Ernest August Graf (1875-1962)
Ernest is listed as a 6-year-old child when he traveled to the United States from Saxony, Germany in 1882 aboard the ship Salier. Ernest was born March 21, 1875 in Kleinbautzen, Saxony to Ernst Johann Graf and Johanna Heinze. Records show Ernest lived in Germany until age 6, and Giddings when he first arrived in Texas. Later his family made their home in the Wendish community of Warda, Texas.
Ernest August Graf and Marie Theresia Kubitz were married November 11, 1896 in Warda. Marie Theresia Kubitz was born in Warda on January 16, 1877 to Matthaeus Kubitz and Anna Buettner Kubitz. Matthaeus and Anna had arrived in Texas in 1854 and were instrumental in starting the Lutheran church in Warda.
Together Ernest and Marie had eleven children: Alma, July 28, 1897; Paul Garhardt, May 6, 1899; Elsia Anna, May 27, 1900; Gertrude, July 5, 1905; Albert, October 22, 1904; Irene, October 27, 1907; Emily, March 18, 1910; Arthur, March 8, 1912; Lillian, November 16, 1914; Werner, August 11, 1916 and Edward, December 26, 1919.
In 1900 the family moved from Warda to LaGrange, Texas. Ernest was a farmer who rented a farm in 1900. He quit farming due to illness in the early 1900’s. In 1906 he worked at Port Arthur, Texas. He laid bricks for the streets in Port Arthur and may have worked on the docks loading and unloading the ships. During this time, the family lived with Anna Buettner Kubitz Nietche Krautz in Fayette County. In 1907, he and his family moved to Vernon, Texas. A reference is made on page 99 of the book In Search of a Home about several families, including the Graf family, moving to Vernon in the early 1900’s. They farmed west of Vernon.
In Vernon the family owned the above two story house, five rooms downstairs and one huge room for the boys upstairs. No heat upstairs and very little downstairs, except for the kitchen and dining room. They had feather beds, gas lanterns, oil lamps, a water well , windmill and an outhouse just beyond a cluster of cottonwood and locust trees.
During WWI, Ernest found out he was not a citizen of the United States. His father had only completed the first paper and thought this made the family citizens. Ernest hired a lawyer to get the citizenship papers completed.
Marie is listed in her bible and the 1880 census as “Mary.” In the book Holy Cross Lutheran Church 1873-1973 and in the 1900 census, her name is listed as “Maria.” On her tombstone, she’s listed as “Marie.”
Both Ernest and Marie are listed in the 1900 census as being able to read, write and speak English.
Gladys Marie Graf Daniel Hunting was named after Marie. Gladys remembers walking across the field between her home and her grandparents home as a small girl. She enjoyed playing at her grandparents home.
Marie died in 1941 at 64 years old. In October of 1948 Ernest married Alma Neumann.
Ernest died May 16, 1962 and is buried in Eastview Memorial Park east of Vernon, Texas. Alma died August 23, 1998 and is buried in Perry Methodist Cemetery in Mart, Texas.
Sources: 1880 and 1900 Texas census records, Arthur and Mildred Graf, Germans To America Arriving at U.S. Ports Volume 44 Aug 1882-Nov 1882 edited by Ira A. Glazier and P. William Filby 1995, George R. Nielsen's book In Search of a Home, Gladys Hunting, Holy Cross Lutheran Church 1873-1973, and Mildred “Mickey” Graf .
Written by Angie Collier, March 2002
Updated June 12, 2009
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