The Face of Manchester New Hampshire’s Lena E. (Bower) Graf (1881-1972)

Lena Etta (Bower) Graf of Manchester NH

Photograph of Lena Etta (Bower) Graf of Manchester NH. Back of photograph states: Lena E. Bower, wife of Eddie Graf, 1904.

Lena Etta Bower was born in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1881. Her father was from England, having immigrated in 1855, arriving in Boston Massachusetts. It was a time when skilled textile workers from England were being sought to work in the growing mills in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. By 1900, her father was a dresser tender, considered an essential, skilled job, and living at 42 Stark Street, mill worker housing. In fact, most of her life revolved in some way around the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company. Lena is representative of many Manchester women whose families built the city through their labor.

Lena attended the local schools, possibly even those owned and run by Amoskeag. According to the 1940 US Census, she had completed high school, so possibly she graduated from Manchester High School. The photograph shown, taken at the WR Call studio in 1904, was only a few years after her high school graduation and two years before her marriage. Her husband Edwin Graf, also worked for the city’s mills, being a “section hand” at the time of their marriage, and later becoming an overseer.

In this photograph, Lena’s hair is carefully coiffed, and the lace at her throat is elaborate. Unusually, she wears no jewelry of any kind, though her face is lovely enough without embellishments.

She appears to have not worked outside of the home, raising a daughter who became a long-time school teacher in the Manchester school system. Lena’s partial genealogy, and that of her husband, Edwin Adam Graf, and his family is shown below.

—–PARTIAL GENEALOGY OF LENA ETTA (BOWER) GRAF——

=====BOWER GENEALOGY=====

David & Mary/Sarah/Selina (Smith) Bower of England
————————————
Children of David & Mary/S/S (Smith) Bower:
1. Horatio Bower, b. 18 Apr-Aug 1849 Bradford, Yorkshire England
2. +Samuel Bower, b. 28 June 1851 England

Horatio Bower, son of David & Selina (?) Bower, b. 18 Apr-Aug 1849 in Bradford, Yorkshire England, d. 15 June 1908 Merrimack, Hillsborough Co. NH; m. 1 Oct 1873 in Manchester NH to O. Morata/Moreta Bailey, dau of Jesse & Sabrina (Moulton) Bailey. She b. 27 Feb 1839 in Lyman NH, d. 29 Jan 1927 at the Gale Home in Manchester NH. In 1900 “sister-in-law” Oliva Bailey, b. Aug 1836 single living with them in Litchfield NH, farmer. Morata had 1 ch 0 living in census. He was naturalized Feb 23, 1872, stated arrival in Boston on 30 April 1865. They are buried at Last Rest Cemetery, Merrimack NH.

Samuel Bower, son of David & Mary/Sarah (Smith) Bower b. 28 June 1851 England, d. 28 January 1931 in Concord NH; He married 1st) 9 Feb 1876 in Manchester NH to Mary Etta Fagan/Fegan. She b. 17 March 1852 in Lowell MA, and d. 24 July 1904 in Manchester NH. She is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Manchester NH. He m2) 17 Sep 1906 in Manchester NH to Jane “Jennie” Young-Dow, daughter of Sylvester & Elizabeth (Haire) Young. She b. abt 1855 Canada, her 3rd marriage. She died 28 Sep 1919 in NH. He was naturalized 27 Feb 1874, stating that he arrived in the US August 1855 at Boston MA, also stated his birth date. Signers for him included Horatio Bower and John D. Howard of Manchester NH.
———————————
1900 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 42 Stark Street
Samuel Bower 48 Eng Eng Eng Dresser tender [warping-mill operator in a textile mill]
Mary Bower 44
Lena E. Bower 19
———————————
Child of Samuel & Mary Etta (Fegan) Bower:
1. +Lena Etta Bower, b. 14 May 1881 Manchester NH [this story is about her. See photograph above, and also below]

 

=====GRAF GENEALOGY=====

 

Johann Adam Graf of Manchester NH, from "The Mirror's Pictorial Manchester 1846-1896"

Johann Adam Graf of Manchester NH, from “The Mirror’s Pictorial Manchester 1846-1896”

Johann Adam aka J. Adam Graf, son of Johann Michael “John” & Anna M. (Goebal) Graff, b. 29 Sep 1845/1848 in Asch, Austria/Hungary [Bohemia][note: one census states he was from Czechoslovakia, and today Asch is located in the current Czech Republic], d. 25 February 1924, Manchester NH; m. 1872 in Manchester NH to Emma Marisa Coley/Cooley, dau of Charles & Mary (Crandall) Cooley. She b. 8 Nov 1848 in West Charleston, VT; d. 23 May 1929 in Manchester NH. His passport of 1890 states he was born in Asch in Bohemia on 29 Sep 1848, emigrated to the US on the “Marco Polo” from Bremen on 15 March 1866, and resided for 24 years from 1866 to 1890 in Gilford NH and Manchester NH, and that he was naturalized before the Police Court of the City of Manchester on 27 Feb 1875.  In 1898 Alderman. In 1896 he was one of the “Invitation and Reception Committee” members for the Semi-centennial of the City of Manchester NH. In 1902 he represented New Hampshire at the World’s Fair and its allotment of sites, in anticipation of legislative action. In 1905-6 he represented Manchester in the NH Senate. In 1905 he was Moderator of Ward 7 and one of the Trustees of Cemeteries for the City. [Note, Johann had a brother Adolph Graf who also immigrated and lived in Manchester NH]
————————
[Asch (czech: Aš) is an typical old West Bohemian border town with a strong textile tradition. It is the westernmost Czech town, completely surrounded by forests.]
————————
Tuesday, February 26, 1924, Boston Herald (Boston MA) p. 6
J. Adam Graf. Special Dispatch to the Herald
MANCHESTER, N.H. Feb 25–J. Adam Graf, 75, an overseer in the Amoskeag Corporation, where he had been employed for 60 years, died tonight at the Sacred Heart Hospital. He was prominent in political circles here, having been an alderman and representative in the legislature. He was born in Austria, his father being a successful textile manufacturer there. He came to Manchester in 1864 and immediately went to work as a weaver in a mill here. He is survived by his widow and two sons.
————————
Friday, May 24, 1929, Boston Herald (Boston MA), page 21. Mrs. Emma M. Graf
MANCHESTER NH May 23 — City and state W.C.T.U. units are mourning the death here today of Mrs. Emma M. Graf, widow of J. Adam Graf, who was connected with the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company for many years. For more than 30 years Mrs. Graf was affiliated with the W.C.T.U. and for three years served as president of the local unit.
————————
1920 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester
Harry C. Graf Head M 45 NH
Flora Graf wife F 44 NH
Kenneth Graf son M 14 NH
Winston Graf son M 12 NH
Donald Graf son M 10 NH
Mary Graf daughter F 4 NH
J. Adam Graf Head M 71 Austria
Emma M. Graf wife F 71 VT
————————
Children of J. Adam & Emma (Cooley) Graf:
1. +Harry Charles Graf, b. 3 March 1873 Gilford NH, d. 20 Dec 1935 Manchester NH; m. 20 Dec 1935 to Flora Folsom.
2. +Edwin Adam Graf, b. 14/18 Sep 1882 in Manchester NH, Manchester NH

Harry Charles Graf, son of J. Adam & Emma Marisa (Cooley) Graf, b. 3 March 1873 Gilford NH, d. 20 Dec 1935 Manchester NH; m. 28 June 1905 in Somersworth NH to to Flora Belle Folsom, daughter of Edwin William & Flora E. (Richardson) Folsom. She was b. November 1875 in Somersworth NH. In 1941 she was living at 153 Bridge Street.
———————————————
1920 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester
Harry C. Graf Head M 45 NH
Flora Graf wife F 44 NH
Kenneth Graf son M 14 NH
Winston Graf son M 12 NH
Donald Graf son M 10 NH
Mary Graf daughter F 4 NH
J. Adam Graf Head M 71 Austria
Emma M. Graf wife F 71 VT
————————
Children of Harry C. & Flora B. (Folsom) Graf:
1. Kenneth Folsom Graf, b 22 Apr 1906 Manchester NH; d. 19 Dec 1991 in Manchester. He married Mary Eaton, 2 children: John and Sarah. Noted Manchester NH attorney.
2. Winston C. Graf, b 10 Jan 1908 Manchester NH; d. 18 April 2000 Manchester NH; buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Manchester NH.
3. Donald R. Graf, b. 27 Aug 1909 in Manchester NH, d. December 1974 in NYC NY.
4. Mary Graf, b. abt 1916 NH; m. 28 Jue 1937 in Manchester NH to Ralph W. Farmer, son of George W. & Ida (Baldwin) Farmer. He was b. in Portsmouth NH. At the time of their marriage, their occupations were clerk, and bookkeeper.

Edwin Adam Graf, son of J. Adam & Emma M. (Colley/Cooley) Graf. He was b. 14 Sep 1882 in Manchester NH, and d. 11 Nov 1938 in Manchester NH. He married 12 Sep 1906 in Manchester NH to Lena Etta Bower [see her photograph at top of page], daughter of Samuel & Mary Etta (Fagan) Bower, b. 14 May 1881 in Manchester NH, d. November 1972 in NH.  At the time of their marriage, his occupation was “section hand.”
—————————
1900 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester
Samuel Bower Head M 49 England b June 1851 married at age 24 Eng Eng Eng immigrated 1854, naturalized, Drosser Tender
May F Bower wife F 44 Massachusetts b. March 1856 1 ch 1 living MA Can-Eng MA
Lena E. Bower daughter F 19 NH b May 1881 single NH Eng MA at school
—————————
1910 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester
Samuel Bower Head M 56 England
Jennie D. Bower wife F 55 NH
Cleon A. Dow son-in-law M 25 NH
Lillian S. Dow daughter F 29 VT
—————————
1920 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester
Edwin A. Graf 37 NH Bohemia Vermont overseer mill
Lena E. Graf 38 NH England Massachusetts
Glenna G. Graf 11 NH NH NH
Moreta B. Bower 81 aunt NH NH NH
—————————
1930 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester
Edwin A. Graf Head M 47 NH
Lena E. Graf wife F 48 NH
Glenna G. Graf dau F 22 NH
Samuel Bower father-in-law M 78 England
Arthur W. Fisher Lodger M 40 Canada
Alfred E. Fisher Lodger M 17 NH
—————————
1940 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 163 Myrtle Street
Graf, Lena A. Head F W 58 widow h4 NH
Graf, Glenna E Daughter F W 32 single c2 NH teacher public schools
—————————
Children of Edwin A. & Lena E. (Bower) Graf:
1. Glenna G. Graf, b. 13 Jan 1908 in Manchester NH, d. 13 January 1999 in Manchester NH; 2 yrs of college; public school teacher in 1940 in Manchester NH (163 Myrtle Street); in 1941 teacher at Hallsville School. In 1961 teaching at Webster school, residing 38 Ash St.

[end]

This entry was posted in History, New Hampshire Women and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Face of Manchester New Hampshire’s Lena E. (Bower) Graf (1881-1972)

  1. Amy says:

    I have to ask (though I could Google it)—what is a dresser tender?

  2. David graf says:

    Thank you Maureen and Teresa.
    I have no idea of a possible cousin but it could be so.
    .Eugene said to me “don’t forget Lena who was my dads sister.”. He could go no further than that.
    I will try to go further with the info provided by Teresa and thank you both once more!

Leave a Reply to Amy Cancel reply