Graves County, Kentucky

Historical Marker #869 in Mayfield commemorates the establishment of Graves County, which was named in honor of a War of 1812 veteran.

Major Benjamin Franklin Graves was born in Virginia in 1771. He moved to Kentucky with his family at age twenty, and settled in Fayette County, where he was a farmer and state legislator.

During the War of 1812, Graves was commissioned major of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Regiment, Kentucky Volunteers. On January 22, 1813, Graves fought in the Battle of the River Raisin in present-day Michigan. Wounded there, he was taken prisoner by Native Americans after the battle and was never heard from again. Graves's younger brother, Thomas, was killed in action at River Raisin while fighting in the 17th United States Infantry.

When Graves County was created in 1824, it was named in his honor. Several counties are named after Kentuckians killed at the Battle of the River Raisin.