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Henry G. Graaf 1845-1905


Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 6/9/2012 at 23:27:43

Henry G. Graaf Died Near Council Bluffs at 5:30 Saturday Morning
After Spending Winter in California
Death Occurred Almost Instantly
Remains Arrived Sunday
Funeral Today
This community was shocked Saturday [May 6, 1905] morning by the announcement that Henry G. Graaf, a highly respected retired merchant of this city, had died on the train near Council Bluffs while on his way home from California where he had spent a greater portion of the winter. Mrs. Graaf was with him at the time of his death and they were occupying a double berth in the sleeper. It was 5:30 when Mrs. Graaf awoke and found him sitting up in the berth. She spoke to him but received no reply, then she put her hand to his forehead and found him covered with a cold perspiration. She got up immediately and spoke to him again, just as she did so he fell back on the bed and was dead. This was at Pacific Junction and the conductor stopped the train and summoned a doctor who pronounced his death due to heart failure. The body was taken to Omaha where it was embalmed and placed in a casket and accompanied here Sunday evening by Mrs. Graaf and three sons, Hermann, Henry and Charlie, who started immediately to meet their mother on learning of their father's death. Mr. Graaf had enjoyed a pleasant trip to California and was anxious to get home to see his children and tell of his enjoyable trip. At Kansas City he sent a telegram apprising them of the time they would arrive in Estherville and seemed in the best of health. After his death the conductor of the train told Mrs. Graaf that he had found Mr. Graaf about two o'clock in the morning sitting in the smoking compartment of the sleeper in his night robe and spoke to him asking if he did not feel well and replied that he could not sleep and thought he would sit up for a while. He soon returned to the berth, however, and the conductor heard nothing more until called by Mrs. Graaf.

Henry G. Graaf was born at Wesel, Prussia, in January 1845, and came to this country in 1860. He resided in Davenport for five years and then moved to Wilton Junction and engaged in the clothing business and remained until twenty-one years ago when he came to Estherville and opened a clothing store. In 1866 at Wilton Junction he was married to Margaret Swartz, who still survives him. To this union five children were born, Hermann G., Anna G. (who died five years ago), F. H., Charles W. and Etta L., all residents of Estherville except Charles W. who is engaged in the clothing business at Luverne, Minn.
From the beginning of Henry G. Graaf's residence in Estherville twenty-one years ago he had always been a prominent factor in the upbuilding of the city. He has been one of the strong financial men of the town and socially very popular. It was a pleasure to converse with Henry G. Graaf. His friends were numbered by his acquaintance and he always had a good word for his fellowman. He was a straightforward, upright and honorable citizen and his death is a sad blow to Estherville. He was a director in the First National Bank, the Armstrong State Bank, Winnebago State Bank and the Dolliver Savings Bank and is said to have been worth in the neighborhood of $70,000. He left a will but carried no life insurance.

The directors of the First National Bank, J. P. Kirby, M. K. Whelan, John Montgomery, E. I. Sondrol, E. B. Soper and O. Neville will be pall bearers at the funeral to be held this afternoon at 2 o'clock in the Presbyterian church, Rev. W. M. Evans, of Cedar Rapids, conduction the services assisted by the members of the I. O. O. F. lodge of which he has been a member for over thirty years. His remains will be followed to their last resting place in the Oak Hill cemetery by a large concourse of s sympathizing friends. The floral offerings at the home yesterday were evidence of the high esteem in which the deceased was held in this community.

When the remains arrived Sunday evening they were met at the depot by the members of the Odd Fellow Lodge and taken to the family home on east Main street where they are lying in state until the funeral tomorrow afternoon at the Presbyterian church. (Estherville Democrat, Estherville, Iowa, May 10, 1905)

Eight hundred dollars had been set aside in the Henry G. Graaf will for a monument to be effected on the family lot in the Oak Hill cemetery and $200 more with which to pay for keeping that lot in good condition. (Estherville Democrat, Estherville, IA, May 17, 1905)


Emmet Obituaries maintained by Lynn Diemer-Mathews.
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