N – NINETEEN TWENTY EIGHT Howard Graham was born

Howard Alexander Graham was my mother’s youngest brother. He was named after my grandmother Fannie’s father, Howard Turner. Howard was born September 7, 1928, in the year following his older brother Mershell’s death by trauma after being run over by a truck on the way back to school.   My grandparents felt that Howard had been sent to fill the space left by Mershell.  Unfortunately he died of Scarlet Fever, exacerbated by  Diabetes in 1932.

Baby Howard, father Mershell, big sister Doris, mother Fannie.
The Arrival

A baby Howard A(lexander) Graham   was born to Mershell C. and Fannie Turner Graham – Woman’s Hospital. 

On the 7th day of September 1928 at 5:10 o’clock P.M.
Address 6638 Theodore Street.
Autograph of Mother  Fannie T. Graham
Autograph of Father Mershell C. Graham
Autograph of Doctor A.L. Turner M.D.
Autograph of Nurse Aunt Abbie Allen
Autograph of others Aunt Jean Walker presented this book to him.

Baby’s First Photograph

Feb. 4, 1929 Dad snapped baby and me thru the dining room sun window not very good – sorry as now he has whooping cough? Weathers been too bad to take him out to have pictures made…

From my Grandmother Fannie’s Bible pages of family records.

20 months old – On May 28th 1929 – Howard was ready for bed – (Dad’s working nights) Mary Virginia and Doris kneeling to say prayers – he said “Wait dirls” – “britches coming off” ie. (Diapers) – Never soils or wets bed after 1 year old. A most remarkable baby.

Our baby Howard was taken ill Nov 17th 1931 – Dr. Turner came and pronounced it Diabetes… cured — Jan 1932…

On Feb 20 1932, he developed Scarlet Fever – was sent to Herman Kiefer Hospital on account of his condition, died March 4th 1932 and was buried -sat March 5,

Private Funeral at Memorial Park Cemetery. 3 1/2 years old — born 9/7/28


Our loss is truest gai…. God fills the pla(ce) ..by our 2 bo(ys)…

Other related posts:

Poem for Howard
Howard Alexander Graham Death Certificate
Fannie Mae Turner Graham’s Bible
Births, Deaths, Doctors and Detroit

18 thoughts on “N – NINETEEN TWENTY EIGHT Howard Graham was born

    1. And it was just as hard then as it would be now. My grandmother remembered Mershell’s 19th birthday in her “little notebook” in 1940. And thought of Howard coming and leaving so soon.

  1. Mothers endure so much in one lifetime. It’s so sad that this little boy had so few years.
    We still see mamas in Africa who too often lose their children from disease or accident when they are so little. We buried 2 little ones on the same day.

  2. So very sad to lose him so early. Diabetes very tricky in those days though they had started using insulin earlier in the 1920s.
    He was obviously much loved by all the family from the photos.

    1. My grandmother seemed to think he had recovered from the diabetes, I suppose with insulin. But the scarlet fever, he didn’t recover from that. Yes, he was loved. I don’t think they were the family they would have been if those two boys had lived.

  3. Such a sad post, but wonderful that you memorialized Howard’s short life. We take many medications for granted now. A post like this is a reminder of how important the new ones were for saving young lives like Howard’s.

  4. I can’t even begin to imagine the heartache, not only because of Mershell Jr.’s death a few years prior, but first thinking baby Howard was cured of his diabetes, only to be stricken with Scarlet fever. Was he buried the next day because Scarlet fever is contagious? Seems like it would be a shock to their systems to have him “disappear” especially for the other kids.

    1. One of my cousins who was a bit older than my mother and her sister told me that she remembered going to the house after Howard died and how sad it was to see him in his little coffin. So, not only was scarlet fever contagious, but his little body was laid out in my grandparent’s home. Another reason, I think, that they would want to bury him as soon as possible.

  5. So very sad. Kristin. As you say, babies who stay only a short time are still very precious to their parents and grandparents and are never forgotten. Were Mershell and Howard the only two boys your maternal grandparents had?

    1. Yes they were. My grandparents were about 30 when they married. They had the first three children – girl, boy, girl right in the first three years. Then after Mershell died, Howard was born the following year. They didn’t have any other children after Howard. My mother wrote something about her memories of their death, as it affected her mother. I will share it when we get to ‘U’ which is for “undertaker”

  6. Goodness, you family knew true tragedy. Losing two boys so young.

    Sorry, Kristin. I’m so late of visinting. But I want to tell you that I’m enjoying your challenge so very much. Love all the stories from the Twenties and so many pictures!

    The Old Shelter – Living the Twenties

  7. Kristin,

    First let me apologize for the late return visit. I appreciated so much you stopping in to take a peek at my pinup girl ‘N’ illustration. Genealogy is a fascinating hobby. I tried ancestry.com several years ago and gathered a little info on my family tree but lost interest. You have some wonderful nibblets here for the reader which I find neat and I bet your family loves it! Keep up the nifty work! Be well and God bless!

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