This is the fourth of six blog posts about Universalist ministers who are buried in Bradford County.
Alice Kinney Tripp Wright Graves (1870-1949)
Alice Kinney Tripp was a fifth-generation Universalist. She was a great-great-granddaughter of one of Noah Murray’s early converts, Joseph Kinney. Her parents were Estella Kinney and Dennison W. Tripp, a Civil War veteran and native of Sheshequin.
Alice Tripp was born in 1870 in Sheshequin. Her family moved to Athens before 1880. Her parents were active in the Universalist society there at least by 1882. Alice joined the Athens society by Baptism in 1886.
She enrolled in the Universalist theological school at Canton, N. Y. (now St. Lawrence University) about 1891. There she met her first husband, Alfred E. Wright. Wright graduated in 1892; Alice Tripp was a “non-graduating member of the class of 1893.” Both were licensed to preach in 1891.
In 1893, the two Wrights were ordained at Morrisville, Vermont, where Myra Kingsbury had served until a few years earlier. They served there for about a year. In 1894 they were installed as co-pastors of the Third Universalist Church of Reconciliation of Green Point (Brooklyn, N. Y.). In a newspaper report of their installation, they were described as “Rev. Alice Kinney Wright and her husband, Rev. Alfred Ellsworth Wright.” They served that church until 1901.
In an interview published in the Hornellsville Tribune in 1897, Alice Tripp Wright noted that she had preached her first sermon at the age of 19. She said:
“I went home where I was born, Sheshequin, Pa., to preach it. It is so odd, but I preached in Sheshequin my first sermon, married my first couple and officiated at my first funeral service. My father now rejoices in my success as an ordained minister.”
One wonders whether her father had initially approved of her career choice!
The Wrights served the Universalist church in North Adams, Massachusetts from 1901 to 1902. They divorced in 1903, and Alice moved to Schenectady, N. Y. By 1904 she had left the ministry.
In 1905 Alice married Charles Hinman Graves (1839-1928), a Minnesota state legislator. She may have met Graves through her mother’s cousin, Orrin Day Kinney, who also served in the Minnesota legislature.
Graves served as U. S. Ambassador to Sweden from 1905 to 1913 and as the U. S.’s first Ambassador to Norway from 1905-1906.
After their service overseas, Alice and Charles retired in Santa Barbara, California. Charles died there in 1928, and Alice died 1949. Graves is buried in Santa Barbara.
Alice Kinney Tripp Wright Graves’ name and birth year are carved into the massive family monument in Tioga Point Cemetery. The death year, however, is left blank. There are small headstones near the monument labeled “Father” and “Mother,” but none specifically for Alice. Whether she is truly buried there is yet to be determined.