Robert E. Grimshaw

South Dakota Pioneer and Prominent Citizen of Deadwood

Robert Elwood Grimshaw was born in Philadelphia in 1849, the son of Robert Elwood and Mary Page (Nicholson) Grimshaw (see companion webpage). Robert grew up in Minnesota and went to South Dakota in about 1864, where he joined an expedition that build Fort Wadsworth (later the Sisseton agency) in Dakota Territory. He returned to Minnesota but later again went to South Dakota in 1876 during the Black Hills Gold Rush. He settled in Deadwood where he engaged in several business interests, apparently including a gold mine near the famous Homestake Mine, and was an active civic leader. He built the first building of the Dakota School of Mines – later the S.D. School of Mines and Technology – in Rapid City (from which the website author is a graduate). Robert died in 1924 and is buried in Deadwood within a few yards of Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane.


Webpage Credits

Who Was Robert E. Grimshaw?

Robert Constructed the First Building of the S.D. School of Mines

Career as Postmaster of Deadwood, SD

Involvement in Black Hills Mining

Robert Grimshaw’s Home in Deadwood

Report of Accident of Robert Grimshaw’s Daughter, Maude

Family Origins of Robert E. Grimshaw

Final Resting Place of Robert E. Grimshaw and his Two Wives


Webpage Credits

Thanks go to the staff at the Devereaux Libarary at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSM&T) for making available many of the historical materials that are presented on this webpage.

Who Was Robert E. Grimshaw?

An excellent biography of Robert is presented in the 1915 History of South Dakota21 and is presented below.


Robert E. Grimshaw is serving his seventh year as postmaster of Deadwood and has managed the affairs of the office to the satisfaction of its patrons, all of the numberless details of the work being carefully looked after, as he is very systematic in everything he does. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 4, 1849, a son of Robert E. and Mary (Nicholson) Grimshaw. The mother was a sister of James B. Nicholson, one of the leading members of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in the United States and widely known as a lecturer. The Nicholson family have been in the United States for a long time but the Grimshaws were residents of England not so many years ago. The father of our subject, however, was born in Philadelphia and was an architect and builder in his native city for many years, but in 1856 removed with his family to Minneapolis, Minnesota. They traveled by rail to Pittsburgh and then by boat down the Ohio and up the Mississippi to St. Paul. They arrived in that city before there was any railroad there and were among the pioneers of that section. The father followed his profession in Minneapolis and erected many of the public buildings, such as schools. He was an extensive land owner, having large holdings in Minnesota, and was also active in public affairs, serving on the city council of Minneapolis for a number of years and as a director of the board of education for several years. At one time he was a director of the First National Bank and in many ways he took part in the life of the community. He died in 1900, having survived his wife for many years, her death occurring in 1857, just one year after the arrival of the family in Minneapolis. They were the parents of six children, namely: Virginia, the wife of J.B. Hunt, a resident of River Falls, Wisconsin: Robert E., of this review; Eliza, who married George W. Cooley, city engineer of Minneapolis; Maud, the wife of professor Jourdan, who has been the superintendent of the Minneapolis schools for more than twenty years; Blanch, the wife of Dr. Benjamin, a practicing physician of that city; and William H., who for a period of twelve years has been United States marshal for the state of Minnesota.

Robert E. Grimshaw attended the public and high schools of Minneapolis but then only fourteen years of age he ran away from home and joined an expedition which was sent to locate a government post upon the frontier just after the Minnesota massacres. The post which was established was Fort Wadsworth, now the Sisseton agency, in Roberts County, South Dakota. Mr. Grimshaw was clerk to the captain of the commissary and during the trip had many interesting experiences, as the expedition was gone for a whole season and at that time there was not a single white man’s house in the northern part of South Dakota. On his return to St. Paul, Mr. Grimshaw found employment with a wholesale grocery establishment in Minneapolis, continuing in that connection for about five years. At the end of that time he engaged in the manufacture of carriages until 1876, when he started for the Black Hills, going by railroad to Bismark, which was then the end of the Northern Pacific, and from that point by ox team to Deadwood. He located the road from Bismarck to Deadwood and for two years operated a freighting team between the two settlements. He located permanently in Deadwood and engaged in the hay and grain business until 1886, in which year he obtained a contract from the state for the construction of the first building at the School of Mines in Rapid City and the same year he took a contract to furnish ties and timber for the Chicago & Northwester Railroad for their line from Buffalo Gap, South Dakota, to Rapid City. He completed his contracts in 1886 and since then has devoted his time chiefly to public affairs. He has held a number of local offices and he has always discharged the duties appertaining thereto ably and conscientiously. For the past seven years he has been postmaster of Deadwood and under Governor Harred served as oil inspector. For four terms he was a member of the city council, being appointed by the legislature when the city was first organized and being elected the following three terms. He was city assessor for two or three terms and city marshal one term. He also served as deputy county treasurer for four years, besides holding various minor offices. He is likewise interested in a number of mines in the Black Hills and his investments return him a fair profit.

Mr. Grimshaw was married on the 24th of May, 1871, to Miss Alice Paine, a native of Providence, Rhode Island, and a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Paine. Her father was a newspaper man in the east and upon removing to Minneapolis continued in that line of work. His wife died in that city in 1874 and he later went to Bismarck, North Dakota, passing away in 1886. To Mr. and Mrs. Grimshaw were born three children, namely: Myrtle, the wife of E.A Ricker, now a resident of Salt Lake City, Utah, and general agent of the Equitable Life Insurance Company for that state; Alice, the wife of George F. Bagley, who is engaged in the real-estate business and also conducts a curio store at Deadwood; and Maud, the wife of William Garberson, a Baptist minister residing in Denver. Mrs. Grimshaw died on January 17, 1900, and Mr. Grimshaw was again married, July 17, 1903, his second wife being Mrs. Mae Cannon, of Chicago, whose parents, Mr .and Mrs. Edward Wearne, now reside in Los Angeles, California.

Mr. Grimshaw is a republican in politics and staunchly supports that party at the polls. He has been a resident of Deadwood for many years and recounts many interesting stories of pioneer days which make the past live again and which enable the hearer to appreciate the conditions under which the old settlers of the locality lived and worked. As a private citizen and as a public official he has always adhered to the highest moral standards and has won the unqualified respect of all who knew him.

A drawing of the carriage-building establishment, apparently part-owned by Robert, is provided in an 1874 historical atlas of Minnesota23 , which is shown below.

Grimshaw and Town Carriage Works, located in Minneapolis, as depicted in a historical atlas of Minnesota.

Robert Grimshaw Constructed the First Building of the S.D. School of Mines

One of Robert’s many interests was the construction business. In June 1885 he won the contract to construct the first building of the newly formed Dakota School of Mines. The contract award and building construction are described in O’Harra’s history of the School of Mines3 as shown below (see paragraph in italics).

A Brief History of the South Dakota State School of Mines

By President C. C. O’Harra

The South Dakota State School of Mines, formerly known as the Dakota School of Mines, was established March 7, 1885.

In February, 1883, while the seat of the territorial government was yet at Yankton, Hon. John W. Nowlin of Rapid City, member of the Lower House from Pennington county, introduced a bill for the establishment of a territorial School of Mines to be located at Rapid City. This bill passed the House by a good majority and passed the council almost unanimously. Governor Ordway, however, chose to veto the bill and the effort to establish a technical educational institution in the Black Hills for the time failed of fruition.

It should be borne in mind that Territorial Dakota at that time was very sparsely settled. A great part of the territory was wholly unoccupied except by a few thousand roaming Sioux Indians. The white settlers were concentrated chiefly in three widely separated districts, namely, the southeastern area around Yankton, the northeastern area of the Red River valley and the southwestern area in and about the Black Hills. There were then but three organized counties in all the territorial area lying west of the Missouri river. These were the Black Hills counties, Lawrence, Pennington and Custer, and they constituted the fifth representative district. They included the only mountainous mineral bearing region of the entire territory and they were some hundreds of miles from the nearest railroads. The Black Hills people as a unit felt the need of a School of Mines but local jealousies swayed for a time the efforts put forth to secure its establishment.

Some believed that the institution should be located in the immediate vicinity of the miner, and that the assaying of ores, the analyzing of samples, metallurgical experimentation, and geological and mineralogical surveying should take precedence over student instruction. Others, especially the people of Pennington county, considered that while these things were of importance they could be carried on just as advantageously a few miles away from the bustle, excitement, and influence of the mining camp, confusing enough at best, in those early days, and that such a location would be much more favorable for student instruction. Rapid City had initiated the idea of a School of Mines, stood firm for her advantages and her rights and indicated her purpose to again press her plans at the first opportunity. In a short time Deadwood then in the heyday of the early mining activity of the northern Hills amicably acquiesced in Rapid City’s claims and assured the Pennington county legislative delegates of her good will and support.

Governor Pierce, who followed Governor Ordway in the executive chair, January, 1885 in his opening message to the legislature then meeting in the new territorial capital, Bismarck, referred to the fact that there was a desire to enlarge the Educational System of the state by the establishment of a School of Mines in the great mineral region of the Black Hills. Stating that he was not prepared to recommend any definite plan he suggested the possibility of starting in an initial way some school or department of this character in connection with some institution already established, “which shall finally grow into magnitude and importance.”

The Governor’s suggestion did not seem to meet the conditions in an adequate way and the Black Hills delegates pressed their wishes. Hon. S. Pitt Wells, member of the council for Pennington county, early in the session introduced a council Bill Number 57, providing for a territorial School of Mines at Rapid City, the bill being much the same in general character as the one passed by the legislature two years before and vetoed by Governor Ordway. The bill received the practically unanimous vote of the council. It then passed the House by a large majority but with an amendment very materially lessening the amount of money to be appropriated for the purpose. The Council accepted the amendment, Governor Pierce gave the bill his executive approval March 7, 1885, the act became immediately effective, and the School of Mines was established. The omnibus approriation bill passed at the same session carried a maintenance appropriation for the institution of $5500. This was divided as follows: Teachers and assistants $5000. Fuel, lights, apparatus and furniture, $500, for the biennium.

The enactment, made up of twenty‑six sections, provided for many things, among these were the necessity of donating within six months of not less than five acres of land in Rapid City, and the appointment by the Governor of five trustees to officially locate the site, to supervise the erection of the new building for which $10,000 was appropriated, and to look after the general needs and development of the institution.

Steps were immediately taken to put the law into operation. Governor Pearce appointed as members of the Board the following well known Black Hills gentlemen: A. J. Simmons and John W. Nowlin of Pennington county; George C. Boland, Custer county; Edwin VanCise and Charles W. Mather of Lawrence county. The members met April 18, 1885, in the law office of Nowlin & Wood in Rapid City and organized by the election of Mr. Simmons, President; Mr. Mather, Secretary; and Mr. Nowlin; Treasurer. Three sites, portions of what were then known as the Eli Fenstermaker place, the Parkhurst place, and the W. F. Steele place were offered. Two of these, the Fenstermaker place in the southwestern part of the city and the Steele site on East St. Joseph street were given particular consideration and the decision was for the Steele site. Mr. Steele donated two and one‑half acres of this site, Major A. J. Simmons two and one‑half acres and individuals owning property near by purchased for $500 five additional acres and placed this with the Steele and Simmons donations. These ten acres constitute the original portion of the present campus. Mr. Myron Wilsie was instructed to survey the grounds and to superintend the construction of the building. Plans were submitted by P. Power and plans and specifications by M. E. Sammis. Mr. Wilsie was instructed to assist in perfecting the plans and specifications, and advertisement for bids was inserted in the Rapid City Journal, the Rapid City Republican, the Custer Chronicle, the Deadwood Pioneer and the Deadwood Times as follows:

Sealed Proposals

Notice is hereby given by the Board of Trustees of the Dakota School of Mines that sealed proposals will be received by said Board for the erection and construction of a building for said School of Mines, to be erected at Rapid City, Dakota, according to the plans and specifications adopted by said Board and subject to the inspection of all bidders and contractors at the office of M. Wilsie, superintendent of construction in Rapid City, Dakota. Said bids shall cover, the entire work of erecting and constructing said building, including the furnishing of all materials and the completion of said building.

Each bid must be accompanied with a good bond in the sum of $500, conditioned that if the proposal should be accepted by the Board that the bidder will enter into contract with sufficient bond for the performance of the work, as aforesaid. All such bids must be submitted to the president, A. J. Simmons, on or before 12 o’clock p.m., on the 7th day of June, 1885 at Rapid City, Dakota. Said Board reserves the right to reject any or all proposals and advertise anew.

Dated May 6th, 1885.

A. J. Simmons, President Board of Trustees.

Charles W. Mather, Secretary

First publication May 8.

Contract for erecting the building was let June 23rd to Mr. R. E. Grimshaw of Deadwood for $8,763. This was soon afterwards increased to $9263 because of extra depth and width of the foundation walls and still later to $9841.35 because of certain interior finishings not provided for earlier. Mr. Grimshaw immediately laid out a brick yard in the eastern part of the city for burning the brick needed for the structure and made such other arrangements as would expedite the work.

The corner stone of this the first building was laid under direction of the Masonic Grand Lodge of the Territory, Hon. John F. Schrader, Grand Master, on Wednesday afternoon, August 19, 1885. The impressive ceremonies, following the stately parade from Masonic Hall in the Florman block, corner of Sixth and St. Joseph Street through the business section of the city, headed by the chief officers of the Masonic lodge, the Mayor and City Council Board of Trustees, Members of the Legislature, the Speakers, and the DeSmet band of Central City, were witnessed by one of the largest audiences ever assembled up to that time in Rapid City. In a metal box fitted into the corner stone a number of articles were placed, including a parchment inscribed with the title of the bill establishing the School of Mines, names of the officials of the institution, copies of Rapid City newspapers, et cetera. The orator of the day was Professor Gilbert E. Bailey. The exercises of the day closed with a grand “Eighty-Stamp” ball in the evening at Library Hall, Sixth and Kansas City streets.

One experienced in early frontier life, looking thoughtfully back on an event like this must find within himself a mingled emotion. Here were people from many states, adventurous, cultured, refined, educated, thrown upon their resources amidst raw conditions. Many of them had suffered the harshest of hardships to reach the region. Not a few had passed long, anxious days because of hostile Indians and some were nursing disappointed hopes. The city, although a thriving one, was little more than a scattered settlement of frame houses, separated by a far reaching monotonous prairie, innocent of railways, remote from the older centers of industry, learning and culture. But like the successful pioneers of the ages they banded themselves together for the up building of a new country and for establishing here institutions and conditions that would in due time bring satisfaction to themselves and blessings to their children.

Two months before the laying of the corner stone of the first building the president of the Board of Trustees was requested to communicate with Professor William P. Blake of New Haven, Connecticut for the purpose of ascertaining if he would be willing to accept the Position of Dean of the Faculty or President of the School of Mines. Prof. Blake was an experienced mining engineer and trained in the best schools. He had been in the Black Hills, had shown intelligent interest in the country and his published descriptions of the varied resources of the region, had attracted much attention. After some correspondence and a personal visit to the institution Prof. Blake on December 3, 1885 was, appointed President of the School of Mines and Dean of the Faculty and was asked to report for duty January 1, 1886. Prof. Blake on further consideration, declined the appointment, due in part doubtless to the fact that the Trustees expecting to place the salary at $3600 found at the last that they could offer but $2,500. Unexpected delays ensued due chiefly to the lack of funds and the school did not open until more than a year later.

It is of interest to record here two early gifts to the institution. Prof. Blake on June 10, 1885, pre­sented to the trustees a collection of forty‑one scientific and technical books as a nucleus for a library for the School of Mines. These were accepted officially and a vote of thanks extended for the same. Two days later Prof. Gilbert E. Bailey, then in charge of the development work of the Harney Peak Tin Min­ing and Milling Company offered to lend to the School of Mines for a term of not less than three years his collection of more than five thous­and specimens of minerals and fossils. This offer was accepted and upon completion of the new building the third floor was fitted up for the display of the collection. The col­lection later, after the unraveling of some legal entanglements, be­ came the property of the institution.

The building was completed early in 1886 at a total cost of slightly less than $10,000, the amount appropriated. It was a substantial brick structure, an excellent building considering the cost and the conditions, particularly the newness of of the country. It was 37 feet by 56 feet, three stories high, mansard roof with iron railing and square mansard tower. The lower floor of three rooms were given over entirely to laboratories, the second floor of three rooms to lecture and laboratory rooms and the third floor, left as one large room, to the mineralogical cabinet. The following from the Rapid City Journal of April, 1886, gives one a fuller idea of this, the first building and its setting:

“Inside the walls are the same as outside, not plastered. The first suggestion is of a well built work shop, and that is what the first and second floors are in fact. They are divided alike, one room on the west and two on the east, with hall, stairs and elevator in the middle. The lower floors are cement and the ceiling corrugated iron, making this story fire proof. In the west room the floor inclines to a sink connecting with a brick sewer. Against the south wall of the building are two chimneys six feet wide intended for furnaces and ventilation. Here ores are to be reduced and the actual practical operation conducted on a scale sufficient to give thorough tests. The art, not the science merely, of treating ores and metals is to be taught. The west room on the second floor is to be used as a lecture room and the two on the east as student rooms (one of these became the Dean’s office). Here the ceilings are plastered.

“The third story is finished in white plaster and is all in one room. It is to be devoted entirely to the cabinet and is a magnificent room for the purpose. There are fifteen large windows furnishing abundance of light from all directions. The walls are to be completely lined with cases, which will in time be filled with one of the finest cabinets in the world. Professor Bailey’s splendid cabinet of which he allows the institution the free use for five years, is already in the building, and will be unboxed whenever the cases are ready for it, and some one is put in charge.

“The tower stands twenty feet above the building about sixty feet in all, and from it one can step out on the flat Part of the roof and enjoy one of the most magnificent views the eye could well rest upon ‑ the town in the lap of the hills to the west, the rolling table land toward the north, and the matchless Rapid Valley stretching eastward, with its farm houses so thickly clustered in the foreground as to resemble a village.”

It was confidently expected that the institution would be open for students about September first. Delays of one kind or another ensued, due in large part doubtless, to the fact that competent men hesitated to enter upon the responsibilities of the position with so little funds for carrying on the work. Prof. Charles Constant of New York, at one time with the Columbia University School of Mines was elected Dean of the Faculty December 15, 1886. He was asked to report for duty January 1, 1887, and to take all necessary steps to open the School of Mines February 1, 1887. Prof. Constant, like Prof. Blake declined the appointment. The Board of Trustees at last hit upon the idea of electing some one near at hand and already acquainted with the situation. They now turned to Mr. Franklin R. Carpenter of Rapid City.

(The article continues.)

The occasion of the laying of the cornerstone of the Dakota School of Mines, as noted in the above history of the school, was a festive celebration. The invitation to the public to join the party, which took place on August 19, 1885, is shown below.

Invitation to the laying of the cornerstone for the first SDSM&T building, built by Robert E. Grimshaw. Photocopy courtesy of the Devereaux Library.

An early photo of the initial building of the school of Mines is shown below. An image from a later photo, including a third building, is also provided below. The building constructed by Robert Grimshaw, which became known as the “Prep Building”, fell into disuse in its later years and was demolished in 1972 (see third image below).

The first building on the South Dakota School of Mines campus (right), which was constructed by Robert E. Grimshaw. The building came to be known as the “Prep Building”. Photo courtesy of the Devereaux Library.

Image from the cover of the 1985 Centennial Historical volume for the SD School of Mines4, showing the first three buildings on the campus and the smelter stack on the hilltop in the background.

The old “Prep Building” was demolished in 1972 after 87 years of service. This photo includes longtime Alumni Director, Guy March. Photo courtesy of the Devereaux Library.

Robert Grimshaw’s Career as Postmaster of Deadwood, SD

One of the most significant positions held by Robert was that of Postmaster of Deadwood, which he held for almost eight years5, from May 21, 1908 to March 29, 1916. The Deadwood Post Office, as described below6, was opened on May 1, 1907, just a year before Robert became Postmaster, and continues in use today (see image below).

108. Federal Courthouse & Post Office

68 Sherman Street (190407) – In February of 1877 , the Territorial Legislature created the First Judicial District, which comprised the Black Hills The first federal court held in the district took place in the town of Sheridan, now the location of Sheridan Lake in Pennington County. The federal court followed the change of the Pennington county seat to Rapid City in 1877, and was not moved to Deadwood until a special act was passed by the legislature in 1879. The court system arrived just in time to have its records destroyed in the fire of 1879.

The federal courts generally met wherever the county courts had secured space, frequently in the upstairs of commercial buildings. As the years passed, these accommodations became less and less satisfactory. The City of Deadwood attempted for several years to get federal support for the construction of a new building that could also serve as post office. The post office in Deadwood moved back and forth between Main and Sherman Streets, and had finally settled halfway in between at the Smith Block on

Deadwood Street

(#79). But it was not until 1902 that Congress finally approved a $200,000 expenditure for a federal building in Deadwood. When the announcement was made, the competition among prospective site owners began. This site was selected in December of 1902, and the many commercial buildings that were located here were removed in the following year.

Having obtained the funds to build the building, the people of Deadwood turned their attention to the materials called for in the plans. They argued for the use of local materials, and sent samples to the architect’s office in Washington, D.C.Their efforts were successful. The foundation stone was quarried in Deadwood on Spring Creek. The walls were built with sandstone from Burke Quarry in Hot Springs. The only exception was a course of granite from Massachusetts, which runs between the foundation and the sandstone walls. Unfortunately, the use of local materials delayed construction. Train cars loaded with stone arrived from Hot Springs, and were unloaded along Sherman Street. Jay O’Banion operated a stone‑cutting yard where the stone was dressed and then transported to the site for installation. An almost identical building was approved in Pierre, and although started after the Deadwood building, it was finished before Deadwood’s because stone was brought in from Bedford,Massachusettsinstead of depending on local suppliers.

The post office opened to the public on May 1, 1907.

Although still the location of Deadwood’s post office, the federal courts rarely use the upper floors of this building, which now house professional offices.

The Deadwood Post Office and Courthouse. Photo taken June 2003 by the website author.

Involvement in Black Hills Mining

As noted in Robert’s biography above, he was involved in many businesses and civic activities. One of the more interesting of these was his participation in the mining business, which is recorded in a newspaper article7 dated August 2, 1881 (Figure 7). Robert owned 2,500 shares (of 116,500 issued, for a 2.2% interest) in the newly formed Dakota Carbonate Mining Company.

Image of article in Black Hills Daily Times (August 2, 1881) showing Robert Grimshaw as an investor in the Deadwood Carbonate Mining Company. Images from the Carnegie Public Library in Deadwood.


A Number of our Public Spirited  Citizens Met at Herrmann &  Treber’s Store this Forenoon and  Organized a Carbonate Mining  Company.

Robert apparently also had a gold mine on Elk Creek, not far from the Homestake and Cloverleaf Mines, as shown in the record below.

Source: Mining and Engineering World, Volume 45, July 1 to December 30, 1916. p. 558

Robert Grimshaw’s Home in Deadwood

The 1898 Black Hills Directory8 showed Robert as “City Assessor” with a residence at 93 City Creek (since renamed Denver Street). A photo of the current home at that address is shown below.

Home location of Robert E. Grimshaw in 1898 at 93 Cedar Creek. The street name has since been changed to “Denver”. It is not known if this structure is the one that Robert lived in or a later replacement. Photo taken June 2003.

Report of Accident of Robert Grimshaw’s Daughter, Maude

Newspaper article from HeritageQuest…

Headline: Thrown over a Precipice. Miss Sherman and Miss Grimshaw Perhaps Fatally Hurt Paper: Omaha World Herald, published as Morning World Herald; Date: 02-01-1898; Volume: XXXIII; Issue: 124; Page: 5; Location: Omaha, Nebraska 

Family Origins of Robert E. Grimshaw

Robert Grimshaw’s immigrant ancestor was William Grimshaw, who came to Philadelphia from England around 1800 and subsequently married Barbara Farrier. William and Barbara, whose family and descendants are described in a companion webpage, were Robert’s grandparents. Robert’s parents, Robert Elwood and Mary (Nicholson) Grimshaw, moved west to Minnesota when that area was still in the western frontier. The elder Robert was an successful land developer and builder and was also very active in civic affairs. A descendant chart for William and Barbara Grimshaw is shown below.

Partial descendant chart for William and Barbara (Farrier) Grimshaw. Robert E. Grimshaw’s portion of the chart is indicated in bold and italic font.

William Grimshaw (1782, England – ?, Philadelphia, PA) & Barbara Farrier (1786 – ?, Philadelphia, PA) Married 1816 in Philadelphia, PA

|—-Robert Elwood Grimshaw* (20 Nov 1817, Philadelphia, PA – 10 Jun 1900, Minneapolis, MN) & Mary Page Nicholson (?, Philadelphia, PA – 1 Sep 1857, Minneapolis, MN?)

|—-|—-Mary Virginia Grimshaw (Jul 1843, Philadelphia, PA – ) & James Burrill Hunt ( – )

|—-|—-|—-Mary Louise Hunt (1862, Minneapolis, MN – 1935) & Charles Walter Dailey (1859 , Owatonna, MN- 1912, Vienna, Austria) Married 1882 in Minneapolis, MN.

|—-|—-Emma or Elizabeth (1846 – 1860)

|—-|—-Robert Elwood Grimshaw (4 Jan 1849, Philadelphia, PA – ?, Rapid City, SD) & Alice Paine (? – 17 Jan 1900, Rapid City, SD?) Married 24 May 1871.

|—-|—-|—-Myrtle Grimshaw & E.A. Ricker

|—-|—-|—-Roy Grimshaw?

|—-|—-|—-Alice Grimshaw & Geroge F. Bagley

|—-|—-|—-Maud Grimshaw & William Garberson

|—-|—- Robert Elwood Grimshaw (4 Jan 1849, Philadelphia, PA – ?, Rapid City, SD) & Mae Cannon. Married 17 July 1903.

|—-|—-Elizabeth Nicholson Grimshaw (1850 – ) & George W. Cooley

|—-|—-William Harrison Grimshaw (6 Dec 1853, Philadelphia, PA – ) & Marion or Minnie? C. Bliss. Married July 1879

|—-|—-|—-Alice E (ca 1877 – ) Grimshaw

|—-|—-|—-Minnie Y (ca 1879 – )Grimshaw

|—-|—-|—-William Elwood Grimshaw

|—-|—-Lide or Lidy

|—-|—-Kate E. (ca. 1857 – )

|—-Robert Elwood Grimshaw* (20 Nov 1817, Philadelphia, PA – 10 Jun 1900, Minneapolis, MN) & Salome B. ?

|—-|—-Maud Grimshaw (ca. 1865 – ) & ___ Jordan

|—-|—-Blanch Grimshaw (ca. 1871 – ) & Dr. ___ Benjamin

|—-Ell Grimshaw?

|—-Arther Grimshaw? & Jane

Final Resting Place of Robert E. Grimshaw and his Two Wives

Robert died in 1924; his obituary9 is shown below. He was buried in Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Deadwood, where Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane are also buried. Their graves are a popular tourist stop (along with the graves of several other notable characters of the American West).

Obituary for Robert E. Grimshaw. From the Rapid City Daily Journal, July 30, 1924. Image courtesy of the Rapid City Public Library.

Sign at entrance to Mt. Moriah Cemetery, which is much tourist attraction as cemetery in Deadwood. Photo taken June 2003.

Photos of the grave plot and headstone of Robert and his second wife, Mae (Cannon) Grimshaw, are shown below. The graves of Robert’s first wife, Alice (Paine) Grimshaw, and his young sonm, Roy (who died at the age of 10), are located nearby (also shown below).

Grave plot and headstone of Robert E. Grimshaw and his second wife, Mae (Cannon) Grimshaw. In the upper photo, the gray marker in the background, directly behind Robert and Mae’s headstone, marks the grave of Robert’s first wife, Alice, and son, Roy. Photos taken June 2003.

Gravestone of Alice (Paine) Grimshaw and her son by Robert E. Grimshaw, Roy Grimshaw. Roy was only 10 years old when he died.  Photos taken June 2003.

As noted above, Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane are also buried in Mt. Moriah Cemetery. Their graves are located within 100 yards of the final resting places of Robert, his two wives, and his young son (shown below).

Graves of Wild Bill Hickock (left) and Calamity Jane (right). Note the tree in the upper middle part of the photo (about midway between Wild Bill and Jane’s grave markers). Just to the left of this tree, near its base, Robert and Mae (Cannon) Grimshaw’s gravestone can barely be made out. Alice and Roy Grimshaw’s grave marker is across the road from Robert and Mae Grimshaw’s gravestone, out of view behind a tree and bush. Photo taken June 2003.


1Kingsbury, George W., 1915, History of Dakota Territory, and Smith, George Martin, 1915, South Dakota – Its History and Its People, v. IV (Biographical): Chicago, IL, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, p. 302-303.

Bakeman, Mary H., 1992, A Comprehensive Index to A.T. Andreas Illustrated Historical Atlas of Minnesota – 1874: Brooklyn Park, MN, Park Genealogical Books, 334 p.

3O’Harra, C.C., 1923, A Brief History of the South Dakota State School of Mines, in The Black Hills Engineer, v. 11, no. 1 (January, 1923), p. 13-73.

4Stymiest, Ruth Anne, 1985, Centennial (of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology) – an Illustrated History, 1885 – 1985): Rapid City, SD, S.D. School of Mines & Technology Media Center, 190 p. (Front Cover)

5Patera, Alan H., John S. Gallagher, and Kenneth W. Stach, 1990, South Dakota Post Offices: Lake Grove, OR, The Depot, unk p.

6Wolfe, Mark S., 1996, “Federal Courthouse & Post Office”, in Boots on Bricks – a Walking Tour of Historic Downtown Deadwood: Deadwood, SD, Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission, p. 122.

7Black Hills Daily Times, August 2, 1881.

8Enterprise Printing Company, 1898, Black Hills “Residence and Business Directory, Arranged Alphabetically: Deadwood, SD, Enterprise Printing Company, p. 37.

9Rapid City Daily Journal, July 30, 1924

Webpage History

Webpage posted July 2003. Updated December 2006 with addition of newspaper article on Maude Grimshaw’s accident. Updated November 2013 with addition of Elk Creek gold mine information and with format update, including banner change.