Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mase Graffen's Obituary

S.M. Graffen died at Silver City, New Mexico, yesterday morning. His last illness was of but a few days duration. The first intelligence of his sickness was received by his wife in this city, by telegraph, Wednesday. The dispatch was in substance that Mr. Graffen was dangerously ill with pneumonia. A second telegram announced that he was better and the third received yesterday told of his death and the forwarding of the remains to Keokuk. The interment will be either here or at Philadelphia. Mrs. Graffen and children have been visiting her sister, Mrs. Col. Blood, for several months, and Mr. Graffen, while in the city on a visit two weeks ago, arranged to spend the winter in Keokuk. He was auditor of the Silver City, Deming & Pacific railway, with headquarters at Silver City. Mr. Graffen lived in Keokuk a number of years and was in the general office of the Keokuk and St. Louis Line, where he filled at different times the position of superintendent's secretary, accountant and purchasing agent and was last in the freight department under J.H. Best. He was thoroughly familiar with and expert in railway office work. The organization of the Keokuk Rowing Club in 1878 was chiefly the work of Mr. Graffen and he trained the first barge crew and saw them come out victorious. The rooms of the rowing club were draped in mourning by the members yesterday, after hearing of the death of their first leader. The family of the deceased have the sympathy of the entire community.
-Keokuk Daily Constitution, November 9, 1883

A big hat tip to Steve Smith for passing along this obituary of Mase Graffen. This is something that I've been looking for the last couple years, without luck. I had often wondered what Graffen was doing in New Mexico and how his body got back to Keokuk. Now I know and so do you. I can't thank Steve enough.

Graffen, of course, was the business manager of the Brown Stockings in 1875 and their field manager in 1876.

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