Born: June 3, 1854, Jamestown, Pennsylvania.
Died: November 14, 1931, Jamestown, Pennsylvania.
Buried: Park Lawn Cemetery, Jamestown, Pennsylvania.
Hugh was the son of Joseph McGranahan and Margaret McMichael, husband of Grace McKinley, and nephew of hymnist James McGranahan (and sometimes confused with his uncle of the same name, who lived 1825–99).
He studied music under George Root and Horatio Palmer, and at the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, Massachusetts.
His career started by directing musical institute conventions. He later had charge of church choral unions in New York and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and led the Music Department at Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois, for five years.
After leaving the music field for health reasons, he entered the insurance field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he directed music in the educational department of the Bellefield Presbyterian Church.
As of 1880, he was teaching music in South Shenango, Pennsylvania. By 1914, he had moved back to his home town of Jamestown.