WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
GEORGE ALBERT & BERTHA STUCKI GRAFF
(farmer, rancher, merchant)
BIOGRAPHYGeorge Albert Graff, was born on August 11, 1884 to John Henry Barbara Staheli Graf. His mother, Barbara, was the first child born to a member of the Swiss Company after their arrival in Santa Clara. Bertha Stucki Graff was born February 26, 1883 to John Stettler and Barbara Baumann Stucki. George Graff and Bertha Stucki were married January 4, 1906. Their first child, Juanita, was born November 10, 1906, but died two weeks later on November 27. Their second child, Thelma, was born October 30, 1908. Thelma married Leroy Condie on January 7, 1931. They had two children, Carol J. and George R.
As was true of nearly all other households in Santa Clara, life in the George and Bertha Graff household reflected the self-sufficiency required for survival in this remote section of the state. George grazed cattle and sheep on near and distant ranges, and they raised milk cows, pigs, and chickens at home. George plowed, planted, harvested, and hauled with his own teams and farm equipment. They raised all types of produce which peddled. He also marketed their livestock, keeping some for themselves which they cured or bottled. They picked and packed their own fruit and vegetables for peddling or, later, for sale to Santa Clara's three trucking firms. Bertha dried peaches, apples, pears, and raisins (on the low galvanized section of the roof) for peddling and for their own use. She also canned much of the produce. George kept honey bees in their orchards and sold the honey. Bertha sold their excess milk, cream, butter, and eggs.
At one time, George hauled wood from the surrounding hills a cord at a time and sold it to the St. George Temple for heating. During another period, he bought a thresher and did custom threshing. Bertha made quilts-both heavy denim overall quilts from the usable parts of worn overalls for use in the orchards and tomato patches and colorful bed quilts from scraps of left-over gingham and print fabrics. She learned pattern drafting and was a skilled seamstress. There was, of course, a general division of labor, George taking primary responsibility for the outdoor work and Bertha (and Thelma, while she lived at home) for the indoor work, but both were capable of performing most of the other's duties when necessary.
REFERENCESThe Old Spanish Trail, The Virgin River Basin, The Town of Santa Clara, and The George and Bertha Graff House
Booklet by Carol J. Condie, July 2010, 15 pages
Find-A-Grave entry for George Albert Graff
Find-A-Grave entry for Bertha Stucki Graff