Hon. Edmund D. Graff

line.gif

HON. EDMUND D. GRAFF, late of Worthington, was a man of large business interests, political prominence and individual character. He was born at Worthington in 1846, son of Peter and Susan (Lobingier) Graff, and always maintained his home in Armstrong county. John Graff, his grandfather, was born in 1763, in Germany, and grown to manhood when he emigrated to the United States. For a time he lived in Lancaster county, Pa., and then moved to Westmoreland county, where the remainder of his life was passed. He owned a farm and also a distillery and was a man of some consequence in his community., His wife, Barbara Bouns, who was born in Crawford county, Pa., was captured by a wandering band of Indians and carried into the forest by them, when eight years old, and probably would never have succeeded in escaping had it not been because of the gratitude of another Indian, who had been previously befriended by her people. The story is one of great interest. She lived to old age amid peaceful surroundings.

Peter Graff, son of John and father of Edmund D., was born May 27, 1808, and died April 9, 1890. His earliest recollections were of soldiers marching home from the war of 1812 and of their tales of prowess. He had but limited educational advantages and when sixteen years old became a clerk in his brother Henry's store at Pleasant Unity, Westmoreland Co., Pa. Later he entered into partnership with E. G. Dutihl & Co., commission merchants of Philadelphia, and also became a partner in the firm of J. Painter & Co., Pittsburgh, Pa., in the wholesale grocery trade, and in addition he was extensively interested in the iron trade in Armstrong, Venango and Clarion counties. In 1844 he moved his place of residence to Buffalo Mills, Armstrong county, where he continued to live until his death. In 1840 he became a member of the Lutheran Church, in whose work he was active for half a century, and for fifty years served as superintendent of the Sunday school. He married Susan Lobingier, and they had the following children: Joseph; Susan L., who married Andrew C. Baily; Anna, who married W. H. Kirkpatrick; Elizabeth, who died March 24, 1842; Charles H.; Sarah Jane, who married C. B. Linton; J. Frank; Edmund D.; Philip M., and Peter.

Edmund D. Graff secured an excellent district school education which prepared him to enter the Western University at Pittsburgh, where he was graduated with his degree of B. Ph. in 1868. For some time afterward he was occupied in the office of Graff, McDivitt & Co., manufacturers, at Pittsburgh, and later succeeded to his father's interests in the woolen mills at Worthington. In 1880 he became interested at Duluth, Minn., in lumber manufacturing, as senior member of the firm of Graff, Little & Co., and ever afterward continued to be the actual as well as the nominal head of that large concern. In 1889 the business was incorporated as the Scott-Graff Lumber Company, of which he was president and one of the main stockholders. This company's plant is on the oldest sawmill site at Duluth, the mill having been rebuilt and remodeled at different times in order to accommodate the increasing demands of the business, which have been phenomenal and in accord with the growth of the city of Duluth. Mr. Graff had a multiplicity of business interests, and he was either officially or financially, and generally in both ways, connected with various large industrial enterprises. He was interested in the Howe Lumber Company, of Tower, Minn., which he helped to organize, and of which he was president until the burning of the company's mill caused a cessation of activity there for a time. In 1900 the Tower Lumber Company was incorporated and he became the largest stockholder and a member of the board of directors. He was also a stockholder in the First National Bank of Duluth. and a director of the First State Bank of Tower, Minn. At Worthington, Pa., he was a director and stockholder in several banks, the senior partner of the firm operating the Buffalo Woolen Mills.

In 1901 Mr. Graff was married to Melvina Wolfe, of Adrian, Pa., a daughter of Jacob Wolfe, and they resided at Worthington, Pa. He was a member of the Lutheran Church and served several years as a member of its board of trustees. In memory of the late Dr. C. H. Graff, a brother of Edmund D. Graff, a man of brilliant parts, the father, Peter Graff, endowed a professorship in Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg, Pa. From 1900 Edmund D. Graff served on its board of trustees and at the time of his death was president of this body. As a public man Mr. Graff was well known to his fellow citizens in Pennsylvania. Politically a Democrat, he was one of the three members of his family who have served in the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, in 1884, that nominated Hon. Grover Cleveland for the presidency. He died June 3, 1912.

Source: Pages 614-615, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed October 2001 by Laurel Black Morris for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

Armstrong County Genealogy Project Notice:
These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format, for any presentation, without prior written permission.

Return to the Beers Project

 

Return to the Armstrong County Genealogy Project

(c) Armstrong County Genealogy Project

 

Return to the Armstrong County Genealogy Project

(c) Armstrong County Genealogy Project