Born in 1912, Simmie Austin Graham was a native of Reeves Cross Roads near Brundidge.
Having dropped out of school in the sixth grade, he learned about hard work early in life. He farmed in the Brundidge Community until 1931 when he moved to Columbus, Georgia to seek his fortune. He got a job working at Muscogee Cotton Mill, and made a practice of saving his money.
In 1932 he was able to save two hundred dollars, enough to marry Miss Foy Carter, a native of Brundidge and purchase a little hamburger stand that they ran. They sold hamburgers, hotdogs and chili for a nickel a piece.
After growing tired of the restaurant business, he bought and ran a grocery store located near three Columbus cotton mills. He went door-to-door asking people to trade with him and before long he had more business than he could handle. It wasn’t long before they purchased a home and their son was born.
They soon decided they wanted to return home so in 1943 they returned to Alabama and bought 140 acres and again started farming near Brundidge. However, once again he found farming was not for him, so he bought a bull dozer and started building ponds and performed construction work for people in the area.
From 1950 to 1954 Simmie, with a partner, Walter Bass, did land clearing, terracing and fish pond work which led into highway and other miscellaneous construction. In 1954 Simmie incorporated his own company, S.A. Graham Company, Inc. in Brundidge. They became involved in building part of the state’s highway system.
The company got its first Alabama Highway Department job in 1954, a secondary road between Pine Level and Ramer. W.S. Newell was their subcontractor, doing the concrete work. The next job W.S. Newell received with the Highway Department; he returned the favor subcontracting S.A. Graham Company, Inc., giving them the grading work.
The company has grown steadily since. After graduating from Troy State University with a degree in Business Administration his son Rayvon came to work with the company. Machinery and construction were always his first love. He began working on machinery when he was six.
In 1962, Rayvon married the former Miss Polly Griffin of Troy, Alabama and she also went to work with the company.
S.A. Graham served 16 years as a Pike County Commissioner and was appointed and served as Probate Judge of Pike County for 9 months to finish out a vacancy that became open. He was the first highway contractor to serve as a County Commissioner.
He served on the Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors for a number of years and was also on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Road Builders Association.
In 2004 S.A. Graham Company, Inc. celebrated their 50th year in business. They have been members of ARBA for more than fifty years.