subscription school in Young County in 1876 enrolling 50 students. The first church in town was the Presbyterians organized by Rev. C.H. Dodds in 1876.
On February 17, 1877, about 100 cattlemen of North and West Texas gathered in Graham and formed the Cattle Raisers Association of Texas. The organizational meeting was held under a live oak tree near the northwest corner of the public square.
For more history contact Dorman Holub.