Washburn Co. WIGenWeb

People Histories

Benjamin F. Grimes
 (1846 - ?1)


by J. H. Beers & Co., Chicago, IL, 1905

pages 348 - 349

Benjamin F. Grimes is a prosperous farmer of Washburn county, whose eight years' experience proves conclusively that the soil of that county is not surpassed in productiveness by that of any other part of northwestern Wisconsin.  Eight years ago Mr. Grimes settled on eighty acres of wild land, which he had purchased for $150.  His only capital being the labor of his own hands, he put up a small log cabin into which he moved his family and began the work of development.  Today he owns 320 acres of land, of which seventy acres are under cultivation and 200 acres fenced for pasture. His improvements are the best int eh county, his house being twenty-four by twenty-four feet in dimensions, with eighteen foot posts, and the other buildings include two barns, granaries, blacksmith shop, etc.  He has a small fruit orchard, full-blooded Poland China swine, twenty-five head of thoroughbred short horns and good horses.

Mr. Grimes is a native of Coshocton county, Ohio, born in 1846.  When eight years of age he went to Iowa with his parents, Robert and Mary (Butler) Grimes, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Ohio.  His education was obtained mainly in the public schools.  He was brought up on the farm and later learned the blacksmith's trade in Green Valley, Iowa.  Oct. 1, 1864, when eighteen years of age, he enlisted in Company G, 8th Iowa V. I., and was transferred to the 3d Brigade, 3d Division, 16th Army Corps, Canby's command, where he served until the end of the war.  He was in the siege of Mobile, which lasted twenty-one days, and took part in a number of smaller engagements.  He received his discharge July 21, 1865, at Mobile, and returning to Iowa took up his trade.  He remained in Iowa until October, 1869, when he went to Cottonwood county, Minn., where he followed his trade for five years.  He then again returned to Iowa, remaining until the spring of 1886, when he moved to Sargent county, N. D., and settled on a farm near Straubville.  There he engaged in farming and blacksmithing until the spring of 1894, when he came to Wisconsin and settled on his original eighty acres of wild land in Washburn county.  He was the first to introduce sheep in the northern part of that county.

On May 20, 1866 Mr. Grimes married Phoebe A. Moore.  They have had a family of eleven children, of whom nine are living, namely, Letta, Mrs. Smedes, of Minneiska, Minn.; F. A., on a farm adjoining his father's; Hattie, Mrs. Elder, of Washington; Daisy, Mrs. Campbell, also of Washington; R. A., J. R., J. D., W. A. and Pearl, at home.  R. A. Grimes owns 160 acres adjoining his father's land, and J. R. Grimes owns an adjoining forty acres.  The other two children were Jennie and Lottie, the latter the wife of W. Kenoyer.  In politics Mr. Grimes is a Republican, his first vote having been cast for Lincoln.  Since coming to Washburn county he has served two terms as town supervisor and one term as justice of the peace, and was justice of the peace seven out of the eight years that he lived in North Dakota.  Fraternally he is a member of Nathaniel Green Post, Shell Lake, and of the M. W. A., being a charter member of Jack Pine Camp, No. 8882.

1 - Editorial Note - No death or burial information could be found in Washburn Co. for Benjamin Grimes.


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