Thomas S. Grimshaw

Immigrant to Anaheim, California from Manchester via South America

Thomas Spencer Grimshaw was born in Manchester, England in 1852 to Samuel and Alice (Spencer) Grimshaw. After receiving his education in private schools, and in an apprenticeship to a locomotive manufacturing company, Thomas went to South America. He worked as a master railroad car builder in Argentina and Chile and spent time also in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Mexico. In 1876 he came to the U.S., first to Santa Monica and then to Anaheim, California. He lived out his life in southern California, where he was involved in carriage and wagon building, planing mills, and other enterprises. He married Emma Mary Kraemer, and the couple had one child, Mary Alice, who apparently did not marry and left no descendants. Thomas died in 1925 of kidney failure.


Webpage Credits

Descendant Chart

Photographs of Thomas Spencer Grimshaw and His Wife, Emma (Kraemer) Grimshaw

Biographies of Thomas S Grimshaw

1880 Census Record for Thomas Grimshaw

German Settlement at Anaheim

Mary Alice Grimshaw, Schoolteacher and Anaheim Historian

Thomas and Emma Grimshaw’s Home in Anaheim

Where Is the Grimshaw Home Located?

Photo with Emma Grimshaw and Her Daughter, Mary Alice Grimshaw

Was There a Connection between Thomas S. Grimshaw and the Three Grimshaw Boys from Alabama?

Death Record of Thomas Grimshaw

Gravesites of Thomas S. and Emma Grimshaw


Website Credits

Thanks go to Ann Nepsa, “Cemetery Angel” for the Anaheim Cemetery, for providing photos of the Anaheim home and the gravesites of Thomas S. and Emma Grimshaw as well as Emma’s mother, Magdalena Eleanora Kraemer. Thanks also to Jane Newell, Local History Curator of the Anaheim Public Library, for providing invaluable assistance in identifying relevant library materials and making them available.

Descendant Chart

Not much is known about the members of this Grimshaw line; the available information is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Family line information for Thomas S. Grimshaw

Samuel Grimshaw & Alice Spencer

|—James Grimshaw

|—Elizabeth Grimshaw

|—Joseph Grimshaw

|—William Grimshaw

|—Thomas S. Grimshaw (28 Nov 1852 – 29 Aug 1925) & Emma Mary Kraemer

|—|—Mary Alice Grimshaw

|—Samuel Grimshaw

Photographs of Thomas Spencer Grimshaw and His Wife, Emma (Kraemer) Grimshaw

The following photo (Figure 1a) of Thomas S. Grimshaw is an excerpt from the larger photo below (Figure 1b). The photo is from online photo files of the Anaheim Public Library.

Figure 1. Thomas S. Grimshaw.

Figure 1b. Photo of Planing Mill in Fullerton, California; a description is provided below the photo.

Photo Source: 

Planing Mill , Grist Mill and Lumber Yard 
by Digital Anaheim.
Description: 1 Photographic Print : sepia 8 x 10 in.
1 Negative: 4 x5 in.

Summary: First planing mill and lumber yard of Fullerton. Abel Guy Smith in 1875, formed the A. Guy Smith Company to handle lumber and grain. and had a group of warehouses for storage. The grinding stones and machinery were later sold to Thomas Spencer Grimshaw and James A. Vail, (both lived in Anaheim). They were partners in the mill and lumber yard. The photograph has the mill in the background. A water tank and tower are next to the building. A horse is near the water tank. At the back right of the building is an unidentifed man standing in a wagon. On the building (left front) is a sign that says Lumber Office. In the foreground left to right: Mr. E.W.(?) Lymburner, Willaim Starbuck (pharmacist), Thomas Spencer Grimshaw, James A. Vail (?).

A picture of Thomas’ wife, Emma (Figure 2) is cropped from a much larger group photo which is described further down on this webpage.

Figure 2. Emma (Kraemer) Grimshaw. The two gentlemen on either side of Emma have not been identified.

Biographies of Thomas S Grimshaw

Several biographies have been prepared for Thomas. Perhaps the earliest is in Guinn1 (p. 705); it is shown below.


The planing mill of which Mr. Grimshaw is proprietor is located at Anaheim and was built under his personal supervision in 1899, since which time he has devoted his attention to its operation. The mill is 100×40 feet in dimensions and two stories in height. Its improvements are the most modern and its machinery the latest approved in pattern; indeed, there are many besides the owner who believe that the plant has no superior in the entire county of orange. Power is furnished by a steam engine, forty-horse, and a gasoline engine, twenty-two-horse power. In addition to the mill, Mr. Grimshaw owns a large warehouse on the Southern Pacific Railroad, and he has also built a larger warehouse on the Santa Fe road, the latter being utilized for the packing and storage of fruit.

A son of Samuel and Alice (Ashleigh) Grimshaw, lifelong residents of Manchester, England, where the former and his father were engaged in the carriage manufacturing business, Thomas S. Grimshaw was born in Manchester, November 28, 1852, and was next to the youngest of six children, the others being James, Elizabeth, Joseph, William, and Samuel. His education was obtained principally in a private school. When but a boy he began an apprenticeship, with Sharpe, Stewart & Co., manufacturers of locomotives, in whose shops he learned mechanical draughting and pattern making. About 1871 he went to South America as mechanical draughtsman and pattern maker in the shops of the Southern Railroad at Buenos Ayres, South America. Later he was promoted to the position of master car builder. After two and one-half years in the Argentine Republic he went to Chile via the Straits of Magellan and for sixteen months was employed as master car builder in Santiago. From that city he went up the coast to Bolivia, Ecuador, and other South and Central American states, thence into Mexico, and in 1876 to Santa Monica, Cal. A little later he settled in Anaheim, where his first enterprise was as a dealer in carriage and wagon materials, with shop on Lemon street. From that business, about 1886, he turned to the planing mill industry and started in a short time a planing mill and lumber yard at Fullerton, continuing the same until 1899, when he sold out and returned to Anaheim, his present home and business headquarters. Here he was united in marriage with Miss Emma Kremer, who was born in Illinois and came to California with her father, Samuel Kremer, one of Anaheim’s pioneer horticulturists. The only child of this union is named Alice.

In national politics Mr. Grimshaw is affiliated with the Republican party. Ever since becoming a citizen of the United States he has been loyal to our government and a true friend of our national institutions. Especially is he interested in movements for the benefit of his home town, and through his membership in the Chamber of Commerce, as well as in other ways, he has endeavored to bring forward and develop the resources of this historic old town of Southern California. His knowledge of music and his excellent voice have been utilized by the Presbyterian Church, which retains him in the position of chorister. After coming to Anaheim he was made a Mason in Lodge No. 207, and has since officiated as past master in the same for two terms. He is also identified with the Fraternal Aid Association.

A 1931 history of Orange County2 provides a brief biography of Thomas and his family as well as his wife Emma Mary Kraemer and her family (p. 54-56):


The late Thomas S. Grimshaw, of Anaheim, whose death occurred August 29, 1925, was an expert in the lines of work in which he engaged and as a mechanical engineer he had few superiors. In his later years he engaged in important commercial enterprises, in which he was rewarded with gratifying success, and his death was greatly regretted throughout the community in which he was so well and favorably known. Mr. Grimshaw was born in Manchester, England, on the 28th of November, 1852, and was a son of Samuel and Alice (Spencer) Grimshaw. The father, who was a native and lifelong resident of Manchester, was for many years engaged in the manufacture of carriages. To him and his wife were born six children, James, Elizabeth, Joseph, William, Thomas S. and Samuel.

Thomas S. Grimshaw received his educational training in private schools and while still in his teens he entered upon an apprenticeship with Sharpe, Stewart & Company, locomotive manufacturers, with which firm he learned mechanical drafting and pattern making. About 1871 Mr. Grimshaw went to South America, where he worked in the shops of the Southern railroad at Buenos Aires, and eventually became a master car builder. Two and a half years later he went to Chile, by way of the straits of Magellan, and for sixteen months he was a master car builder in Santiago. From there he went to Bolivia, Ecuador and other states, eventually reaching Mexico. In 1876 Mr. Grimshaw located in Santa Monica, California, and a little later came to Anaheim, Orange county, where he became connected with a carriage and wagon materials shop on Lemon street. About 1886 he entered the planing mill business, starting a mill and yard at Fullerton. This proved a successful enterprise and he carried it on there until 1899, when he sold out and, returning to Anaheim, built a large planing mill, as well as warehouses on the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe railroads, in the management of which he was engaged up to the time of his death.

Mr. Grimshaw was married to Miss Emma M. Kraemer, a daughter of Daniel and Magdalena E. (Schrag) Kraemer. Her father was born at St. John, Bavaria, not far from the famous castle of Lichtenstein, November 17, 1816. He lived in his native land until twenty-six years old, when he came to the United States, locating near Belleville, St. Clair county, Illinois, where he engaged in farming. In 1865, and again in 1866, he made trips to California alone, and in 1867 he again came, bringing his family with him, and here established his permanent home. On his first trip he purchased a portion of the original Mexican grant known as the San Juan Cajon de Santa Ana Rancho, his particular tract being designated as the Peor Es Nada Rancho, named from a Mexican village near by and meaning in Spanish, “Worse than nothing.” Its English name was the Cajon Ranch. This tract, comprising’ three thousand nine hundred acres, remained intact until its owner ‘~ death, in 1882, but has since been mainly sold off. Mr. Kraemer was a man of enterprising methods, as was evidenced by his successful efforts to establish irrigation canals, which had an important bearing on the subsequent development of this section of the county. He was also active in securing educational facilities, donating the site for a school house. He brought to this locality the first sewing machine and the first mowing machine used here and prior to his death he had splendidly improved nearly five hundred acres of his estate. His wife was a native of Batten- berg, Germany, of Swiss parentage, and was a true helpmate to him in his efforts. Her death occurred January 3, 1889. To them were born the following children: Elizabeth, who died in 1875; Henry, of Placentia; Mrs. Barbara Parker, of Anaheim; D. J., of Brownsville, Texas; Samuel, of Placentia; Emma M., Mrs. Grimshaw; Edward M., of Olive; Mrs. Mary K. Miller, of Anaheim, and Benjamin, who occupies the original Kraemer home place at Placentia. A son of Mrs. Miller, Edward L. Miller, is a graduate of Occidental College and is a veteran of the World War, in which he served for twenty-two months with the now historic One Hundred and Seventeenth Engineer Corps. He was in six important drives and six times went “over the top.” Mr. and Mrs. Grimshaw became the parents of a daughter, Alice, who now lives with her mother in Anaheim and is principal of the John Muir School at Santa Ana.

Mr. Grimshaw was a stanch Republican in his political views and, though a busy man, he took a good citizen’s interest in all matters affecting the welfare and progress of his community. He was a member of the Presbyterian church and, being greatly interested in music, he served as director of music in his church. He was a member of Anaheim Lodge No. 207, F. & A. M., of which he was a past master, and the Fraternal Aid Association. He was a man of sterling character, straight- forward in manner and loyal in his relations with his fellows, by whom he was held in the highest measure of esteem, his death being regarded as a distinct loss to the community which had been honored by his citizenship.

Another brief biography can be found in Friis3 (p. 62):

Thomas S. Grimshaw

Thomas S. Grimshaw had an interesting and useful life. He was born in Manchester, England, the son of a carriage manufacturer. After his apprenticeship in mechanical drafting and pattern making, at the age of nineteen he migrated to Argentina where he was employed by the Southern Railroad at Buenos Aires. He advanced to the position of master car builder and after two and one-half years he moved to Santiago, Chile, where he was similarly employed.

In 1876 he came to California and settled in Santa Monica. A short time later he moved Anaheim where he opened a carriage and wagon materials shop. Grimshaw was a skilled wood worker. In 1878, he and H. McDermott, a local blacksmith, built a hearse for the undertaking establishment of the Backs brothers: Two months later he fashioned some extension ladders for the fire department which the Gazette described as “very good and, ingenious”

When the town of Fullerton was founded, Grimshaw moved there and established a planing mill and lumberyard. In 1899 he returned to Anaheim and constructed a large planing mill at the northeast corner of Lemon and Santa Ana Streets which he operated until the time of his death.

A more succinct biography of Thomas was found on the internet and is shown below, with the website address:

Reprinted from the October 3, 1996 Anaheim Bulletin, who got it from “When Anaheim was 21” by Leo J. Friis and “Anaheim, City of Dreams” by John Westcott

Thomas S. Grimshaw

Grimshaw, son of an English carriage maker, wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. So he studied mechanical drawing and pattern making.

After a stint as a master car builder for a Buenos Aires railroad company, Grimshaw moved to California in 1876 and eventually settled in Anaheim.

A skilled wood worker, he opened a carriage and wagon shop. In 1878, Grimshaw teamed up with a local blacksmith to build a hearse for the Back’s brothers’ undertaking business.

In 1899, Grimshaw built and operated a planing mill at Lemon and Santa Ana Streets.


The following information is provided on a website on the history of Anaheim (the website address is also shown) regarding Thomas S. Grimshaw. Figure 3, also from the Anaheim history website, is of an ad for the carriage and wagon shop mentioned in the third paragraph on Thomas S. Grimshaw.

Thomas S. Grimshaw

Grimshaw, son of an English carriage maker, wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. So he studied mechanical drawing and pattern making.

After a stint as a master car builder for a Buenos Aires railroad company, Grimshaw moved to California in 1876 and eventually settled in Anaheim.

A skilled wood worker, he opened a carriage and wagon shop. In 1878, Grimshaw teamed up with a local blacksmith to build a hearse for the Back’s brothers’ undertaking business.

In 1899, Grimshaw built and operated a planing mill at Lemon and Santa Ana Streets.


Figure 3. Anaheim Gazette ad for the carriage and wagon shop opened by Thomas S. Grimshaw. It is not known why the shop is referred to as “Stewart & Hill” rather than “Grimshaw’s Shop.”

1880 Census Record for Thomas Grimshaw

Thomas and Emma Mary Grimshaw were recorded in the 1880 census living in Anaheim as shown in Figure 4. Thomas was 29 and Emma was 21. Mary Alice was apparently not born yet, but 15-year-old George Strobel was living with them.

Figure 4. 1880 Census record from companion webpage showing Thomas and Emma living in Anaheim.

Census Place:

Anaheim, Los Angeles, California




FHL Film 1254067 National Archives Film T9-0067 Page 282B
















Wagon Maker












Keeping House




George Earl STROBEL







German Settlement at Anaheim

A German colony formed at Anaheim under the leadership of George Hansen4; the colonists arrived in the latter part of 1859 and early part of 1860. It seems likely that it was this colony that attracted Thomas Grimshaws father-in-law, Daniel Kraemer (who was from Bavaria) to move in 1867 to Anaheim from his original immigration point in Illinois.

Mary Alice Grimshaw, Schoolteacher and Anaheim Historian

Mary Alice, the only child of Thomas and Emma, was a schoolteacher and a student of history. Three photos of Mary (who apparently went by her middle name) are shown in Figure 5. All are from the Anaheim Public Library.

Figure 5. Photos of Mary Alice Grimshaw. The first is from a group photo described below. The second is from a class photo in which Alice was the schoolteacher. The third was taken in Alice’s later years at a historical event in Anaheim.

Mary Alice did an M.A. thesis5 on the history of Orange County at the University of Southern California in 1937. The thesis can be viewed by clicking on the following links:

Mary Alice Grimshaw Thesis, Part 1

Mary Alice Grimshaw Thesis, Part 2

Mary Alice also published a section on the history of Anaheim in the same 1931 historical work6 that her fathers biography appeared in. The text of Mary Alices history of Anaheim is shown below. Figure 6 is taken from this reference.

Figure 6. Main Street, Anaheim, About 1900 (from Mary Alice Grimshaws History of Early Anaheim5)



(By Alice Grimshaw)

Almost every locality has its history and romance, but we of California believe our state to have a particularly interesting history. Not only do our larger towns add much to this history but even the smaller towns add their share as well. Anaheim, not to be outdone by other small communities, adds her share which is quite picturesque and romantic too. Next after San Bernardino, which was a Mormon colony, Anaheim is the oldest colony in the state under American occupation. Several Germans living in San Francisco became dissatisfied with city life and began to plan to leave. They proposed among themselves to purchase a tract of land, lay it out into small farn1s and engage in grape culture. So, accordingly, early in 1857 they began an investigation of different localities suitable for their proposed colony site.

These men, under the leadership of one George Hansen, carefully looked over many sites and in September, 1857, they can1e to a final decision. A tract of land one and a half miles long by one and a quarter miles broad, lying southeast of Los Angeles twenty-eight miles and containing one thousand one hundred and sixty-five acres, was purchased from Juan Pacifico Ontiveras at a price of $2 an acre. This price included sufficient water privileges to insure an ample irrigation.

The colonists became known as the Los Angeles Vineyard Company, because the land purchased was in Los Angeles county. The company was composed of fifty shareholders; was under the direction of a board of trustees in San Francisco and in Los Angeles the business was carried on by an auditing committee headed by John Frohling. (As an aside it might be of interest here to mention that Miss Hammas, whom Mr. Frohling married, was Anaheims first bride. Mrs. Frohling passed on only a few years ago, but her house is still standing and is one of the few early landmarks of Anaheim’s history.) The project of the colonists was by far the most important that had ever been contemplated in the southland. Their vineyard was to be the largest vineyard in the world, there being none of such an extent in Europe.

The work of improving the tract began at once and the colonists were eagerly looking forward to the time when they could go to their new home. The necessity for a name for that home arose. The stockholders of the colony met on January 13, 1858, at Leutgens Hotel in San Francisco for the purpose of choosing a name for their southland home. A number of colonists preferred to call it Anaberg, Ana for the Santa Ana River, from which the irrigation water was drawn, and “berg” for the mountains in the distance, but Mr. Schmidt, father of Mrs. Dickel and Mrs. Turck, whom many of know so well, objected because there was no mountain really near the settlement. He suggested instead, Anaheim, combining Ana with home or heim, the German name for home. So Anaheim was named, meaning “Home by the Santa Ana River.”

The work of preparing Anaheim for a real home was pushed forward very rigorously at a daily expense of $216, for there were employed in all 88 men, 10 women, 84 horses, 7 plows and 17 wagons. Anaheim was divided into fifty lots of twenty acres each and fifty house lots with fourteen additional village lots which were reserved for a school house and such other public buildings as the colony might require. On each twenty acre lot eight acres were immediately set out with grapes and a few fruit trees.

A main ditch some seven miles long was dug to lead the irrigation waters over the whole area. Also 350 miles of subsidiary ditches and 25 feeders to these were dug. So we see the question of water supply did not cause the least anxiety for there was an abundance of water. Each lot was fenced by willows, making 35 miles of inside fencing: The whole was surrounded by a hedge of 40,000 willow poles. These poles were planted 1-1/2 feet apart and strengthened by 3 horizontal poles and defended by a ditch four feet deep and six feet wide at the top, sloping to one foot in width at the bottom. These poles took root and grew, making a living hedge of green around the community. Across the streets were gates which when closed shut out all invaders. All this precaution was necessary in order to keep out the thousands of cattle which roamed the surrounding plains. The vines planted were cared for by the company and they flourished. At the end of three years the first vines planted had come into bearing and all assessments amounting to $1,200 for each shareholder had been paid. Now the land was ready for distribution. This was done by means of a lottery. All the lots were viewed and assessed each at its respective relative value from $600 to $1,400 according to situation. When a lot was drawn if it was valued at over $1,200 the drawer paid the difference. If less, he received the difference. To illustrate, if a colonist drew a lot valued at $1,400 he paid $200 into the general fund, but if he drew a lot valued at $600 he received $600 additional in cash. When all the lots were drawn there was a sale of the effects of the company and upon balancing the books it was found that enough money remained so that each shareholder received a dividend of $100.

Now all was in readiness for the coming of the owners. The personnel of this group is interesting indeed. This company consisted of mechanics chiefly. There were several carpenters, a gunsmith, four blacksmiths, a brewer, a teacher, a shoemaker, a miller, several merchants, a book-binder, a poet, several musicians, a hatter, a teamster and a hotel keeper; who started Anaheim’s first hostelry, the “Planters’ Hotel.” Strange to say, there was not one farmer in the whole company and only one who had ever made wine. But they were not daunted and in December, 1859, down from San Francisco they came to take possession, each of his own twenty acres. Lumber was bought at wholesale and little homes were erected and shopkeepers came in, bought lots and established little stores.

The work at times was difficult and discouraging and supplies were hard to secure because Los Angeles was the nearest point from which they could be obtained. This meant that colonists had to haul all their supplies from there until later when they established a landing on the ocean, twelve miles distant from town. This became known as Anaheim Landing. Boats anchored out in deep water and smaller boats brought the supplies to shore.

In spite of the difficulties the result was a happy one for the pioneers were of hardy Teuton stock, were unafraid and determined to succeed. Everyone had plenty to eat, each was his own master, there was a happy social life, music and art and the property increased in value. There were no poor in the community and help was easy to secure for the Indians and Mexicans for miles around were willing to come and help at Campo Aleman (German Camp) as they called the community.

Let us return to the question of water supply. For domestic purposes water was supplied from privately owned wells scattered about the community, but this was not wholly satisfactory, especially in the dry seasons, so in 1879 an artesian well 103 feet deep was sunk. By means of an engine the water from this well was forced up into a tank erected upon a stage 35 feet high. A pipe line was laid along the principal streets and now there was an abundance of flowing water. The expenses were met by a tax levied upon those of the inhabitants who were benefited. As has been mentioned, water from the Santa Ana river was used for irrigation. In 1860 the Anaheim Vineyard Company sold out to the Anaheim Water Company. The same company shareholders formed the second company which started with a capital stock of $20,000, so in reality only the name changed. In 1878 another irrigation company, known as the Cajon Irrigation Company, completed a ditch, which. tapped the Santa Ana river at Bedrock Canon. This ditch was 15 miles long. In 1879 the Anaheim Water Company bought a half interest in this ditch, and all the water rights on the north side of the Santa Ana river were consolidated into the Anaheim Union Water Company, which is still in existence and is filling a great need excellently well. Whenever the early Spanish colonists settled they always built their church first and left the building of their school to those who came after. But the Anaheim colony built their school first. In this town plot of forty acres which occupied the center of the colony a lot had been reserved for a school house. On this a building of adobe was erected to serve the double purpose of a school house and assembly hall. During the winter of 1861-62 the Santa Ana river overflowed the colony site and the school was rendered unsafe because the foundations were damaged. The school was maintained in the building of the Water Company until 1869 when a new building was erected. As the community grew this little school house became inadequate and in 1877 Professor J. M. Guinn who had been principal of the Anaheim schools for eight years, drafted a resolution authorizing the district to issue bonds to the amount of $10,000. The bonds were sold at par and the building was erected. This building was the, south four rooms of our Central School which was wrecked only a few years ago. This building at the time was known as the handsomest building in the county outside of Los Angeles city. Professor Guinn was instrumental in securing the passage by the California legislature in March, 1878, of the bill authorizing a district to issue bonds. This method of raising funds has now become a common practice, and has resulted in giving our state the best district school houses of any state in the Union. But the first instance in the state of incorporating and bonding a school district to secure funds to build a school occurred in Anaheim.

The pioneer church of Anaheim is the Presbyterian. This was organized by Rev. L. P. Webber (founder of Westminster colony) in 1869. The church edifice which cost $3,500 was built in 1872. In 1875 the Episcopal Church was organized. The original building remodelled and kept in attractive condition is the one still in use. The third pioneer church was the Roman Catholic Church, which was organized in 1876. As is usually the case in any new community we find the organization of churches followed by fraternities. In 1870 the Masonic lodge F. and A. M. 207 was organized. The I. O. O. F. followed in 1872. Besides these fraternal orders the Anaheim Literary Union, a society for musical and literary activities, was organized. Anaheim also . had a regularly organized fire department, organized in 1872. They had a hook and ladder, buckets and hand drawn truck, the whole costing $500. The town also boasted of a fire bell. The first bank was known as the Bank of Anaheim and was organized in 1876. There was also a private banking company of P. Davis and Brother. As for the early cemeteries there were two, the Anaheim Cemetery and the Hebrew Cemetery, the land of which was sold because there was no one to use this cemetery. The Lord as ever was kind to His chosen people and they were always well.

No town is complete without some medium for spreading the news, Anaheim needed a paper. This paper was not only the pioneer paper of Anaheim but of Orange county as well and was known as the “Anaheim Gazette,” the first issue of which appeared October 29, 1870. It was established by George Barter who obtained a subsidy from a number of public spirited citizens to found a paper. The old press that he had obtained had come around the “Horn” and had been used in printing the “Los Angeles Star,” the pioneer paper of Southern California.

In 1875 the Southern Pacific Railroad completed a branch to Anaheim and for nearly two years it was the terminus. Then the road was extended to Santa Ana. The depot was some distance out of town so when the Santa Fe built its road into Anaheim in 1887, the Hotel Del Campo, a boom hotel (built at a cost of $40,000 and which nearly bankrupted its builders) was erected, and a street car company was organized. A track was laid down Center street from the Santa Fe station to the Southern Pacific and Anaheim boasted a street railway.

Anaheim was incorporated as a city February 10, 1870, but the tax burden was too great for the people to bear, so two years later it was dis-incorporated. It was again incorporated by an act of legislature on March 18, 1878.

For nearly twenty-five years Anaheim was the greatest wine-producing district in California. But in 1885 a strange disease attacked the vines and within five years the two million vines that made. up this huge vineyard were dead. After the destruction of the grape vines, other industries began to come in. Among the earliest of these was the Anaheim Hide and Leather Company, organized for tanning purposes. The Alden Fruit Drying Company, the Guy Smith Planing and Grist Mill and two breweries, the Hinds Brewery and the California.

A number of vineyards were now divided into building lots and an effort was made to raise wheat on some and still others were planted to orange arid walnut trees. However, the city has steadily progressed through all its vicissitudes and its growth has been solid and substantial. It has attained to a city of attractive homes, prosperous business houses, excellent schools and charming people.

Anaheim is a city which deserves loyalty and commands respect.


Anaheim has more than doubled in population in the last ten years. Its population in 1920 was 5,526. In 1930 it came to 10,997, so we may now easily call it 11,000. The increase in new buildings, some of which are very fine structures, has more than kept pace with the growth in population. Samuel Kraemer has built almost by blocks rather than buildings, and has achieved his greatest success in the fine three-story structure which houses the Bank of America.

The Elks’ Club House in its well-kept grounds is also one of the ornaments of the city. As the business section has grown with new buildings, so has the residence part of town, with the erection of beautiful dwellings: Street improvements have been greatly extended, until now Anaheim has 19 miles of paved streets and 7 miles of ornamental lights. The City Park of 20 acres is one of the most beautiful city parks in the county. Anaheim now embraces an area of 3.62 square miles.

The industrial growth has also been marked as is evidenced by the erection of many new plants and the renovation of older buildings to fit them for new purposes. Foremost among the new industrial plants are the U. S. Industrial Alcohol Plant, and the correlated plants for working up the byproducts of the orange. The Golden State Products Company takes care of the juice by a freezing process. While we must give Florida the credit for the idea this comparatively new method of preserving the juice of the orange will be of great benefit to California, as it will give this delicious and healthful beverage to the public in a convenient shipping form. The White Stokes Candy Company in their plant use the pulp of the orange to make a base for the manufacture of candy. Mr. Leo of the Citrus Products Company uses what is called the “rag” of the orange to make a powdered pectin, for use in jelly making, etc., he being the first chemist to put this byproduct to use in’ this way. The New Ice Company, which manufactures dry ice, has adapted a part of the old sugar factory to the use of their plant. The Southern Meat Company has practically built over their plant in the last year and it is now up-to-date and under efficient management.

For about 12 years the Valencia Orange Show at Anaheim has been one of the county’s attractions. This year the Valencia Show and the Orange County Fair were combined. This is probably a permanent arrangement. Anaheim, which was once all in vineyards, and suffered the loss of her vines by a mysterious disease, is now the center of a flourishing citrus section. The town is to the front in all civic movements, has many fine churches, and excellent schools, many fraternal and civic as well as social organizations, and a very active Chamber of Commerce. Among the women’s organizations is a small but exceedingly energetic and public-spirited chapter of the D: A. R., the Mother Colony Chapter. To them Anaheim is indebted for the preservation of the old Mother Colony Pioneer House, where many priceless relics are being saved and will preserve the historical spirit in the future generations of Anaheim. To them also belongs the credit of establishing the Pioneer Picnic at the City Park as an annual event. These meetings are enjoyed by people from all sections of the county.

Anaheim has a fine public library which was started in 1906 at a meeting held in the office of Dr. Herbert Johnston. The committee for this purpose consisted of Fred Athearn, Anaheim’s first high school principal, Dr. Johnston, F. E. Little, A. J. Remmel, Rev. James Stone, Capt. F. Ahlborn and Richard N. Bird. Mr. Bruce gave a room adjoining his Candy Kitchen on East Center street, and acted as librarian for some time. In 1915 the present fine Carnegie Library was built. Miss Elizabeth Calnon, the present efficient Librarian has served Anaheim in this capacity for 17 years. She has collected scrapbooks of valuable old pictures and manuscripts of early Anaheim, among them being Mrs. Amelia Frohling’s “Reminiscences of Early Anaheim.” The number of volumes cataloged for 1931 is 16,628.

Thomas and Emma Grimshaw’s Home in Anaheim

Thomas and Emma apparently lived in a home in Anaheim that was constructed in 1887 and subsequently had a second floor added in 1902. The home was built at 108 North Vine Street in Anaheim but was later moved to a nearby location at 105 North Rose Street. Ann Nepsa has kindly provided the following description of the house, which is still standing (adapted from an e-mail message):

The house is 3117 sq. ft. with an additional 750 sq. ft. in verandas. It has 4 bedrooms,2 1/2 baths, a family room, music room, formal dining room, study, kitchen, family breakfast room & laundry room. The family room & music room open onto the hallway that runs from the front door to a back door that goes out through the family dining area. All of the original oak that was used as doors & trim is gone. The house sat on the new lot for awhile waiting for an owner & all the old wood was stacked in the back. Needless to say, it up & disappeared. The pocket doors in the family & music rooms are new because of this. There is very little that is original. A small piece of picture molding was left in the music room & has been duplicated to go all around the room. Originally it was a one story built in 1887. The second floor was added in 1902.

Ann served as a docent when the home was opened to visitors during the holiday season in 2003. She obtained information from this webpage when preparing for this assignment. Ann has also provided three photos of the home (Figure 7).

Figure 7. Three views of the Anaheim home occupied (and possibly built) by Thomas and Emma Grimshaw. Photos taken during the Christmas holiday season, 2003.

Where Is the Grimshaw Home Located?

The Grimshaw home is located near the center part of Anaheim. Three maps showing the location are shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8. Maps of three scales showing the location of the Grimshaw home in Anaheim. The last two maps show the original and current location of the home (on Vine and then on Rose Street).

Photo with Emma Grimshaw and Her Daughter, Mary Alice Grimshaw

A photo that includes Emma and Mary Alice Grimshaw is available on the internet and is provided in Figure 9 below. A description of the photo and information on its source follows the figure.

Figure 9. “Old Timer’s Picnic at Anaheim City Park”. A 1927 photo with Emma Grimshaw and her daughter, Mary Alice Grimshaw

The photo is made available on a website by the Anaheim Public Library. The citation for the photo is as follows:

Available from the Online Archive of California —

The following description of the photo is included; it is somewhat difficult to follow, but there is a key to the photo on file at the Anaheim Public Library. Alice is the far left seated person, and her mother, Emma, is standing immediately to the left of Alice.

Large group of 68 people from Anaheim pioneer families attend the second annual Pioneer Picnic, sitting and standing near canopy in Anaheim City Park (now Pearson Park, 400 North Palm Street, now Harbor Blvd.); figures indentified (numbered from 1 to 68, starting with front row and moving left to right), 1. Mary Alice Grimshaw; 3. M. Elinore Sutherland (Mrs. Lewis); 5. Donald Cole; 6. Thomas Kuchel; 7. Mr. Backs; 8. Fayette Lewis; 9. Mrs. Henry Kuchel; 10. Ted Kuchel; 11. either Sophie Rimpau or Claudina Rimpau Clark; 12. Mrs. Francesca Mosseman; 15. Jessie Coons; 17. Pansy Pellegrin Van Oost; 18. Rev. Markle; 20. Eleanora Parker; 21. Elise Aubert; 24. Mrs. Emma Kraemer Grimshaw; 25. Henry Kuchel; 29. Emma Schneider Cole; 33. Mrs. Arthur Lewis; 34. Mrs. Wilhelmina Zeyn Holcomb; 39. Mrs. Nick Bittner; 40. Nettie Aubert; 45. Kate Rea; 47. Mr. Wallop; 50. Louis Miller (?); 57. Judge J.E. Pleasants; 53. A. Nagel; 54. Bird V. Beebe (?); 58. Bill Wallop (?); 60. Walter Jay Cole; 63. Herman Backs; 64. Mr. Brunworth (?); 65. Ernest Zitsmann; 66. Mrs. Joseph Helmsen; 68. Leonard Evans.

Date: 11 June 1927

Physical Description: 3 Photographic prints : sepia ; 8 x 10 in.

Notes: Accession number: P81

The photo can be viewed at: 

Additional descriptive information on the collection containing the photo is provided below.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Anaheim Public Library photograph collection on Anaheim local history, 1860-1970 (bulk 1860-1923)

Collection number: Consult repository

Creator: Anaheim Public Library

Extent: 1,802 items; 1,800 online items

Repository: Anaheim Public Library. Central Library. History Room.

Anaheim, California 92805

Was There a Connection between Thomas S. Grimshaw and the Three Grimshaw Boys from Alabama Living in Nearby Orange?

Harry B. Grimshaw was born in Alabama and as an adult became a railroad executive in Georgia. A small, now extinct town that started as a railroad station in Bulloch County, Georgia was named “Grimshaw” for Harry and is the subject of a companion webpage. When Harry was a young boy his parents, Henry and Lida (Travis) Grimshaw, moved the family from Alabama to southern California. The 1880 U.S. Census for California found 7-year-old Harry and his older brother Seaborn Grimshaw living with grandparents Amos and Eliza Travis in Orange, which is not far from Anaheim. Harry and Seaborn were shown as having been born in Alabama. A third brother, 6-year-old James R. Grimshaw, was born in California. Additional detail on this family can be found on another companion webpage.

There apparently was no connection between these two lines of Grimshaws that settled in the Southern California area.

Death Record of Thomas Grimshaw

A publication7 by the Orange County genealogical society provides the following record for Thomas S. Grimshaw:

Date of Burial 1925: Sept 1

Name: Grimshaw, T.S.

Sex: M

Race: W

Age: 75-9-1

Cause of Death: Chronic Nephritis

Physician: C.S. OToole

Date of Death: Aug. 29, 1925

Place of Burial: S. Kreamer Lot

Undertaker: Backs Terry Campbell Co.

Gravesites of Thomas S. and Emma Grimshaw

Thomas and Emma are buried in Anaheim cemetery. Ann Nepsa, a member of the “Cemetery Angels” for the cemetery, has graciously provided photos of their gravestone and of Emma’s mother, Magdalene Eleanora Kraemer. These photos are shown in Figures 10 and 11 below. Note that Thomas’ birthdate is shown as 1849 rather than 1852 as indicated above.

Figure 10. Photos of the headstone and associated gravestones of the graves of Thomas S. and Emma Grimshaw

Figure 11. Gravestone of Magdalene Eleanora Kraemer, mother of Emma (Kraemer) Grimshaw.


1Guinn, J.M., 1902, Historical and Biographical Record of Southern California – Containing a History of Southern California from Its Earliest Settlement tot he Opening Year of the Twentieth Century: Chicago, Chapman Publishing Company.

2Pleasants, Mrs. J.E., 1931, History of Orange County, California, v. II, Biographical: Los Angeles, CA, J.R. Finnell & Sons Publishing and Phoenix AZ, Record Publishing, 458 p.

3Friis, Leo J., 1968, When Anaheim Was 21: Santa Ana, California, Pioneer Press.

4Paule, Jean, 1952, The German Settlement at Anaheim: University of Southern California, Dept. of History, M.A. Thesis, 74 p.

5Grimshaw, Mary Alice, 1937, The History of Orange County, 1769 1889: University of Southern California, M.A. Thesis, 124 p.

6Grimshaw, Alice, 1931, Chapter XX, History of Early Anaheim, in Pleasants, Mrs. J.E., History of Orange County, California, v. I: Los Angeles, CA, J.R. Finnell & Sons Publishing and Phoenix AZ, Record Publishing, 567 p. (Chapter XX on p. 333-344.)

7Orange County California Genealogical Society, 1983, Anaheim Cemetery, 1400 E. Sycamore, Anaheim, California, v. 3 – Part II, 1903 – 1928: Orange, CA, Orange County Genealogical Society, p. 388-389.

Webpage History

Webpage posted August 2002. Updated December 2003 with grave photos from Ann Nepsa. Updated January 2004 with homesite photos from Ann. Updated June 2006 with addition of Mary Alice Grimshaw’s thesis in PDF format and group photo with Emma and Mary Alice Grimshaw. Updated January 2007 with addition of photos and other information from a visit to the Anaheim Public Library in December 2006.