John Jacob Graff Jr.
Written by Joseph Graff, his son.
John Jacob Graff was born 27 April 1853 in St. Gallen, Rebstein, Switzerland. John was baptized 18 May 1866 by John Huber at Santa Clara, Utah. John sailed on the ship emerald Isle from Liverpool, England with his father and mother, also a brother and sister. John was just six years old when they landed at Williamsberg, New York in 1859. Johns parents were converts to the LDS Church and so they crossed the plains to Utah along with other early pioneers. Johns folks settled in Tooele, Utah just to the west of Salt Lake City, here they resided for about one and a half hyears, when they along with other members of the LDS faith from Switzerland, were called to help settle Santa Clara, Utah. This is called Utahs Dixie because of the similarity in climate. This little community were all of Swiss descent. John Jacob Jr. grew to manhood in this little community, he married his first wife, Margaret Ann Ford, they were married and endowed and sealed 23 May 1878 in the Temple. After a few months time had elapsed on coming home from his work at a tanary one evening John to his amazement found his wife was gone and never seen or heard of her since.
It was a short time after the disappearance of his first wife that John went to live in Salt Lake City, Utah. Here he was employed in the construction of the Strawberry Canal, which he was working on this canal he resided at Wallsberg, Summit County, Utah. It was here that he met Lucy May Bramall, who with her parents Charles Bramall and Sarah Ellen Walker Bramall had emigrated from Manchester, England. Jacob continued to work in Summit County, where he and Lucy fell in love and were married 11 September 1879. Jacob with his bride and her mother along with Sarah Ellen Walker Bramall and her sister Mary Bramall Noakes, who had separated from her husband returned to Santa Clara, Utah to make their home. It was here that John Jacob Jr. had an accident involving a stick which pierced his right eye and left him blind for the remainder of his life.
John Jacob Graff Jr. stayed for just six months in Santa Clara and then moved to Payson Utah. It was here in Payson that my oldest brother Charles Jacob Graff was born. Then father moved to Heber City, Utah but stayed here just a short time when he decided to return to Santa Clara, it was here in Sant aclara once again that I Joseph Graff was born on 14 May 1883. Becoming discontented again John Jacob Jr. moved to Cannonville, Utah where I was blessed, that is (Joseph). Having a restless spirit my father moved from Cannonville northward to Charleston, where my mothers sister Sarah Elizabeth was born. The family stayed here for a year and a half, and then returned to Cannonville, Utah. It was here in Cannonville that another son was born to my father and mother, this son was name George William Graff. Here in Cannonville was to be home for my father and mother for the rest of his life. Another son was born to Mom an dDad here, thisson was names Samuel Trogautt Graff.
John Jacob Graff Jr. had about four acres of ground, a fine orchard and enough hay for his horses and three milk cows. He would go to Panguitch, Utah to peddle his fruit, also here he would work in the brick yards. He also would work on the tail end of the thrashing machine for wheat to get his flour. Dad never loafed, he worked all one winter at Lees Ferry, Utah helping build a road with pick and shovel. They were working on the east side of the slope of the Colorado River, also he worked wherever he could. He worked for a man in Cannonville, Utah over two months for a workhorse and upon completion of his employment, the man told him your horse is over southwest about seven miles at the head of Sheep Creek with a band of Wilk horses, if you want him go catch him. Jacob said no, I can’t catch the horse so he lost all his wages for his work. The horse weighed about 850 pounds and was so wild he led the band of wilk horses, he was finally shot by the same employer. Dad worked grubbing brush for a horse that wasn’t worth five or ten dollars apiece. Dad worked hard all of his life. He took up a homestead and raised a few cattle. The cattle were placed just below Cannonville in a small valley called Death Valley, and the cowboys stole them all but one cow and one calf. Another brother, Walter Eugene was born 28 February 1892, our mother passed away 7 December 1893. Jacob was in bed with typhoid fever, at the same time mother was in bed with the same illness, this illness took her life. Mother was only thirty years old when she succomed. Father after recovering from his own illness and the loss of his young wife went to carrying mail to the old township of Pahreah, this was names from the creek with the same name running through town.
John Jacob Graff Jr. was now forced to an act that he always regretted. The children were placed out to different homes. Our uncle William E. Pearce who married our Aunt Mary took baby Walter Eugene. Our aunt raised this baby Walter. George William Graff my brother and Joseph Graff myself were also raised by Aunt Mary. She was certainly a sweet and gracious woman. My brother Samuel Trogrett was placed with a family by the name of Smiths at Thurber, Wayne County. My sister Sarah went to live with an aunt in Kannarrah Utah and in a year or two went to Long Valley, Utah looking for a wife that is my father did. He found and married Ada Bennett in the St. George Temple.
Father took his new bride to Cannonville where their were two sons born of their marriage, also one daughter. Father, though he worked very hard all of his life had a very scant living. Dad contacted asthma and one day came home complaining of lung trouble. Dad passed away at the age of 61 on the 11 June 1914, and was buried in the Cannonville, Utah cemetery.
Dad was a great believer in the LDS Church. I have come across him many a time in the prairie having his secret prayers. Jacob was well read, he knew the scriptures. I have heard him bear testimony to the truth of the prophet Joseph Smith, and the truths he revealed, that he was in very fact a true prophet of God. He taught his children the Gospel, and that they should go to church regular. Father never beat any man out of a red cent. He was honest all through his life. Dad loved every man he ever came in contact with that Christ taught we should have love one for another. Dad would do anything for his fellow ma that was asked of him. This is a true history of our father, Jacob Graff Jr. Dad was a good violinist, and had a wonderful tenor voice.