The “Texas” Line of Grimshaws

Started by James E Grimshaw, Immigrant to Texas from Massachussets

 

James E Grimshaw and His First Wife Lydia Bosworth Allen (Left) and Second Wife Sarah Julius Stahl (Right).  Photo Dates Unknown

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The Texas line of Grimshaws was started by James E Grimshaw, who traveled by boat from Boston to Texas before the Civil War. James was almost certainly (but not conclusively) the fourth child of Amos and Mary (Greenwood) Grunshaw, who immigrated to America from Lancashire in about 1826. They lived out their lives in the Northeast U.S., and several of their children went west and settled in Wisconsin. Amos and Mary Grunshaw are described on a companion webpage. Amos Grunshaw was apparently from Blackburn, as his first two children were born there.

James was born on July 4, 1829 in Norwich. Connecticut. He and Lydia Bosworth were married in 1851 and had one child, Frank Greenwood Grimshaw. James apparently departed for Texas from New Bedford, Massachusetts in about 1860 after a disagreement with his wife. He married Sarah Julius Stahl on December 15, 1864, and the couple had five children, Mary, Amos, Annie, Sallie, and George.

During the Civil War, James fought on the side of the Confederacy, and family lore has it that he “got his horse shot from under him in Louisiana.” James was a skilled blacksmith and was apparently well known for making high quality knives. He lived out his life in Texas and is buried in Erath County. It is not known if his wife, Sarah, is also buried at the same location.

James’ son Amos participated in a Texas oil boom in Young County in the 1920s. The boom town Oil City was named “Grimshaw” for Amos when the Oil City name for the post office was found to already be in use elsewhere.

[Note: More information on James Grimshaw and his probable roots in Amos and Mary (Greenwood) Grimshaw may be found in he Hughes Family Tree on Ancestry.com]

Contents

 

Website Credits

Photo and Biography of James Grimshaw

Descendant Chart for James Grimshaw

Photos of James Grimshaw and His Two Families

Barbara Rivas Contribution of a Family Story about James Grimshaw

Photographs of Amos and Zona Grimshaw and Their Family

Excerpts from the Biography of James Julius Grimshaw

The History of Young County as Background and Context

Amos Grimshaw’s Farm and Founding of Oil City (Grimshaw), Texas

Oil Lease Tracts and Oil Wells at the Amos Grimshaw Farm Location

What is at the Oil City (Grimshaw) Location Today?

Was James the Older Brother of Riley Grimshaw?

A Competing Hypothesis: James Grimshaw Was Descended from Amos and Mary (Greenwood) Grimshaw/Grunshaw

Final Resting Places of James and the Other Texas Grimshaws

Thad Grimshaw, One of the Texas Grimshaw Descendants

References

Biography of James Julius Grimshaw: Life in Early Twentieth Century Texas and New Mexico

 

Website Credits

Thanks go to Mr. and Mrs. Bill Mills for providing the information in the descendant chart on this webpage. Also to Randall Grimshaw for providing family history information, including the biography of James Julius Grimshaw. And to Thad Grimshaw for providing the photos of Amos and Zona Grimshaw and their family. The information on oil leases and oil wells at Oil City comes from the files of the Railroad Commission of Texas. George H Grimshaw has kindly provided photos and a biography of James Grimshaw, as well as several grave photos, which provide much valuable information on the Texas Line of Grimshaws. Thanks go to Barbara Rivas for contributing the family story that included anecdotes about James Grimshaw. Thanks also to the creators of the Morgan/Shelby family line on Ancestry.com as a source of pictures and much detailed information.

Photo and Biography of James Grimshaw

A photo and biography of James Grimshaw, provided by George H Grimshaw, are shown below. A second photo of James, as an older man, appears further down on this webpage.

The biography provided by George H Grimshaw is shown below. Footnotes are indicated generally at the end of paragraphs, but sometimes also within paragraphs.

A BIOGRAPHY OF JAMES GRIMSHAW

 

By George Howard Grimshaw

January 11, 2008

To my Dad, George Noel Grimshaw, on his 75th Birthday, January 11, 2008.

Thanks for inspiring me with a love for our family and its history and for the extensive research and record keeping you have performed over the years! You will find a lot of it put to good use in this biography of your great-grand father, James. Thanks for all of your help! Here’s to many more years of working together researching our family history!

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

The Life of James Grimshaw as Told By His Descendants

James’ Birth and Early Years

James’ Life and Family in New Bedford, Massachusetts

James Moves to Texas and Joins the Confederate Army

James Remarries and Starts a Second Family

James’ Later Years

Concluding Thoughts

List of Sources

Acknowledgements

Along with the story passed down by his children and grandchildren, at least 37 years of research by several descendants of James Grimshaw is involved in this biographical sketch of his life. So, along with a heart of gratitude to James, and his children and grandchildren for sharing his story, a big “thank you” goes out to you for your perseverance and hard work!

In this sketch, I have attempted to compile the data that we have collectively gathered over the years in order to present a more accurate account of James’ life. Rather than mention names here, I have credited each researcher in the “List of Sources” beginning on page 25, which also serves as endnotes for the information used and cited.

Please take the time to read the notes as they contain a lot of valuable information, much of which can be used for further research.

If I have left anyone, or anything, out it is unintentional and I will gladly accept any corrections or new information you have or find, as my desire is to simply tell James’ story. No doubt, more information will surface as our research continues and I will gladly update this sketch with any information found, giving credit to the researcher who finds it! Happy hunting!

Introduction

The information presented in the following pages is based on the story passed down through our family by James to his son Amos to his children and then to their children down to the present generation of James’ descendents. I have credited this story to my grandfather, George Olan Grimshaw as he is who I heard it from, although I know that George’s brother Jim shared this same information with his children and grandchildren as did most, if not all, of George and Jim’s siblings. Therefore, I make mention of this to give them credit as well. We owe them all a debt of gratitude for inspiring us by telling us about our family history.

This sketch also provides an update to my previous paper titled “James Grimshaw: His Life Review,” dated January 11, 1981. Much of the information found there appears in this paper as well.

Undertaking the task of writing a biography is difficult at best. This sketch begins with the original story about James passed down through the generations, followed by a comparative analysis based on records accrued by family members over the years. It is hoped that by compiling all of this information into this biography that a more accurate account of James’ life will result and will be used for further research to discover more about James, his parents and our Grimshaw ancestors. Feel free to let me know if I have hit or missed the mark! Here goes…

The Life of James Grimshaw as Told By His Descendants

James Grimshaw was born in England on July 4, 1829. Nothing was known about James’ parents or family, however according to George Olan Grimshaw, he was named after his uncle George (George Monroe Grimshaw), who was named after his uncle George, a brother of James. It was not known whether James had any other brothers or sisters.1

James sailed to the United States between the years of 1847 and 1850, and settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He was a blacksmith and machinist and was believed to have built the first Singer Sewing Machine. He also made knives, straight edge razors as well as other tools.1

After arriving in New Bedford, James met and married his first wife, Lydia. She was several years older than James was and had two sons from her first marriage. James and Lydia had a son of their own, named Frank. Following Frank’s birth, nothing was known about this family except for the separation that took place between James and Lydia. Evidently, Lydia’s two sons from her previous marriage would not work and were constantly “mooching” off of James and Lydia. James did not approve of this practice and after a while told Lydia that if he saw the boys around the “place” again that he would leave her. As he arrived home from work one day he saw the boys sneaking out the backdoor; he then left Lydia and a short time later told her that he was sailing for Texas.1

Before he left for Texas, James asked Lydia if he could take Frank to have his picture taken. Some of Lydia’s friends told her that she should not allow James to take Frank because James might take Frank with him to Texas; however,

Lydia let Frank go with him. James took Frank to have his picture taken; and then brought him back home to Lydia, just as he said he would do. Shortly after, James left for Texas. This was believed to have happened sometime in 1860 with James arriving in Texas in late 1860 or early 1861 and settling in Marlin, Texas.1

Sometime after he arrived in Texas, James heard that Lydia had died. He then met and married Sarah Julius Stahl. Sarah was born on October 26, 1845. Her father was Augustus Stahl. She also had a brother named Augustus. James and Sarah had five children: Mary Catherine (aka Mollie), born October 22, 1867; Amos, born August 12, 1870; Annie Elizabeth, born May 3, 1874; Sally Lee (aka Lee), born February 24, 1881; and George Monroe, born January 13, 1884.1

James and Sarah’s marriage ended after almost twenty years, when Sarah died on June 24, 1885. The cause of her death was not known. After her death, Mollie helped care for the younger children until they went to live with Augustus, Sarah’s brother. James continued working as a machinist, making knives and razors. Many of his works were displayed at a bank in Belton, Texas and some of his descendants possess straight-edge razors and tools that he made.1

Sometime after Sarah’s death, James happened to meet a mutual friend of his and his first wife, Lydia, in Texas and found out that she was still living. Sometime later he received a letter from Lydia.2 Evidently, they corresponded quite frequently for a few years, as three or four letters from Lydia to James were stored in James’ toolbox.1 Only one of these letters survived over the years. It was written by Lydia on March 23, 1897 and reads as follows:

97

New Bedford March 23

My Dear Husband

Yours was received several weeks ago. I was very glad to hear from you. I began to think perhaps you would never write any more. I wanted to have answered sooner but could not get the opportunity. part of the time I was very poorly my self and all the time since I received your last letter my oldest son has been sick and a longtime before that, he died of consumption the 13 day of this present month march. I can’t write much my dear I am runy (sic) and my hand trembles but I want to tell you that I love you and think kindly of you want to see you ever so much but never expect to. I am trying to live so that God will accept me at last and hope and pray that you and I shall meet together there.

I have no child but Frank and I do hope he will be permitted to out live me. Frank, Lillie and Myra are all living good christian lives. for the last year Frank and Wife seemed to have received a deeper work of grace in their hearts than even before and Myra is walking right on in their footsteps. They are not a gloomy family but cheerful and appear to be happy. I wish I could have heard that your health was better spiritualy (sic) and temporly (sic) and I hope it is by this time. Oh how I wish I could put my arms around you and encourage you with all the love and kindness that is possible to have and show. I must tell you now Mrs. Fuurce’es (sic) message, she sends You much love and says She is coming to see you just as soon as She is able to and wishes You to have a nice easy carriage to take her around in. now that looks as though she is trying to crowd me out, but I have great faith in you and so I think I am safe.

Now my dear all send love and the kindest of wishes. Accept mine may the Lord bless you and save you with an everlasting salvation.

Your true and faithful wife Lydia R. Grimshaw

Hope to hear from you soon.2

Lydia died in 1899, just a couple of years after this letter was written.1

Around 1901, James moved to Huckabay, Texas, and lived with his son, Amos, and his family. Some of his grandchildren remembered James being there, and they often talked of him and his horse, “Old Betty”. James stayed with Amos and his family until his death on September 25, 1903. He was buried at the Liberty Cemetery in Erath County, Texas near a shade tree, his grave marked by a rock.1

According to Doris Tilton, one of James’ descendants through Frank, her line of the family had no knowledge of James’ life after he left New Bedford. In fact, they believed he was lost at sea.3 After James left New Bedford, his son Frank supposedly wanted nothing to do with him, indicating that whatever he believed to have happened to James, he felt abandoned by him.1

James’ Birth and Early Years

The belief that James was born on July 4, 1829 is consistent with several documented sources discovered over the years. July 4, is the same month and day recorded by James’ first wife, Lydia, in her Bible, however, she did not record his year of birth.4 His age is recorded as 22 years on their Record of Marriage, dated October 7, 1851, which is consistent with a date of birth prior to that date in 1829.5

A review of his Confederate Muster Rolls in April 1862 shows his age as 35 years, which indicate that he was born in 1826.6 However, on his Confederate Pension Application, dated July 5, 1899, he listed his age as 70, which is consistent with a birth date of July 4, 1829 or earlier.7

A July 4, 1829 date of birth is also consistent with several U.S. Census records. In the 1870 Census, James is recorded as being 41 years of age.8 In the 1880 Census, dated June 5, 1880, his age is recorded as 50, indicating that his 51st birthday was some time after that date.9 Most of the 1890 U.S. Census Records for Texas were destroyed, so no information about James is available from this Census.10

It is difficult to determine his age from the 1900 Census, as the second digit of his age recorded there is difficult to read. It looks as if it may have initially been recorded as 75, and then corrected, possibly to 70. The month of his birth is recorded as July. The year of his birth is also difficult to determine. It looks as if it may have initially been recorded as 1825, and then corrected, possibly to 1828 or 1829. At the time, James was living with his daughter Annie Owens and her family. Annie’s husband Lewis is listed as the head of the household on this census record.11

Clearly, there is enough data based on the records previously mentioned to confirm that James’ date of birth was July 4, 1829 as originally believed.

Originally, nothing was known about James’ parents and it was believed that he was born in England later immigrating to the United States.1 However, his Record of Marriage to Lydia shows his parents names as William and Mary.5 No last name for them appears on this record, which would seem to indicate that it would be Grimshaw. On this record, James’ birthplace is shown as Norwich, Connecticut.5 In the 1870, 1880, and 1900 Census records, James birthplace is also listed as Connecticut. 8, 9, 11 On his son Frank’s death certificate, James birthplace is recorded as Windsor, Connecticut.12 So, while it is not clear whether he was born in Norwich or Windsor, the above records indicate that he was born in Connecticut and not England as originally thought.

On both the 1880 and 1900 Census, the birth place of both James’ parents is shown as England.9, 11 Unfortunately, years of researching genealogical records from both England and the U.S. have yielded no record of a William and Mary Grimshaw that can be considered a match for James’ parents. Since only their first names are shown on James and Lydia’s record of marriage, it is possible that William could have been Mary’s husband by a subsequent marriage and therefore James’ step-father.5 This possibility is currently being researched and has yielded some potential matches that are being considered.13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Some of these records support the original belief that James may have had sibling’s, including the possibility of a brother named George. 1, 13, 14 Also, a brother of James’ named Mercer is referred to in a note as the owner of steel bead purse that James left with Lydia when he left New Bedford.19 So far no records of a Mercer Grimshaw

have been found that could be considered a match as James’ brother. However, if William was James’ stepfather, Mercer may have been a step or half-brother to James.

Since attempts to link James with other lines of Grimshaw’s in the U.S. or England have been unsuccessful to date, it is still possible that he may have immigrated to the U.S. from England as a young man and chose to hide his past by making up fictitious parents and a fictitious birthplace, so he could perhaps enjoy the benefits of U.S. citizenship. Who knows? Given the records we have however, this does not seem likely. Hopefully, continued research will result in the discovery of more information about James’ parents and siblings allowing us to trace our lineage back even further.

James’ Life and Family in New Bedford, Massachusetts

Several records have been found to support the belief that James was a machinist and lived several years in New Bedford, Massachusetts. It is also very possible that he arrived there between the years 1847 and 1850 as originally believed. 1 While, his name does not appear in the New Bedford Directory of 1849, it does appear in the New Bedford Directory of 1852, which would support a date for his arrival before then.20, 21, 22

As a young man, he was employed as a machinist by the New Bedford Cordage Factory according to the New Bedford Directory in 1852 and 1855.21, 22 The New Bedford Cordage Factory was founded in 1842 and furnished rope and line to the local whaling industry. 23, 24

To date, no records have been found to substantiate the belief that James built the first Singer Sewing Machine.1 However, it is interesting to note that James’ wife, Lydia, their son Frank, and his wife Lillie are buried in the same plot of the Oak Grove Cemetery, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, as members of a family with the last name, Howe. The connection between the Grimshaw’s and the Howe’s, if any, is unknown.26 However, the invention of the sewing machine may provide a link, as American inventor, Elias Howe of Boston, Massachusetts is credited with inventing the first practical sewing machine in the mid 1840’s.25, 27

In 1835, Howe was apprenticed to a manufacturer of cotton machinery in Lowell, Massachusetts. Two years later, he worked briefly in a machine shop in Cambridge and then apprenticed himself in Boston to a maker of watches and scientific instruments. It was here, that he happened to hear his boss discussing the need for a sewing machine. 25, 27

Howe began working on his sewing machine in 1844 and had a working machine as early as April 1845. That same year a demonstration of his invention out-sewed five seamstresses, but he was unable to sell a single machine.25

In September 1846, Howe obtained a U.S. patent for his second machine. Other inventors, including Isaac Singer, infringed upon Howe’s patent. Singer used Howe’s patented lock stitch process and a similar type of needle when he invented his sewing machine. Howe sued the infringers and won. He received a settlement of $15,000 from Singer. In 1856, Howe and the various manufacturers of sewing machines pooled their patents making Howe a millionaire twice over.25 So, it is certainly possible that James was involved in building one of the first sewing machines.

As originally believed, James met and married a woman named Lydia. Lydia Raymond Bosworth was born in Middleborough, Massachusetts on March 16, 1817.4 Her parents were Josiah and Anna (Haskell) Bosworth. No mention of any siblings is included in her family Bible. 4 Lydia had previously been married to a man named George W. Allen and had three children; two boys, Admiral E. and George Francis, and a girl named Anna Haskell Allen.4, 26 Even though Lydia recorded her husband, George W. Allen’s birth date and their wedding date in her Bible, she recorded no further information about him there, so it is not known what happened to him or why their marriage ended.4

James and Lydia were married on October 7, 1851.4, 5 She was 34 years old and James was 22 at the time of their marriage.4, 5 In the 1852 New Bedford Directory, their home address was listed as “10 Chancery.”21 On July 3, 1853, Lydia gave birth to a son, Frank Greenwood Grimshaw, who was her only child by James.4, 11 In the 1855 New Bedford Directory James’ home address is listed as “55 Smith St.”22 His name does not appear in the New Bedford Directory of 1859, however a Lydia Allen is listed as a widow living at “75 Middle.”28 Other than this, the only information believed to be known about their family life are the reported problems between James and Lydia’s sons, which in turn are believed to have led to his leaving her.1

As previously mentioned, James descendants through his son Frank, had no knowledge of James’ life after he left New Bedford.1, 3 The note identifying a man named Mercer as James’ brother says that James left a Steel Beaded Purse belonging to Mercer with Lydia Grimshaw “when he went on a journey, never being heard from afterward.”19

The fact that James is not listed in the New Bedford Directory of 1859 could be an indicator, as well as the approximate time, of his separation from Lydia. This would be further reinforced if the Lydia Allen listed as a widow in the same directory is his wife.28 This, as well as the fact that Lydia is listed as the “widow of James” in the New Bedford Directory of 1871-72 and 1877-1878, and as a widow in 1899, supports the reason why James’ and Lydia’s family and descendants did not know of his whereabouts after he left New Bedford, believing him to be lost at sea.1, 3, 19, 26, 29

James’ Moves to Texas and Joins the Confederate Army

It is still believed that James moved from New Bedford to Texas sometime around 1860.1, 28 However, no records have been found to indicate exactly when or how James made this journey. What is known is that by April 14, 1862, James was living in Falls County.6, 7

By 1862, the War Between the States was well underway and Union Army forces were threatening Louisiana. If they gained a foothold there, they would be in a great position to invade Texas. At the beginning of 1862, Edwin Waller Jr. of the Texas Cavalry obtained permission from General Thomas Hindman, commander of the Confederate Army’s Trans-Mississippi Department, to form a cavalry unit.30 “Waller ran an ad in the Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph on March 26, 1862. It read in part:

Texians your homes and hearthstones are now threatened from the North. You are called to the rescue … to beat back the invader. Come now, come at once, come to the rescue…. This regiment like the brave Rangers of Terry’s will be assigned duty in the teeth of danger. Come with me, and I will lead you right.” 30

“Waller wanted men who “were at home on horseback, who ride like cowboys, who shot the bull’s eye with a rifle or pistol and go anywhere and stand anything like a regular Ranger.” 30

Perhaps responding to this or a similar ad, James enrolled in the Confederate Army as a Private on April 14, 1862, in the town of Marlin, joining Captain Thomas P. Hightower’s Company, Waller’s Battalion, Texas Cavalry. He enrolled for three years or until the end of the War. At the time of his enrollment, his age is recorded as 35 years old. He had a horse valued at 250 dollars and some equipment valued at 35 dollars. 6

On April 23, 1862, James was mustered into service at Hempstead, Texas, approximately 120 miles south of Marlin, by Waller.6, 31, 32 His name also appears on the “Company Muster-in Roll” for Camp Waller’s on June 30, 1862. 31

On July 1, 1862, Waller’s Battalion left Hempstead, and moved eastward, crossing the Sabine River into Louisiana on July 20. Union Army forces had captured New Orleans in April 1862, and were advancing into western Louisiana towards Texas. In their first engagement, Waller’s cavalry caught some Union infantry in an ambush and soundly defeated them. That action prompted Major-General Benjamin Butler, Union Army Commander of the Department of the Gulf, to dispatch a sizeable force to retaliate against Waller. 30

On September 8, 1862, Union troops, moving quickly by riverboat, surrounded Waller’s Battalion at Bonnet Carre. Waller’s men, who numbered several hundred, were greatly out numbered, facing a force of several thousand Union soldiers. The ensuing action was little more than a rout. The only escape for the Confederates was into and through the Louisiana swamp. A soldier in Waller’s Battalion recounted the action in a journal:

could not find ground sufficient to form in line of battle. Mounted so all were dismounted and then every fourth man had to hold horses. We then marched about one hundred yards and all were stationed alongside the road awaiting attack … they opened on us with their Battery and Minnies and Waller gave the order to fall back to our horses amid shells & balls! Some horses had got frightened and run off and some men took most any horse they first met with…. We retreated down the canal and here we came to the swamp, commanded all to leave their horses and take it a foot…. By this time the command was very much scattered and in all directions…. We come through a swamp that never was trod before by man. In some places water and mud was waist deep and some come very nigh giving up. We passed through what is called the impenetrable swamps of Louisiana.” 30

Most of Waller’s men, despite the humiliation of losing their mounts, escaped capture. Waller’s men regrouped at Camp Gillis. On September 24, one of Waller’s men wrote the following in his journal: “The Command have petitioned for 90 days furlough so they can go home & try and get an outfit.” They were eventually allowed to let one officer from each company to go back to Texas for new mounts. This was done to keep most of the men in the field.30

When the battalion left Camp Gillis on October 4, they procured some carts to ride in. The cavalry went up on the right side of the Lafourche Bayou and the “Cane Cart Cavalry” on the left, referring to the men without mounts who had to ride in the carts. It was a humiliating experience for Waller’s men and some of them were unable to fight or became infantrymen the remainder of the year while they waited to be outfitted with new mounts.30

“The Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph printed an account of the “Narrow Escape of Waller’s Command” in its September 22, 1862, edition that likely added to the agony of Waller and his men.”30

As documented in his war records, James fought in the battle at Bonnet Carre. He is listed as present on the “Company Muster Roll” from August 6 to November 1, 1862. In the remarks section of this document, it is noted that his horse was lost in battle at Bonnet Care (sic), on Sept. 8, 1862. 32 On a separate undated document he is mentioned as appearing on a list of men who lost their horses, equipment, and weapons in the skirmish at Bonnet Carre, Louisiana, Sept. 7, 1862.33 It is not known if James fought in any other battles during the war, however, based on the following historical account of Waller’s Regiment and James documented service ending sometime in 1865, he must have.7, 35

After losing to Union forces at Bonnet Carre, Waller conducted partisan activities for the Confederacy in southern and western Louisiana.34 In early 1863, Waller’s Battalion was merged into Sibley’s Brigade.30 “The men of both units had something to prove to themselves and the Confederate command. That opportunity presented itself in 1863 when Union Army forces began moving northward into the interior of Louisiana. Union control of Louisiana would leave Texas vulnerable to invasion from the east. Confederate authorities moved what regiments they could spare to Louisiana to face the threat.”30 Sibley’s Brigade, by this time was commanded by Thomas Green, who with his men had recently arrived from New Mexico.30, 34

In June, 1863, Green moved his brigade southward to attack the Union garrison in Fort Buchanan at Brashear City (known today as Morgan City), which served as an important jumping-off point for Union advances into the interior of Louisiana. “A bold plan was put forth. The men of Waller’s Battalion, still smarting from the Bonne (sic) Carre fiasco of the previous year, jumped at the opportunity.” Several of the men crossed Grand Lake at night in small boats and waded through a swamp in waist-deep water to move behind the Union forces. “This time, the press would praise the exploits of Waller’s Battalion. The Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph reported:

Theirs was the proud privilege of storming the almost impregnable fort on the opposite side of the bay…. It was a hazardous mission to cross the Lake, 12 miles, in these frail barks, to land at midnight on the enemy’s side, in an almost impenetrable swamp and await the dawn of day which would insure them victory or a soldiers death…. With a real Texas yell they at once dashed with bayonets fixed and pistols drawn, full at the threatening walls of the proud Fort…. In twenty minutes they climbed the walls, dispersed the garrison. Tore down the stars and stripes and hoisted the bonnie flag on its ramparts.”30

James is listed as absent on the Waller’s Regiment Cavalry “Company Muster Roll” for January and February 1864. However, in the remarks section of this document, it is noted that he was detailed to work in the Machine Shop on February 15, 1864, which could explain his absence for muster.35 According to his Confederate Pension Application he served in Company B, Waller’s Battalion for about three years, which indicates that he remain enlisted until the end of the war.7 His name appears on the list of Confederate Indigent Families in Falls County from 1863 to 1865.36

James’ Remarries and Starts a Second Family

As previously mentioned, sometime after his arrival in Texas, it is believed that James learned that Lydia had died.1 This seems to be supported by the fact that he then remarried.37, 38

In Texas, James met Sarah Julius Stahl. Sarah was born on October 26, 1845 in Montgomery, Texas to Augustus Floyd and Katherine Stahl, immigrants from Prussia. 1, 37, 38, 39 Sarah was the youngest of four children. Her older siblings were Louis, Mary Elizabeth, and Augustus Floyd Stahl Jr. Her mother died about 1865. Her father then married Wilhelmina M. Schaffer, widow of Ludwig Louis Falkenhagen, who had five children. Augustus and Wilhelmina had two children of their own Wilhelm Albert (aka “Willie”) and Dave Stahl.39

It is possible that James may have known Sarah and her family before his enrollment in the Confederate Army, as Augustus Stahl Jr., Sarah’s brother was enrolled in the Army, on the same day as James. He was also assigned to the same company and regiment, as James.6, 31, 32, 35, 34, 40, 41, 42, 43

James and Sarah were married in Falls County, Texas on December 22, 1864. She was nineteen years old at the time of her marriage to James, who was then thirty-five.1, 37, 38 James and Sarah settled near Marlin, where two of their five children were born. The oldest, Mary Catherine, (aka Mollie) was born on October 22, 1867. A son, Amos, was born on August 12, 1870. 8, 9, 38 On the 1870 U.S. Census, dated March 13, 1871, James’ age was recorded as 41 years; Sarah, as 25 years ; Mary, as 3 years; and Amos as 1 year old. James’ occupation at the time is listed as “Engineer.” Sarah is listed as “Keeping House.” This census information was recorded at the Post Office located in Rockdam, Falls County, Texas, indicating that James and his family lived in or near this community.8

On a business trip to Waco, Texas, in February 2007, I spent a couple of afternoons driving around Marlin and the surrounding area. The only evidence I could find that there was a community named Rockdam (sic) is Rock Dam Road, which, heads northwest out of Marlin and ends at the intersection at Rocky Hill.44

Some time before the 1880 U.S. Census was taken, James moved his family to Bell County, Texas. On this Census Record, dated June 5, 1880, James’ age is recorded as 50 years; Sarah, as 34 years; Mary, as 12 years; Amos, as 9 years, and Annie E., as 6 years old.9, 38 At that time James’ occupation was listed as “Machinist.” Sarah is listed as “Keeping House.” Mary and Amos are listed as “at school.” This census indicates that they were living in Precinct 6 at the time.9 While in Bell County, James and Sarah had two more children – Sally Lee, born February 24, 1881 and George Monroe, born January 13, 1884. 38, 45, 46

James and Sarah’s marriage ended after almost 20 years, when Sarah died on June 24, 1885.38 The cause of her death is unknown. After Sarah’s death, it is still believed that Mary helped take care of the younger children for a while as she was not married until September 12, 1886, over a year after Sarah died.38 James ended up taking both Sally and George to live with Sarah’s brother Augustus (aka Uncle Gus) Stahl.1, 46 From then until 1897, not much is known about James.2 His youngest daughter Sally died about 1891. Her cause of death is unknown.38 George remained with Uncle Gus and his family until he reached adulthood.1, 46

As mentioned earlier, with the exception of a very few counties, the 1890 Texas Federal Census Schedules were destroyed by fire.10 However, according to James’ Confederate Pension Application and the surviving letter he received from his first wife, Lydia, he lived in Falls County during this period of time.2, 7

James’ Later Years

As previously mentioned, in his later years, James corresponded with his first wife, Lydia, until around the time of her death in 1899. 1, 2, 26, 47 The envelope of the surviving letter, postmarked October 2, 1897, is addressed to James Grimshaw, McClanahan, Texas, indicating that he was living in or near this town, just a few miles east of Marlin, at the time.2, 44 According to her death certificate, Lydia died of consumption on December 4, 1899, at the age of 82 years, 8 months.26, 47 As previously mentioned, she, along with their son Frank and his wife, are buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery in New Bedford, Massachusetts.26

On July 5, 1899, James applied for a Confederate soldier pension offered by the State of Texas.7 At the time he indicated that he was a current resident of Falls County and indicated that he had lived there for 38 years. He was 70 years old at the time and listed his physical condition as “Broken down.” His physical condition was such that he was unable to support himself because he suffered from “old age and chronic diarrhea.” He listed his real and personal property as “one pony and buggy and a few tools all of which is worth not over one hundred dollars.” He claimed to have no means of income and to be in “indigent circumstances,” defined on the application as “in actual want, and destitute of property and means of subsistence.”7

Three men signed an Affidavit of Witness that James had “enlisted in the service of the Confederacy, and performed the duties of a soldier” and that he was “unable to support himself by labor of any sort.” An “Affidavit of Physician” indicated that James suffered from “general disability from old age and chronic diarrhea.” His application was certified by the Falls County Commissioners and Falls County Judge and was approved by the State Comptroller for a pension on September 28, 1899.7

At some point in his later years, James lived with his daughter Annie and her family in Marlin, Texas. His name is listed with theirs on the 1900 Federal Census.11 His occupation is listed as “Stationary Engineer.” On the left edge of the page it indicates that they lived on Capps Street. 11

Sometime after the 1900 Census, James is still believed to have moved to Huckabay, Texas, in Erath County, and lived with his son, Amos, and his family, where he remained until his death on September 25, 1903.1 His cause of is believed to be consumption.1 He is still believed to be buried in the Liberty Cemetery in Erath County, though no record of his burial there has been found.1, 48

James’ grandchildren Sarah Johnson, Allie Carruth and George Olan Grimshaw are the last known descendants to find and visit his grave site, sometime in the 1960’s.49 As previously mentioned, James’ grandson George Olan Grimshaw described James’ grave as being located in the Liberty Cemetery near a shade tree and marked by a rock.1, 49

In April 2001, my dad, George Noel; my son, George Elliot; and I visited the Liberty Cemetery and tried to find James’ gravesite, but were unable to do so. There is no longer a tree there and several of the graves are no longer marked, although efforts have been made by a local Cemetery Transcription Project to identify the people buried there.48, 49 Some of his descendants, think he may have been buried in the Exray Cemetery which is close by, though no records of his burial have been found there either.50, 51, 52

In the late 1990’s, James’ great-grandson, Jay Grimshaw of Desdemona, Texas contacted an organization that provides tombstones for Confederate Veterans and had a marble marker made for James. Jay found a place in the Exray Cemetery, in Erath County, Texas, and had James’ tombstone placed near a large shade tree.1, 50, 51 This monument serves as a fitting tribute to James who lives on the hearts and lives of his descendants.50, 51 During a Grimshaw family Reunion in DeLeon, Texas, on July 3, 2004, Jay took several family members to visit this site in honor of James.53

After James’ death, his son Amos had possession of his toolbox and tools. After Amos’ death, his son George Olan took possession of them and salvaged the surviving letter written to James from Lydia in 1897.1, 2 After George’s death James’ possessions were divided between his son’s Charles, George Noel, and Thad. Currently James’ toolbox and some of the tools it contained are in the possession of George Noel and James’ anvil and a few tools are in the possession of Charles’ son Boyd. George Noel also currently has possession of the letter. Thad is currently in possession of one of James’ straight-edge razor’s. 1, 2

Concluding Thoughts

A family story about an ancestor preserved and passed down by word of mouth from one generation to another, sparked an interest leading to over 38 years of research by several family members regarding the life of James Grimshaw. Many records have been discovered that confirm the story passed down, such as the James’ date of birth and life, family, and occupation in New Bedford, Massachusetts, as well as his life, family and occupation in Texas.

Some of these records provide differing and new information, such as James’ place of birth, date and place of marriage to Lydia, date and place of birth, marriage, and death of their son Frank and his daughter Myra. This, in turn, led to the discovery of James’ descendants in Maine a discovery which has led to warm and lasting family relationships. Other records document James’ service in the Confederate Army. Some records may provide links to more information about James, such as who his parents were and where they originated, who his siblings were, and whether he built the first sewing machine. Other records are yet to be discovered.

Combined, the information we have culminates in just a few pages covering the life span of this intriguing man. It is quite evident that James led a very active and full life. For a man in his day, he did quite a bit of traveling and experienced many different things. Right or wrong, James appears to have been a man of his word, believing a man should “pull his own weight”. In a time of crisis he went to the aid of his country and fought for what it stood for. As a family man, he is somewhat of an enigma, leaving his first family and then after the death of his second wife, leaving his two youngest children to live with his brother-in-law and his family. Although in the second case, he may have been unable to care for two young children. In his later years, he lived in the homes of at least two of his children in Texas and corresponded by mail with his first wife, indicating that despite his failures, he was a family man at heart.

The period of time in which James lived is also very interesting. Our country was young and becoming established, when issues between the north and south eventually perpetuated it into a war between its States. For James to be born and raised in the North and then relocate to Texas and fight for the Confederacy in the cavalry during this time adds to his mystique. Did he leave the north because he sympathized with the South? Or, was he defending a new way of life he adopted after arriving in Texas? Or, was it something else?

Why he did what he did, we may never know. Like each of us, he was human and had his strengths and frailties, which continually showed themselves throughout his life, leading to fond memories and feelings for some, and for others some not so fond memories and feelings of him based on the information passed down through his descendants over the years. Research still continues on James’ life and as more is learned it will be added to his biography.

List of Sources

1 George Olan Grimshaw, Oral Family History [As told to him by his father Amos Grimshaw and as told by George to his children and grandchildren on various occasions throughout his lifetime (1909-1979).]

2 Lydia R.Grimshaw, letter to James Grimshaw, 23 March 1897. [The envelope is addressed to James Grimshaw, McClanahan, Texas. It is postmarked October 2, 1897, New York, New York. It bears a 2-Cent stamp. The original handwritten letter is in the possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

3 George Noel Grimshaw, first phone conversation with Doris Tilton, 17 September 1978. [After he and Thad Grimshaw traced James descendants through Frank down to Doris, George called her to verify her relation to Frank. Doris was amazed at the amount of information that he had on the Grimshaw’s. She said she had not done any research on the Grimshaw’s as she thought James was lost at sea. George sent her some family records so she could verify the information he had and fill in the blanks as well as update her own records. She did so and sent them back in a letter dated October 1, 1978, along with a copy, in her own handwriting, of all of the handwritten data from the Bibles of both James’ and Lydia and Frank and Lillie Grimshaw.]

4 Doris Tilton, letter to George Noel Grimshaw, 1 October 1978. [Along with this letter, Doris sent a copy, in her own handwriting, of all the handwritten vital statistic data from the Bibles of both James’ and Lydia and Frank and Lillie Grimshaw. The original letter is in the possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

5 Massachusetts, State Department of Public Health, Registry of Vital Records and Statistics, No. 74463, Copy of Record of Marriage, 24 August 1977. [Marriage of James Grimshaw to Lydia R. Allen on 7 October 1851. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California]

6 Texas, Texas State Archives, Waller’s Reg’t, Cavalry, Company Muster Roll 23 April to 1 August, 1862. [Documents James’ enrollment in the Confederate Army at Marlin, Texas, on 14 April 1862 and his muster into service at Hempstead, Texas on 23 April 1862. Found by Boyd Grimshaw, Pleasanton, Texas, in the late 1970’s. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

7 Texas, Texas State Archives, Confederate Pension Application, 28 September 1899. [Submitted by James Grimshaw on 5 July 1899. Found by Boyd Grimshaw, Pleasanton, Texas in the late 1970’s. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

8 United States, Census Bureau, 1870 United States Federal Census, Precinct No. 5, County of Falls, State of Texas, Post Office: Rockdam, 13 March 1871, viewed on 2 January 2005 < http://www.grimshaworigin.org/WebPages/1870Census.htm>. [James’ age shown as 41 years on this census. This information was found on the Grimshaw Origins and History Website. Copy of actual record in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

9 United States, Census Bureau, 1880 United States Census. Justice Precinct No. 6, County of Bell, State of Texas, 5 June 1880, viewed on 1 January 2005. < http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/tx/bell/census/1880/06-08.gif>. [James listed his age as 50 on this census. I first found and viewed this Census Record in the early 1970’s at the LDS library in Los Angeles, California. Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

10 CensusFinder, Texas Census Records, Page 3, viewed on 30 December 2007. <http://www.censusfinder.com/texas3.htm>. [A note on this web site reads, “1890 Texas Federal Census Schedules were destroyed by fire with the exception of a small fragment of Ellis County, Hood County, Rusk County and Kaufman County.”]

11 United States, Census Bureau, 1900 United States Census, Marlin, County of Falls, State of Texas, 7 June 1900, viewed on 1 January 2005 <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll indiv=1&db=1900usfedcen%2c&gsfn=James&gsln=Grimshaw&sx=&year=1829&yearend=1903&gskw=&gsco=2%2cUnited+States&gspl=1%2cAll+States&prox=0&rank=0&ti=0&ti.si=0&gss=angs&submit.x=57&submit.y=17&f =10>. [Found on Ancestry.Com. Image source: Year: 1900; Census Place: Marlin, Falls, Texas; Roll: T623 1632; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 16. Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

12 Massachusetts, New Bedford, Certificate of Death Record, 30 July 1982. [Record of Frank Grimshaw’s death Original date of record is 25 March 1918. Frank’s date of death is shown as 22 March 1918. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

13 United States, Census Bureau, 1850 United States Census, 1st Ward, Providence City, County of Providence, State of Rhode Island, 21 August 1850, viewed on 9 January 2005. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=1850usfedcenancestry&h=12440284&o_iid=012084&o_lid=012084&o_it=012084&sourcecode=12084&gss=angs>.[James E. Grimshaw, age 21, born in Connecticut, occupation – machinist, is listed along with Mary Hargraves, age 59, head of household, George Grimshaw age 34, and Henry Grimshaw, age 6. Possible match for James Grimshaw and his mother Mary. Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

14 Thad J. Grimshaw, E-mail, Subject: Re: Interesting Census Info. on James Grimshaw, 11 January 2005. [In response to Source 13 above, Thad sent the following information: “1) I have a Mrs. Mary Grimshaw that married William Hargraves in Lowell, Mass on 06-04-1831. 2) James Hargraves Grimhaw son of Amos & Mary Grimshaw was baptized in 1833 in Lowell, Mass. 3) George Grimshaw worked in New England Screw Company, Providence, RI as an machinist in 1860. 4) Charles Grimshaw son of George and Ann Grimshaw was born on 04-25-1844 in Providence. 5) Henry Grimshaw died on 08-12-1892 (age 72) in Worchester, Mass. He was a tool fixer. His parents were Henry & Mary Ashworth Grimshaw. It does not list the place of birth. 6) Henry, Thomas, & Amos all lived in Lowell, Mass at the same time (1833-38). I did not find any birth or death records for the Grimshaw in Lowell. They were all members of the St. Anne Episcopal Church in Lowell.” Possible match for James Grimshaw and his parents. Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

15 Donna Slicer, E-mail, Subject: James, 11 January 2005. [Donna sent the following information: “I did find a notation she (Doris Tilton) made concerning a letter she received from Lowell Mass. Records. “Grimshaw, James Hargraves b. 1829, July 4. Son of Amos and Mary Grimshaw, bp. Sept. 28, 1833, St. Anne’s Church, Lowell, Mass.”” Possible match for James Grimshaw. Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

16 Massachusetts, Massachusetts Town Marriage Records, Vital Records of Taunton, viewed on Ancestry .com, 27 November 2005. [Full Text: “Hargraves, William and Mrs. Mary Grunshaw [int. Grimshaw, omits Mrs.], and William Hargraves, both of T., June 4, 1831. Possible match for James’ parents. Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

17 United States, Census Bureau, 1860 United States Census, 6th Ward, Providence City, County of Providence, State of Rhode Island August 1860, viewed on 7 December 2005. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll gsfn=Mary&gsln=Hargraves&sx=&f23=RI&f3=Providence&f4=Providence&f10=&f13=&prox=1&db=1860usfedcenancestry&ti=0&ti.si=0&gss=angs&submit.x=35&submit.y=5&indiv=1&fh=0>. [Mary Hargraves, age 68. Born in England. Living in the household of Clark Tillinghast and his family. Possible match for James’ mother. Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

18 Rhode Island, Rhode Island Deaths, 1630-1930, Rhode Island Vital Records, viewed on Ancestry .com, 27 November 2005. [Mary Hargraves. Death date: 24 August 1860. 68 Years. Relation: wid., d. Kin 1: Thomas Greenwood. Kin 2: – Bagnall. It is interesting that she lists a Greenwood as next of kin. Greenwood is the middle name of James’ Lydia’s son Frank Grimshaw. Possible match for James’ mother. Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

19 George Noel Grimshaw, Notes, n.d. [While visiting Mac and Doris Tilton in the early 1980’s, Doris showed George the following note: “S.B.P. belonged to a brother (Mercer) of my great-G.F, James Grimshaw, who left it with my great-G.M. Grimshaw when he went on a journey, never being heard from afterward” S. B. P. stands for Steel Bead Purse. G.F. stands for grandfather and G.M stands for grandmother. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

20 Henry Howland Crapo, The New Bedford Directory, New Bedford: Tabor, 1849, viewed on 05 January 2008 <http://books.google.com/books?id=4P0BAAAAYAAJ&dq=editions:07agljihpBRUmz>. [No listing for either James or Lydia. Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

21 Henry Howland Crapo, The New Bedford Directory, New Bedford: Tabor, 1852, viewed on 05 January 2008 <http://books.google.com/books id=OPgBAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA101&lpg=PA101&dq=james+grimshaw+machinist&source=web&ots=Wlb-5zac7J&sig=rH_hXyt8Nq-2YWRJjsJ_xOh_K1o>. [Lists: “Grimshaw, James, machinist, works N.B. Cordage factory, house 10 Chancery.” Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

22 George Noel Grimshaw, Notes. n.d. [James is listed in the New Bedford Directory as a machinist employed by the N.B. Cordage Factory in 1852 and 1855. In 1852, he is listed as living at 10 Chancery and in 1855 at 55 Smith St. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

23 New Bedford Whaling Museum, Kendall Institute, From Dartmouth to New Bedford, Old Dartmouth to New Bedford, New Bedford Cordage Factory, n.d., viewed on 2 January 2005. < http://www.whalingmuseum.org/kendall/old_nb/old_nb_http://test2.grimshaworigin.org/l>. [“The New Bedford Cordage Company, founded in 1842 to furnish all kinds of rope and line to the whale fishery, actually expanded with the explosion of new industries and the many new demands for cordage.” Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

24 “History of the New Bedford Cordage Company,” n.d., viewed on 2 January 2005 <http://www.mysticseaport.org/library/manuscripts/coll/coll075/coll075.html#headd46304320>. [The New Bedford Cordage Company was founded in 1842. It manufactured whale line and other marine cordage. Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

25 “Elias Howe,” Scientific American Online, viewed on 29 December 2007. <http://www.history.rochester.edu/Scientific_American/mystery/howe.htm>. [Short article about Elias Howe. Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

26 Thad J. Grimshaw, Letter from the Genealogy Room, Free Public Library, City of New Bedford, Massachusetts, 11 August 1978. [In reply to Thad’s request for an obituary notice for Lydia R. Grimshaw, this letter states that “She appears in the 1871-72 New Bedford Directory as the widow of James, 55 Smith St.” It is also stated that Lydia’s age at death was 82 years, 8 months and that she is buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery in New Bedford. Copy in possession of Thad J. Grimshaw, Durham, North Carolina.]

27 Thad J. Grimshaw, E-mail Subject: Howe Sewing Machine, 18 September 2004. [Contains a short article titled: “Biography of Elias Howe.” Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

28 Henry Howland Crapo, The New Bedford Directory, New Bedford: Tabor, 1859, viewed on 05 January 2008 <http://books.google.com/books?id=SvQBAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=editions:07agljihpBRUmz>. [No listing for James but a Lydia Allen is listed. Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

29 George Noel Grimshaw, Notes, n.d. [Lydia is listed as a widow in the New Bedford Directory of 1877and 1878, and 1879. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

30 Stephen Chicoine, The Confederates of Chappell Hill Texas: Prosperity, Civil War and Decline. (Jefferson: MacFarland & Co., 2004) pages 41-44, viewed on 31 December 2007 <http://books.google.com/books?id=3WnItnaoL2MC&pg=PA42&lpg=PA37&output=html&sig=WPaUZaEnDGDHvVtobn9URBG0D0U>. [The name “Lt. Colonel Edwin Waller, Jr.” appears as does “Waller’s Thirteenth Cavalry Battalion.” An account of the battle at Bonne Carre, which James Grimshaw fought, is provided. Copy of pages 41-44 in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

31 Texas, Texas State Archives, Waller’s Reg’t, Cavalry, Company Muster-in Roll. 30 June 1862. [Found by Boyd Grimshaw, Pleasanton, Texas, in the late 1970’s. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

32 Texas, Texas State Archives, Waller’s Reg’t, Cavalry, Copy of Company Muster Roll, 6 August through 1 November 1862. [Found by Boyd Grimshaw, Pleasanton, Texas, in the late 1970’s. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

33 Texas, Texas State Archives, Waller’s Reg’t, Cavalry, List of men, of the organization named above, who lost their horses, equipment and arms in the skirmish at Bonnet Carre, La., Sept. 7, 1862,” n.d. [Found by Boyd Grimshaw, Pleasanton, Texas, in the late 1970’s. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

34 Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. viewed on 2 January 2008. <http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/WW/fwa38.html>. [Short biography on Edwin Waller Jr. “s.v.” stands for sub verbo, “under the word.” Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

35 Texas, Texas State Archives, Waller’s Reg’t, Cavalry, Company Muster Roll. January and February 1864. [Found by Boyd Grimshaw, Pleasanton, Texas, in the late 1970’s. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

36 Linda Mearse, Confederate Indigent Families Lists of Texas 1863-1865, viewed on 3 January 2008<http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/cif/chcounty.html>. [James Grimshaw of Falls County listed. Copy of James’ listing in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

37 Texas, Falls County, Marriage license and certificate, 15 December 1864. [Marriage of James Grimshaw to Sarah J. Stahl. Date of marriage, 12 December 1864. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

38 George Noel Grimshaw, Family Record, n.d. [James and Sarah Grimshaw’s family birth, marriage, and death Records. Thought to have belonged to Sarah Arilla Grimshaw Johnson (aka Sister) of DeLeon, Texas. Certified birth records did not exist at the time. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

39 Thad J. Grimshaw. Family Tree Maker File. Imported 27 December 2004. [This file contains family data researched and input by Thad.]

40 Texas, Texas State Archives, Waller’s Reg’t, Cavalry, Company Muster Roll, 23 April to 1 August, 1862. [Documents Augustus his muster-in at Camp Waller, Hempstead, Texas, as a Private on April 23, 1862, by E. Waller Jr. Augustus’ age is shown as 19 years. Found by George Noel Grimshaw in the early 1980’s. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

41 Texas, Texas State Archives, Waller’s Reg’t, Cavalry, Company Muster-in Roll, 30 June 1862. [Documents Augustus’ presence on the muster roll. Found by George Noel Grimshaw in the early 1980’s. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

42 Texas, Texas State Archives, Waller’s Reg’t, Cavalry, Company Muster Roll. 1 August through 1 November 1862. [Documents Augustus presence on the muster roll. Found by George Noel Grimshaw in the early 1980’s. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

43 Texas, Texas State Archives, Waller’s Reg’t, Cavalry, Company Muster Roll. January and February 1864. [Documents Augustus’ presence on the muster roll. Found by George Noel Grimshaw in the early 1980’s. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

44 Marlin, map, viewed on 9 October 2006. <http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl>.

45 United States, Registration Record, 12 September 1918, viewed on 16 January 2005 Ancestry .com. [World War I Registration Record of George Monroe Grimshaw. Birth date shown as January 13, 1884. Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

46 Bobbye Lee Wade, notes from visit 5 October 2006. [Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

47 Massachusetts, Secretary of the Commonwealth, Division of Vital Statistics, Copy of Record of Death, No. 80209, 29 March 1974. [Lydia R. Grimshaw’s record of death. Date of original record is dated December 7, 1899. Lydia’s date of death is shown as December 4, 1899. Certified copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

48 Texas, Erath County, The Cemetery Transcription Project, Liberty Cemetery. viewed on 29 December 2007 <http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/tx/erath/cemeteries/libertcem.txt>.

49 George Noel Grimshaw, visit to Liberty Cemetery, April 2001. [George Noel. George Howard and George Elliot visited the Liberty Cemetery and tried to find James’ gravesite, but were unable to do so. According to George Noel his dad, George Olan, and his sisters Sarah and Allie are the last known descendants to find and visit James’ gravesite sometime in the 1960’s. Some time after their visit George Olan told George Noel that James’ grave is located in the Liberty Cemetery near a shade tree and marked by a rock. There is no longer a tree there and several of the graves are no longer marked.]

50 Jay R. Grimshaw, letter, c. May 1999 [Includes a picture of the marble marker he had placed in the Exray, Cemetery in Erath County, Texas, along with a picture of the marker, a poem about James, and directions to the cemetery.]

51 Jay R. Grimshaw, visit in April 2001. [As told to George Noel, George Howard. and George Elliot by Jay during a visit to his home in April 2001.]

52 Texas, Erath County, The Cemetery Transcription Project, Exray Cemetery, viewed on 29 December 2007. <http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/tx/erath/cemeteries/exray02.txt>. [Transcription documented as “Grimshaw James 4 July 1829 29 Sep 1903 Co B Texas Cav CSA.”]

53 Grimshaw Family Reunion, June 2003. [Several of James’ descendants of Grimshaw visited his tombstone in the Exray Cemetery.]

 

Descendant Chart for James Grimshaw

A descendant chart for James Grimshaw is shown below along with his parents and siblings. He apparently had six children – one by his first wife and five (three girls and two boys) by his second wife. His second son, Amos, bought a farm in Young County on which oil was subsequently discovered. A conjecture on the English origins of James Grimshaw is provided further down on this webpage.

 

Descendant Chart of James Grimshaw.

 

William Grimshaw (1808 – ) & Mary (?) Grimshaw (1810 – ) NOW REPLACED

1 Amos Grunshaw (1795 – ca 1830) & Mary Greenwood (ca 1791 or 1797 – 24 Aug 1860?). Married 1820, Lancashire. 

|–2 Ann Grunshaw (Jul 1812 – ?, Greenwood, NE) & John Atkinson (16 Jun 1801, Lancashire – 11 Jan 1892, Greenwood, NE). Married 11 Sep 1831, Taunton, MA

|–|–3 John Atkinson Jr. (1834 – 1921) & Emeline Marsh (1836 – 1919)

|–|–3 Elizabeth Ann Atkinson (1836 – 1872) & Charles H. Sands (1830 – 1890)

|–|–3 Nelson Atkinson (1841 – 1869) & Lydia Ann Dyson (1847 – 1886)

|–|–3 Samuel Atkinson (1846) & Mary A. Bellinger

|–|–3 Byde Atkinson (1851 – 1931) & Lella A Jones (1856 – 1932)

|–|–3 Eunice Atkinson (1852 – 1946) & James T. Barnum (1842)

|–2 Elizabeth Grunshaw* (1821 – 1894) & James Markham – 1857). Married 17 Feb 1838, Fall River, MA

|–|–3 Mary Markham

|–|–3 Sarah Markham & R.R. Gatley

|–|–3 John Grunshaw Markham (1846) & Elizabeth Ruth All (1849)

|–|–3 William J Markham* (1849 – 1917) & Leah S Cooke (1850 – 1919)

|–|–3 William J Markham* (1849 – 1917) & John Jessop Jr (1821 – 1901)

|–|–3 Mary M.Jessop (1851 – 1916) & George W. Hunt (1859 – 1930)

|–|–3 John Jessop Cluderay (1865) & Nellie unknown

|–|–3 Ella Atkinson) & Mary Greenwood (1799)

|–2 Elizabeth Grunshaw* (1821 – 1894) & John Jessop Jr (1821 – 1901)

|–|–3 Mary M.Jessop (1851 – 1916) & George W. Hunt (1859 – 1930)

|–|–3 John Jessop Cluderay (1865) & Nellie unknown

|–|–3 Ella Atkinson

|–2 George Grimshaw (1826) & Ann

|–|–3 Charles Grimshaw (25 Apr 1844 – )

|–|–3 Henry Grimshaw/Grunshaw (24 Apr 1845, Pawtucket, RI – 12 Jun 1928, Ironton, WI) & Mary Greenhalgh (30 Jun 1852, PA – 27 Sep 1941, Ironton, WI). Married 13 Oct 1874, LaValle, WI.

|—2 James Grimshaw* (4 Jul 1829, Norwich, CT – 25 Sep 1903, Exray, TX) & Lydia Raymond Bosworth Allen (16 Mar 1817, Middleborough, MA – 4 Dec 1889 or 1899, New Bedford, MA). Married 7 Oct 1851, New Bedford, MA.

|—|—3 Frank Greenwood Grimshaw (7 Mar 1853 – 22 Mar 1918) & Lillie A Pond (21 Apr 1857 – 2 Sep 1925)

|—|—|—4 Myra Harriet Grimshaw Clark (25 Sep 1881 – 12 Jan 1951) & George Alton Clark (11 Apr 1881 – 6 Aug 1925)

|—|—|—|—6 Doris Arline Clark Tilton (4 Nov 1912 – ) & Malcom Tilton (29 Apr 1913 – )

|—|—|—|—6 Raymond Alton Clark (1906 – )

|—2 James Grimshaw* (4 Jul 1829, Norwich, CT – 25 Sep 1903, Exray, TX) & Sarah Julius Stahl (26 Oct 1845, Montgomery, TX – 24 Jun 1885, Belton, TX). Married 16 Jun 1865, ? Falls, TX

|—|—3 Mary Catherine (Mollie) Grimshaw* (22 Oct 1867 – 15 Jan 1951) & John Eli Amason ( – 13 Mar 1916)

|—|—3 Mary Catherine (Mollie) Grimshaw* (22 Oct 1867 – 15 Jan 1951) & Sam Young ( – 12 Dec 1934)

|—|—3 Amos Grimshaw (12 Aug 1870 – 22 Mar 1943) & Zona Francis Jolly (7 Apr 1875 – 13 May 1963). Married 12 Aug 1891, Falls County, TX.

|—|—|—4 Sarah Arilla Grimshaw (23 Sep 1893 – 1 Aug 1986) & Henry W. Johnson (18 Feb 1890 – 2 Apr 1979)

|—|—|—|—5 Henry Roy Johnson (23 Sep 1913 – ) & Esta Lee (About 1915 – )

|—|—|—|—5 Lola Marie Johnson (28 Aug 1915 – 2 Apr 1974) & Red Smith (About 1912 – About 1977)

|—|—|—4 Frankie Grimshaw (2 Feb 1896 – 2 Aug 1899)

|—|—|—4 Fitzhugh Lee Grimshaw (2 May 1898 – )

|—|—|—4 Allie V. Grimshaw (13 Dec 1899 – 7 Jul 1992) & William Tullie “Willie” Carruth (11 Sep 1896 – 8 Jul 1992)

|—|—|—|—5 Frances Carruth (30 Mar 1922 – ) & Joe Morgan (30 Oct 1920 – )

|—|—|—|—5 Billy Carruth (25 Mar 1924 – ) & June ? (About 1926 – )

|—|—|—|—5 Evelyn Carruth (19 Jan 1931 – ) & Billy Hare (About 1930 – )

|—|—|—4 Violet Elizabeth (Tot) Grimshaw (13 Oct 1901 – 21 Dec 1973) & Silas Gilmore Bridges (8 Jun 1883 – Aug 1955)

|—|—|—|—5 Silas Gilmore (Jr.) Bridges (26 Jun 1931 – )

|—|—|—|—5 Sue Bridges (16 Sep 1932 – ) & Marvin J. Tucker (19 Jun 1935 – )

|—|—|—|—5 Robert Amos Bridges* (16 Dec 1934 – )

|—|—|—|—5 Robert Amos Bridges* (16 Dec 1934 – ) & Bernadean ?

|—|—|—4 James Julius Grimshaw* (14 Dec 1903 – ) & Nona Rogers (11 Feb 1904 – 27 Oct 1992)

|—|—|—|—5 Nell Grimshaw (16 Feb 1931 – ) & Elwood Clarence Ragland (23 Oct 1928 – )

|—|—|—|—5 Jay Roger Grimshaw (22 Nov 1937 – ) & Helen Lewis (8 Dec 1941 – )

|—|—|—|—5 Carmon “Gene” Grimshaw (5 Oct 1944 – ) & Marilyn Bostick (10 Aug 1950 – )

|—|—|—4 James Julius Grimshaw* (14 Dec 1903 – ) & Gladys Simpson (About 1905 – )

|—|—|—4 Robert Julian Grimshaw (14 Dec 1903 – 20 Aug 1930) & Odel Mattox (About 1905 – )

|—|—|—|—5 Bobby Grimshaw (30 May 1925 – About 1973) & June ? 15 Apr 1927 – )

|—|—|—|—5 Dorothy Grimshaw Fly (About 1927 – About 1991)

|—|—|—4 George Olan Grimshaw (14 Feb 1909 – 12 Nov 1980) & Vida Mae Bynum (17 Sep 1912 – )

|—|—|—|—5 Charles Weldon Grimshaw (14 Aug 1929 – 4 Jan 1997) & Nina Jo Hale (15 Sep 1927 – )

|—|—|—|—5 George Noel Grimshaw (11 Jan 1933 – ) & Patrica Howard (16 Sep 1935 – )

|—|—|—|—5 Thaddeus Julian Grimshaw (23 Jun 1937 – ) & Cecilia Watson (13 Jul 1944 – )

|—|—|—|—5 Teresa Mayada Grimshaw* (10 Oct 1942 – 27 Aug 1974) & George Carl Key (23 Jun 1937 – )

|—|—|—|—5Teresa Mayada Grimshaw* (10 Oct 1942 – 27 Aug 1974) & Jerry Van Orden (About 1936 – )

|—|—|—4 Baby brother Grimshaw (15 Jan 1910 – 1910)

|—|—|—4 Emma Mae Grimshaw (26 Aug 1911 – ) & Dee Sadler (About 1912 – 25 Mar 1996)

|—|—|—|—5 Patricia Ann Sadler (About 1944 – ) ? Smith

|—|—3 Annie Elizabeth (Lizzie) Grimshaw (3 May 1874 – 21 Mar 1904) & Louis Jackson Owen (1876 – About 1925)

|—|—|—4 Lillian Caroline Owen (1 Mar 1898 – 2 Aug 1976)

|—|—|—4 Jeffie Louise Owen (1 Nov 1901 – 7 Dec 1979) & Eugene C. Golden (About 1900 – )

|—|—3 Sally Lee Grimshaw (24 Feb 1881 – 1891)

|—|—3 George Monroe Grimshaw (13 Jan 1884 – 13 Jun 1979) & Donna Marsh (7 Jan 1885 – 6 Mar 1974)

|—|—|—4 Faye Grimshaw (12 Nov 1909 – 14 Oct 1993) & Robert Herndon Jr. Rogers (30 Jun 1908 – 9 Mar 1997)

|—|—|—|—5 Bobbye Lea Rogers (30 Sep 1933 – ) & George Melvin Wade (5 Aug 1930 – 7 Feb 1990)

Photos of James Grimshaw and His Two Families

George H Grimshaw has provided a number of photos of James Grimshaw and his two families. They are presented below. Some of the photos are from the Morgan/Shelby family tree on Ancestry.com

James Grimshaw and First Family

Two additional photos of James Grimshaw.

Lydia (Bosworth) Allen Grimshaw, first wife of James Grimshaw.

Frank Greenwood Grimshaw, son of James and Lydia Grimshaw.

Lillie (Pond) Grimshaw, wife of Frank Greenwood Grimshaw, at age 57 (from Morgan/Shelby family tree)

Second Family of James Grimshaw

Sarah Julius (Stahl) Grimshaw, second wife of James Grimshaw.

Mary Catherine (Grimshaw) Amason Young, oldest child of James and Sarah Grimshaw (another photo appears with Amos and Zona Grimshaw in next section).

Amos and Mary Catherine (Mollie) Grimshaw, date unknown  (from Morgan/Shelby family tree)

Amos and Mollie Grimshaw, about 1885  (from Morgan/Shelby family tree)

Amos and Zona (Jolley) Grimshaw; Amos was the second child of James and Sarah Grimshaw.

Louis Jackson (“Bud”) and Annie Elizabeth (Lizzie) (Grimshaw) Owen; Annie was the third child of James and Sarah Grimshaw.

George Monroe and Donna (Marsh) Grimshaw; George was the fifth child of James and Sarah Grimshaw.

Barbara Rivas Contribution of a Family Story about James Grimshaw

Barbara is preparing a collection of family stories told by her grandmother and recorded by her aunts. In an email in June 2014, Barbara provided the following information concerning a story about James Grimshaw.

Barbara’s maternal ancestors were friends and neighbors of the Grimshaws in Bell county. Her g-grandfather was John Wiley Barefoot, and his wife was Nancy Clara Withrow.  

Barbara is putting together a book on family stories and ran across a story they (her grandmother and aunts) had written about Oak Grove – The Grove.  

Her grandmother had recounted stories about Mr. Grimshaw which my aunts wrote down. 

The story told by Barbara’s grandmother was this:

“Mr. Grimshaw had come to Texas from Connecticut and was a maker of fine knives. To own a Grimshaw knife was to possess the finest tool or weapon which could be made.  John Wiley Barefoot treasured a Grimshaw knife all his life. It was last owned by his son, Freeman.

One spring, when the snow had melted, a partially decomposed body of a man was found in the woods near the Leon River.  There was no means by which he could be identified and the authorities were mystified. There was, however, one possible clue. Between the shoulder blades was a knife which was obviously the murder weapon.  “Old Man” Grimshaw was called in.  He identified the knife as one of his own manufacture, told for whom he had made it and when.  When the murderer was confronted by the sheriff with these facts, he confessed to the crime and was duly tried and sentenced.

Mr. Grimshaw had other talents of which Nancy Clara Barefoot was aware.  She was greatly concerned over severe headaches which afflicted her young husband, John Wiley Barefoot.  They defied all known remedies.  Forty five years later, John Wiley decided that coffee was the cause of the trouble and when he stopped drinking it the headaches ceased. But in 1884 no one had heard of allergies and never suspected that the ever present cup of coffee could harm anyone. 

When Nancy Clara learned that Mr. Grimshaw possessed a new medicine called “calomel” which would, reputedly, cure any disease she promptly dressed herself and baby girl for a formal visit.  They walked across the pasture to call on her neighbor and at the stream crossing the little girl rode piggy-back to keep her nice clothes clean. She watched while Mr. Grimshaw gave instructions. He used the tip of the blade of his pocket knife to measure exactly enough powder to make a “dose” and gave directions on the number of doses which were to be used for different ailments. A “round” of calomel was given until the patient was better but if used indiscriminately it could be dangerous. The patient could be “salivated”. Three doses were given for chills and fever, and so on. He measured each dose onto a small square of brown paper which was then tightly folded and handed to Nancy Clara. These precious squares of brown paper started her in her career as family nurse, which career she took seriously the rest of her life.”

Thanks go to Barbara for contributing these anecdotes about James Grimshaw. No record of any of his knives has been found.

 Photographs of Amos and Zona Grimshaw and Their Family

A photograph of Amos and Zona (Jolley) Grimshaw, taken about 1940 (about three years before Amos’ death) is shown below (repeat of photo in previous section). A photo of Zona and her children, taken in about 1943 (about a year after the death of Amos) is also presented below.

 

Amos and Zona (Jolley) Grimshaw. Taken about 1940. Photo courtesy of Thad Grimshaw.

 

 

Picture of Zona and Amos Grimshaw (front: left and middle) on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary (about 1940). Also pictured are Mary Catherine (“Mollie”) Grimshaw, Amos’s sister (lower right) and Lee (Hammer) Stahl and Willie Stahl (back row). Photo provided by Thad Grimshaw, July 2006. Photo appears to have been taken at the same time as the one in Figure 2b.

 

Zona (Jolley) Grimshaw and her children. Standing (left to right) are Fitzhugh, Emma Mae Sadler, George, Violet Bridges, and Jim. Seated (left to right) are Allie Carruth, Zona, and Arillia Johnson.) Taken about 1943. Photo courtesy of Thad Grimshaw.

Another, earlier, photo of Amos and Zona Grimshaw and several of their children.  (from Morgan/Shelby family tree).

Violet (Tot), Zona, Emma Mae (Mae), Amos Jim, George, F.L. (Fitzhugh Lee)

 Biography of James Julius Grimshaw: Life in Early Twentieth Century Texas and New Mexico

A brief but very interesting biography describing life in Texas and eastern New Mexico in the early part of the twentieth century was prepared by James Julius, son of Amos and grandson of James Grimshaw. The biography also records excellent details of the Grimshaw family history in Texas, including involvement in oil discovery and development. Excerpts from James’ biography are presented below; the complete version is given after the References at the end of this webpage.

 

(Excerpts from) The Personal History of

James J. Grimshaw

I was born December 14, 1903 in Xray, Texas near Stephenville. I was the firstborn of a set of twins. Robert and I were born on the farm. The doctor came out alone for the delivery. My parents were Amos and Zona. My mama was 28 years old when we were born, and dad was 33. I had 1 older brother and 3 older sisters when I was born, but there wound up being 8 of us all together. Arilla, called sister, was the eldest. She was 10 when Robert and I were born. Fitzhugh was 7, Allie was 4, and Violet (Tot) was about 2. George came along 5 years later, and Emma May was the youngest.

Dad was a farmer and blacksmith in Xray. He had learned about being a smithy from my grandad James who made razors and knives. My brothers and sisters and I would pump air with the bellows when the plows needed to be heated.

Robert and I always did everything together when we were growing up. Mama told about when we were toddlers and the sunlight would shine through the keyhole. First one of us would cover the light on the floor, then the other would move that hand and put his own over it – back and forth.

We were always just about the same size. However, dad started calling me, Cheesy, and Robert, Scrawny. Cheesy became Cheedy, and we were known as Cheed and Scrawn Grimshaw until we were in high school.

….

We moved from Erath county to Young county in 1906 when Dad bought a 300 acre farm about 9 miles south of Graham. We raised cotton, maize and corn. We had several cows that we milked when they freshened. About 6 or 8 we turned the calves out for the night.

….

I started school at Mountain Home, in Young Co., in 1911 when I was seven. We walked about a mile to school each day. We had one teacher for all the grades. We had prayer each day before we started school and before lunch. The teacher told bible stories, and read from the Bible each day. We went to school from 8:00 to 4:00 each day. Our school year was about 6 months long.

The farm in Young Co. was on tight land, and didn’t get enough rain. The bollweevil was also moving into the country about this time, and was ruining the cotton business. Henry Johnson, my brother-in-law, was raising peanuts on sandy land near DeLeon, and was doing pretty well. Dad decided to join him, and in 1914 we left Young Co., and moved to Comanche Co. We moved everything in two wagons. Henry met us in Ranger with a wagon. We rented a place from the Morgans near Harmony west of DeLeon. Dad wasn’t able to sell the Young Co. place because it was too dry.

….

About 1919, they struck oil on the farm in Young Co. Dad had 18 wells on his place at one time. A town sprang up that came to be known as Oil City. There was already a post office in Texas named Oil City, so they registered the post office in Young Co. as Grimshaw.

In 1921 Dad bought an old bank building in DeLeon, and turned it into a service station and garage. It was on a corner lot where the stoplight is today. We had the Magnolia distributorship, and delivered gas and kerosine to people in the surrounding community.

Photo of Filling Station from Morgan/Shelby Family Tree on Ancestry.com

….

I met Nona Rogers shortly after we moved to New Mexico. She was good friends with my sister, Tot. Nona was invited to come home with us one Sunday after church. When we sat down to eat lunch, I jumped in beside her. She made out like she didn’t like it, but it was the first time we had ever really visited. We started courting after this. Dad had a Model T truck that I got to use sometimes when I was going to see Nona. There was a cloud coming up one evening when I had plans to go sparking. Mama said, “You are sure bent on going to see that girl tonight.” I told her that I was just about bent double. Mama noticed that I had a button missing from my coat as I was leaving to go to Nona’s house one night. She told me that I had better let her sew one on. I told her that I wanted Nona to sew it on – I wanted to wear it while she sewed it on.

There was a revival at church in the summer of 1925. I took Nona out to this one night. After it was over, I took her home, and then returned to the parsonage to see our pastor, Bro. Bynum, and the evangelist about being saved. Later on in the week, I surrendered to the Lord. I was baptised with about five others at the end of the revival. We were baptised in a metal storage tank of Dad’s. It was about 30 feet in diameter, and so provided plenty of room for the ceremony.

Nona and I were married October 20,1926 at 8:00 in the morning. We were married by Bro. Bynum at Nona’s home in the room where we had previously done our sparking. Our families, Bro. Bynum, and his girls, Vida and Ruth, were present as witnesses. Nona’s dress was white lace and ribbon. Violet and Nona were good friends, and so Violet helped her dress for the wedding.

….

I raised peanuts and cattle until 1976 when Nona and I divided our place between the three children. During this time, I was a deacon at the First Baptist Church, taught Sunday school, and served on the Desdemona school board twice. I’ve enjoyed my grandchildren, my truck patch and occasionally helping out around the farm since retiring. I have been getting used to a new way of life since Nona died last October 28 after 66 years of being together.

 

An obituary for James J Grimshaw appeared in 2000 and is shown below (from a companion webpage).

 

 

48

Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TX) – December 28, 2000

Deceased Name: James J. Grimshaw

DESDEMONA – James J. Grimshaw, 97, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2000.

Funeral: 11 a.m. Friday at Desdemona First Baptist Church.

Mr. Grimshaw was born Dec. 14, 1903, in Xray, in Erath County near Stephenville. He was saved and baptized in the summer of 1925 in Elida, N.M. He was ordained as a deacon in 1930. He served in many positions at the church and also served two terms on the Desdemona school board. He farmed peanuts and raised cattle near Desdemona until 1976.

James J. Grimshaw and Nona Rogers were married Oct. 20, 1926, in Elida, N.M. She preceded him in death Oct. 28, 1992. He married Gladys Simpson in 1993 and she preceded him in death Aug. 11, 2000.

Survivors: Sons, Jay R. and Carmen Gene Grimshaw of Desdemona; daughter, Nella V. Ragland of Desdemona; 14 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and brother, Fitzhugh Grimshaw of Clovis, N.M. Nowlin Funeral Home De Leon, (254) 893-2021

Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TX)

Date: December 28, 2000

Edition: FINAL

Page: 6

Record Number: 11012736

Copyright (c) 2000 Fort Worth Star-Telegram

 The History of Young County as Background and Context

The life and times of the early Grimshaws in Texas may be best appreciated in the context of the history of Young County. An extract from a brief history of the county1, covering the period of interest in the early 1900s, is shown below:

 

…Railroads built into the county during the first decade of the twentieth century, easing immigration into the area and connecting the economy more directly with national markets. The Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway reached Graham in 1902, the Wichita Falls and Southern reached Newcastle, a new coal-mining town, in 1908, and the Gulf, Texas and Western built into Olney in 1910. The population more than doubled during this period, rising to 13,657 by 1910, as hundreds of new farms were established and a cotton economy developed and boomed. By 1910 there were 1,796 farms and ranches, encompassing more than 484,000 acres, in the area. Cotton had become the most important crop, and almost 51,000 acres were planted in the fiber that year; another 17,400 acres were planted in corn, and 4,000 acres were devoted to wheat. Almost 40,000 fruit trees, mostly peach, were also growing that year. As cultivation expanded, cattle ranching declined somewhat, though some ranchers experimented with other kinds of livestock. In 1910, 30,000 cattle and 12,781 goats were reported.

The number of farms declined, and the area lost population when the cotton boom faded in the 1910s. About 31,000 bales of cotton had been produced in 1907, at the height of the boom, but in 1916 under 12,000 bales were produced. By 1920 only 34,000 acres were devoted to cotton. Many farmers turned to growing wheat instead, and by 1920 over 42,000 acres were devoted to that crop. Hundreds of other farmers left their lands, so that by 1920 the number of farms and ranches had dropped to 1,480. The economy boomed again during the 1920s, thanks to another rapid expansion of cotton farming and a dramatic oil boom. Cotton acreage almost doubled during the 1920s; by 1930 almost 67,000 acres were devoted to the fiber. The number of farms in the county rose to 1,586 in 1925 before declining slightly to 1,520 by 1930. Meanwhile, oil exploration and production was rapidly reshaping the economy. Exploratory drilling by major oil companies had begun in the mid-1910s, and their hopes were encouraged in 1917 when the Lindy Lou No. 1 well came in. Actual production of petroleum began in 1920, and wildcatters, workers, and others looking for opportunities swarmed into the area. In 1921 and 1922 the landscape was dotted with new oil boom towns such as Clusky City, Harding, Lake City, Oil City, and Herron City; already established towns, like Olney and Graham, also grew rapidly. While almost all of the new boom towns disappeared as soon as production had been established, the new industry became an important part of life in the area. The population reached 20,128 by 1930…

 

A brief historical account2 of the early towns in Young County is given below:

 

Towns of the early days may have vanished, but there are modern ones whose life was shorter and whose departure was even more sudden and just as complete. Today their existence might not be believed except that oil boom towns left legal records.

Towns came into life when someone struck a pool of oil and were noticed chiefly by dumping of lumber and a row of shacks. Cluskey City had a population of five hundred two weeks after it had its name, and ten months later it was being plowed under for winter wheat. Harding and Lake City were also platted as towns along the Brazos when oil blew over derricks in 1921-1922. At the time oil was $2.50 a barrel and companies paid bonuses for material on location. Trucks strained over the deep sand of the river country where straw had been dumped to make passage possible, Harding and Lake City lived more than two years, but with production established the boom was over and they were no more. Oil City was recorded as a town on October 18, 1921, and probably no town in Texas ever rose so quickly to so big a bubble. Fifteen miles south of Graham the town sprang up and became a place of fifteen hundred within a few weeks, with city lots selling for $1000; Farther down on the river was Herron City, a long row of lively shacks where out-of-town reporters told of dice games held on the streets on Sunday afternoon and of its lovely Lady Godiva, sans her horse and long hair. A few dignified derricks are still left rearing their black crowns above the river near the site of the departed towns.

 

 

 Amos Grimshaw’s Farm and Founding of Oil City (Grimshaw), Texas

As noted above in James Julius Grimshaw’s biography, Amos Grimshaw bought a 300-acre farm about 9 miles south of Graham in Young County in 1909. After living on the farm in a typical early 1900s rural setting for about five years, the family left Young County for Comanche County. Amos “wasn’t able to sell the Young Co. place because it was too dry.” This proved providential for the family, because, in the words of Julius –

 

About 1919, they struck oil on the farm in Young Co. Dad had 18 wells on his place at one time. A town sprang up that came to be known as Oil City. There was already a post office in Texas named Oil City, so they registered the post office in Young Co. as Grimshaw.

 

 

George Grimshaw has begun an excellent collection of information on Oil City/Grimshaw, which can be viewed by clicking here. Included in the document are photos of the community and of Amos and Zona Grimshaw while in the community, which are provided below.

Oil City in the Early 1920s

Amos and Zona Grimshaw while at Grimshaw/Oil City (Zona on left, Amos on right, middle two unknown)

The history of Oil City is described as follows by the Handbook of Texas Online3:

 

OIL CITY, TEXAS

(Young County). Oil City, also known as Grimshaw, was ten miles south of Graham in southeastern Young County. It was built during the beginning of the county’s oil industry and was originally named for Amos Grimshaw, on whose land oil was discovered. Although the discovery well was brought in in 1917, the settlement did not boom until the 1920s. In October 1921 Oil City was recorded as a town; it had a population of 1,500 within a few weeks. Its city lots were selling for $1,000. By 1925 only 200 residents remained there, and by 1927, none. The community had a post office, called Grimshaw, from 1922 to 1925. Henry Schlittler, Sr., transported both mail and passengers over roads occasionally made nearly impassable during heavy rains. After the town’s demise a few oil derricks were left to mark the site.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Carrie J. Crouch, Young County: History and Biography (Dallas: Dealey and Love, 1937; rev. ed., A History of Young County, Texas, Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1956). Young County Federation of Women’s Clubs, Scrapbook of Young County (Graham, Texas?, 194-?).


Jeanne F. Lively

 

Another historical description is provided online at the following website. The description is provided below the website address.

http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/tx/young/community/grimshaw.txt 

Young Co., TX – Communities – Grimshaw, Texas

***********************************************
This file was contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by: Dorman Holub <txarchives@mac.com> Young County Historical Commission Dorman Holub, Chairman

Copyright. All rights reserved.
http://web.archive.org/web/20080907105330/http://www.rootsweb.com/%7Eusgenweb/copyright.htm
***********************************************

Grimshaw, Texas

Grimshaw was located a few miles northwest of Bunger  between R.J. Dowell Survey Abstract No. 2215 and  A.J. Driver Survey Abstract No. 1980. THe town was  named for landowner, Amos Grimshaw.

The oil boom town sprang up when oil was discovered  on the land by the fall of 1917 in a test well. The  oil boom in Young County began in South Bend in 1917 and the resources of the drillers centered in that  area until the move began.

County records seem to indicate that Grimshaw began  booming by 1919 when progression of oil drilling seemed  to move east. Amos Grimshaw platted the town in 1920 and  due to the oil wells, the town would change their name to “Oil City.” Young County records show a plat for  Oil City in October 1921. Lots sold in the town for a record $1,000 each.

By 1922, County records show an estimated population of 1,500. The town had drug stores, post office, hotels, mercantile houses, theatre, newspaper, and one church building.

With three disastrous fires in 1922 and 1923 and the production of oil, the town did not exist in 1927.

The post office was located at Grimshaw from 1922 to 1925 according to Federal records and Henry Schlittler, Sr. carried the mail from Graham to Grimshaw as a rural carrier.

Nothing remains at the site of Grimshaw or Oil City today.

Thanks go to Dorman Holub for making this information available on the internet.

The location of Oil City south of Graham4 is shown in the upper figure below. The large meander loops of the Brazos River in the area are also clearly shown. The lower figure is a photo of a road sign at the former Oil City (Grimshaw) location.

 

Map

4 of a portion of southern Young County, Texas showing the town of Graham and the communities of Bunger and Mountain Home about 10 miles to the south. Oil City (Grimshaw) was formerly at the intersection (indicated on the map by mileage 0.3) between Bunger and Mountain Home.

Road sign on FM 1287 showing Oil City Road, which heads west from the highway at the former Oil City location. Photo taken March 2001.


Oil Lease Tracts and Oil Wells at the Amos Grimshaw Farm Location

A U.S. Geological Survey topographic quadrangle map, published in 1931,clearly shows Oil City. A portion of the map, including the Brier Bend of the Brazos River, is presented in the upper figure below. The same area is shown in a GoogleEarth image in the lower figure.

 

U.S. Geological Survey quadrangle map

5 showing Oil City as of about 1925. Note the meander of the Brazos River, Brier Bend, which can also be seen in Figure 2.

GoogleEarth image showing the area around Oil City; the specific location is within the white rectangle.

Recent research at the Railroad Commission of Texas, the regulatory authority for oil exploration and production in Texas, has revealed several important aspects of the Oil City area that are depicted in Figure 5. An outline map showing the former boundaries of Oil City – on both sides of FM1287 – was located6, and two leases with the name of Grimshaw – A. Grimshaw and C. Grimshaw – were also found. The base map for the maps below is constructed from two U.S. Geological Survey topographic quadrangle maps7,8

The C. Grimshaw lease is just west of the former Oil City location and has 20 acres. The A. Grimshaw lease consists of 37 acres and is about a quarter mile southwest of Oil City. Current records indicate the presence of three wells on the C. Grimshaw lease and six wells on the A. Grimshaw lease.

The locations of the two lease tracts with respect to Amos Grimshaw’s original 300-acre farm are not known

 

Preliminary sketch map showing boundaries of former Oil City location and Grimshaw lease tracts in southern Young County. The C. Grimshaw has three wells, and the A. Grimshaw lease has six wells.

 

Other maps on file at the Railroad Commission9 (see below) indicate that the production was from the “Upper Strawn Sand Pool” in the “Old Oil City Field.” The C. Grimshaw lease was in the best part of the field, whereas the A. Grimshaw lease was not.

 

Railroad Commission map

9 showing oil wells and the Old Oil City Field in southern Young County, Texas. The producing wells are indicated by solid dots, and the non-producers are shown as open circles. The C. Grimshaw and A. Grimshaw lease locations are delineated with cross-hatched patterns. At the time this map was prepared the C. Grimshaw lease was in the producing part of the field, and the A. Grimshaw lease was apparently just on the edge of the field.

What Is at the Oil City (Grimshaw) Location Today?

Oil is still being produced at and around Oil City, probably by what are known in the industry as “stripper wells.” The pumping wells are powered by old-time “hit-and-miss” engines (mostly seen only at museums and hobbyists’ fairs nowadays), so a visit to the site is akin to taking a step back in time. The figure below shows an active pumper on Oil City Road just west of the intersection with FM1287.

 

Actively pumping oil well at former Oil City Location, just west of FM 1827. Note the old-style hit-and-miss engine as the power plant for the well. Photo taken March 2001.

 

The Railroad Commission requires posting of information at or near leases with producing wells. The figure below shows the lease sign for the C. Grimshaw lease, currently operated by BB&D Exploration Inc.

 

Lease sign located at intersection of Oil City Road and FM 1827, for nearby C. Grimshaw lease. Photo taken March 2001.

 

The Oil City site, and surrounding oil field area, still has a lot of oil field junk and remains of the former community. The upper figures show a picture of an old wooden winch from an oil-well drill rig (undoubtedly a cable-tool machine.) The lower figue shows a sign in an abandoned portable tool shed or trailer indicating a former company whose owners may have hoped for divine assistance!

 

Remains of old wooden winch (“bull wheel”) from a cable-tool oil-well drill rig. Photo taken just west of the former Oil City location, March 2001.

 

Bullwheels as they appeared in 196610. Courtesy of George Grimshaw, February 2008.

Were the owners of this company hopeful of divine guidance or intervention in their oil exploration ventures? Photo taken March 2001. The following e-mail (edited lightly) was received from Nancy Pettus in January 2007.

Thought you might like to know a little more about “Praise the Lord Drilling”. Its founder, Tom Brightman, died about a month ago. The company flourished in the mid 70″s, making Tom a wealthy man. Tom punctuated every statement with “Praise the Lord”. He was an expert “Oil Man” and a very decent fellow.

Was James the Older Brother of Riley Grimshaw?

James Grimshaw apparently immigrated to America during a similar timeframe as the children and grandchildren of Riley Grimshaw (see companion webpage). It is conjectured (but not yet proven) that James was the oldest son of George and Mary (Melling) Grimshaw and, therefore, the older brother of Riley Grimshaw. The lines of evidence for this conjecture are summarized as follows:

  1. The James Grimshaw who went to Texas is believed to have been the son of William and Mary Grimshaw, which is pretty close to George and Mary Grimshaw, Riley Grimshaw’s parents.
  2. The reported birth date of Riley’s older brother, James, is 1825; the 1900 U.S. Census indicates that the Texas James was born in 1825.
  3. The Texas James named his oldest son (second child) “Amos”, a rather unusual name that was also used by Riley Grimshaw for his oldest son (“Amos James”).
  4. The Texas James named two of his other children Mary and George – the same names as the parents of Riley and his older brother, James. 
  5. The Texas James did not use the name “William” for any of his children (nor does that name appear anywhere among his descendants), perhaps indicating that his father’s name was George, not William. There are many “Georges” among the descendants.
  6. The Texas James named three of his children the same as his hypothesized brother, Riley Grimshaw – George, Mary and Anne/Annie.
  7. The Texas James was married in New Bedford, MA, and his first wife, Lydia, had a child who was born in Providence, RI; Amos James Grimshaw and other Riley Grimshaw descendants settled in Providence, indicating a common point of origin in America.
  8. The Texas James Grimshaw apparently had a brother named George:  From the above biography of James, “according to George Olan Grimshaw, he was named after his uncle George (George Monroe Grimshaw), who was named after his uncle George, a brother of James.” James and Riley Grimshaw had a younger brother, George, who was born in 1836.

A plausible theory is that James Grimshaw accompanied (or led?) the children and grandchildren of his brother Riley at the time they were emigrating to America. He married Lydia in Massachusetts but then left for Texas where he married a second time.

A Competing Hypothesis: James Grimshaw Was Descended from Amos and Mary (Greenwood) Grimshaw/Grunshaw

George Grimshaw prepared the following piece (apparently in 2007) hypothesizing that James Grimshaw was descended from Amos and Mary (Greenwood) Grunshaw; this family line is described on a companion webpage.)

A Possible Link of Our James Grimshaw to an Amos and Mary Grimshaw

 

Thad Grimshaw found the following message on GENFORUM.

“Mary Greenwood married Amos Grunshaw in the Lancashire area about 1820.We think they had two daughters Ann and Elizabeth. Ann’s obit says that Amos and Mary came to America and settled in Rhode Island. Ann Married John Atkinson in 1831 at Taunton, Massachusetts. John was also from Lancashire. John and Ann later came to Wisconsin where they settled and died. I have a Great Grand Father Henry Grunshaw born 1845 in Pawtucket, Bristol, Rhode Island. I don’t know where or how he fits with Amos and Mary. He is buried just a few lots away from Ann (Grunshaw) Atkinson. Nothing is known about the Grunshaw’s or Greenwoods.”

Interestingly, it is possible that the Amos and Mary mentioned here could be our ancestor James Grimshaw’s parents.

1) “Greenwood” is the middle name James and Lydia Grimshaw gave their only son Frank. This is currently the only known possible family connection for this name.

2) “Mary” is the name listed as James’ mother on his Record of Marriage to Lydia.

3) Mary is the name that James and his second wife Sarah gave there oldest daughter.

4) “Amos” is the name that James and his second wife Sarah gave there oldest son.

5) “Annie Elizabeth” is the name James and Sarah gave their second daughter.

6) The date and place that Amos Grunshaw and Mary Greenwood were married fits well with what little we know of James’ parents.

7) 1870, 1880, and 1900 Census information shows James parents as being born in England.

What doesn’t seem to fit from the GENFORUM message above.

1) The name “Grunshaw.” Although, this could be explained as a misspelling, a variation in spelling, or the name could have been changed to “Grimshaw.”

2) The only record we have that mentions the name of James’ parents is his Record of Marriage to Lydia. There the name William is listed as his father’s name. It is possible that William could have been Mary’s second husband, and therefore James’ step dad.

3) There was no mention of James parents or whether he had any siblings other than possibly a brother named George in the family history passed down through James’ son Amos or through any of Amos’ children. According to George Olan Grimshaw, his father, Amos, told him he was named after his Uncle George who was named after his Uncle George.

4) We have no family history or record of our ancestor James being in Rhode Island, although we have records that he lived and worked in New Bedford, Massachusetts which is about 30 miles away from Providence, Rhode Island. So it is possible he could have lived there growing up.

These items are addressed below:

1) The name “Grunshaw.” This could be a misspelling, a variation in spelling, or the name could have been changed to “Grimshaw.” This item is self explanatory, and can also be explained along with item 2 below.

2) The only record we have that mentions the name of James’ parents is his Record of Marriage to Lydia. There the name William is listed as his father’s name.

This item can be explained as follows:

Thad Grimshaw found the following information at genealogy.com , that was verified by George H. Grimshaw.

A Mary Grimshaw married a William Hargraves in Taunton, Massachusetts on June 4, 1831. And in 1833, James Hargraves Grimshaw son of Amos & Mary Grimshaw was baptized in 1833 in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Family history indicates and census and military records support that James was born on July 4, 1829. While according to family history, James came to America from England as a young man and settled in Massachusetts, James’ Record of Marriage lists Norwich, Connecticut as his birthplace. James’ son, Frank’s death certificate lists James birthplace as Windsor Connecticut. The 1870 Falls County Census, the 1880 Bell County Census, and the 1900 Falls County Census lists Connecticut as James birthplace and his parent’s birthplace as England.

It is possible that Amos and Mary could have moved from Rhode Island to Connecticut where James was born and then to Massachusetts, where Amos died when James was an infant. Mary then married William Hargraves, in Massachusetts in 1831 and a couple of years later in 1833 James was baptized as a toddler. He would have known William as his father, perhaps explaining why he listed William as his father’s name on his Record of Marriage to Lydia.

3) There was no mention of James parents or whether he had any siblings, other than possibly a brother named George in the family history passed down through James’ son Amos or through any of Amos’ children. According to George Olan Grimshaw, his father, Amos, told him he was named after his Uncle George who was named after his Uncle George.

The issue of James’ parents was previously mentioned in item 2.

The issue of whether James had any siblings only means that none were mentioned, not that there weren’t any, as strange as that may seem. It may be that James had a falling out with his family and didn’t want anything to do with them. Also, as Thad Grimshaw has indicated, there may have been break in communications with James’ siblings when he joined the confederate army. Who knows? It is certainly possible that he had siblings. As mentioned at the beginning Amos and Mary had two daughters Ann and Elizabeth. They also may have had a grandson named Henry, indicating that they had a son.

The 1850 Providence Rhode Island Census lists Mary Hargraves, age 59, born in England; along with George Grimshaw, age 34, born in England; James E. Grimshaw, age 21, born in Connecticut; William Barnfore(?), 23, born in England; and Henry Grimshaw, age 6, born in Massachusetts; as residents of Providence Rhode Island. They are listed along with five other families as living in the same dwelling (#226). George, James, and William are all listed as machinists. This information fits very well with what we know and have heard about our ancestor, James Grimshaw.

If Mary Hargraves is the same Mary Grimshaw who married William Hargaves in Lowell, Massachusetts, the 1850 Providence Rhode Island Census information indicates that William may have died before or after the family moved to Providence. On the Census above, dated 8/24/1850, James’ age is listed as 21. This indicates that his 21st birthday was sometime before this date. This is consistent with our ancestor James’ birth date of July 4, 1829, as recorded in James and Lydia’s Family Bible and passed down through James’ son, Amos and his son, George Olan Grimshaw. On the Census above, “Conn.” This is consistent with information previously mentioned.

The George Grimshaw that appears on the Census above fits with the family history that James’ son George Monroe Grimshaw, was named after his Uncle George. Thad also found a record of a George Grimshaw who worked at the New England Screw Company, Providence, RI as a machinist in 1860. Thad also found a record of a Charles Grimshaw son of George and Ann Grimshaw was born on 04-25-1844 in Providence.

On the Census above, James’ occupation is listed as machinist. His occupation is also listed as machinist on he and Lydia’s Record of Marriage dated 10/7/1851. This is also consistent with other Census Records as well as information passed down through our ancestor James, his son Amos, and his son George Olan Grimshaw. The James listed on the Census above has the middle initial “E.” There was never any mention of our ancestor, James having a middle name or initial, nor do any other records we have show a middle name or initial.

Also of interest, is Henry Grimshaw listed as 6 years old on the above Census. He could very well be the Henry Grunshaw born in 1845 in Pawtucket, Bristol, Rhode Island and later moved to Wisconsin. The age is consistent. He also could be the son of the George Grimshaw listed on the Census. Perhaps he is the Charles Grimshaw mentioned above or his younger brother. Or, he could be the son of another brother, who is unknown at this time.

4) We have no family history or record of our ancestor James being in Rhode Island, although we have records that he lived and worked in New Bedford, Massachusetts which is about 30 miles away from Providence, Rhode Island. So it is possible he could have worked there as a young man.

This item is self explanatory and can be supported by information previously presented.

Back to Mary Hargraves. A Mary Hargraves age 68 and born in England is also listed in the August 1860 Providence RI Census living in the household of a young couple with the last name “Tillinghast”.

A Mary Hargraves age 68, widow, is listed in a Rhode Island Death Record. She died on August 24, 1860. A Thomas Greenwood is listed as next of kin. There is a possibility of our ancestor James being linked to Providence RI, as George Noel Grimshaw found out that Lydia Grimshaw, James’ first wife’s youngest child with her first husband George Allen was born in Providence. James may have met Lydia in Providence before moving to New Bedford. If we can find the fate of George Allen, we could determine the length of time between his fate and James and Lydia being married. Donna Slicer, a descendant of James and Lydia Grimshaw does not know what happened to him.

We have a lot of coincidental information that would suggest that Amos and Mary Grimshaw (or Grunshaw) could be the parents of our ancestor James. The question is, is it enough information that we should we call it a match? In addition, Tom Grimshaw has posted information titled “Grunshaw Family Lines in America” on the “Grimshaw Origins and History” which he received from Bob Warren. He has a an Amos and Mary (Greenwood) Grunshaw from England with possibly two daughters named Ann and Elizabeth who immigrated to the U.S from England about 1827. They lived in Rhode Island as well as Taunton, Massachustts.

Elizabeth and her husband John Markham were married in Falls River, Masachusetts. Ann and her husband John Atkinson and later Ann and her children all eventually settled in Ironton, Wisconsin, as did Bob’s ancestor Henry Grumshaw, who was born on Apr 25, 1845 in Pawtucket, Bristol, Rhode Island. Considering all of the previous information and that Grunshaw and Grimshaw could be a spelling variation on the same name, and that our James Grimshaw and his first wife, Lydia named gave their son Frank the middle name “Greenwood,” and that he and his second wife Sarah, named four of their five their children, Mary, Amos, Annie Elizabeth, and George, we have a possibility of a match. The information on our family has also been posted as “The Texas Line of Grimshaw’s” by Tom Grimshaw on the “Grimshaw Origins and History” website. If all of the information above referred to the same family here is how the story might go: Amos Grunshaw was born about 1795 in Lancashire, England. He married Mary Greenwood in 1820. She is thought to be born about 1799 in England.1, 2 On May 1, 1821, Mary gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth.1 In 1827 Amos, Mary and Elizabeth, and possibly Ann Grunshaw, born in July 1812, in Lancashire, England, and George Grunshaw born in England in1816 immigrated to the U.S.1, 2

Ann and George’s relation, if any, to Amos and Mary is unknown at this time.1, 2 If Amos was considerably older than Mary, they could be his children from a previous marriage. If not, they could his younger sister and brother, or his niece and nephew. However if Mary Greenwood Grunshaw is the Mary Hargraves listed in the 1850 and 1860 Federal Census in Providence Rhode Island, at age 59 and 68 respectively, she would have been born about 1791-1792. 1, 2, 3 If both she and Amos were born about the same time, they would have been about 20 years old when Ann Grunshaw was born and therefore old enough to be her parents, which seems probable.1, 2 This would have also made them old enough to be George’s parents as well.1, 2

While it is unsure which port on the northeast coast of the U.S. they arrived at, it is thought that they may have initially settled in Rhode Island, as they were known to live there.1 If James Grimshaw is indeed their son, they would have soon relocated to Norwich, Connecticut, where on July 4, 1829, James was born.2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Amos and Mary may have then relocated their family to Taunton, Massachusetts, where Amos died about 1830 (although he may have died before the family moved to Tauton.)11 Mary then met William Hargraves and they were married in Taunton on June 4, 1831.12 Ann Grunshaw met John Atkinson (they may have known each other in England and immigrated to the U.S. at the same time) and they were married in Taunton on September 11, 1831.1 The Hargraves and the Atkinsons may have then relocated to Lowell, Massachusetts, as in 1833, James Hargraves Grimshaw, son of Amos and Mary Grimshaw was baptized at St. Annes, Episcopal church in Lowell, Massachusetts.13 Also On November 29, 1834, John and Ann (Grunshaw) Atkinson’s first child, John Atkinson Jr. was born in Massachusetts.1 The Atkinson’s and the Hargraves may have then relocated to Rhode Island, as John and Ann’s second child, Elizabeth Ann Atkinson, was born on Jun 10, 1836 in Rhode Island as was their third child, Nelson, who was born on June 20, 1841 and their fourth child, Samuel Atkinson, who was born in 1846.1 Some time after this, John and Ann Atkinson relocated their family to Ironton, Wisconsin.1 Also during this time, Elizabeth Grunshaw met James Markham and they were married on Feb 17, 1838 in Fall River, Bristol, Massachusetts. They had two girls Mary and Sarah and two boys – John, who was born in Rhode Island in 1846, indicating that they lived close by the Hargraves and the Atkinson’s at that time, and William born on March 26, 1849.1 They may have then moved back to Fall River as James left there on a trip to Chicago, and was never heard from again. He is believed to have died in 1857. Elizabeth stayed on in Fall River saving up her money. She then relocated to Wisconsin in 1862 and settled in the Ironton area where John and Ann (Gruneshaw) Atkinson lived.1 During this time George may have also married and had a son named Henry Grunshaw, who was born on Apr 25, 1845 in Pawtucket , Bristol, Rhode Island.1, 2 Prior to 1850, William Hargraves had died or he and Mary were divorced as he does not appear with Mary, George, James or Henry on the 1850 Census in Providence, Rhode Island, recorded on August 21, 1850. 2, 11. A lot of good information supporting Amosand Mary (Green wood) Grunshaw, William and Mary Grunshaw Hargraves, and George, James and Henry Grunshaw all belonging to the same family can be found here. As mentioned earlier, Mary is listed as being 59 years old at the time, and born in England, indicating she was born about 1791, making her the right age and nationality to be Ann, Elizabeth, George, and James mother.2 Mary is the name listed on James and Lydia Grimshaw’s record of marriage.6 George is listed as being 34 years old and born in England. His occupation is listed a “machinist.” He fits into the picture as James Grimshaw, claimed to have a brother named George.4 James is listed as 21 years old and born in Connecticut. His occupation is listed a “machinist.” All of this information fits with what we know about our relative, James Grimshaw, except that the James listed on this census has the middle initial “E” after his name, which may or may not be an error. Henry is listed as being 6 years old and born in Massachusetts, which fits well with the information provided by Bob Warren and posted on the Grimshaw Origins and History web site.1

Mary Hargraves is also listed on the 1850 Census in Providence, Rhode Island, recorded in August, 1860. Her age is listed as 68 years and she was living in the household of a young couple with the last name “Tillinghast”.3

A Mary Hargraves died in Rhode Island on August 24, 1860. She was 68 years old, placing her birth year about 1791 -1792. It shows that she was widowed and perhaps divorced and lists her kin as “Thomas Greenwood” and “- Bagnall.” This may indicate a match as well since Amos Grunshaw married Mary Greenwood in England. Thomas may have been Mary’s brother or perhaps even her husband. Also our relative James Grimshaw and his wife Lydia, named their first child Frank Greenwood Grimshaw, which seems to indicate a link with the Greenwood family.4

List of Sources Cited

1 Bob Warren, “Grunshaw Family Lines in America,” viewed on 31 January 2008 < http://test2.grimshaworigin.org/grimshaw-origins-history/grunshaw-family-lines/. [Bob provides a information on Amos and Mary, theire daughter Elizabeth, as well as Ann and Henry Grunshaw. As he mentions he is not sure of how Ann, Elizabeth and Henry are related, but finds it strange that they would all three would live in the small town of Ironton, Wisconsin, at the same time without being related.]

2 United States, Census Bureau, 1850 United States Federal Census, Precincnt Providence, Rhode Island, 21 August 1850. [Lists Mary Hargraves, age 59, born in England; along with George Grimshaw, age 34, born in England; James E. Grimshaw, age 21, born in Connecticut; William Barnfore(?), 23, born in England; and Henry Grimshaw, age 6, born in Massachusetts; as residents of Providence Rhode Island. They are listed along with five other families as living in the same dwelling (#226). George, James, and William are all listed as machinists. This information fits very well with what we know and have heard about our ancestor, James Grimshaw. Also the spelling could be Grunshaw. It is difficult to determine the actual spelling from the census record.

3 United States, Census Bureau, 1860 United States Federal Census, Precincnt Providence, Rhode Island, August 1860. [Lists Mary Hargraves, age 68, born in England and living in the he home of Clark Tillinghast and his family.]

4 George Olan Grimshaw, Oral Family History [As told to him by his father Amos Grimshaw and as told by George to his children and grandchildren on various occasions throughout his lifetime (1909-1979).]

5 Doris Tilton, letter to George Noel Grimshaw, 1 October 1978. [Along with this letter, Doris sent a copy, in her own handwriting, of all the handwritten vital statistic data from the Bibles of both James’ and Lydia and Frank and Lillie Grimshaw. The original letter is in the possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

6 Massachusetts, State Department of Public Health, Registry of Vital Records and Statistics, No. 74463, Copy of Record of Marriage, 24 August 1977. [Marriage of James Grimshaw to Lydia R. Allen on 7 October 1851. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California]

7 Texas, Texas State Archives, Confederate Pension Application, 28 September 1899. [Submitted by James Grimshaw on 5 July 1899. Found by Boyd Grimshaw, Pleasanton, Texas in the late 1970’s. Copy in possession of George Noel Grimshaw, California City, California.]

8 United States, Census Bureau, 1870 United States Federal Census, Precinct No. 5, County of Falls, State of Texas, Post Office: Rockdam, 13 March 1871, viewed on 2 January 2005 < http://www.grimshaworigin.org/WebPages/1870Census.htm>. [James’ age shown as 41 years on this census. This information was found on the Grimshaw Origins and History Website. Copy of actual record in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

9 United States, Census Bureau, 1880 United States Census. Justice Precinct No. 6, County of Bell, State of Texas, 5 June 1880, viewed on 1 January 2005. <http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/tx/bell/census/1880/06-08.gif>. [James listed his age as 50 on this census. I first found and viewed this Census Record in the early 1970’s at the LDS library in Los Angeles, California. Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

10 United States, Census Bureau, 1900 United States Census, Marlin, County of Falls, State of Texas, 7 June 1900, viewed on 1 January 2005 <http://search.ancestry.com/cgibin/ sse.dllindiv=1&db=1900usfedcen%2c&gsfn=James&gsln=Grimshaw&sx=&year=1829&yearend=1903&gskw=&gsco=2%2cUnited+States&gspl=1%2cAll+States&prox=0&rank=0&ti=0&ti.si=0&gss=angs&submit.x=57&submit.y=17&fh=10>. [Found on Ancestry.Com. Image source: Year: 1900; Census Place: Marlin, Falls, Texas; Roll: T623 1632; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 16. Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

11 Rhode Island Vital Records, Rhode Island Deaths, 1630-1930, 24 August, 1860, viewed on 27 November 2005 <http://search.ancestry.com/cgibin/ sse.dll?rank=1&gsfn=Mary&gsln=Hargraves&gsby=1792&gsb2co=3251%2cEngland&gsb2pl=1%2cAll+Counties&gsdy=1860&gsd2co=2%2cUSA&gsd2pl=42%2cRhode+Island&sbo=0&sbor=&wp=4%3b_80000002%3b_80000003&prox=1&ti=0&ti.si=0&o_iid=21416&o_lid=21416&srchb=r&gss=angsc& pcat=34&recid=22731&recoff=1+2+25&db=rideath&indiv=1>. [Death record for Mary Hargraves on August 24, 1860 at 68 years of age. Indicates she was widowed and possibly divorced. Her next of kin was Thomas Greenwood and someone named Bagnall. It is unsure how either of these individuals are related to Mary, however the appearance of Thomas Greenwood as next of kin could indicate that her maiden name was Greenwood.]

12 Massachusetts Town Marriage Records, Vital Records of Taunton, Mary Grunshaw to William Hargraves, 4 June 1831, viewed on 27 November, 2005 <>. [ “Full Text: HARGRAVES, William and Mrs. Mary Grunshaw [int. Grimshaw, omits Mrs.], both of T., June 4, 1831.”]

13 Thad J. Grimshaw, E-mail, Subject: Re: Interesting Census Info. on James Grimshaw, 11 January 2005. [In response to Source 13 above, Thad sent the following information: “1) I have a Mrs. Mary Grimshaw that married William Hargraves in Lowell, Mass on 06-04-1831. 2) James Hargraves Grimhaw son of Amos & Mary Grimshaw was baptized in 1833 in Lowell, Mass. 3) George Grimshaw worked in New England Screw Company, Providence, RI as an machinist in 1860. 4) Charles Grimshaw son of George and Ann Grimshaw was born on 04-25-1844 in Providence. 5) Henry


Grimshaw died on 08-12-1892 (age 72) in Worchester, Mass. He was a tool fixer. His parents were Henry & Mary Ashworth Grimshaw. It does not list the place of birth.
6) Henry, Thomas, & Amos all lived in Lowell, Mass at the same time (1833-38). I did not find any birth or death records for the Grimshaw in Lowell. They were all members of the St. Anne Episcopal Church in Lowell.” Possible match for James Grimshaw and his parents. Copy in possession of George Howard Grimshaw, California City, California.]

 

Final Resting Places of James and the Other Texas Grimshaws

George Grimshaw provided the following e-mails with information on the burial of James Grimshaw and his children. George also provided images of several of the grave markers.

24 January 2008

Attached are close up photos of James’ marker, as well as Frank and his wife Lillie, and George and his wife Donna’s tombstones. Thad and I are looking for others that we may have as well and will send them as we find them. Amos and Zona are buried in the DeLeon, TX Cemetery. Mary Catherine (Mollie) Grimshaw Young died at Newcastle, TX and is probably buried there. Annie Elizabeth died in Morenci, AZ and was buried there. My Dad tried to find her grave at the cemetery there, but was unable to as the cemetery had been moved. Sally Lee died at the age of 10 near Marlin, TX and we think she is buried in a small private German cemetery near there, but don’t know where and her name does not appear on any of the Falls County Cemetery lists.

10 February 2008

James is buried in the Liberty Cemetery in Erath County, however his monument is in the Exray Cemetery in Erath Co., which is close by. His actual gravesite in the Liberty Cemetery is unknown as improvements to the cemetery in the 70’s resulted in the rock marking his grave being removed. … the shade tree that was near his grave had died and was removed as well. If we could find someone in Erath Co. who has pictures or documentation of Liberty Cemetery prior to the 70’s that we could compare to the cemetery after the the improvements were made, we may be able to determine James’ actual grave site. No luck to date though.

James Grimshaw, Erath County, TX

Grave of Frank Grimshaw, son of James, with wife Lillie. Behind on the right is the grave of Lydia Grimshaw, first wife of James. Gravesite is in New Bedford, MA.

Close-up of grave of Frank and Lillie Grimshaw

Close-up of Lydia Grimshaw’s grave

Samuel Houston Young grave, Newcastle Cemetery, Young County, Texas

Second wife Mary Catherine Grimshaw also buried there; no headstone photo available.

Source: Find-A-Grave.com

Amos and Zona (Jolly) Grimshaw grave, DeLeon, Texas

 

Source: Find-A-Grave.com

George and Donna (Marsh) Grimshaw grave, Bold Springs Cemetery, Livingston, TX

Thad Grimshaw, One of the Texas Grimshaw Descendants

Thad Grimshaw visited the website author in June 2006 and the occasion resulted in several photos, two of which are shown below.

Thad Grimshaw with his wife, Cecilia (“CeCe”) (upper photo) and with the website author (lower photo). Photos taken June 2006.

References

1″YOUNG COUNTY.” The Handbook of Texas Online.

<http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/YY/hcy2.html> [Accessed Fri Apr 13 14:51:18 US/Central 2001 ].

2Crouch, Carrie, 1956, A History of Young County, Texas: Austin, Texas, Texas State Historical Association, 326 p.

3″OIL CITY.” The Handbook of Texas Online. <http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/OO/hvohl.html>

[Accessed Fri Apr 13 14:51:18 US/Central 2001 ].

(Also at: http://www.visitgraham.com/History/settle/grimshawtx.html)

4Texas Department of Transportation, Transportation Planning and Programming Division.

5U.S. Geological Survey, 1931, Topographic Quadrangle Map, Ivan Sheet: Washington, D.C., USGS, Scale 1:62,500, 1 sheet (Surveyed in 1924-25)

6Railroad Commission of Texas, County Lease Files, Young County, No. 52022

7U.S. Geological Survey, 1967, Topographic Quadrangle Map, Cove Creek Sheet: Washington, D.C., USGS, Scale 1:24,000, 1 sheet

8U.S. Geological Survey, 1967, Topographic Quadrangle Map, Graham Sheet: Washington, D.C., USGS, Scale 1:24,000, 1 sheet

9Railroad Commission of Texas, File No. 09-960 (9/3/53), Young County, Texas

10Ledbetter, Barbara, 1967, “Oil City- – Booming, Lusty Town.” Graham, Texas, The Graham News, 5 January 1967.

Biography of James Julius Grimshaw: Life in Early Twentieth Century Texas and New Mexico

The complete version of James’ biography, excerpted above, is presented below. Thanks go again to Randall Grimshaw for providing a copy of this biography.

 

The Personal History of James J. Grimshaw

I was born December 14, 1903 in Xray, Texas near Stephenville. I was the firstborn of a set of twins. Robert and I were born on the farm. The doctor came out alone for the delivery. My parents were Amos and Zona. My mama was 28 years old when we were born, and dad was 33. I had 1 older brother and 3 older sisters when I was born, but there wound up being 8 of us all together. Arilla, called sister, was the eldest. She was 10 when Robert and I were born. Fitzhugh was 7, Allie was 4, and Violet (Tot) was about 2. George came along 5 years later, and Emma May was the youngest.

Dad was a farmer and blacksmith in Xray. He had learned about being a smithy from my grandad James who made razors and knives. My brothers and sisters and I would pump air with the bellows when the plows needed to be heated.

Robert and I always did everything together when we were growing up. Mama told about when we were toddlers and the sunlight would shine through the keyhole. First one of us would cover the light on the floor, then the other would move that hand and put his own over it – back and forth.

We were always just about the same size. However, dad started calling me, Cheesy, and Robert, Scrawny. Cheesy became Cheedy, and we were known as Cheed and Scrawn Grimshaw until we were in high school.

Robert did most of the talking. One time when we had a chance to weigh, he reported back to mama, “Cheedy weighed 40 and I weighed 42.” Mama said, “Oh, so you weighed 2 pounds more?” “No, Cheedy weighed 40, and I weighed 40, too!” We finally got it straight.

We moved from Erath county to Young county in 1906 when Dad bought a 300 acre farm about 9 miles south of Graham. We raised cotton, maize and corn. We had several cows that we milked when they freshened. About 6 or 8 we turned the calves out for the night.

In those days we stayed home most of the time. All travel was by wagon or hack over dirt roads, and it was a much bigger undertaking than it is today. We younger kids got to go to town once each year on Christmas eve. Dad went to town about once a month to get groceries. The only things we needed from town were sugar, flour, pepper, salt, and tobacco. It didn’t take much to live on.

Most of what we ate was raised in the garden. We had onions, both kinds of potatoes, tomatoes, okra, beans, and peas. We had our own corn to make meal. Part of the time we had cane to make syrup. Cane syrup was made by pressing the cane to get out the juice. This was then cooked in a vat until it thickened. We stored pork in a box with layers of salt.

Everyone helped with the household chores. We had a board floor that was cleaned by pouring water on it, and then sweeping it with a broom. We built fires in the heater or fireplace for keeping warm and for cooking. All the wood for these activities was gathered by hand or cut with an axe. We had a coffee grinder on the wall for grinding the coffee. Clothes were washed with 2 tubs. The first tub had hot water, soap, and a rub board. After the clothes were scrubbed, they would then be thrown into the second tub to rinse. The clothes were dryed by hanging them out on a fence. Two irons were needed for ironing. While you used one of the irons on the clothes, the other iron would be heating on the cookstove.

It was about 1910 when Sister (Arilla) married Henry Johnson. We were living in Young Co. Soon after this, the Johnson family moved to Comanche Co. around DeLeon. Sister and Henry moved with them. Once or twice a year we would go to DeLeon to see them. Dad had a white-topped hack with two seats that was pulled by two horses. There were nine of us all together Dad, Mama, Allie, Fitzhugh, Tot, Robert, me, George, and Emma May. Some of us would sit on the tailgate, and hang our feet out the back. There were only dirt roads, and we had to stop every little bit to open the wire gates that were along the way. There was a little bridge over the Brazos, but all the creeks had to be forded. It was a two day trip, and sometimes we would stay overnight in Ranger at a wagon yard run by a man called ‘Doddler Joe’. He got his name because of some affliction he had. At noon, we would stop, unhook the horses, and eat what Mama had brought from home. Sometimes we stopped in the Staff area at noon of the second day.

I started school at Mountain Home, in Young Co., in 1911 when I was seven. We walked about a mile to school each day. We had one teacher for all the grades. We had prayer each day before we started school and before lunch. The teacher told bible stories, and read from the Bible each day. We went to school from 8:00 to 4:00 each day. Our school year was about 6 months long.

The farm in Young Co. was on tight land, and didn’t get enough rain. The bollweevil was also moving into the country about this time, and was ruining the cotton business. Henry Johnson, my brother-in-law, was raising peanuts on sandy land near DeLeon, and was doing pretty well. Dad decided to join him, and in 1914 we left Young Co., and moved to Comanche Co. We moved everything in two wagons. Henry met us in Ranger with a wagon. We rented a place from the Morgans near Harmony west of DeLeon. Dad wasn’t able to sell the Young Co. place because it was too dry.

I was 10 years old when I started school in Harmony. It was about a three mile walk to school. We carried our lunch from home. We played marbles and mumble peg with our pocket knives. I got a whipping at school each year, but I never told Mama or Dad. In 1915 I failed to pass into the next grade. I tore my report card to pieces and buried it down in the branch. I was 11 years old, and wanted to go on with my twin brother.

We moved to a rental property near Rucker owned by the Warren family in 1916, and I changed to the school at Oliver Springs. In 1918 I changed back to Harmony school because we rented the Patterson place near there. We lived there for the next four years.

About 1919, they struck oil on the farm in Young Co. Dad had 18 wells on his place at one time. A town sprang up that came to be known as Oil City. There was already a post office in Texas named Oil City, so they registered the post office in Young Co. as Grimshaw.

In 1921 Dad bought an old bank building in DeLeon, and turned it into a service station and garage. It was on a corner lot where the stoplight is today. We had the Magnolia distributorship, and delivered gas and kerosine to people in the surrounding community.

I started high school in DeLeon about this time. The high school building was located where the Methodist Church is today. You could get 2 credits for public speaking in high school, so I volunteered. The superintendent put me in charge of making announcements to all the classrooms. I went to school in DeLeon for about 3-1/2 years.

Dad was unhappy living in town. We moved out near Downing in 1923, but continued to operate the service station in town. In 1924 Dad heard about a ranch that as available in New Mexico. He traded the service station and our house in town for about 3 sections of land in eastern New Mexico called the Swaggerty Ranch. This is near Elida. I was unhappy leaving my girlfriends Gladus, Bertie, and Mattie.

The ranch wasn’t completely vacated when we first got to New Mexico. We lived in an empty store for several days prior to moving out on the ranch. Getting the ranch in proper repair was a big job that called for the whole family to help, and my schooling was temporarily interupted.

I met Nona Rogers shortly after we moved to New Mexico. She was good friends with my sister, Tot. Nona was invited to come home with us one Sunday after church. When we sat down to eat lunch, I jumped in beside her. She made out like she didn’t like it, but it was the first time we had ever really visited. We started courting after this. Dad had a Model T truck that I got to use sometimes when I was going to see Nona. There was a cloud coming up one evening when I had plans to go sparking. Mama said, “You are sure bent on going to see that girl tonight.” I told her that I was just about bent double. Mama noticed that I had a button missing from my coat as I was leaving to go to Nona’s house one night. She told me that I had better let her sew one on. I told her that I wanted Nona to sew it on – I wanted to wear it while she sewed it on.

There was a revival at church in the summer of 1925. I took Nona out to this one night. After it was over, I took her home, and then returned to the parsonage to see our pastor, Bro. Bynum, and the evangelist about being saved. Later on in the week, I surrendered to the Lord. I was baptised with about five others at the end of the revival. We were baptised in a metal storage tank of Dad’s. It was about 30 feet in diameter, and so provided plenty of room for the ceremony.

Nona and I were married October 20,1926 at 8:00 in the morning. We were married by Bro. Bynum at Nona’s home in the room where we had previously done our sparking. Our families, Bro. Bynum, and his girls, Vida and Ruth, were present as witnesses. Nona’s dress was white lace and ribbon. Violet and Nona were good friends, and so Violet helped her dress for the wedding.

Nona’s brother, Odus, lent us his new Ford roadster for our honeymoon. I had $40.00 to spend. We went to Roswell, and got a room at the Bankhead Hotel for $2.50. We went out to a picture show, and then had our picture taken. We didn’t sleep much. The next day we went up the Hondo Valley about 40 miles, and got a room for the night for $1.00. We went on to Carlsbad the following day in order to go through the caverns. We were taken through the caverns by a guide, but about half-way through, Nona got tired, and had to stop. The guide let us go back out alone after a rest. It was all stairs – no elevators.

After we were married, my parents gave us 160 acres of land. They had just built a new house, and we moved their old house to our new place. My parents never signed a deed over to us, and so when we moved away later, the land went back to them.

I finished high school the winter after we were married. Violet, Nona, and I went to school at Monteczuma College, near Santa Fe. the following summer. I taught two girls math while attending college. They were the children of a local teacher, and were in about the third grade.

After the summer session, I got a job at Bill Crume’s Service Station in Elida. We rented a big house, and sublet part of it to another man and his wife. At the service station I fixed flats, greased cars, and waited on the front. Two days a month I delivered kerosine and gas to the local farmers. I always closed up at night. I made about $65.00 per month for most of the time that I worked there. Nona worked as the janitor at the church part of the time.

In 1930 I was asked to be a deacon at our church. My father-in-law and I were ordained at the same time. Church services were different in those days. There was more singing, and the preacher usually spoke for an hour – sometimes more.

Nell was born in 1931. When the time came, I notified the doctor and the folks, and went to get Mrs. French, the nurse who usually helped with deliveries. Mrs. French couldn’t come. By the time I got back, the baby had arrived. It was February 16, three days after Nona’s 28th birthday. I was still working at the service station when Nell was a baby. When she got old enough to walk, I would take her to the station with me sometimes, and let her walk in the driveway. She was a doll.

My brother-in-law, Silas Bridges, was the manager at Kemp Lumber Co. in Elida. He hired me away from my job at the service station. He and I were the only employees. It was about this time that my twin brother, Robert, died of a fever back in Texas. He and I had always remained close, and this was a very sad time for me. Another man took over as manager of the lumber yard later. One day his money sack was $20.00 short, and he thought I had taken it. He later found the money in the bottom of the sack. I worked there until 1934 when we filed a claim on government land.

The claim was near Corona about 40 miles west of the Pecos river. To prove up on a claim you had to maintain a residence there, and build improvements. We lived in an eight by eight foot dugout. We raised a few cows for ourselves, and pastured some for Amos. We expanded our dugout later by adding a couple of rooms. We always kept a dog and a cat. Once, when I was going back to the claim from Roswell, I lost our dog on the second day at the highway. Months later, when we were leaving the claim, we saw the dog at a service station. We lived out near Corona for a couple of years before moving back to Elida.

It was shortly after this that we rented the Jack Pipkins place which was about 10 miles north of Elida. We were living here in November of 1937 when Nona went into labor with Jay. We had gone with a wagon and team to the railroad track about 5 miles away to get some crossties off the track. When we got back, we had to hurry to Clovis 30 miles away. We bearly (sic) made it. A nurse helped with the delivery because the doctor hadn’t gotten there yet. Seven year old Nell stood in the hallway.

In 1940, I had an opportunity to buy a quarter section of land from Mr. Pipkins. As it turned out, the man in Portales in charge of loaning government money to those buying land was Bill Walker. He had been one of the four people baptized with me in Dad’s metal storage tank 15 years earlier. He let me have the money to buy the land. I have always felt that the Lord was running this.

After buying the quarter section from Mr. Pipkins, we moved a house out on it. We had a good well and a pretty good house. I raised broom corn, and had about 12 head of cows. I fed and milked the cows every day. I could separate the milk, and sell the cream. I had four head of horses to pull the plow. We had chickens, a dog, and a cat.

It was only two or three years after we had moved out onto our farm when the government decided that it would need the land for a gunnery range for the Army Air Corps. The War Department gave me five dollars an acre in a forced sale. I was able to buy the Paxton place four miles northwest of Elida, but had to pay $13.00 per acre. We moved the house, livestock, and everything else we owned 14 miles to the new f arm. The well on this new place was 180 ft deep. I tried to use it, but finally had to give up, and hire a man to come drill a new well.

In 1944 I developed a heart condition. I could work only for brief intervals before I would have to stop because of fatigue and shortness of breath. The doctor said my heart was twice as large as it should be, and advised me to move to a lower climate. I had to sit up in a chair at night in order to keep from smothering. Nona was pregnant during this time. Gene was born in the late evening on October 5, 1944. The delivery was done by Dr. Miller at his clinic in Elida. We traded our place to Nona’s parents in return for the old Hogg place near Desdemona which my mother-in-law had recently inherited. We got $4.00 per acre to boot. In January of 1945 we moved everything to our new home. I continued to have to sleep in a chair for about the next four years, but I gradually got better and regained all my strength. I had my heart checked out at Scott and White hospital in Temple in 1950, and was told that my heart was OK.

I raised peanuts and cattle until 1976 when Nona and I divided our place between the three children. During this time, I was a deacon at the First Baptist Church, taught Sunday school, and served on the Desdemona school board twice. I’ve enjoyed my grandchildren, my truck patch and occasionally helping out around the farm since retiring. I have been getting used to a new way of life since Nona died last October 28 after 66 years of being together.

 

Home Page

Webpage posted April 2001. Updated June 2006 with addition of pictures of descendant Thad Grimshaw. Updated Jul6 2006 with addition of GoogleEarth image. Updated January 2007 with information on “Praise the Lord Drilling Company” from Nancy Pettus and with an additional description of the community of Grimshaw by Dorman Holub. Updated January 2008 with addition of biography of James Grimshaw and photos of James and his two families, provided by George H. Grimshaw, and with hypothesized family origins of James Grimshaw. Updated February 2008 with addition of grave photos and Oil City information from George Grimshaw. Updated May 2008 with addition of a “competing hypothesis” on the family origins of James Grimshaw. Updated June 2014 with addition of information on James Grimshaw from Barbar Rivas (and several improvements to the webpage).