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Grinnell Lore

Stories about famous and infamous Grinnells.

The Trial of Moses Grinnell PDF Print E-mail
Written by Footnote by Marj Murray   
Monday, 16 May 2011 23:44

Webmaster's Note: This story originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2002 issue of the GFA Newsletter. Marj Murray arranged for permission to republish it at that time. It is very important to know that this is not the much better-known Moses Hicks Grinnell of New Bedford and New York!

Newport Mercury, May 20, 1882 THE GRINNELL TRIAL
Moses Grinnell Convicted of the Murder of Chas. H. Thomas, Nov. 9, 1880

The Trial of Moses Grinnell, of Tiverton, for the murder of Chas. H. Thomas at Tiverton Four Corners on November 8, 1880, was begun in the Court of Common Pleas before Justices Matteson and Tillinghast on Tuesday morning. Attorney General Colt appeared for the State and Nicholas Hathaway, Esq., of Fall River, for the prisoner.

Grinnell, who was 60 years old last October, appeared strong and hearty, and apparently had not suffered by his incarceration of 18 months. He bore himself well during the trial, and appeared little disturbed at the strange position in which he was placed. He pleaded not guilty to the charge of willful murder, in a firm strong voice.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 September 2011 11:14 )
Henry Hudson Grinnell and Some New York State Connections PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mable Grennell McMahon   
Sunday, 15 May 2011 22:36

by Mable Grennell McMahon

Webmaster's note: Mable Grennell McMahon was a treasure. She, as GFA member #6, was involved in the very earliest days of this organization. She edited the newsletter (until she pawned it off on me), did research, and acted as something of a power broker, finding the right people to fill spots in the ranks of GFA officers and board members. We all mourned her passing, but thank goodness we still have many of her writings, which will be posted on this site as time permits.

In James S. Grinnell’s newsletter article of Winter 1994-95 he speaks of Grinnell pioneers in Iowa. Of course, when thinking of Grinnells in Iowa Josiah immediately comes to mind. Jim mentions other Grinnells who settled in Iowa, one being Henry Hudson Grinnell.

Henry Hudson and Josiah shared a common great grandfather, making them nice even second cousins. A few years back Burnice Greiman, the local historian in Chapin, Iowa, spent considerable time in research to unite Henry Hudson’s headstone with his grave. I was ready to tell her to forget it as Henry Hudson is buried in Milton, Saratoga, NY----on Grenell Road, no less! There is indeed a stone for H. H. in Milton stating that he died in Chapin, Iowa. It never occurred to me that he wasn’t necessarily buried in Milton.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 September 2011 11:17 )
Line Chief Medina Ed Grinnell Traces Descendents of Ezra Grinnell PDF Print E-mail
Written by Edsel W. Grinnell, GFA Co-Founder and Sr. VP   
Sunday, 15 May 2011 12:39

The GFA has four members who have volunteered to be “Line Leaders” for the membership. This involves giving a history of the line and being available to other members of the same line who may need help in their genealogic search or who may want to add names to fill out the research. We start this account with Medina Ed and some background for the Ezra Line.

In the early days of GFA there were two Ed Grinnells and so Medina, referring to the village in NY where Ed was born and has lived most of his life, simply became a part of Ed’s name. Ed joined the family business in 1945 when the firm lost a foremen and Ed’s father offered him the job. Now married to Swanie Mae Kelly, Ed was happy to return to Medina as life in the big city of Buffalo never quite agreed with him.

Swanie and Ed were blessed with three sons now 60, 57 and 48. Youngest son, Jim (GFA #106) joined the family business in 1976 and this allowed Ed to retire in 1988. Bowling, Rotary Club for 47 years, life long Methodist and founding father of the GFA in addition to three solid citizens for sons, seven grandchildren and six great granddaughters and two step great granddaughters combine to fill out Ed’s life. As he says, “What more could Swanie and I wish for?”

Webmaster's note: Sadly, Ed's beloved Swanie passed away on 28 Jan 2011, after 65 years of marriage. Our deepest condolences to Ed and his family.


By Medina Ed Grinnell

With this year’s GFA dues I received a bookmarker with my ancestors listed, generation by generation since immigrant, Matthew and family first arrived in America. GFA President Hugh Grinnell has an on going plan to have a member of each line (i.e. the ancestors on the markers) write a short biography of an early descendant and the additional descendants that have come since. EZRA Grinnell, born April 14, 1795 was picked as the starting place on my marker and I volunteered to be “Line Leader” for Ezra in the hope that something of value could be published in future newsletters.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 September 2011 11:18 )
Progeny of Cornelius and Sylvia (Howland) Grinnell PDF Print E-mail
Written by Larry Grinnell   
Sunday, 01 May 2011 23:37

It is from Cornelius that the legendary New Bedford Grinnells originated. Cornelius, born 11 Feb 1758 at Little Compton, RI, was the son of Daniel4 Grinnell (continuing back to Richard3, Daniel2, Matthew1). As a boy, Cornelius left Little Compton to apprentice in the hatter’s trade in New Bedford, MA. The boy saw better opportunities in the seafaring trade (New Bedford was a major whaling town). He served in the American Revolution on land and sea. While at sea, and early in the war, he was taken prisoner. Freed after a prisoner exchange, Cornelius joined Capt. George Claghorn’s company, in Col. Abiel Mitchell’s regiment.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 September 2011 11:19 )
Grinnell Car? PDF Print E-mail
Written by F. Hugh Grinnell   
Sunday, 01 May 2011 23:32

by F. Hugh Grinnell

The 1915 Grinnell electrics in two models of broughams are practically the same as the 1914 types except for some changes in the bodies which make them roomier and alter their design somewhat. The door windows now are sashless and have mechanical handle lifts rather than straps. These differences and a slight change in the rear axle design tell the story of Grinnell progress.

The feature of the cars of the Grinnell Electric Car Co., Detroit, is the so-called unit transfer control which provides for the swinging of both control lever and steering lever as a unit from a forward to a rear position or vice versa without making any changes save the turning of a handle. There are two sets of pedals, the rear set being shielded by the guard on the back of the front driving seat when the latter is brought into position for driving the car. This double position control corresponds to dual control in many of the electrics, and is fitted to the larger of the two Grinnell cars.

Grinnells use Diehl slow-speed motors located under the center of the car, and the drive is direct through shaft back to the rear axle with one reduction of 3 1/2 to 1. Overslung elliptic springs are fitted all around and contribute to the easy riding qualities. The service brakes are on the motor, the emergency on the rear wheels.

Hugh’s grandmother, Mary Murphy Grinnell, wife of Jay Grinnell of the “music Grinnells” of Detroit, owned a Grinnell electric! Thanks for your article, Hugh, in response to the query in the last newsletter from Joan Grinnell (#413).

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 May 2011 12:05 )
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