Andrew and Margaret Graham – Early Citizens of Council Bluffs


Andrew C. Graham and Margaret Oliver were both born in Scotland in 1828. They married in the Spring of 1853. The Graham’s had a son, Walter, in 1855 and two years later they immigrated to the United States, settling in Council Bluffs. Their son Robert was born shortly after they arrived.

With the exception of 2 years in Idaho, the Graham’s lived the rest of their lives in Council Bluffs.

Andrew worked with W. G. Oliver in an outfitting business, that sold guns, tents and fishing tackle. Everything an outdoors person would want. This partnership lasted for 30 years, and then the business became Graham and Sons.

Like many early citizens in Council Bluffs Andrew Graham served on the city council and on the county board of supervisors.

According to the Nonpareil, Andrew enjoyed hunt clubs, shooting matches and fishing trips. Anything outside. So it makes sense that his greatest contribution to Council Bluffs was the development of the Council Bluffs Park System. He served on the Park Board for over 30 years and was instrumental in creating and developing Fairmount Park.

“He deserves more credit than any other man for the preservation and acquisition of the parks of Council Bluffs and he put forth his labors in this connection for twenty years without receiving any compensation for his services.”

Margaret Graham died on October 3rd, 1918 at the age of 88. Andrew Graham, died May 6th, 1919. His body was discovered when he failed to show up at a park board meeting. They are both buried in Fairview cemetery.