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Stephany and Grasberger

Family Tree

Coon/Gardner Family Tree | Bender/DeLong/Carpenter Family Tree | DeHond/Scantlin Family Tree

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My maternal grandfather was Alfred Joseph Stephany (Born: July 11, 1901, in Rochester, NY. Died: December 18, 1994, in Mt. Morris, NY).  He married Mildred DeHond (see DeHond Family Tree), June 15, 1926.  (See Wedding Portrait). Alfred owned and operated the Trolley Grill, and later, from about 1935 to 1963, The Hotel Stephany (formerly the Exchange Hotel) in Pittsford, NY.

Alfred's parents were Edward Stephany (Born: October 1870, Rochester, NY. Died: August 31, 1953, Pittsford, NY) and Anna Grasberger (Born: April 15, 1872, Titusville, PA. Died: June 17, 1963, Rochester, NY).  Edward and Anna were married August 28, 1894 at St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church in Rochester, NY. (Wedding Portrait of Edward and Anna) They had three children [Edna Amelia, (Born: May 31, 1895. Died: September 6, 1975, married Walter John Esker); Myrtle, (Born: May 20, 1897. Died: December 20, 1994, married Oscar Ruffing); and Alfred Joseph].  Edward and Anna are buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester, NY.

Anna Grasberger's parents were Joseph Grasberger (Born: 1845, Baden, Germany) and Josephine Haase.  Joseph worked as a cooper (barrel maker). A group portrait (circa 1902) of the Grasberger Family, including all of their seven children with spouses and grandchildren is available here.

Edward Stephany was a tinsmith by trade.  According to family legend, one day he was on a scaffold putting up a tin ceiling for inventor George Eastman ("a nice young man", according to Edward's observation) when a friend passed by. Edward reached down to shake his friend's hand and fell to the ground, severely injuring a foot and his left hand. A skilled doctor removed twenty-one bone fragments from his foot, saving it from amputation.  With one foot shorter then the other, Edward had to special-order his shoes - or buy two pair and throw away the remaining mismatched pair.

Edward also lost the ring finger on his left hand.  The doctor was going to leave the short stump, but Edward was still young enough to be playing baseball and knew the stump would get in the way of catching the ball, so he asked to have the entire finger removed.  The only problem he experienced thereafter was when he put out his hand for change - dimes and pennies would fall through the gap.  His grandchildren could never understand why "Grandpa" had one less "people" then they did when playing "Here's the church and here's the steeple" with him.

Edward tried his hand at owning a hardware store in Rochester, NY.  The man across the street with the fruit and vegetable store said to Edward one day, "I've got a problem.  The boys want to change their name." Edward began to explain the legal ramifications when his friend interrupted, "I know all that.  The problem is: my boys want to take the name 'Stephany'."  Obviously, Edward had no objection, because now there is an Italian branch of the Stephany name.  (Edward's hardware store went out of business before the Great Depression).

Edward also worked on both the "Wings" atop the Times Square Building and the "Mercury" statue that adorn the skyline of Rochester, NY. He told about sitting in a bosun's chair while someone below hoisted buckets of pitch (tar) to him which he poured into the statue of "Mercury" by way of a plate removed from the forehead of the statue.  The pitch was added because the statue was unstable and needed the extra ballast.

In addition, Edward Stephany was something of an inventor, inventing and patenting a Bottle Closure Device.

Edward Stephany's parents were John Stephany, Sr. (Born: 1825, Alsace-Lorraine, German Republic. Died: February 19, 1904, Rochester, NY) and Sophia (Born: 1835, Died: 1897, Rochester, NY). John emigrated to America to escape conscription into the German army; as he, like many of his countrymen considered themselves part of France, and refused to recognize the German occupation of their homeland.  In America, John worked as a whip maker and was an active member of St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church on N. Clinton Ave., near his home on Sellinger St.  John and Sophia had seven other children: Charles (Born: 1856), Louise, Amelia, Rosa (Born: 1866), Caroline "Carrie" (Born: 1869), George (Born: 1876), and John, Jr. (Born: 1878).  Carrie became a tailoress, George was a camera maker, probably at Kodak, and John Jr. was an insurance agent. John, Sr. and Sophia are both buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester, NY.

Note: Many thanks to my Uncle (and Godfather) Edward Stephany, who supplied me with much of the information on this page, and to my second cousin Rosemary Miller, who shared information from her research on the Stephany and Grasberger families.

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