Grimshaw, Alberta

Named for Matthew E. Grimshaw, Distinguished Physician from Kingston, Ontario

Dr. Grimshaw (from “Land of Hope and Dreams”, cited below)

One notable descendant of the William and Mary Ann (Blair) Grimshaw line was Matthew Grimshaw (their grandson; fifth child of William W. and Maria Wilson Grimshaw). Matthew was a physician who was educated in Kingston and who moved to western Canada and established his practice in the Peace River, Alberta area in 1914. The town of Grimshaw in that area was named after Matthew in about 1923.


Website Credit

Mathew E. Grimshaw, Grimshaw Community Namesake

Maps Showing Grimshaw Location

Grimshaw Today as Recorded by Thomas T. Grimshaw

Overview of the Grimshaw Community

Historical Summary from the Grimshaw Community Website

The Mackenzie Highway

Website Promotional Information

William and Mary Ann (Blair) Grimshaw Descendant Chart

Graves of Matthew Grimshaw and His Wife and Daughter

Connection to Actor John Carradine


Website Credit

Thanks go to Bob Grimshaw, who made much of the information on this webpage available from his files. He obtained the information from the Town of Grimshaw in 1991. Most of the rest of the information on this webpage is from the website of the Grimshaw community. Thomas T. Grimshaw made a visit to Grimshaw in the summer, 2005 and took several pictures and collected a number of images. Thanks go to the “other Tom Grimshaw” for providing these photos and images for this webpage.

Mathew E. Grimshaw, Namesake of the Grimshaw Community

The naming of the Grimshaw community for Dr. Grimshaw is related in “Land of Hope and Dreams – A History of Grimshaw and Districts” by Evelyn Hansen1 as shown below.

(Website Authors note: As shown below Doris, although she was married to David Carradines father for a  time, was not the mother of David Carradine.)

Hansen’s article also contained two photographs, one of Matthew and his wife, and the other of Matthew and his children, which are shown below.

Photos of Dr. Matthew Grimshaw and his family from the “Land of Hope and Dreams”

The cover and other interesting pictures from “The Land of Hope and Dreams” are shown below.

Cover from the book, “Land of Hope and Dreams: a History of Grimshaw and Districts.”

Pictures of Grimshaw from “Land of Hope and Dreams”

Poem about Grimshaw from “Land of Hope and Dreams”

Maps Showing Grimshaw Location

Grimshaw is located in Alberta about 220 miles northwest of Edmonton (shown below). Dr. Matthew Grimshaw is buried in nearby Fairview.

Location of Grimshaw (red star) in Alberta, Canada northwest of Edmonton.

Regional map showing Grimshaw and other communities in the Peace River area. Dr. Grimshaw is buried at Fairview, about 30 miles west of the community of Grimshaw.

Detailed map showing major roads and streets in Grimshaw.

Map of Grimshaw area from “Land of Hope and Dreams”, showing location of the community in relation to the nearby Peace River.

Grimshaw Today as Recorded by Thomas T. Grimshaw

Thomas T. Grimshaw visited the community of Grimshaw in the summer of 2005 and took a number of photos. He also collected several documents. The photos and scanned images are showed below. Thanks again go to Tom for making the trip and providing the photos and image.

Thomas T. Grimshaw at sign for administration building in the community of Grimshaw. Photo taken summer, 2005.

Figure 4b. 

Air photo of Grimshaw, showing the surrounding plains geography. The view appears to be to the southeast, with Highway 685 in the right side of the photo and 58th Avenue on the left side in the foreground.

Overview of the Grimshaw Community

Grimshaw had a population in 1990 of about 2750. It is located about 320 miles northwest of Edmonton on the southern terminus (“Mile Zero”) of the Mackenzie Highway (Highway 35), which leads to the northern part of Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Its major economic base is agriculture, oil and gas, and a large Kraft paper (pulp) mill. Its elevation is about 2000 feet; the average summer temperature is 57° F, and the average for the winter is 17° F. The town puts out the following summary as part of an information package they make available to interested parties.

Grimshaw was named for Dr. M.E. Grimshaw, a pioneer doctor who established a practice in the village of Peace River Crossing in 1914, and gave loyal service to the settlers of the peace River District for many years. He served on the village council for many years, and held the positions of reeve, village commissioner, and later the position of mayor from which he resigned in 1922. In 1929 he moved his family to Fairview where he died in November of that year.

The location of Grimshaw was chosen in 1917 and surveyed by Alfred Driscoll in September of 1921. Credit for this is given, in part, to the Central Canada Railway who build a railway line from McLennan to Peace River Crossing in 1916, and an extension westward to Berwyn the following year. When the site for the hamlet was first surveyed it became commonly known as “the stop” to the railway crews.

Jim Kennedy opened a livery stable and hotel in 1921. John Cattanach, regarded as Grimshaws premier citizen, became postmaster and general merchant in 1923. Then came other merchants who established such businesses as a butcher shop, a service station, a general store, a poolroom and barber shop. The first grain elevator was built by Security Elevator in 1926 and was followed by competition. Other businesses were established such as a real estate company, United Farmers of Alberta, a restaurant, drug store, farm machinery business, and hardware sales competition. These were the pioneer merchants, ready to make their fortunes in the 1930s. Incorporation was carried out. In March, 1930 the hamlet was established as the Village of Grimshaw, and made a Town on February 1, 1953.

Grimshaw developed first as a community center for a rich mixed farming district. It was a focal point where early settlers did shopping, and from which they shipped their surplus farm products. As the rich land to the north was opened up for settlement after the railroad arrived, it became the nearest rail shipping point for the farmers, trappers and fishermen as far north as Yellowknife, 632 miles to the north, and 15 miles south to the Peace River.

The Town is more important than local farming activities would indicate. The water supply from local springs has attracted many residents to the Town and unlimited room for expansion has attracted commerce. Grimshaw is strategically located for a distribution point for the entire north. The local resources are wheat and coarse grains, forage crops and seeds – mostly alfalfa and grass; cattle, hogs, poultry products, honey, straw; sand and grave; fish, furs, lumber, oil and gas.

Historical Summary from the Grimshaw Community Website

Additional historical information is provided on the Grimshaw community on their website, which is at the following address: The following summary is provided on the website:

The Village of Grimshaw

by Henry Buholzer


The early written history of Grimshaw is limited to the naming of the village, the name of the homesteader on whose land it was built, and the coming of the railroad in 1921. Thus, the name of the homesteader — Craddock — and the doctor — Grimshaw — are chronicled in Chamber of Commerce blurbs.

Not as well known is the fact that when the site for the hamlet was first surveyed, the railway crew just called it “the stop”. Credit for the existence of Grimshaw could also be attributed to the Central Canada Railway. Incorporated by Provincial Statute only eight years after the formation of the Province, it originally had one purpose; to build a railway from west of McLennan to Peace River Crossing. This task was completed in 1916, and the following year the energetic young company set about choosing a route for a further extension westward to Berwyn. What was eventually to become the location for Grimshaw was chosen in 1917, surveyed in 1921, and merely referred to as “the stop”. The route by-passed Pine Bluff, Shaftesbury and Bear Lake post offices. It was the familiar pattern which had been established by the building of the trans-continental railway.

The railway builders bought the site before the route was finally settled, in order to augment their revenues with land sales. If any homesteader had thoughts of selling his holdings for more than homestead prices, he was due for disillusionment. The grain buying companies chose to ignore “The Stop”, also, preferring to build elevators at Berwyn in 1923. It was not until 1926 that the Security elevator was built in Grimshaw; the competition followed in 1927 and 1928.

Little wonder that the grain companies weren’t eager. Mike Miller had bought three quarters of land in 1919 from James E. Craddock, who fled to warmer climates in British Columbia, from whence he came. Mike suffered three successive crop failures, then sold the portion of the quarter south of the tracks to an Edmonton firm, the remainder to the brothers Jim and John Kennedy. Jim was actually expanding his operations much as the latter day businessmen of Grimshaw. He had prospered from the livery stable and hotel operation that he had started in 1921, two years before his large purchase of land from Mike.

John Finley Cattanach, whom many regard as Grimshaw’s premier citizen, arrived from Bear Lake in 1923 and became a postmaster and general merchant.

George Hees started a butcher shop, and peddled meat door to door. Mike Miller operated a service station; competition from Bill Watt and Billie Miller arrived later. Yvan Adam operated a general store at the “top” of Main Street, linked by cinder path to the Railway Station. Earl Warren bought fur. In 1926 Matt Wilcox opened his poolroom and barber shop.

Quietly, without fanfare, the Security Company built its grain elevator. Its success assured, other companies followed. Meanwhile, John Loveseth’s Real Estate flourished and faltered. The United Farmers of Alberta moved their hall from the corner two miles south of Grimshaw to town. Bert Geyer started a general store in 1927. Dan Soo, Harry Martin and John Schur opened restaurant, drug store and butcher businesses respectively. Frank Donis opened a hardware business in 1929, and in association with Ernie Lyseng expanded into the farm machinery business. Ross Turnbull later provided hardware sales competition.

These, then, were the pioneer merchants, all seemingly poised to make their fortunes in the 1930’s. Incorporation of the hamlet was proceeded with, and in March of 1930, the Village of Grimshaw became a reality. In the first election for Village Council there were twenty-nine votes cast. The first Council of J. F. Cattanach, Yvan Adam and Frank Donis elected the last named as Mayor. Village affairs were conducted in a businesslike manner; the first mill rate was set at fifteen, and a constable hired for $5.00 per month. While Cattanach, Adam and Donis were busy with Village affairs, the matter of education was most important to Bert Geyer and Harry Martin, who both worked diligently to organize and finance a school district. This became a reality on October 18, 1930, when Grimshaw School District No. 4523 was established. Concurrently, Jim Scott and Frank Chilton espoused the cause of medical facilities, and they in turn served the village well as Grimshaw representatives on the Board of the Peace River Municipal Hospital.

A volunteer fire department was organized and Fire Captain Yvan Adam ensured that each individual businessman kept an ample supply of buckets and a full water barrel on hand, so the only expense chargeable to taxes was the fire alarm. Many hours were spent at Council meetings discussing ways and means of acquiring a bell from an obsolete railroad locomotive for a fire alarm. The C.N.R., C.P.R. and the local Northern Alberta Railway were all canvassed.

The railroad brass proved to be hard-headed businessmen — they would sell a bell, but no giveaways, and the latter is what the Council wanted. The result was as expected; Grimshaw sported a triangular piece of iron, suspended from a horizontal bar on a post, as a fire alarm. A separate metal bar hung on a chain nearby, the latter being the means to produce the din required to summon all and sundry to whatever fires happened to get out of control.

Nor were sports ignored. While Yvan Adam and Harry Martin preferred baseball, Mike Miller was just as happy to see the baseball season end, so he could devote his energies to hockey and curling. It is interesting to note that the Grimshaw School Board of early days was as keen on financing a skating rink as in providing a school. Ellen Scott, Frances (Nielsen) Malone, Jane Burd and Alice (Gagnon) Schur were part of the Grimshaw basketball team that terrorized the opposition. The members of the first Grimshaw Village Council had differing priorities until the elections of 1932 and 1933 when Ross Turnbull replaced Frank Donis, and James Scott replaced Yvan Adam. Thereafter, for a full five years, harmony of purpose existed within the Village Council as the triumvirate of Cattanach, Turnbull and Scott closed ranks, ruled parsimoniously and tolerated little outside interference.

One of the most persistent problems of the day was the matter of spring runoff water. The opening of farm land and cleared roadways caused spring runoff water to gather on the north side of the railway tracks, and the railway company was anxious to install culverts at strategic locations to protect their grade. This required the cooperation of the Village Council to, firstly agree on a location, and secondly and most importantly, to build a ditch through the village. The Council battled valiantly to keep the proposed ditch out of its jurisdiction, but it was no match for the determined petitioners. The railway moguls, complete with a retinue of lawyers and engineers, swooped down on the village lawmakers and browbeat them into agreeing to construct a drainage ditch through the village. Despite the drowning of a six year old boy shortly after, another forty years would pass before the inhabitants would be rid of the open ditch.

The new Village of Grimshaw experienced few eventful happenings during the 1930’s. Possibly the most eventful thing was a nonevent. The village grew so intolerably slowly that there were practically no new buildings erected throughout the entire decade, and the population increased hardly at all. Some merchants survived — barely. Others were too kindhearted, and liberal credit to friendly customers contributed to the occasional bankruptcy. Belt tightening was fashionable and the majority of the merchants consolidated their businesses rather than expand them. The village coffers were all but empty. Barter was practised, labor applied on taxes, gravel was acquired by ingenious methods, and despite the meager returns from tax collections, the village streets were gravelled. In the process, a trucking industry was born.

The latter event, without fate or fanfare, was really the beginning of the growth of Grimshaw, for the employment generated by the transportation industry, and later the construction industry, would eventually differentiate Grimshaw from other North Peace centers. The first tractor train to Yellowknife assembled in Grimshaw in 1939, and this development was the forerunner of many which would provide employment, and thereby broaden the economic base of the town. This was demonstrated in the late 1940’s when Hamilton Brothers incorporated’ Grimshaw Trucking and Distributing Ltd., choosing Grimshaw as the base of operations, to provide a land transportation service which northerners previously believed could never happen. It was the impetus needed to spur residential construction, to distinguish the village from Berwyn, Brownvale, Whitelaw and Bluesky.

Old plans, commissioned almost ten years previously, to determine the feasibility of piping water from a spring two miles from the village, were dusted off, and new cost estimates were obtained. As the population increased, the village Council was elated that a modern water and sewer system for the village could become a reality, and they even dared hope for the required population of seven hundred to attain town status. Disaster struck in January, 1950, when six Main Street businesses were wiped out in a single fire. There was no longer any doubt that a modern water system was needed.

It is said that adversity brings out the best in men, and the Main Street merchants were no exception. They rallied after the fire of 1950 and were soon back in business in new buildings.

Future history books such as this may chronicle the slow but steady growth to Grimshaw; the next decade would see the installation of a water and sewer system; town status attained; modern fire fighting equipment acquired; the arrival of new businesses; the building of recreational facilities, and an undreamed of residential development extending the boundaries of the town in all directions. But for those who were there in the Twenties, it all began with “The Stop”.


Frank Donis — 1930-1932.

John F. Cattanach — 1932-1943, 1945-1946

F. Ross Turnbull — 1943-1945.

Jack Kennedy — 1946-1947, 1949-1951.

Waiter M. Chubb — 1947-1949.

William H. Wortman — 1951-1952.

Morris J. Kilborn — 1952-1953.

The Mackenzie Highway

The following information on this important regional highway is from the Grimshaw community website.

The Mackenzie Highway starts in Grimshaw, Alberta, and ends at Fort Simpson, NWT (see image below.) At Fort Simpson, it connects with the Liard Highway which forms a link between the Mackenzie Highway and the Alaska Highway north of Fort Nelson, B.C.

At Jean Marie Junction, south of Fort Providence NWT, the Yellowknife Highway has its starting point. The Yellowknife Highway crosses the Mackenzie River and continues from there past Fort Providence and along the northwest side of Great Slave Lake. It continues past the communities of Rae and Edzo and ends at Yellowknife.

The Mackenzie Highway began as the Battle River Trail early in this century. It was originally built for, and by, the settlers travelling north to the present day Manning – Keg River and Fort Vermilion area.

With the development of the gold mines at Yellowknife, the trail was extended north to Hay River. It was used by freighters hauling supplies by cat train from Grimshaw to Hay River. Barges took the supplies from there to Yellowknife and other communities along the Mackenzie and Liard Rivers.

During World War II, the road became known as the Mackenzie Highway as traffic headed for Norman Wells, on the Mackenzie River, where oilfields, first discovered in 1918, were being developed.

In 1956, a winter road from Hay River to Yellowknife was built. Subsequently, it became an all weather road, most of which is now paved.

Until the construction of the Great Slave Lake Railway in the 60’s, farmers as far north as Fort Vermilion hauled their grain to Grimshaw. This made Grimshaw, for a time, the largest grain shipping point in the British Empire.

The Mile Zero monument in Grimshaw, at the intersection of Highways 2, 2A & 35, (see photo below) marks the start of this important transportation route.

Website Promotional Information

The following information is taken from the Grimshaw community website.

The Right Place To Be Now

Welcome to Grimshaw a truly Northern Town in both attitude and opportunities. This thriving, well diversified community serves the North in both the business and leisure time areas of life.

Every year thousands of people come to this area to enjoy a variety of tourism and recreational areas. Many of those same fine people who came for a visit have found that there still exists plenty of excellent business opportunities in the North based at Grimshaw.

Situated as Mile Zero on the Mackenzie Highway, Grimshaw’s link to Northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories has developed a healthy trading area. This has allowed for much diversification since the community serves many of the Industrial, Agricultural and Forestry sectors of the regional economy. The prosperity and sure growth of this town is assured by the importance of Grimshaw as a distibution point for the Northwest of Alberta. Combined with a resource base in the Energy Industry, Agriculture, and Forestry sectors the outlook for increased diversification and growth of the local economy will continue.

One does not need to exaggerate about the potential of Grimshaw – the truth is there. While this is a land of abundant opportunities, yet success waits here, as elsewhere, on the individual effort and initiative; for those who have the gumption to do things and get ahead today.

Real Northern Value

Many of the prosperous pioneers who came to open up the North contribute to the healthy friendly attitude and have remained to retire here and enjoy the quality of life that they worked hard to develop. Here is a community that prides itself on safe steets, clean air and good water.

Grimshaw is a community with deep roots in the land and a people with a cherished value in being Northerners.

Enjoy Our Great Outdoors

Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful areas in all of Alberta, people come to enjoy our great outdoors. With plenty of lakes, streams and breathtaking natural sights the people who want a truly “Natural” vacation will find an abundance of outdoor activities to enjoy.

The Migratory Bird Flyway provides many with the opportunity to watch wildlife in a manner that is getting hard to find. Queen Elizabeth Provincial Park on Lac Cardinal just 8km. northwest of Grimshaw provides just this chance of a lifetime. This sprawling park also offers modern campsites and boasts waterskiing, boating, swimming and hiking trails. Outdoor sportsmen will enjoy this vast area of wide open spaces and abundance of wildlife for big game hunting. Sportfishing is excellent in the area with many lakes and rivers stocked with rainbow trout, brown trout, eastern trout and walleye. Golfing is within minutes of town for golfers of all experience levels.

Many travellers think that some areas only have activities in a particular season but in this area there are things that can be enjoyed at any time of the year. All it takes to enjoy yourself is a willingness to be surprised; checking out the activities around and then going out to have the time of your life.

The Agricultural Industry

Mixed farming is the mainstay of the local economy. The area was originally settled by immigrants seeking the opportunities found in the rich soil and relatively stable climate. The prime crops grown are barley, wheat, canola, oats and peas. The long days of sunshine help to mature crops in fewer days than in more southern climes. The town has become a major farm supply center for both crop production products like seed, fertilizer and ag. chemicals as well as farm machinery and repair services. Services for hail and crop insurance, agricultural finance and consulting are available both through local government offices and those of several private insurance agencies. Agriculture promises to continue as the anchor industry that stabalizes our local economy.

The Forest Industry

Grimshaw has enjoyed a long history of involvement in the forest industry. In the early days many people were employed on the many small farm sawmills scattered throughout the area. Today a few small portable mills are still producing quality lumber from the spruce and poplar stands typical of our parkland region. For many years a mid size mill “Fisher’s Mill” worked just east of town and “Smith Mills” farther north in the Chinook Valley area. In addition the pulp industry is now a major employer in the area both with direct mill jobs and many spin off positions logging, hauling logs, road construction, and servicing related equipment.

The Transportation Industry

Grimshaw has earned a reputation as a major hub for transportation in Northern Alberta. Grimshaw is situated at “Mile 0” of the Mackenzie Highway and serves all points North. The Roma rail yards just east of town provide switching for points North and West as well as a distribution point for “Agrium” fertilizer products. Many trucking firms have bases in Grimshaw and serve the oilfield and heavy construction industry. With several major agricultural supply centers located in Grimshaw (Cargil Farm Center, Agricore and the UFA), We are a focal point for Northern distribution. Maintainance of the highway system North of the Peace River is co-ordinated from the transportation facilities managed by LaPrairie Group in Grimshaw.

William and Mary Ann (Blair) Grimshaw Descendant Chart

As noted, Matthew Grimshaw was the grandson of William and Mary Ann (Blair) Grimshaw. The descendants of William and Mary Ann’s family have been researched by Barbara Bonner4 and are shown below. William is probably the son of Zephaniah and Jesusha (Hunter) Grimshaw and the grandson of William and Elizabeth (Lepninah or Zephaniah) Grimshaw; both families are the subjects of companion webpages. William’s grandfather, another William, fought in Hazen’s Regiment on the Colonial side during the Revolutionary War.

Descendant Chart of William and Mary Ann (Blair) Grimshaw, showing Matthew in bold, italic font. Appreciation is extended to Barbara Bonner for making this information available.

William Grimshaw (1812 – 1897) & Mary Ann Blair (1813 – 1883)

|—–Thomas Grimshaw (1831 – 1876) & Anna S. Lathrop (1831 – 1926)

|—–|—–Miles Grimshaw* (1857 – 1933) & Frances (Frankie) Abbott (1861 – 1885)

|—–|—–Miles Grimshaw* (1857 – 1933) & Emma Sluman (1859 – 1930)

|—–|—–Emma Grimshaw (1858 – 1939) & George Henry Pyke (1853 – 1912)

|—–|—–Robert E. Grimshaw (1859 – 1946) & Nellie Canfield (1859 – 1896)

|—–|—–Franklin Grimshaw (1863 – 1863)

|—–|—–Ulysses Grant Grimshaw (1865 – 1944) & Phoebe Diana Watts (1869 – )

|—–|—–Ida Lena Grimshaw (1868 – ) & Milton E. Schell (1867 – 1936)

|—–|—–Theodore Thomas Grimshaw (1870 – ) & Clara Belle Shaal (1875 – )

|—–|—–Coleman Albert Grimshaw* (1873 – 1944) & Elizabeth Sarah Honnewell (1875 – 1933)

|—–|—–Coleman Albert Grimshaw* (1873 – 1944) & Elizabeth Long (1873 – 1959)

|—–|—–Thomas William Irwin Grimshaw (1877 – 1957) & Magdalena Radley (1879 – 1953)

|—–Melissa Grimshaw (1835 – 1907) & Thomas Murray Harkness (1835 – 1907)

|—–|—–Mary Minerva Harkness (1856 – ) & ? Johnson

|—–|—–Matthew E Harkness (1856 – )

|—–|—–William W Harkness (1859 – )

|—–|—–Hannah Harkness (1861 – ) & Henry Millar (1856 – )

|—–|—–Thomas Robert Harkness (1863 – 1934) & Eliza Maria McDermott

|—–|—–Elizabeth Harkness (1864 – 1929) & David Heath (1854 – 1921)

|—–|—–Margaret Harkness (1868 – 1897) & Samuel McGuire (1861 – )

|—–|—–Isabella Harkness* (1868 – 1936) & Timothe Killackey

|—–|—–Isabella Harkness* (1868 – 1936) & William Newcomb

|—–|—–Jennie Gertrude (Jane) Harkness (1870 – ) & William R Smith (1864 – 1904)

|—–|—–Victoria Harkness (1874 – ) & ? Stewart

|—–Almira Grimshaw (1837 – 1919) & John Gillespie (1821 – 1907)

|—–|—–John Gillespie Jr (1857 – 1945) & Mary Wilmot (1858 – )

|—–|—–William Henry Gillespie (1860 – 1866) & UNNAMED

|—–|—–Mary Gillespie (1861 – 1961) & Francis G Brooks (1860 – 1893)

|—–|—–Annie Gillespie (1863 – 1949) & Henry Frederick Wilmot (1861 – )

|—–|—–Robert Gillespie (1865 – 1936) & UNNAMED

|—–|—–Thomas Gillespie (1867 – 1901)

|—–|—–Bertha Jane Gillespie (1870 – 1947) & William Alfred Sawyer (1863 – 1941)

|—–|—–Simantha Elizabeth Gillespie (1872 – ) & Edward Dickinson Baker

|—–|—–Henry N Gillespie (1874 – 1942) & Elizabeth Alice Brice

|—–|—–George Herbert Gillespie (1876 – )

|—–|—–Florence Eleanor Gillespie (1878 – 1972) & Henry A Courtney

|—–Samantha Ann Grimshaw (1839 – 1883) & James Blair (1834 – 1877)

|—–|—–Helen Mary Blair (1864 – 1877)

|—–|—–William John Blair (1866 – 1952) & Mary (Minnie) Waddingham (1873 – 1925)

|—–|—–Ida Jane Blair* (1869 – ) & Neil Fletcher (1860 – 1921)

|—–|—–Ida Jane Blair* (1869 – ) & George Henry Vassar (1862 – )

|—–|—–Jerusha Anna Blair (1876 – 1954) & James Augustus Robinson (1876 – 1954)

|—–William W Grimshaw* (1842 – 1918) & Maria Wilson (1841 – 1884)

|—–|—–Eliza Gillow (1864 – )

|—–|—–Robert Henry Grimshaw (1869 – 1952) & Emma Bustard (1877 – 1965)

|—–|—–Maud Louise Grimshaw (1873 – 1907) & James Augustus Davis (1874 – 1936)

|—–|—–Russell Grimshaw (1874 – 1933) & Margaret (Grimshaw)

|—–|—–Matthew William Edward Grimshaw (1880 – 1929) & Doris Fraser

|—–|—–Earl Wilson Wallbridge Grimshaw (1881 – 1942) & Claudia Margaret Michea (1884 – 1952)

|—–William W Grimshaw* (1842 – 1918) & Jane Michea (1862 – 1926)

|—–Henry Grimshaw (1844 – 1925) & Lucinda Thompson (1844 – 1948)

|—–|—–Robert Fenwick Thompson Grimshaw (1976 – 1948) & Eliza Jane Cooper (1876 – 1960)

|—–|—–Ernest Ireland Maurice Grimshaw (1879 – 1898)

|—–Delos Grimshaw (1845 – 1905) & Sarah J Hutton (1859 – )

|—–|—–William Stafford Grimshaw (1879 – ) & Catherine Gladys Chisholm (1891 – )

|—–|—–Elizabeth Viola Minnie Grimshaw (1881 – ) & William Reginald Jaffrey (1889 – )

|—–|—–Melville Delos Grimshaw (1885 – )

|—–|—–Caniff Rupert Grimshaw (1889 – )

|—–|—–Harold Leslie Grimshaw (1891 – )

|—–|—–Carl Edgar Grimshaw (1894 – )

|—–|—–Stillborn Grimshaw (1896 – )

|—–Hiram Grimshaw (1850 – 1868)

|—–Silas Arthur Grimshaw (1851 – 1929) & Julia Turcotte (1854 – 1927)

|—–|—–Silas Franklin Grimshaw (1878 – 1959) & Matilda Shaw (1877 – 1963)

|—–|—–Georgia Stella Grimshaw (1884 – 1885)

|—–|—–Gertrude Elizabeth Grimshaw (1886 – 1974)

|—–|—–Maria Laurentana (Etta) Grimshaw (1888 – 1921) & John Leo O’Grady (1888 – 1928)

|—–Robert Grimshaw (1852 – 1853)

|—–James Grimshaw* (1852 – 1932) & Elizabeth Turcotte (1852 – 1885)

|—–|—–Rodney Silas Grimshaw (1875 – 1903) & Edith Hicks (1876 – )

|—–|—–Caroline Louisa (Carrie) Grimshaw (1877 – 1960) & John Henry McCall (1874 – 1954)

|—–|—–Agnes Laura (Laurie) Grimshaw (1879 – 1938) & Arthur Sudds (1880 – 1945)

|—–James Grimshaw* (1852 – 1932) & Leonora Clark (1852 – 1935)

|—–|—–Andrew Clark Grimshaw (1891 – )

|—–|—–Eva Blanche Grimshaw (1893 – 1949) & David Osmond Edgar (1889 – 1971)

|—–|—–Edward Orvel/Orvel Ray Grimshaw (1896 – 1958)

|—–Mary Ann Grimshaw (1858 – 1898) & John Lemmon (1856 – 1925)

|—–|—–Ethel Lemmon (1883 – 1961) & Malcolm Jenkin ( – 1966)

|—–|—–William Harold Lemmon (1883 – 1894)

|—–|—–John Lemmon (1885 – 1978) & Mary Loretta McFadden (1884 – 1967)

|—–|—–Edith Irene Lemmon (1887 – 1929) & Clifton A Reed (1888 – 1917)

|—–|—–Robert Henry (Pete) Lemmon* (1890 – 1957) & Dora M Brown (1891 – 1926)

|—–|—–Robert Henry (Pete) Lemmon* (1890 – 1957) & Emma Florence Potter (1894 – 1962)

Obituary of Matthew Grimshaw

An obituary was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 19302. An image of the obituary is shown below.

An interesting and previously unreported fact about Matthew’s life is that he visited London and Edinburgh early in his life.

Graves of Matthew Grimshaw and His Wife and Daughter

Matthew and Doris (Fraser) Grimshaw and their daugher, Doris (Grimshaw) Carradine, are buried in Fairview Cemetery, which is located 20 to 30 miles west of Grimshaw.

Dr Matthew William Edward Grimshaw

Birth:  Feb. 2, 1880m Wolfe Island, Ontario, Canada

Death:  Nov. 7, 1929

Fairview, Alberta, Canada

The town of Grimshaw, Alberta was named after Dr. Grimshaw.

Family links:


William W. Grimshaw (1842 – 1918)

Maria Wilson Grimshaw (1841 – 1884)

Spouse:  Doris Fraser Grimshaw (1889 – ____)*

Children: Doris Grimshaw Carradine (1919 – 1971)*

*Calculated relationship

Burial: Waterhole Cemetery, Waterhole

Grande Prairie Census Division, Alberta, Canada

Created by: Charles Coe

Record added: Oct 25, 2012

Find A Grave Memorial# 99562815

Dr Matthew William Edward Grimshaw

Added by: C FRIEDEL


Doris Fraser Grimshaw

Birth:  1889

Ontario, Canada

Death:  unknown

Alberta, Canada

Family links:

 Spouse: Matthew William Edward Grimshaw (1880 – 1929)

Children: Doris Grimshaw Carradine (1919 – 1971)*

*Calculated relationship

Burial: Waterhole Cemeterym, Waterhole

Grande Prairie Census Division, Alberta, Canada

Created by: Charles Coe

Record added: Oct 25, 2012

Find A Grave Memorial# 99573985


A photo and information on Waterhole Cemetery in Fairview are shown below.

Date: [unknown] [unknown]

Location: [unknown]

Profile manager: Jim Spence private message [send private message]

Last profile change on 31 March 2012

14:45: Jim Spence edited the Text on Fairview Waterhole Cemetery [Thank Jim for this]

directed from The War Cemeteries



Access by car from Peace River, Alberta, follow highway 2 west 84 km to 113th St., then turn south for 6km to Waterhole.


After Dunvegan was established as a fur trading post in 1805, a trail was developed between the new post and the forks of the Peace and Smoky River. From Dunvegan, travellers passed close to this area before swinging west on their way to the Peace River Crossing. Water and hay from the area made it a popular stopping place, which came to be know as Waterhole. In the early 1920’s approximately 200 people lived in Waterhole. In 1828, Waterhole was bypassed by the railway and businesses and residences decided to move 6 km north to the present location of Fairview. Pictures posted of the hamlet of Waterhole are the only evidence that this area existed and are displayed at the original location of Waterhole along the highway. Today, the Waterhole Cemetery is all that remains with the name “Waterhole”.

Stanley Howard Pruden—L.16.B.4.G.798

Source: 175816&lim=0&num=25&action=browse

Connection to Actor John Carradine

John and Doris (Fraser) Grimshaw’s daughter, Doris, was married for a time to noted actor John Carradine. His biography from Wikipedia is shown below. Note the paragraph in bold and italic font on Doris Grimshaw. Doris was one of four spouses of Carradine but was not the mother of David Carradine, the star of the television program Kung Fu as reported in the article above. She had two sons, Dale and Michael, from previous relationships but apparently had no children by John Carradine.

John Carradine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Born: Richmond Reed Carradine, February 5, 1906, New York City, New York, USA

Died: November 27, 1988 (aged 82), Milan, Italy

Other Names: Peter Richmond

Occupation: Actor

Years Active: 1930-1987


Ardanelle McCool Cosner (1935-1944)

Sonia Sorel (1944-1956)

Doris Rich (1957-1971; her death)

Emily Cisneros (1975-1988; his death)

Children: 4

Parents: William Reed Carradine and Genevieve Winifred Richmond

John Carradine (born Richmond Reed Carradine; February 5, 1906 – November 27, 1988) was an American actor, best known for his roles in horror films and Westerns as well asShakespearean theater. A member of Cecil B. DeMille’s stock company and later John Ford’s company, he was one of the most prolific character actors in Hollywood history. He was married several times, had several children and was the patriarch of the Carradine family, including four of his sons and four of his grandchildren who are or were also actors.

John Carradine was born in the Greenwich Village section of the Manhattan borough of New York City, the son of Genevieve Winifred (née Richmond), a surgeon, and William Reed Carradine, a correspondent for the Associated Press.[1][2] William Carradine was the son of evangelical author Beverly Carradine. The family lived in Peekskill and Kingston, New York.[3] William died from tuberculosis when John was two years old. John’s mother remarried “a Philadelphia paper manufacturer named Peck, who thought the way to bring up someone else’s boy was to beat him every day just on general principle.”[4] John attended the Christ Church School in Kingston[3] and the Episcopal Academy in Merion Station, Pennsylvania, where he developed his diction and his memory while memorizing portions of the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer as a punishment.[4]

Carradine’s son, David, claimed that his father ran away when David was 14 years old. He returned at some point, as he studied sculpture at Philadelphia’s Graphic Arts Institute.[3] John lived with his maternal uncle, Peter Richmond, in New York City for a while, working in the film archives of the public library. David said that while still a teenager, his father went to Richmond,Virginia, to serve as an apprentice to Daniel Chester French, the sculptor who created the statue of Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Monument (see notes). He traveled for a time, supporting himself painting portraits. “If the sitter was satisfied, the price was $2.50,” he once said. “It cost him nothing if he thought it was a turkey. I made as high as $10 to $15 a day.”[1] During this time, he was arrested for vagrancy. While in jail, Carradine was beaten, suffering a broken nose that did not set correctly. This contributed to “the look that would become world famous.”[4]

David Carradine said, “My dad told me that he saw a production of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice when he was eleven years old and decided right then what he wanted to do with his life”.[4] He made his stage debut in 1925 in New Orleans in a production of Camille and worked for a time in a New Orleans Shakespeare company.[3] Carradine joined a tent repertory theater under the management of R. D. MaClean, who became his mentor. In 1927, he took a job escorting a shipment of bananas from Dallas, Texas to Los Angeles,[3] where he eventually picked up some theater work under the name of Peter Richmond, in homage to his uncle. He became friends with John Barrymore, and began working for Cecil B. DeMille as a set designer. Carradine, however, did not have the job long. “DeMille noticed the lack of Roman columns in my sketches,” Carradine said. “I lasted two weeks.”[3] Once DeMille heard his baritone voice, however, he hired him to do voice-overs. Carradine said, “…the great Cecil B. De Mille saw an apparition – me – pass him by, reciting the gravedigger’s lines from ‘Hamlet,’ and he instructed me to report to him the following day.”[1] He became a member of DeMille’s stock company and his voice was heard in several DeMille pictures, including The Sign of the Cross.


Carradine’s first film credit was Tol’able David (1930), but he claimed to have done 70 pictures before getting billing. Carradine tested, along with Conrad Veidt, William Courtenay, Paul Muni, and Ian Keith, for the title role in Dracula, but all contenders lost out to Bela Lugosi. Carradine would later play the Count in the Universal Studios Dracula sequels House of Frankenstein andHouse of Dracula. Lugosi and Carradine both also tested for the monster role in Frankenstein (1931).[3] By 1933, he was being credited as John Peter Richmond, perhaps in honor of his friend, John Barrymore.[4] He adopted the stage name “John Carradine” in 1935, and legally took the name as his own two years later.

By 1936, Carradine had become a member of John Ford’s stock company and appeared in The Prisoner of Shark Island. In total, he made 11 pictures with Ford, including his first important role, as Preacher Casy in The Grapes of Wrath (1940), which starred Henry Fonda.[1] Other Ford films in which Carradine appeared includeThe Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) and Stagecoach (1939), both with John Wayne.

As preacher Casy in The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Carradine did considerable stage work, much of which provided his only opportunity to work in a classic drama context. He toured with his own Shakespearean company in the 1940s, playing Hamlet and Macbeth. His Broadway roles included Ferdinand in a 1946 production of John Webster’sThe Duchess of Malfi, the Ragpicker in a 13-month run of Jean Giraudoux’s The Madwoman of Chaillot, Lycus in a 15-month run of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and DeLacey in the expensive one-night flop Frankenstein in 1981. He also toured in road companies of such shows as Tobacco Road and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, in which he was properly emaciated as the cancer-ridden Big Daddy, a part, he said, which Tennessee Williams wrote for him.[3]

Carradine claimed to have appeared in more than 450 movies, but only 225 movies can be documented. His count is closer to fact if theatrical movies, made-for-TV movies and television programs are included.[3][5][6] He often played eccentric, insane or diabolical characters, especially in the horror genre with which he had become identified as a “star” by the mid-1940s. He occasionally played a heroic role, as in The Grapes of Wrath, in which he played Casy, the ill-fated “preacher”, and he occasionally played a sympathetic role, as in Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake, in which he played Blake’s shipmate, who escapes with him to a tropical island full of riches.

He appeared in dozens of low-budget horror films from the 1940s onwards, in order to finance a touring classical theatre company. He sang the theme song to one film in which he appeared briefly, Red Zone Cuba. He also made more than one hundred television appearances, including CBS’s My Friend Flicka, Johnny Ringo (as “The Rain Man”), and Place the Face, NBC’sCimarron City as the foreboding Jared Tucker in the episode “Child of Fear” and on William Bendix’s Overland Trail in the 1960 episode “The Reckoning,” on ABC’s Harrigan and Son, The Rebel, and The Legend of Jesse James, and on the syndicated adventure series, Rescue 8, with Jim Davis.

Carradine made recurring appearances as the mortician, Mr. Gateman, on CBS’ The Munsters. Carradine also appeared in both of Irwin Allen’s classic 1960’s science-fiction TV series “Lost In Space” and “Land Of The Giants.” In 1985, Carradine won a Daytime Emmy Award for his performance as an eccentric old man who lives by the railroad tracks in the Young People’s Special, Umbrella Jack.

In 1982, he supplied the voice of the Great Owl in the animated feature The Secret of NIMH. One of Carradine’s final film appearances was Peggy Sue Got Married in 1986. Carradine’s last released film credit was Bikini Drive-In, released years after his death.

Carradine’s deep, resonant voice earned him the nickname “The Voice”. He was also known as the “Bard of the Boulevard,” due to his idiosyncratic habit of strolling Hollywood streets while reciting Shakespearean soliloquies, something he always denied.[3]

Personal Life and Death

Carradine was married four times. He married his first wife, Ardanelle McCool Cosner, in 1935. She was mother of Bruce and David.[3] John adopted Bruce, Ardanelle’s son from a previous marriage. John had planned a large family but, according to the autobiography of his son David, after Ardanelle had had a series of miscarriages, Carradine discovered that she had had repeated “coat hanger” abortions, without his knowledge, which rendered her unable to carry a baby to full term.[4] After only three years of marriage, Ardenelle Carradine filed for divorce, but the couple remained married for another five years.[7]

They divorced in 1944, when David was seven years old. Carradine left California to avoid court action in the alimony settlement.[8][9][10] After the couple engaged in a series of court battles involving child custody and alimony, which at one point landed Carradine in jail,[9] David joined his father in New York City. By this time his father had remarried. For the next few years David was shuffled between boarding schools, foster homes and reform school.[11]

Carradine married Sonia Sorel, who had appeared with him in Bluebeard (1944) immediately following his divorce from Ardanelle in 1945. Sonia, who had adopted the stage name of Sorel, was the daughter of San Francisco brewer, Henry Henius, granddaughter of biochemist Max Henius, and a great-niece of the historian Johan Ludvig Heiberg [12] Together she and Carradine had three sons, Christopher, Keith and Robert. Their divorce in 1957[12] was followed by an acrimonious custody battle, which resulted in their sons being placed in a home for abused children as wards of the court. Keith Carradine said of the experience, “It was like being in jail. There were bars on the windows, and we were only allowed to see our parents through glass doors. It was very sad. We would stand there on either side of the glass door crying”.[13]

Eventually, Carradine won custody of the children. For the next eight years, Sonia was not permitted to see the children [14] Robert Carradine said that he was raised primarily by his stepmother, his father’s third wife, Doris (Rich) Grimshaw, and believed her to be his mother until he was introduced to Sonia Sorel at a Christmas party when he was 14 years old. He told a journalist, “I said, ‘How do you do.’ Keith took me aside and said ‘That’s our real mother.’ I didn’t know what he was talking about. But he finally convinced me.”[15]

When John Carradine married Doris (Erving Rich) Grimshaw[16] in 1957, she already had a son from a previous marriage, Dale, and a son from a later relationship, Michael, both of whom, along with Sonia Sorel’s son, Michael Bowen, are sometimes counted among John Carradine’s eight sons.[17] She was a one-time studio typist who typed the script to The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and who went on to play a few roles in film and television.[18] Doris died in 1971 in a fire in her apartment in Oxnard, California. The fire was caused by a burning cigarette. She had been rescued from a similar fire just two weeks earlier. At the time of her death, she and Carradine were separated.[19] Carradine was married a fourth time, from 1975 to 1988, to Emily Cisneros, who survived him.[2]

Retired, Carradine suffered from painful and crippling arthritis, before he died from multiple organ failure at Fatebenefratelli Hospital in Milan, Italy on November 27, 1988. Hours before he was stricken, he had climbed the 328 steep steps of Milan’s Gothic cathedral, the Duomo. According to David Carradine, he had just finished a film in South Africa and was about to begin a European tour. David was with him, reading Shakespeare to him, when he succumbed to his condition.[20] By the time David and Keith Carradine had arrived at their father’s bedside, he was unable to speak. “I was told that his last words were ‘Milan: What a beautiful place to die.'” David recalled, “but he never spoke to me or opened his eyes. When he died, I was holding him in my arms. I reached out and closed his eyes. It’s not as easy as it is in the movies.”[4]

There was a Requiem Mass for John Carradine at St. Thomas the Apostle Hollywood; a church he had founded. Jane Fonda was among those in attendance. An Irish wake followed and eventually he was buried at sea.[4]


1.  Krebs, Albin. “John Carradine, Actor, Dies; appeared in Numerous Roles”, New York Times,November 29, 1988.

2. John Carradine.

3.  Beaver, Jim. “John Carradine”, Films in Review, October 1979.

4.  Carradine, David. Endless Highway(1995) Journey Publishing

5. Carradine interview, Dick Cavett Show, 1977..

6. Weaver, Tom. John Carradine: The Films, McFarland & Co., 1999.

7. “Sued for Divorce”, Desert News, Feb. 4, 1945, p. 8

8. “Mrs. Carradine Pushes Action Against Actor”, (September 4, 1945) Los Angeles Times A12

9.  “Actor Goes Free Pending Hearing on Old Charge”, (September 5, 1953) The Modesto Bee, Pg. 4

10.  “Carradine Flies East After Court Victory”, Los Angeles Times, (August 17, 1946) pp. A1

11. David Carradine Biography. FOX. Updated June 4, 2009

12.  35-year-old Actress and Young Artist Wed. Sarasota Journal. May 13, 1957

13.  Deihl, Digby, “Getting Personal With Keith Carradine”, Boca Raton News’, November 4, 1984, Pg.99

14. Wadler, Joyce. “Keith Carradine’s Long Road to ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ “, New York Times, July 23, 2006

15.  Scott, Vernon. “Young Robert May Top All Carradines”, Sarasota Herald, Feb. 22, 1978, pg. 7B

16. Oxnard (CA) Press-Courier, May 18, 1971, p. 1

17. Kleiner, Dick. “Carradines: 8 Sons, 2 Dads, 3 Moms”, The Sumter Daily Item, June 1, 1982, pg 10

18. Oxnard (CA) Press-Courier, May 18, 1971 p. 2

19. Rome News-Tribune, May 19, 1971, pg. 1

20. Valsecchi, Peiro. “Actor John Carradine dead at 82”, Times-News, November 27, 1988

21. “Met on the Web”. Hielbrunn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 2011-10-28.

Article on the Carradine Family in The Sumter Daily Item, June 1, 1982

Source: “The Sumter Daily Item”, Sumter, SC, June 1, 1982 nid=1979&dat=19820601&id=lYs0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=iK0FAAAAIBAJ&pg=2447,4779256


1Hansen, Evelyn, 1980, Dr. Grimshaw Story, in Land of Hope and Dreams – A History of Grimshaw and Districts: Grimshaw, Alberta, Grimshaw and Districts Historical Society, p. 287.

2Author unknown, 1930, “Obituaries”: Canadian Medical Association Journal, volume 22, no 1 (January 1930), p. 137-138.  

Webpage History

Webpage posted August 2000, updated May 2001, January 2002. Updated August 2005 with addition of photos and images from Thomas T. Grimshaw (and replacement of location maps). Updated January 2007 with addition of obituary images. Webpage updated October 2013 with addition of grave photos, information on John Carradine, and overall website update, including banner.