Henry Graff was born May 1, 1863 in Baltimore, Maryland. He was the second child – and second son – born to George Gerhard & Catherine Graff. George had emigrated from Baden, Germany in 1848 and married Catherine in the United States. He and his brother Conrad, set up a carriage making business.
Henry and his brothers George and William worked in their family business. Each son learned a particular trade – painting, harness-making, blacksmithing, woodworking, etc.
According to the 1880 Baltimore census, Henry was an apprentice blacksmith.
We know from family stories that Henry was a bit of a black sheep – but it wasn’t until two months ago, in November 2012, that we realized just how MUCH of a black sheep he was. We didn’t know about his first marriage…
PA Allegheny, 1875-1885 Minister Marriage Returns Anna A. Lee 16, married Henry Graf 23, on 31 JUL 1884 in Pittsburgh PA. Henry was a blacksmith. He was born in Baltimore MD resided at Station Street 19th Ward. Annie was born in Pittsburg and resided at Station Street 19th Ward. The They were married by J.S. Wright in a Baptist church. The minister resided in the 20th Ward.
Nine days after the wedding, Henry abandoned Anna – and their daughter. Lillian Ann Graf was born March 2, 1884.
PA Allegheny, Divorce Records
Annie A. Graf: I am in 21 year. Live at 6025 Station Street E. End. Have lived in the East End Pittsburgh most all my life was married to Henry Graf the respondent 31 JUL 1884 at the residence of Rev. R——-, Pittsburg. Mr. and Mrs. Lusk were present at my marriage-they are my aunt and uncle. I have one child-Lillie A. Graf. She is three years old. Mr. Graf deserted me on the 10 AUG 1884. He has not contributed one cent to the support of either myself or child since that time. I have heard that he is at present in New York. I have not seen or heard from him since 9 AUG 1884. He did not say a word to me before he left. I do not know why he left-I gave him no cause for deserting me.
We also know that Henry went to Ohio – and met Ellanora Boelling. They were married there on January 11, 1885 in Hamilton County and shortly after moved to Manhattan, New York.
On September 20, 1885, twins Goldie & Hanna were born to Ella and Henry. They only lived five years – it is said they had enlarged heads and were developmentally disabled.
His divorce from Anna Lee Graf was not official until 1888…
Henry died April 28, 1941 in New York – the death being written in his daughter Ellanora Mary’s bible. Before he died, he got to see most of his children married and many of his grandchildren.
In this picture – the boy sitting on the ground in front is my grandfather, Edward Dewey Graff – son of Henry William Graff and grandson of Henry Graff.