Descendents of Henry George Grabenhorst

Frederick Grabenhorst

1-Frederick (Heinrich Friedrich) Grabenhorst, son of Henry George (Heinrich Georg) Grabenhorst and Anna Dorothea Elizabeth Neddemeier (Brandes), was born on 27 Mar 1835 in Klein Vahlberg, Braunschweig, Germany, died on 1 Mar 1927 in Yell, Boone, Iowa at age 91, and was buried in Bluff Creek Cemetery, Yell, Iowa. 

Frederick married Sarah Dougherty on 19 Jun 1867 in Boone County, Iowa. Sarah was born on 11 Nov 1835 in Donegal, Ireland, died on 2 Jan 1907 in Yell, Boone, Iowa at age 71, and was buried in Bluff Creek Cemetery, Yell, Iowa. Frederick and Sarah had three daughters: Mary Josephine, Sarah, and Katherine (Katie) F.

2-Mary Josephine Grabenhorst was born in Sep 1867 in Yell, Boone, Iowa, died on 31 Dec 1957 in Ogden, Boone, Iowa at age 90, and was buried in Bluff Creek Cemetery, Yell, Iowa. 

Mary married Michael D McGeehan on 15 Jun 1910 in Ogden, Boone, Iowa. Michael was born on 18 Apr 1870 in Donegal, Ireland, died on 30 Jul 1925 in Clarinda, Page, Iowa at age 55, and was buried in Saint John's Catholic aka Mt Olivet Cemetery, Marcy, Boone, Iowa. Michael and Mary had no children.

2-Sarah Grabenhorst was born on 2 May 1871 in Yell, Boone, Iowa, died on 19 Jun 1965 in Ogden, Boone, Iowa at age 94, and was buried in Bluff Creek Cemetery, Yell, Iowa. Sarah never married or had children. 

2-Katherine (Katie) F Grabenhorst was born on 24 Apr 1876 in Yell, Boone, Iowa, died on 21 Sep 1941 in Ogden, Boone, Iowa at age 65, and was buried in Bluff Creek Cemetery, Yell, Iowa. 

Katherine married James Michael Kelley, son of Michael and Sarah Kelley, on 29 Apr 1911. James was born in 1878 in Beaver, Boone, Iowa, died in 1925 in Ogden, Boone, Iowa at age 47, and was buried in Saint John's Catholic aka Mt Olivet Cemetery, Marcy, Boone, Iowa. They had one son: James Anthony.

3-James Anthony Kelley was born on 24 Nov 1916 in Beaver Township, Boone, Iowa, died on 4 Apr 1991 in Boone County, Iowa at age 74, and was buried in Saint John's Catholic aka Mt Olivet Cemetery, Marcy, Boone, Iowa. 

James married Gladys Marie Earhart, daughter of Frank G and Ethel M Earhart , on 21 Jan 1943 in Ada County, Idaho. Gladys was born on 10 Mar 1919 in Iowa, died on 9 Jun 2000 in Boone County, Iowa at age 81, and was buried in Saint John's Catholic aka Mt Olivet Cemetery, Marcy, Boone, Iowa. They had three children: James Michael, Terry, and Patrick Franklin.

4-James Michael Kelley was born in 1946. He had two children: Anthony and Sarah.

4-Patrick Franklin Kelley was born on 25 Mar 1950 in Boone County, Iowa and died on 4 Jul 2008 in Perry, Dallas, Iowa at age 58. 

4-Terry Kelley was born in 1952.

Documents and Articles



Frederick was born Heinrich Friedrich Grabenhorst on 27 Mar 1835 in Klein Vahlberg, Braunschweig, Germany to Henry George (Heinrich Georg) Grabenhorst and Anna Dorothea Elizabeth Neddemeier (aka Brandes). Frederick was the youngest of Henry George's children. He had a brother, Andrew, born in 1825, a brother Henry Christian born in 1829 and a sister, Dorothea, born in 1833.

Frederick's mother, Dorothea, was Henry George's third wife. His first wife, Johanne Rosine Henriette Waupke, was the mother of Andrew and Henry Christian. She died 17 June 1831 from a rupture.  Three months after Johanne Rosine Henriette’s death, Henry George married Anna Marie Juliane Maseberg. The marriage did not last. In an extraordinary move for that time in Germany, they were divorced. The reason for the divorce is unknown. It is known that a child, Johann Friedrich Andreas, was recorded in the church books as having been born to Anna Marie Juliane Maseberg and Heinrich Georg Grabenhorst five and a half months after their wedding on 9 Mar 1832 in Klein Vahlberg, Braunschweig, Germany. The little boy died one month later. One can speculate that perhaps this child was not the child of Henry George and thus the subsequent divorce. Whatever the reason for the divorce, this second marriage and the subsequent birth and death of the infant Johann Friedrich Andreas were not common knowledge to later generations of the family until the German researcher Walter Lehmann discovered it in the church record books. Henry George was always said to have been married twice, not three times as it turns out was the case.

Eight months after his marriage to Anna Marie Juliane Maseberg and two weeks after the death of the child, Johann Friedrich Andreas, Henry George married Frederick's mother, Anna Dorothea Elizabeth Neddemeier, on 27 Apr 1832 in Wittmar, Braunschweig, Germany. In their marriage document he is listed as a divorced husband.  Anna Dorothea Elizabeth was the daughter of a carpenter named Brandes from Kissenbruck and the widow Catharina Elizabeth Lohr Neddemeier.  Illegitimate children born during this time in Germany were given the surname of their mother but their biological father was often listed on the birth record. Later, after moving to America, Dorothea maiden name was said to be Brandes or Branders.

At the time of his birth, Frederick's father, Henry George, was working as a master tailor in Klein Vahlberg. Frederick's family had always lived in this same area of Brunswick although they lived in several different villages. At the time of his wedding to Dorothea in 1832, Henry George, along with Andrew and Henry Christian, were living in Wittmar. In Wittmar Henry George worked as a tailor and baker.  In 1833 Frederick's sister, Dorothea was born in Klein Vahlberg. In 1839 Frederick's brother Andrew was confirmed in Wittmar. In 1847 his sister Dorothea was confirmed in Klein Winnigstedt. Frederick was also confirmed in Klein Winnigstedt in 1849. Like most Germans of that time, the Grabenhorsts belonged to the Lutheran Church. While living in Klein Winnigstedt, Henry George's occupations were recorded as a landlord and a baker and, shortly before the family immigrated to America in 1850, as the owner of a pub. 

In the spring of 1850, Frederick, along with his father Henry George, his mother Dorothea, his sister Dorothea and his brother Andrew left Klein Winnigstedt and traveled to Bremen where they boarded the ship Europe to go to America. They landed in New York on 27 May 1850 and joined Frederick's brother, Henry Christian, in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Henry Christian had left Klein Winnigstedt for America in September of 1849 to check out whether or not immigration was feasible.  Obviously things were to his liking because he sent word for the rest of the family to come. Being industrious, the whole family wasted no time in getting jobs. In the 1850 census twenty four year old Andrew and twenty year old Henry Christian were listed as living in the household of Conrad Bode in East Vincent and working as laborers. Henry George and Dorothea were also living in East Vincent, Chester, Pennsylvania where he is working as a tailor. Seventeen year old Dorothea was living in the household of Joseph Ebner in East Vincent and working as a servant. Fifteen year old Frederick was also working as a laborer in East Vincent and is listed in the household of Samuel Whitby and also in the household of John Hause.

Frederick's father, Henry George, did not want to pursue being a tailor in his new county. He started farming while in Pennsylvania but he was interested in owning his own farm. In 1855 he, his wife Dorothea, his daughter Dorothea and Frederick moved to Illinois, locating eight miles north of Chicago. It was in Illinois that Frederick's sister, Dorothea, met and married her first husband, Jacob Fisher, and had her first son, Henry Fisher, who was born 10 July 1856.

Henry George was not satisfied with what he found in Illinois and he made the decision to move to Iowa. In the summer of 1855 he went to Webster County, Iowa, and filed on two parcels of land totaling 315.40 acres or just under a half-section (320 acres) northeast of what would become Dayton. In the spring of 1856 Henry George, Dorothea, and Frederick along with Dorothea, her husband, Jacob Fisher and their son Henry Fisher, moved into a log house that was standing on the 315 acres Henry George had filed on the summer before. In the 1856 Iowa State census Henry George, Dorothea, Frederick and Jacob and Dorothea Fisher are shown as residing and farming in Yell township, Webster, Iowa.  At that point, Dayton did not exist.  Their nearest post office was Homer, which was then the county seat of Webster County.  Iowa City was their nearest market where they had to go for supplies.  With the help of his son-in-law, Jacob Fisher, Henry George raised the first house in Dayton.

Frederick married Sarah Dougherty on 19 Jun 1867 in Boone County, Iowa. Sarah was born on 11 Nov 1835 in Donegal, Ireland and immigrated to America in 1850 where she lived in Baltimore, Maryland. She was a widow having previously been married to Patrick McDevitt who died in 1856. Sarah and Patrick had a son, John McDevitt, who was born in 1855 in Maryland and died 9 August 1881 when he was dragged by a team of horses in a Boone County mining camp. John had two children by his wife, Mary Cline: A daughter, Mary McDevitt, born in 1876 and never married. Another daughter, Daisy McDevitt, was born in 1870. Daisy married William Valentine in 1906. They had no children.

In 1868 Frederick and Sarah bought land northeast of Ogden in the Yell Township area of Boone County, Iowa. The land  was perfect for farming with prairie, water and timber. There was a small log cabin on the property which had been built 1863. Frederick and Sarah and Sarah's son, John McDevitt, moved into the cabin after buying the land. In the ensuing years three daughters were also born in the log cabin farm home: Mary Josephine was born in Sep 1867, Sarah was born on 2 May 1871, and Katherine (Katie) was born on 24 Apr 1876. Quarters were very cramped in the one room cabin and Fred later built a frame house around it. When the house was being torn down in 1970 the original cabin was discovered and subsequently dismantled and moved nearby to the Forest Park Pioneer Museum in Perry where it was reconstructed.

Frederick and Sarah believed in education. Their daughters attended the local school and then each of them went on to graduate from the four year teaching program at Boone County Normal School. All three taught school for many years, mostly in the Ogden area. None of the three married until after their mother's death and only one, Katie, had a child.

Frederick was a successful farmer and he and his family lived quietly on their farm.  He had the reputation of keeping large sums of ready cash at hand and on 16 February, 1883 three men attempted to rob him as he entered the barn to go about his morning chores. He fought back and during the altercation he was shot in the right shoulder. Two of the men fled but the third tried to shoot Frederick again and when the gun misfired he started beating him with it. Mary and Kate came running out of the house to help their father when they heard the gunshots. After a nasty battle, they subdued the man and tied him up. The incident made the national news and many papers had articles on the attack. An article about the attack from the local Dayton Review is posted below.

Frederick's wife, Sarah, died 2 Jan 1907 in Bluff Creek, Monroe, Iowa. After the death of her son, John McDevitt, Sarah clung to her daughters and told them her wish was for them to always be with her. It wasn't until after her death that two of her daughters eventually married. In 1910 Mary married Michael McGeehan and in 1911 Kate married James Michael Kelley. Kate and James had a son, James Anthony Kelly in 1916.

Frederick remained on the farm after his wife's death and he did not remarry. By the 1920 census his health was failing and he was living with his daughter Mary and her husband, Mike McGeehan. Frederick died on 1 March 1927 and was buried in Bluff Creek Cemetery with his wife Sarah.


Sarah Dougherty Grabenhorst
Wife of Frederick

Sarah Dougherty Grabenhorst
and Daughter Mary

Sarah Grabenhorst
Daughter of Frederick

Sarah Grabenhorst
Daughter of Frederick


Frederick Grabenhorst Farm House

Mary Grabenhorst

Kate Grabenhorst

Mary and Kate Grabenhorst

(built around original cabin)

Forest Park Museum Photographs


Frederick and Sarah Grabenhorst Original Family Cabin
Forest Park Museum
Perry, Iowa

Note; The cabin exhibit at the museum has a board with a brief family biography and photos. Some of the photos are mislabeled. The photo in the middle row labeled Frederick Grabenhorst is actually of his brother Henry Christian Grabenhorst and the family photo is not Frederick, Sarah and Sarah's son, John but Henry Christian, his wife Margaret and their son William Henry. I informed the museum about the mislabeled photos but they said they did not have the resources to redo it correctly.

Documents and Articles

Forest Park Museum Brochure
 Grabenhorst Cabin

Newspaper Article
Dayton Review, Webster County, Iowa, Thursday, Feb 16, 1893

ALMOST A MURDER: Two Brave Girls Ogden Reporter Monday morning Ogden people were surprised and dumbfounded by the report that Fred Grabenhorst, who lives on the northeastern part of sec. 16 in Yell township, had been shot. The news was brought to town by Mr. A. B. Sawyer, who came for a doctor an officer. Constable Sucher and Dr. Sickler were soon on the scene and found things decidedly sensational. Mr. Grabenhorst is a fairly well to do farmer, who has had for some years the reputation of keeping by him respectable sums of ready money. The family consists of himself, wife and three daughters, the youngest Katie, being about 16, and the oldest, Mary, 22 years of age, who were at home, Katie teaching school in the neighborhood, while another is teaching in Calhoun County. On Monday morning at about seven o'clock Mr. Grabenhorst went to the barn to attend to the chores, and was met at the door of the barn by a man with a drawn revolver, and told to throw up his hands which he did. The man then ordered him to come into the barn. This he refused to do and began retreating backward toward the house. At this the villain fired, the shot taking effect in the right arm near the shoulder, breaking the bone. The second shot missed the victim, after which the weapon failed to explode. The would be murderer then clubbed his revolver and beat his victim over the head. The family heard the shots and the cry for help and flew to the father's assistance. Mr. Grabenhorst was on the ground and the man belaboring him with the butt end of the revolver. The girls immediately closed with the villain and a fearful scuffle took place. The mother was soon aiding the girls. The man caught the mother and threw her over the fence, knocking the older down and placing his knee on her throat proceeded to dispatch her with the revolver. At this Mary seized the man's hand while Katie wrenched the revolver from him and dealt him a fearful blow which must have somewhat stunned him as his resistance was less afterward. The girls continued to pummel him over the face and head until he looked worse than Sullivan ever made a man look. Katie, who wielded the revolver, was for killing him then and there, but the sister prevailed upon her to spare his life. A rope was secured and the man bound and left while the girls and the mother helped Mr Grabenhorst to the house and cared for him. After this they turned their attention to the would be murderer and found him nearly frozen. They took him to the house and one of the girls alarmed the neighbors and sent to town for officers and physician. When neighbors arrived at the house they found the man securely tied, covered with blood that had flowed from his wounds until it saturated his clothing even to his felt boots. The place where the struggle took place looked as though they had butchered hogs. The few neighbors who came talked very freely of fixing up a coroner's inquest and it would have taken but little urging by the Grabenhorst family to have lynched the fellow. While Mary and the mother were after help the man thawed out enough to make a desperate attempt to get away, but Katie had the rope around his neck and one end tied to the doorknob, the other she held, and when he struggled she tightened the rope and stopped his breathing. His hands were so frozen he could use them but little yet he tore great quantities of hair from her head, and in the effort got one of his thumbs in the girl's mouth which she nearly bit off. He was brought to Ogden, and information filed to which he plead guilty, and Constable Sucher and Mr. Sawyer took him to Boone and turned him over to Sheriff Patterson. The man appeared more than anxious to get out of Ogden on the first train. Talk of saving the county the expense of a trial was freely engaged in in the court room and it needed but two or three hot heads to make summary work with him. When he found he could not escape, he talked freely with Mr. Sawyer, and gives this account of himself. He says his name is Joe Ross and that his home is in Chambersburg, Pa.; that he had lived lately in Des Moines and that two weeks ago he came to Boone and has been staying about Milford ever since. He says that he there fell in with a man named "Doc" Hamilton and his stepbrother Lloyd and that the two planned the robbery of the Grabenhorst farm home. They though Mr. Grabenhorst had sold some hogs, and in any event, was certain to have considerable money about the house. They persuaded him to go in with them in the deal and the trio laid in wait for their victim Saturday as he was returning home from Milford. But when he came home he had another man with him and they were afraid to attack him. Then Monday morning at three o'clock the three men hid themselves in Grabenhorst's barn. Their plan was to attack him when he came out to do his chores and either bind and gag him or kill him and then go to the house and kill the women if necessary, after which they would ransack the house at their leisure. Ross claimed that when the "old man" came out he began the attack and at the first show of resistance by Mr. Grabenhorst both Hamilton and Lloyd fled leaving him to be ingloriously vanquished and captured by the two girls. This tale is doubted by the family. This man Ross was at the Grabenhorst house on Saturday and pretended to want to buy some corn but left. He was seen about the premises Sunday afternoon. The hay mow showed signs of someone having slept there, as the snow which had drifted in and covered nearly all the hay showed where only one man could have slept. Ross had on some of Hamilton's clothing. The story of the others had no fear for the girls who said to the mother, "never fear, they won't tackle us again." Lloyd and Hamilton lived in Boone last winter and were called tough. Lloyd has a large family of children as has also Hamilton, who is the husband of the Mr. Hamilton who was burned to death at Milford a few weeks ago by her clothes catching fire from a stove. Sheriff Patterson arrested both Hamilton and Lloyd Tuesday and they are now in the county jail. They both profess innocence, but Ross identifies them as the men who were with him and sticks to his story even when confronted with the other two men. Dr Sickler informs the writer this morning that Mr. Grabenhorst is doing as well as can be expected and hopes to save the arm. He is resting comfortably and the girls and mother have about recovered from the shock. We hear nothing but praise for the girls yet they covet no notoriety for the part they played in this fearful drama.


Frederick Grabenhorst

Obituary: Ogden Reporter March 3, 1927

Fred Grabenhorst, one of Boone counties earliest pioneer settlers and next-to-the-oldest person in this city passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs Mary McGeehan on Tuesday morning March 1st at four o'clock. At the time of his death this elderly gentleman was ninety-one years, eleven months and two days old. He was only surpassed in age by Mike Kelley (note: James Kelley's father) who will be 93 in April. The deceased came to Boone County when it was in its youngest days. He has made his home in this vicinity ever since. He was well respected as a man of excellent character, a good farmer and whose business dealings were always satisfactory. Although Mr. Grabenhorst has been poorly for some time past he was pleasant and suffered his ailments with as little trouble to others as possible. Funeral services will be held today from the St. Johns Catholic Church at 10:00 A.M. Burial will be made at the Bluff Creek cemetery.

Sarah Dougherty McDevitt Grabenhorst

Obituary Boone County Democrat

GRABENHORST Mrs. Sarah Grabenhorst, another of the most highly esteemed pioneer residents of the county passed away at her home in Yell township two miles west of Incline at 5:15 o'clock Wednesday morning, January 2nd, after a lingering illness due chiefly to the decline of old age. Deceased was born in Ireland and was in her seventy-sixth year at the time of her death. She grew to young womanhood in her native land and was there united in marriage to Fred Grabenhorst. Later the family came to America and to Boone county in about 1867, and have resided here continuously since. She leaves her aged husband, three daughters: Mary, Sarah and Catherine, all at home, to mourn her death and to whom is extended the sincere sympathy of the innumerable host of friends in their affliction. The funeral services will be held at 11:00 o'clock this Friday morning from the Catholic church in Ogden

Obituary Boone County Democrat January 11, 1907

Mrs. Sarah Grabenhorst, (nee Sarah Dougherty) another of the most highly esteemed pioneer residents of the county passed away at her home in Yell township two miles west of Incline at 5:15 o'clock Wednesday morning, January 2nd, after a lingering illness of nine months' duration. Death was due to chronic bronchitis and heart trouble. Deceased was born in County Donegal, Ireland, November 11th, 1835 and was in her seventy second year at the time of her death. She came to America in 1850 and settled in the city of Baltimore, Md. Here she was united in marriage to Patrick McDevitt and to this union was born one son, John McDevitt, who died about twenty-five years ago. Her husband died in 1856 and in 1867 she came to Boonsboro, Ia., and was united in marriage to Frederick Grabenhorst. They settled on the old home-farm in Yell township, where they have resided continuously since. She was a member of the Catholic church, a devout christian woman, a devoted wife and mother, and a kindly friend and neighbor, beloved by all who knew her. She leaves her aged husband, three daughters: Mary, Sarah and Catherine, all at home, and two granddaughters, Mary McDevitt and Mrs. Daisy Valentine of Des Moines to mourn her death and to whom is extended the sincere sympathy of the innumerable host of friends in their affliction. The funeral services were held at 11:00 o'clock Friday morning at the Catholic church in Ogden and the remains laid to rest in Bluff Creek cemetery, beside those of her son. Obituary: Boone County Democrat January 4, 1907

Boone News Republican January 3, 1907

Deceased was related to the H.H. Smith Family in Boone and they have gone to attend the funeral tomorrow Wednesday morning at ten o'clock at her home, two and one half miles west of Incline occurred the death of Mrs. Sarah, the wife of Fred Grabenhorst, the cause being old age. The funeral will be held Friday at 10 o'clock from the Catholic church in Ogden. Deceased came to America from Ireland and to Boone county in 1865 or 1867 and continuously resided here until her death. She was seventy-five years old and was a former member of the Sacred Heart church in this city and will be remembered by many people here. She leaves her husband and three daughters, Sarah, Mae and Catherine. The H.H. Smith family of Boone was also related to Mrs. Grabenhorst and they have gone to Ogden to attend the funeral.

Mary Grabenhorst McGeehan

Obituary: Boone News Republican, January 2, 1958

Mrs. Mary McGeehan, well-known longtime resident of Ogden, died Tuesday night, Dec 31, at Boone County hospital, where she had been a patient at various times during the past several months. She was 89 years of age. She is survived by one sister, Sarah Grabenhorst of Ogden, a nephew, James A Kelley, also of Ogden, and a niece, Mrs. William Valentine of Des Moines. Funeral services will be held Friday morning, Jan 3, at 9 o'clock at St John's Catholic Church with the Rev Father F.J. Illg in charge. Burial will be in Bluff Creek cemetery. Rosary will be recited this Thursday evening at 8:30 at the Treloar Chapel in Ogden

Michael McGeehan (husband of Mary Grabenhorst McGeehan)

Obituary: Ogden Reporter August 13, 1925

Life Sketch of Michael McGeehan
Michael McGeehan, or R.R. No. 6 Boone, passed away at the State Hospital at Clarinda on Thursday, July 30, after a illness of four months duration. The deceased was born April 18, 1870, in County Donegal, Ireland, and came to America in 1888, locating in Marshall County, Illinois, where he made his home for a time. About 1898, he came to Iowa and on June 15, 1910 was united in marriage to Miss Mary Grabenhorst in St. John's Catholic Church at Ogden. He leaves to mourn him his wife, one brother in Des Moines, one brother near Emmetsburg, Iowa, and a brother and sister in Ireland. The body was brought overland from Clarinda to the home in Yell township on Friday, July 31, and the funeral was held Monday morning from St John's Catholic Church at Ogden. Rev. Father Hayes, of Boone, celebrated a Requiem High Mass and preached the funeral sermon and Rev. P.F. Casey of Ogden said the final prayers at the grave in Mt. Olivet cemetery, Ogden, where the remains were laid to rest. Those who attended the funeral from a distance were Patrick McGeehan of Emmetsburg; Thomas McGeehan of Des Moines; Mrs J M Kelley and son, Anthony, of Omaha, Mr. and Mrs. W M Tierney, Mrs. Wlm Valentine, Mrs. J Owens and son William, Miss Mary Mulvaney, Misses Julia and Margaret Grace, all of Des Moines; and Mr. and Mrs. Peter DeLanoit and children.

Sarah Grabenhorst

Obituary: Ogden Reporter June 25, 1965

Low Mass was conducted for Sarah Grabenhorst by the father Donald Smith Tuesday, June 22, 1965, at St John Catholic Church at 9 a.m. Bearers were Russell Fairchild, Joe Keegan, Raymond Ragan, Francis Ragan, Paul Savits and Joe Lawler. Internment was in Bluff Creek Cemetery, Ogden. Miss Grabenhorst died Saturday night, June 19 after being bedfast the past eight years. She was 94 years old. Born the daughter of Fred and Sarah Grabenhorst in Boone county, May 2, 1871, she grew to womanhood and taught school in Boone and Calhoun counties and several years in Nebraska. Preceding her in death were her parents, two sisters, and a half brother. James A Kelley of Perry, a nephew, is her only survivor.

Obituary: Boone News Republican June 21, 1965

Miss Sarah Grabenhorst, 94, a former Ogden resident, died at the Boone County Home Saturday evening, June 19. She is survived by a nephew, Anthony (Jim) Kelly of Perry. The Ogden Ladies Rosary Society will recite Rosary at 7:45 p.m. this evening at the Treloar-Carson Funeral Home, Ogden, followed by the Parish Rosary at 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, June 22, at St John's Catholic Church, Ogden, at 9 a.m. with Father Donald Smith officiating. Burial will be at the Bluff Creek Cemetery.

Katherine (Katie) Grabenhorst Kelley

Obituary: Ogden Reporter September 23, 1941

Funeral services for Mrs. Katherine Kelley were held Wednesday morning at 9:00 o'clock from St John's Catholic church with Father E.C. Lilly solemnizing requiem mass, with Father Buckley of Omaha and Father John Doherty of Grand Junction assisting. Burial was made in the family lot in Bluff Creek cemetery northeast of Ogden. Father Buckley of Omaha preached the services and also officiated at the services at the cemetery. The combined Junior and Senior Choirs of St John's assisted Father Lilly with the mass. Casket bearers were Raymond Ragan, Frank Lawler, Phillip Lawler, Paul and Lou Savits and Geo McCann. Mrs. Kelley who died at the home of her sister, Mrs. Mary McGeehan, here in Ogden, was born on April 24, 1876 in the log cabin farm home in Yell township. She was educated in the local schools after which she took normal teachers training. For many years she taught school here in Ogden, at Pilot Mound and also at Omaha, where she assisted in the parochial school. She was married to Mr James Kelley on April 25, 1911 and for a number of years they lived on a farm near Beaver, then moved to Freemont, Nebraska for 2 years and then moved to Omaha. Mr. Kelley preceded her in death some sixteen years ago. Surviving the deceased are her son, James Anthony Kelley; two sisters, Mrs. Mary McGeehan and Sarah Grabenhorst of Ogden, and two nieces of Des Moines. Many of the older folks will recall that Mrs. Kelley, is one of the three daughters of Fred Grabenhorst, pioneer farmer of Yell township, who in the winter of 1893 was attacked by a tramp by the name of Joe Ross, on his farm one morning as he entered the barn. When the shots attracted the daughters, they at once proceeded to corral the tramp, and after subduing him, they called for medical aid for both their father and the said tramp. Considerable publicity was given at the time in state papers to the bravery of the young girls who so daringly came to their father's rescue after he had been shot by an armed assailant.

Patrick Franklin Kelley (grandson of Katherine Grabenhorst Kelley)

Pat Kelley was born March 25, 1950 at The Boone County Hospital to Gladys and James A. Kelley. Pat passed away July 14, 2008. He served in the United States Air Force, and was stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam War. He was awarded the National Defense Service Metal, Vietnam Service Metal with one bronze star, and the Vietnam Campaign Metal. He was also a life member of the VFW. Pat was self employed as a truck driver and drove mostly Iowa to California until his death. Pat loved fishing, pheasant hunting and hunting mushrooms. He was preceded in death by his parents. Pat is survived by two brothers, Terry Kelley of Alamogordo, NM, and James M. Kelley of Perry, IA; nephew, Anthony Kelley of Perry, IA; niece, Sarah Kelley of Des Moines, IA. Cremation has taken place and inurnment will be at a later date at the Iowa Veteran's Cemetery in Van Meter, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Central Iowa.


Immigration Records

Frederick Grabenhorst immigrated to America in 1950 on the Europe along with his father, Henry George, his mother Dorothea, his brother Andrew and his sister Dorothea. His brother, Henry Christian, immigrated in 1849.

Passenger Manifest


Grabenhorst, F

Date of Arrival:

27 May, 1850

Port of Arrival: New York, New York





Marital Status:


Ship of Travel:


Port of Departure:

Bremen, Germany

Census Records

1850 census

Frederick Grabenhust age 15 born in Germany laborer - shown as a laborer in two separate households (1) Samuel Whitby and (2) John Hause East Vincent, Chester, Pennsylvania Page: 65 and page 75 Roll: M432_765

1860 census  not found
1870 census
1870 federal census for Boone County, Yell Township, Iowa (Page 11) shows Frederick G ?hurst, age 35, born in Germany married to Sarah, age 33, born in Ireland with one daughter, Mary, age 1. Also in the house hold is a John ?hurst, age 15, listed as a farm laborer born in Maryland.
1880 census

1880 federal census for Boone County, Yell Township, Iowa (Vol 3. Ed 5, Sheet 25, Line 20) shows Fred Gravenhorst, age 45, born in Prussia, married to Sarah, 45, born in Ireland with their three daughters: Mary A age 11 born in Iowa Sarah M age 9 born in Iowa Kittie G age 4 born in Iowa
1895 Iowa census 1895 state census for Boone County shows Fred Grabenhorst, age 58, born in Germany, occupation farmer, married to Sarah, age 58, born in Ireland with religion catholic and their three daughters: Mary age 26 born in Iowa and a teacher Sarah age 23 born in Iowa Catherine age 18 born in Iowa
1900 census
1900 federal census for Boone County, Yell Township, Iowa (page 288) shows Fred Grabenhorst, age 65, born in Germany, married to Sarah, 64, born in Ireland with their three daughters: Mary age 32 born in Iowa Sarah age 28 born in Iowa Katie G age 24 born in Iowa
1910 census
1910 federal census for Yell Township, Boone County, Iowa (page 216) shows Frederic as a widower living with his three single daughters Mary age 40 born in Iowa and working as a teacher in a public school Sarah age 37 born in Iowa and working as a teacher in a public school Catherine age 33 born in Iowa and working as a teacher in a public school
1920 census
1920 federal census for Yell Township, Boone County, Iowa shows Fred (85)listed as father-in-law in house of Mike McGeehan (48) and his wife Mary (49)Roll: T625_479 Page: 6A State: Iowa ED: 28 County: Boone Image: 0606 Township: Yell

Vital Records

Marriage Records

Iowa Marriage 1851-1900 Database
Marriage Date: 19 Jun 1867

County: Boone State: IA

Ogden Reporter Article: April 24 1941
Tuesday morning at the Catholic Church occurred the marriage of Miss Catherine Grabenhorst to Mr. James Kelley. The Rev. Meyer officiated.

Michael McGeehan and Mary Josephine Grabenhorst
Marriage Date: June 15, 1910
Source: Michael McGeehan's Obituary

Death Records

Iowa Death Records

Name: Fredrick H. Grabenhorst
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Widowed

Age: 91

Birth Date: 1836

Birth Place: Germany

Death Date: Feb 1927

Death Place: Ogden
Burial Place: Bluff Creek
FHL Film Number: 1532255
Reference ID: bk3 p92

Name: Sarah Grabenhorst
Gender: Female
Age: 71
Birth Date: 11 Nov 1835
Birth Place: Ireland
Death Date: 2 Jan 1907
Death Place: Boone County, Iowa
FHL Film Number: 1034317
Reference ID: P. 90


Frederick Grabenhorst and
Sarah Dougherty McDevitt

Mary Grabenhorst

Sarah Grabenhorst

John McDevitt 
son Sarah McDevitt

Katie Grabenhorst Kelley

Bluff Creek Cemetery
Boone, Boone, Iowa.


Michael McGeehan
husband Mary

James Michael Kelley
husband of Katie
Grabenhorst Kelley

James Anthony Kelley and Gladys Marie Earhart Kelley
son of Katie Grabenhorst Kelley

Patrick F Kelley
son James A and
Gladys Kelley

St Johns Catholic Cemetery formerly Mt Olivet
 Ogden, Boone, Iowa

Iowa Veterans Cemetery
Van Meter, Dallas, Iowa

Sarah Grabenhorst and Mary Grabenhorst McGeehan are also buried in Bluff Creek cemetery.
Gravestone photographs have been requested and will be posted when available


Title Page

For questions or comments contact:

Stephany Smith