Eldon Graham, my wife’s grandfather, passed away on November 19, 2020. I would like to remember him with this blog, and few records I found about him.
The first census record where Eldon Graham appears is 1930. Eldon was born 25 April 1923 in Girard, Kansas. The Crawford County, Kansas census shows Eldon as a six-year-old boy with his parents and a sister. Dig how the census taker spelled Marilyn.
Graham Berl H head R (rented) Yes (on a farm) male, white, 35 married at age 25, no school last year, can read and write, birthplace–Missouri. Frieda A, wife, age 33, married at age 24, born in Missouri. Eldon L, son, 6, single, yes went to school last year, and yes can read and write, birthplace–Kansas. Morilwin, daughter, 2.
The 1940 census still lists the family in Crawford County.
Beryl was renting the farm he worked for $10 a month. The record shows the family was quite well-educated. Beryl had three years of high school, Frieda four years, Eldon–at 16–had completed four years of high school, and Marilyn–12–had completed 6th grade. Considering their ages, and knowing they probably attended one-room schools with all grades in one group–sounds like Eldon and Marilyn excelled at studies. Eldon was an involved student and teenager!
Indeed, Eldon was quite intelligent, and mechanical. His bachelor uncle–I bet it was George Wasem–saw great potential and paid for Eldon to go to mechanical school. Then World War II began. There were drafts and enlistments.
This then led to working at Beech Aircraft building airplanes—like the AT-10GF-Wichita, built in Wichita while Eldon was there, and then to the Army Air Corps flying American AT-6s.
After the Air Corps, Eldon returned to Beech, and must have been a dapper and most eligible bachelor.
1946 brought the wedding of Eldon Graham to Irene Spurgin.
Five songs in this wedding! “Liebestraum,” “I Love You Truly,” “Because,” “Lohengrin’s Wedding March” and “Ave Maria.” (See the footnotes for links to youtube videos with each song.) The bride wore a dress of teal blue crepe accented by a corsage of pink rose buds and white accessories. Miss Doris McDaniel, maid of honor, wore a dress of dusty rose crepe (and the rest is unreadable in this copy).
Dinner was at Droll’s English Grill, 3120 East Central Ave, in Wichita. See pictures of the restaurant below.
From here on, some of you know the story because you ARE the story. Eldon and Irene set up a home, later building a house at 321 Sunflower Lane, Andover, and raised three children–Darwin, Lynda, and Gary—expanding to grandkids and greats and even great-greats. Many pictures by that big tree planted in the yard–maybe 60-some years ago–show a lot of love floated above the carefully planned flower gardens around the house and along the border of the property. I’m glad my son, Paschal, got to know his great-grandpa, Eldon.
 1930 US Federal Census, KS, Crawford, Crawford, ED 19-4, SD 13, Sheet 10A, Family 227.
 1940 US Federal Census, KS, Crawford, Crawford, ED 19-4, SD 3, Sheet 6A, Family 130.