John P. Graves was born May 17, 1824 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He married a Maria March 21, 1844 in Warren County, Missouri (Maria was the sister of William Glover, who would file a Donation Land Claim just before Graves would). Graves settled his land claim (DLC 290) in the Abiqua region, just North and East of Silverton, Oregon (Around Township 6 South, Range 1 West, Section 13). These records show that he settled his claim October 13, 1849. He had at least four children: David, Philip, Sarah and Samuel Glover.
The 1878 Atlas, shows Graves continuing to own at least a portion of the original land claim, and the nearby butte bearing his name. Graves died September 14, 1910, at age 86 years, 3 months and 27 days in Clackamas County, Oregon.