Belle Rankin Shattuck De Graf
Belle’s Newspaper Articles
Belle Rankin Shattuck was born October 12, 1874 in San Francisco, California. She is the only child of William Carlos Shattuck and Clara Belle Rankin. She is living with her parents and her mother’s brothers Elmer and Willie in 1880 in Oakland, California. Her father is working as a R. R. Clerk and Belle is 4 years old.
Marriage to Samuel Joseph De Graff
On April 14, 1893, when Belle was eighteen, she married Samuel Joseph De Graff in Vancouver, Washington. George H. Wilding and Florence C. Wilding were witnesses to the wedding. To this union, two sons were born, Elmer Rankin De Graf and Gerald Samuel De Graf.
Samuel Goes to Prison
On April 21, 1900, only seven years into their marriage, Belle’s husband, Samuel went to the prison at San Quentin, California for the crime of grand larceny for the term as five years. The record lists parole on April 1, 1902.
In 1900, Belle is living with her uncle David Shattuck and this family on Powell Street in San Francisco, California with her two sons. Her martial status is widow, even though she is not, her husband is in prison. At this time, Belle is working as a stenographer.
In 1903, Belle is living at 4216 California, San Francisco, California. Her marital status is widow in this record as well. There is an S. Joseph De Graaff working as an agent for Pac. Mut. Life Ins. Co. living at 593 O’Farrell that could potentially be Belle’s husband since he was paroled in 1902. In 1904, Belle is still at the same address, but her name is under Mrs. B. R. De Graaff and not listed as a widow, but in 1905 she is listed as a widow again. In 1907, she has moved to 575 7th Avenue, San Francisco, California and still listed as a widow.
Residence From 1908 – 1916
In 1908, Belle has moved again to 582 6th Avenue, San Francisco, California. Her marital status is widow and this residence is where she lives until 1913.
In 1914, there is an S. Jos. De Graeff and wife Louise living at 929 Lincoln Way, but Belle isn’t listed in this directory.
In 1915, Belle is living at 606 7th Avenue, San Francisco, California and is working with the Gas & Elec Appliance Co. Her son Gerald is living with her and working as a clerk for S. P. Co. She also has Chas. De Graeff working as a salesman for J. Gillies living at her address. S. Jos. De Graelff and wife Louise are living at 1208 4th Av. and he is working as a storekeeper. One of the earliest newspaper ads that I have located for Belle offering cooking classes with the Sperry Flour Co. is in The Selma Enterprise on March 11, 1916 advertising a cooking school to be held March 14-18 by Mrs. Belle DeGraf Domestic Science Expert from the Panama Pacific Exposition.
Residence From 1917 – 1920
In 1917, Belle is still living at 606 7th Avenue, San Francisco, but no job is listed. Both sons, Elmer and Gerald are living with her. S. Jos. Deraeff is divorce and working as a storekeeper for SP Co. and living at 1007 Haight in San Francisco.
In 1918, Belle is living at 678 9th Avenue, San Francisco with both sons. She is listed as the widow of Samuel. S. Jos. DeGraeff is living with wife Louise at 1209 11th Avenue in San Francisco. She is also living at this residence in 1919. On the 1920 census, Belle is still at the same address and Gerald and Belle’s mother, Clara are living together. She is listed as the Director of Domestic Science with the Sperry Flour Co. on this census record. Also, to note, her marital status is widow.
Working With Sperry Flour Company
In March 1916, Belle is doing cooking demonstrations for the ladies of Selma, California with the Sperry Flour Company. In May 1916, the Santa Ana Register called her a noted instructor in Domestic Science. National City Star-News called Belle a noted Domestic Science Teacher in March 1917.
On March 9, 1919, Belle is the feature in the San Francisco Chronicle’s weekly page as the Director of the Domestic Science Department of the Sperry Flour Company. The Sunday feature for Belle runs weekly and in December 1923 she is still writing articles for the San Francisco Chronicle. In May 1919, Belle is going to teach classes in Honolulu. In July 1920, Belle is teaching classes in Lompoc, California.
By the 1930 census, Belle is listed as the proprietor of a restaurant and living as a lodger at the Geary Street Petterson Hotel.
Death of Belle De Graf
Belle die on June 13, 1932 in San Francisco at the age of 57. Her funeral was held on June 15th as an article in The San Francisco Examiner wrote about: Funeral Today for Mrs. Belle de Graf. Funeral services will be held today at 10 a. m. for Mrs. Belle de Graf, widely known culinary expert and writer, who died Monday. Services will be from the Ashely & McMullen Chapel at Geary street and Sixth avenue. Interment will be private. In the Hanford Morning Journal on June 16, 1932 is found: Mrs. Belle De Graf, 56, widely known household authority and cook book author, died here Monday, a week after her return from an eastern trip. At various times she was employed as domestic science expert for the California Raisin Growers association and the California Prune and Apricot Growers association.
The San Francisco Examiner has an ad in their June 17, 1932 edition about Belle’s restaurant: Belle DeGraf’s Restaurant will continue to cater to her many friends and customers. There will be no change in the high quality of food and service. Monadnock Bldg. San Francisco. Gerald DeGraf, Elmer DeGraf.