John McGraw and his family settled here in 1852. It was first named Milam after Andrew Milam who is believed to be the first settler to the area. The name was later changed to Tipple and finally to McGraws.
The Milam Methodist Church was founded and built by the Brooks and the McGraw Families. The land was offered by Earl McGraw of Mullens in about 1948. Construction began in 1950 and the first service was held in the unfinished church in the summer of 1952. The first McGraw reunions were held after church services at Milam. The families would place their food on tables and eat "dinner on the ground." After a gymnasium was added to the adjacent John McGraw Grade School, the reunion was moved.
The church, which usually holds services on the first and third Sundays of the month, features a gothic style sanctuary that will seat approximately 125 people. There are also two large Sunday school rooms and an added kitchen and bathroom. The altar area was hand built by Harry McGraw, son of J.H. "Fud" McGraw. In 1985 a steeple was added to the church in memory of Pate and Gertie (McGraw) Brooks and J. H. and Mary (Wills) McGraw.
John McGraw Grade School began it's life as a combined high school/grade school called Milam High. It was built on land purchased from Okey J. McGraw and it was completed in 1921. Classes were held there for over twenty years until an early morning fire left only one stone wall standing on May 14, 1943. The new school would house only grade school students and it was named after John McGraw on the suggestion of his grandson, Lewis Sizemore, who was then a member of the Board of Education. The Pioneers were adopted as it's mascots on the suggestion of Darrel V. McGraw, Jr., who was then a student there. The school closed due to decreasing enrollment and budget cuts on June 7, 1991. It was the last stone school building in use in Wyoming County.
Pioneer School Song
On Ye Pioneers - On Ye Pioneers, Best School In The Land - From Every Department -
From The Ball Park To The Band, Fight! Fight! We Love All Our Teachers - Funny, But It's True -
So On All Ye Pioneers You Know That We Love You - Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah!
Not only was John McGraw was a member of the Pine Grove Church, he donated the land it is built on and notched the logs of the original church that was built here in 1869. Both John and Mahala are buried here, as well as many of their children and other descendants. Pine Grove Baptist Church is located on County Route 1 between Ravencliff and Glen Rogers.
The following link will take you to a web-site where you can see and search a listing of burials in the Pine Grove Cemetery and photos of a lot of the headstones found there.
John McGraw founded the post office in Milam, present-day McGraws, in 1859. His son, H.G, his granddaughter, Galena (McGraw) Kerns, and currently his great-great-grandson's wife, Robin have all been the postmaster for McGraws. For many years, Galena and her husband, Ed Kerns operated a grocery and Standard Oil filling station out of the same building.
Copyright 2013-21 - McGraw Family Reunion (WV). All rights reserved. Site last updated 7/11/2021.