Photo Corner

Abraham G. Graham, aka Shotgun CollinsContributed by C.J. Harrelson Buckley and Dorris Wilkerson Grayson
My grandmother’s first cousin Abraham G. Graham was born on Mitchell Swamp, Horry County, South Carolina on his grandmother, Jane Conner Graham’s plantation. When he was eight years old he move in covered wagons with his parents, Hosea Aldeton and Martha Ann Graham (first cousins), five siblings and a slave family.

In his teen years shortly after the Civil War he got into trouble for rustling, jailed, escaped with the help of a friend and high-tailed it into Old Mexico. He became an outlaw and used aliases on the run like John Graham, John Collins, and Shotgun Collins. He met Wyatt Earp while riding shotgun messenger for Wells Fargo & Co. and they became life-long pals. He was a buffalo hunter, a loyal member of Billy the Kid’s gang, a member of the Dodge City Peace Commissioners, an Indian Scout for the U.S. Army Calvary during the Apache Chief Geronimo days, and a rancher in New Mexico.

Click on an image to enlarge it.

Meisinger familyContributed by Mrs. John E. (Della M. Jaeger) Meisinger,  Mahnomen, Minnesota
In this photograph, the mother is Frances Stout Meisinger (born 24 Jul 1856, died 12 Apr 1915). The older girl is Georgia Meisinger Haggerty (born 05 Oct 1883, died 1960). The boy, my father-in law , is Charles E. Meisinger, born 16 oct 1887 in Ridgway, Pennsylvania, and died 01 Jun 1961. The baby is Marguerite F. Meisinger Rowlands. She was born in 1890. The picture was taken in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, ca. 1890.

11 thoughts on “Photo Corner

  1. Very interesting content and a very interesting family. It is quite amazing how much we find that we did not know about our ancestors once we start researching. I am fortunate to remember family conversations from the time I was 2 or 3 years old. Even if it was just a name, I seem to be able to remember it. What a huge help that has been to me since I have no family members that are living who can tell me anything. Those that are living were not around enough to know names, places, events, etc.

  2. Why can’t I find any outlaws in my family?? Lucky you for making those skeletons dance!

  3. This was a very interesting story about Abraham Graham; it seems as though he was on both sides of the law. We learned about the things he did throughout his life; however, we didn’t learn if he married or had a family. Do you know if he had a wife and children?

  4. I’m surprised that you had the names of the four Meisingers out of order in the website caption. The caption above makes much more sense now.

  5. To Della M. Jaeger Meisinger –
    I have ancestors from St. Marys, PA also. Do you know where your Meisingers were from ‘across the pond’? Email me if you want to share info. cathiwd at

  6. John Graham alias John Collins, Shotgun Collins, a. k. a. Abraham Gerden Graham was a hard man living in hard times. I don’t believe his intentions were all bad, his intentions were for the best, however we know he was dealing with a wicked bunch of hooligans. He was dubbed an outlaw, thief and a murderous man. He wasn’t a cold-blooded killer, although John was a colorful warrior of the Old Southwest. Back then often times one lives by the gun or else one dies by the gun. My grandmothers’ first cousin was an outlaw loyal to his pals. He was a dashing cowboy; quite the ladies man, takes pleasure in dancing and whooping it up at fandangos. Graham was a celebrated outlaw in the most famous history of the Old West, Billy The Kid’s History. John was incredibly charismatic and just as clever. He was sometimes like a Robin Hood helping the poor, an especially colorful character, sometimes appearing restless in nature all adding up to one heroic frontiersman of the Wild West. His unparalleled legend lives on one of its kind, shadows of the past.
    Yes he married young. His young wife died soon after their daughter was born. He never got over his one true love. He drank hard trying to ease his pain but when the bottle was empty the pain was still there. He could not run fast enough or far enough to ease the pain inside his heart. He had many romances, one bandit queen who worshiped the ground he walked on, many years later he married Tabitha Cox, part Cherokee Indian. They had (4) sons and (2) daughters.
    His life style never changed… When Wyatt Earp and his other notorious pals summonsed him Shotgun Collins answered the calls all across cow towns of the Old West. At the time of his death he was living a different life using another alais. His legend followed him into the streets of El Paso Texas and to his grave.
    Graham was a true hero of the Old West, fought injustice to protect the weak…while frontier bullies, reeking of cheap whiskey challanged and took advantage of whoever he could find!

    C J

  7. Yes Abraham Graham had a family. He still has grandchildren,
    greatgrand and greatgreatgrandchildren thats proud to say
    Hey thats my GRANDPA. In that area and time you lived by your
    wits and your gun. He knew how to use both. He didn’t just go
    out and kill, but– if he was shot at he returned the fire.

  8. I wonder if someone can help me find out who is my grandfather’s biological father. I have a SSN and my grandfather’s name, birthdate, and death. I have an idea that it might be William Wilkerson but not sure because he left when my grandfather was young. My email is [email protected] and I will send you information if someone can help me. Thank you very much. I have been at this now for 15 years or better and for the last 5 hours straight. I want to know because my grandfather was so important in my life and I want to know everything about him.

  9. this is my great great grandfather. he had a ranch in reserve new mexico. and was the one who saw billy the kid alive on a trail out side town the day he was being buried.

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