MR. WILLIAM GRAHAM was the youngest son of the late
Patrick Graham, merchant, who was one of the Grahams of Kittochside - a branch
of the Lymekilns family. His mother was a Miss Lang, whose father used to boast
that as a boy he was fondled by Prince Charlie when passing the Lees,
Stirlingshire, the family residence.
Mr. Graham was born in the city in 1838, and was educated in the High School and University of Glasgow. He passed through a complete arts course with the view of entering the ministry, but during his first year of Divinity, he was seized with a serious and prolonged illness of two years - one of which he spent in the South of France. On his return he was advised by his medical attendants to abandon all thoughts of entering the church. He then went into the office of his eldest brother, John Graham, C.A., with whom subsequently he became a partner under the firm of J. & W. Graham, C.A. (now Grahams & Co.). In addition to many important trusts and audits which he conducted, he held various responsible appointments, such as Treasurer to the Burgh of Hillhead, Secretary to the Partick, Hillhead, and Maryhill Gas Company, and Secretary to the Girvan and Portpatrick (Junction) Railway Company.
On his retiral from professional business in 1884, Mr, Graham purchased the small estate of Erines, on the western shore of Loch Fyne, and for some years thereafter devoted himself to the local affairs of Mid-Argyll. He became a member of the County Council of Argyll, and of the School Board of Tarbert, and was the last Chairman of the Old Parochial Board of South Knapdale. He was a J.P. for Argyllshire.
Owing to the humid and relaxing character of the climate, his health again broke down, and this led to his selling his estate in 1899. Shortly thereafter he was induced to join the School Board of Glasgow, on which he was at once made Convener of the Finance Committee, and latterly of the Property Committee.
But Mr. Graham did not confine his attention to School Board work alone. He was Chairman of the Marshall Trust, the Glasgow Educational Endowments' Board, and the Logan and Johnston School of Domestic Economy. He was also a member of the Council of the Athenaeum Commercial College, the Provincial Committee for the Training of Teachers, the Committee on Secondary Education for the Burgh of Glasgow, the Juvenile Delinquency Board, the Buchanan Institution, and the Business Committee of the General Council of the University of Glasgow.
Mr. Graham devoted likewise a considerable portion of his time to philanthropic and charitable institutions. He was a Director and Honorary Treasurer of the Glasgow Eye Infirmary, a Director of the Glasgow Hospital for Diseases of the Ear, Throat, and Nose, of the East-Park Home for Infirm Children, the Larbert Institution for the Education of Imbecile Children, of the Graham Charitable Society, and of the Charity Organisation Society. He was Vice-President of the West of Scotland Bible Society, and President of the Glasgow Elders' Association in connection with the Church of Scotland. He was an elder in Sandyford Parish Church, and Conservative in politics. After an illness of a few weeks, he died suddenly at his Glasgow residence on 3rd November, 1908.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)