John and Ada (Smith) Cheatham were born in New Baden, Texas (Robertson County). They were married in Easterly, Texas about three miles from New Baden. They had four boys, Earl, George, Bernard and Willie. The boys were born in Robertson County. The family moved to Palestine in 1917 where John Cheatham worked for the Missouri and Pacific railroad in the round house, as a repairman. The Cheatham family moved to Grapeland in 1941 where John owned and operated a cafe and service station until he retired. Earl owned a welding and machine blacksmith work, welding and repair and also oilfield work.
Willie worked for Earl in the welding and machine shop until 1942. From 1942 until 1946, Willie served in the U.S. Navy and returned home to work for Earl until 1949. Willie then bought his own service station and operated it until 1978. For the last four years, he has worked as a security guard. George Cheatham has also worked in Grapeland most of his life. He worked for Guier-Jackson and hauled gas to the Army bases. He also worked for the city of Grapeland for three years and has been a deputy sheriff here for nineteen years. Bernard worked for Superior Oil Co. for a number of years. He passed away in 1971. All four of the Cheatham boys married local girls. Earl married Louise Nichols. George married Velma Bennett. Bernard married Mildred Luce and Willie married Geraldine Scoggins. Earl, George and Willie still reside in Grapeland. John and Ada Cheatham have eight grandchildren, nineteen great grand children and twelve great-great grandchildren.