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Mary (Miner) Grim

Graves in Norwich Cemetery, Martelle, IA - courtesy Jeff Goodson


Norwich Cemetery - courtesy Jeff Goodson

Mary (Miner) Grim was born in Aug. 11, 1844, or in September 1839, either in Fayette County, PA or over the state line in what then was Virginia and today is West Virginia, the daughter of Daniel and Drusan (Ridenour) Minerd. She told her children that Virginia was her and her father's birthplace. She and her husband were early settlers of Illinois and later of Iowa.

In the year before her marriage, Mary resided with her widowed mother in Springfield Township, Fayette County circa 1868 and into January 1869.

At the age of 23, on Jan. 18, 1869, she was joined in holy wedlock with 22-year-old Franklin H. "Frank" Grim (March 3, 1846-1925), also of Fayette County. The ceremony was held at the home of Mary's mother, officiated by justice of the peace J.W.C. Brooks, and news of the marriage published in the Uniontown Genius of Liberty. Evidence suggests that a month before she was married, Mary gave birth to their eldest daughter, and she and her husband later told their family that their wedding date was more than a year earlier, on Christmas Day 1867.

Frank's parents are reputed to have been Joseph D. and Rachel (Henry) Grim, and the Grim surname also has been spelled "Grimm" and "Grimes" over the years. His siblings included Joseph Grim of Hudson, IA; Elizabeth Yomans of Glenwood, IA; Peter Grim of Bucyrus, OH; and James Grim, also of Bucyrus.

The Grims were the parents of 10 children, among them Norman Grim, Alice Jane Sherwood, Stuard Grim, Katherine Anne "Katie" Weston Bebee, Charles Grim, William Franklin Grim, Samuel M. "Sammie" Grim, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Grim and Henry Miner Grim. Sadly, sons Norman and Charles died young.

Mary and Frank joined the United Brethren Church in their early years.


Marriage news, Uniontown, PA newspaper, 1869

Finding this family on federal census record in 1870 has proven difficult.Sometime in 1876-1877 timeframe, in between the births of their daughter Catherine and son William, the young family made the decision to migrate west. They pushed into Illinois and settled in York Township, Carroll County. There, they are shown in the 1880 federal census, with four children between the ages of one and 11.

The Grims remained in Illinois until 1883, when they were brought to Iowa to live and work on the farm of Robert Melvin Peet in Martelle, Jones County.

Census records show that the Grims' home in 1900-1920 was Martelle, where Franklin continued to earn a living as a farm laborer.

Suffering from chronic gastritis, Mary died at the age of 78 on Oct. 8, 1922. Her remains were placed into repose in Norwich Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]

Franklin survived his wife by four years. He was felled by a stroke of paralysis and "was found lying unconscious near the porch of his home," reported the Anamosa Journal. "He seemed to rally for a few days, but the shock, combined with his age, proved to be more than his strength could stand, and on Saturday, about noon, his spirit took its departure to the land of the spirits, where the Great Spirit of Jehovah reigns supreme in infinite goodness and mercy." Death occurred at the age of 79 on Sept. 5, 1925. Son William, living in Martelle, signed the death certificate. Following funeral services held in the Grim residence, conducted by Rev. L.L. Lockard, the remains were lowered into eternal repose beside Mary.


~ Daughter Alice Jane (Grim) Sherwood ~

Daughter Alice Jane Grim (1868- ? ) was born in December 1868 in Fayette County, PA. She was a girl of about seven or eight when she and her parents became pioneer settlers of Illinois, and then as a teen pushed with them further into Iowa.

On July 21, 1889, when Alice Jane was 19 years old, she was joined in marriage with 22-year-old Charles Wesley Sherwood (Oct. 30, 1865-1942), son of Hart and Elizabeth B. (Stutsman) Sherwood and a native of Anamosa, Jones County. The marriage ceremony was conducted in Fairview, Jones County, IA.

Evidence suggests that as a two-year-old, Charles had been adopted by relatives Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Stutsman.

Alice Jane bore an astonishing grand total of 16 children over a 22-year span from 1889 to 1911. Her first seven children came within a dozen years of marriage -- among them Harry A. Sherwood, Louie Sherwood, Jessie Sherwood, Lena Sherwood, Mary May Wetzel, Cora Sherwood and William Charles "Bill" Sherwood, and one who died young. Then between 1900 and 1914, nine more offspring were born -- Albert Sherwood, Melvin Sherwood, Minnie Sergeant Reed Glue, Dana Sherwood, Frank Sherwood, Dorothy Smith Gray, Helen Louise Condon, Billie Sherwood and Ester Ellen Sherwood.


The children's graves, Martelle, Iowa - courtesy Jeff Goodson


Sadness enveloped the family at the death of son Louie at age one in 1892 -- daughter Ester at age one on Oct. 30, 1914 -- and son son Billie at age four in 1916. All three of the ill-fated children rest in Norwich Cemetery.

When the federal census was enumerated in 1900-1910, the Sherwoods dwelled in Linn Township, north of the town of Mt. Vernon and east of Cedar Rapids, Linn County, IA. There, Charles was employed as a railroad laborer and section hand.

In 1919, when Alice Jane was named in the Anamosa Journal obituary of her brother Stuard, she and Charles made their home in Marion, comprising today the northeastern section of Cedar Rapids.

The Sherwoods divorced during the 1920s, with Alice Jane going to live with their married son Albert. They are shown together in the 1930 census of Mount Vernon, Franklin Township, in a home on Third Street North. Charles, on the other hand, made his home in Marion with sons William and Frank in 1930.


Main Street in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, early 1900s - published by Joseph Bennett


By 1935, she had moved into the residence of her daughter Dorothy Smith in Cedar Rapids and remained there through 1940.

Charles passed away in Marion on March 14, 1942. Burial was in Norwich Cemetery in Martelle.

Alice's fate is not yet learned.

Son Harry A. Sherwood (1889-1958?) was born in November 1889 in Fairview, IA. At the age of 20, in 1910, he lived at home and worked with his farmer as a railroad section hand in Linn. On Nov. 13, 1910, at the age of 21, he was joined in marriage with 18-year-old Grace Matthewsen (1892- ? ), daughter of Elmer and Alice (Leaton) Matthewson. The ceremony took place in Linn County. Research is underway to determine if Harry died in 1958, with interment in Cedar Memorial Park in Cedar Rapids.

Daughter Jessie Sherwood (1892-1958) was born on Sept. 29, 1892 in Iowa. When she was 21 years old, on June 8, 1913, she was united in holy matrimony with 21-year-old W.I. Everhart (1892- ? ), son of H.H. and Jennie (Litts) Everhart. The wedding was held in Marion, Linn County. Evidence suggests that she died on March 11, 1958, with burial in Davenport Memorial Park in Scott County, IA. Her grave marker is inscribed "Beloved Mother" and includes the 23rd Psalm.

Daughter Lena Sherwood (1894- ? ) was born in April 1894 in Iowa.

Daughter Mary May Sherwood (1895- ? ) was born in July 1895 in Martelle. On Nov. 10, 1915, in a ceremony held in Black Hawk County, IA, the 20-year-old Mary May was wedded to 25-year-old Robert Clarence Wetzel (1890- ? ), son of Edward F. and Katie Rachel (Jackson) Wetzel. This couple has disappeared from an obvious paper trail.

Daughter Cora Sherwood (1897- ? ) was born in March 1897 in Iowa. When Cora was 20 years of age, on Jan. 31, 1917, she married 22-year-old Ora L. McLaughlin (1895- ? ), son of Herman and Anna (Cordt) McLaughlin. The couple tied the knot in Des Moines County, IA. It's possible that this couple migrated by 1920 to Topeka, Shawnee County, KS, but futher evidence is needed.

Son William Charles "Bill" Sherwood (1898-1964) was born on Sept. 12, 1898 in Marion, Linn County, IA. Circa 1920, at age 21, he labored with his father on the local steam railroad. Then in 1930, census records show William at age 31 residing with his divorce father and single brother Frank in Marion, and earning a living as a laborer in odd jobs. He died in Iowa City on Sept. 24, 1964, a dozen days after his 66th birthday, with interment in Cedar Memorial Park in Cedar Rapids. His memorial tablet is inscribed "Beloved Uncle."


Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Depot, Marion, Iowa


Son Albert W. Sherwood (1901- ? ) was born in about 1901 in Linn, Linn County, IA. When he was 19 years of age, he worked on the local steam railroad with his father. He married Anna J. Thomson (1900- ? ), an immigrant from Denmark who had been married previously and brought two children to the union -- Anna C. Thomson and Thomsen Thomsen. In 1930, when the federal census enumeration was made, the Sherwoods resided in Mt. Vernon, Linn County, with Albert's divorced mother also in the household. The Sherwoods' marriage only lasted a few years, and by 1935 they appear to have been divorced. Albert went to live with John F. Koontz, an aged Slovak immigrant in Cedar Rapids, and worked as a laborer in a wholesale meat packing plant. In 1940, at the age of 39, he remained as a boarder in the Koontz residence.


Norwich Cemetery - courtesy Jeff Goodson

Son Melvin Sherwood (1902-1925) was born on March 16, 1902 in Paralta, west of Martelle, Linn County, IA, possibly a twin with his sister Minnie. When he was in his early 20s, he resided and worked on a farm in Marion, Bertram Township, Linn County. He performed a daring rescue in 1924 of his aunt by marriage, Maud Lula Whiting Bebee Grim, when she tried twice to commit suicide on the same day, and he pulled her from the middle of a railroad track as a locomotive quickly was approaching. Tragically, on the fateful day of May 31, 1925, while swimming in Big Creek near Bertram, IA, Melvin lost his own life in an accidental drowning, at the age of 22. Interment was in Norwich Cemetery in Martelle, with a short death notice appearing in the Anamosa Journal.

Daughter Minnie Sherwood (1902- ? ) was born in about 1902 in Linn, Linn County, IA, possibly a twin with her brother Melvin. Evidence suggests that she was married twice. On Oct. 11, 1919, when Minnie was 17 years old, she was united in wedlock with her first spouse, 21-year-old Lyle Allen Sargent (Nov. 18, 1898-1963), son of Grant Ulysses and Bertha (Abram) Sargent, also spelled "Sergeant." The wedding took place in Marion, Linn County. Circa 1920, the newlyweds lived under the roof of Lyle's parents in Marshall Township, Marshall County, IA, with Lyle making a living as a machinist in a car shop. The couple produced one known son, Robert Allen Sargent (-1921-) who sadly died at the age of 11 days on Dec. 28, 1921. The marriage fell apart, and the Sherwoods divorced. Five years later, on Oct. 2, 1924, she wedded her second husband, 41-year-old Charles Elyphlet Reed (1883- ? ), son of Edward Daniel and Harriet (Holcomb) Reed, with the ceremony occurring in Marshall, IA. For reasons not yet known, Minnie and Charles repeated their nuptials four years later, on Nov. 8, 1928, also in Marshall. Minnie was married a third time, to (?) Glue (spelling?) ( ? - ? ). In January 1985, she dwelled in Cedar Rapids. Former husband Lyle Sargent married Grace Lang Johnson in 1935, had four more children, and died in March 1963

Son Dana L. Sherwood (1903-1985) was born on March 23, 1903 or March 26, 1904 in Marion, Linn County, IA. At the age of 35, on May 17, 1938, he married widow Rose (Sullivan) Nischwitz (1896-1989), who was seven years older, and the daughter of Andrew Jackson and Mary Ellen (Henessee) Sullivan. She had been married before, to William Paul Nischwitz (1890-1934), and brought a son to the union, William Nischwitz. They made their home in Vinton, IA. Dana was employed for many years with Iowa Steel and Manufacturing Company in Cedar Rapids, and retired from the firm. He succumbed in Virginia Gay Hospital in Vinton on Jan. 2, 1985, at the age of 81. Burial followed in Cedar Memorial Park in Cedar Rapids, with funeral services led by Rev. Leroy E. Bauman. Rose survived her husband by five years. She died in 1989.

  • Step-grandson William Nischwitz lived in Cedar Rapids in 1985.


Norwich Cemetery - courtesy Jeff Goodson

Son Frank Sherwood (1905-1931) was born two days before Christmas 1905 in Linn, Linn County, IA. He wedded Evelyn Larkins ( ? - ? ). In the early 1930s, the Sherwoods made their residence in Cedar Rapids at 511 16th Avenue West, with Frank earning a living as a day laborer. Their marriage fell apart and in 1930 Frank was living at home in Marion with his divorced father and single brother William. On the terrible day of May 18, 1931, Frank visited with his estranged wife in Cedar Rapids, where "for hours he pleaded with her for a reconciliation but without success," said the Ames Daily Tribune. "At midnight he departed disconsolate and broken-hearted. He went directly to his home...." At age 25, despondent, Frank ingested poison strychine and died. The suicide was reported in the Mason City Globe-Gazette, Ames Daily Tribute and Burlington Hawk-Eye. His remains were lowered into peaceful rest in Norwich Cemetery in Martelle.

Daughter Dorothy Sherwood (1908-1987) was born on Dec. 4, 1908 in Linn, Linn County, IA. She was joined in wedlock with (?) Smith ( ? - ? ). The couple produced three children -- Esther Smith, Norman Smith and Dorothy A. Smith. The Smiths divorced sometime between 1935 and 1940. The federal census of 1940 shows Dorothy heading a household in Cedar Rapids, Linn County, including her three children, divorced mother and earning income as a seamstress for a Works Progress Administration sewing project. Dorothy married again to (?) Gray ( ? - ? ). Circa 1985, she lived in Cedar Rapids. She entered eternity in April 1987 in Cedar Rapids.

  • Granddaughter Esther Smith (1929- ? ) was born in about 1929.
  • Grandson Norman Smith (1933- ? ) was born in about 1933.
  • Granddaughter Dorothy A. Smith (1935- ? ) was born in about 1935.

Daughter Helen Louise Sherwood (1910-1939) was born on July 11, 1910 in Paralta, west of Martelle, Linn County, IA. She was wedded to Carold Leroy Condon (Jan. 29, 1909-1995), son of Cordia Leroy and Olive M. (Rogers) Condon. They dwelled at 827 D Avenue Northwest in Cedar Rapids. In November 1938, Helen is believed to have been stricken with an infection of her bronchial tubes which further developed into a deadly staph infection. She was admitted to University Hospital in Iowa City, where she died just two weeks after her 29th birthday on July 25, 1939. Burial was in Cedar Memorial Park, with Charles Blackster of Chicago as the informant for her official Iowa certificate of death. Carold survived his bride by more than half a century. In 1953, after 14 years as a widower, he married for a second time to Mary Louise Miner (1923-2002). She was the daughter of Gilbert Louis and Hazel Irene (Thompson) Miner, of Anamosa, Jones County, and no known connection to our group. Carold died in Fayette, Fayette County, IA on June 28, 1995. Mary Louise joined him in death on July 21, 2002. [Find-a-Grave]


Norwich Cemetery - courtesy Jeff Goodson

~ Son Stuard Grim ~

Son Stuard Grim (1873-1919) was born on March 7, 1873 in Springfield Township, Fayette County, PA.

With his name also spelled "Steward" and "Stewart" over the years, he appears to have been named for his mother's brother, Stewart (or "Steward") Minerd.

Sometime in 1876 or 1877, when he was just three or four years of age, Stuart migrated to Illinois with his parents, and settled in York Township, Carroll County. Then in 1883, when he was 10, he and the family pushed into Iowa, making their residence in Martelle, Jones County.

At the age of 14, he was hired out to work as a handyman on the farm of Robert Melvin Peet, a property which included an impressive brick house," said the Anamosa Eureka.

In adulthood, he was of medium height and build, with brown eyes and dark hair.

Stuard was required to register for the military draft during World War I. At that time, he disclosed to the registration clerk that he was age 45, resided in Viola, Linn County, IA, and worked as a laborer on the Peet farm. He was described as "partly bald" and listed his father as his nearest relative.

At one point, said the Eureka, he suffered a puncture wound in the leg, caused by a locust tree thorn tree, which led to significant swelling, but from which he recovered. One of the Peet children later recalled that "I can remember my family was very attached to him, and they have been because he lived with them since he was 14-years old."  An article  in the Anamosa Journal once described him as "of a happy, cheerful disposition, always ready and willing to do what was asked of him and watching for opportuntiies to do an act of kindness."

At the age of 46, he became ill and on July 8, 1919 was admitted to Mercy Hospital in the county seat of Anamosa. Noted the Journal, "careful nursing and medical skill were of no avail and death occurred five weeks later," on Aug. 12, 1919. He rests in the Grim family plot of graves in Norwich Cemetery in Martelle, Jones County, IA. The cause of his passing has not yet been discovered, but will be reported here when learned.

In the years after Stuard's death, the tale of the locust thorn wound took on a life of its own. Local legend said that Stuard had actually died from the injury, that his ghost haunted the Peet farmhouse attic and that footsteps could be heard at night -- that "he just never left the Peet farm following his death." The story was recounted in the March 10, 1977 edition of the Eureka -- headlined "Are the Footsteps in the Attic a Ghost or Gossip?"


~ Daughter Katherine Anne "Katie" (Grim) Weston Bebee ~

Daughter Katherine Anne "Katie" Grim (1875-1928) was born on July 15, 1875 in Fayette County, PA. As a young girl, she migrated with her parents to Illinois, and there spent a few years before pushing further west into Iowa.

On Oct. 28, 1897, in a ceremony held in Anamosa, Jones County, IA, when she was 22 years of age, Katie married 37-year-old Miles Weston (1861- ? ), a native of Wisconsin. Miles was a section laborer with a railroad in Martelle, Jones County, and the son of James H. and Phedina (Vaunomen) Weston.

They adopted a son, Frank Weston, born in 1904.

The Westons are shown together in the 1910 federal census of Martelle.

The marriage apparently ended, as Katie relocated in about 1914 to Cedar Rapids, Linn County, IA. Miles remained in Martelle and in 1916 placed advertisements in the Anamosa Journal stating that he was an "Expert trainer of Colts and horses. Graduate of the Beery School of Horsemanship of Pleasant Hill, Ohio. Specialty of horses of vicious habits."


Sunday afternoon leisure at Cedar Rapids' Bever Park, early 1900s


Katie cohabitated circa 1920 with Sidney Orlando Bebee (Sept. 10, 1877-1967), son of Henry and Sarah (Boots) Bebee of Anamosa, IA. That year, when the census was taken, her son Frank Weston and lodger Paul Peterson also lived in the household.

At the age of 48, on Sept. 19, 1923, in Cedar Rapids, Linn County, IA, Katie and Sidney were wedded. She fibbed on her marriage license application that her age was 37, in light of the fact that she was nine years older than her husband.

Their home was at 712 Seventh Avenue East, and Sidney earned a living as a construction laborer and teamster for a wholesale business.

Sadly, the Bebees' marriage only lasted for less than five years. At the age of 52, having been stricken for six years with myocarditis and "creeping paralysis," she passed away at home on March 3, 1928. Her remains were lowered into repose in Shiloh Cemetery in Cedar Rapids. Sidney signed her death certificate.

Now widowed, Sidney moved into the home of his brother and sister-in-law, George and Jane Bebee, in Prairieburg, Boulder Township, Linn County, where he is shown on the 1930 federal census. Stories in the Anamosa Journal show that he often helped his brother Harry with house painting and repair.

Within a few years, he began cohabitating with Bessie Jesefi (spelling?) in Monroe Township, Linn County, and worked as a farm hand. The couple is shown together in the 1940 census.

Sidney died in Dumont, IA on July 5, 1967, at the age of 90.

Son Frank Weston (1904- ? ) was born in 1904 in Iowa. At the age of 16, he lived with his mother and stepfather in Cedar Rapids, and worked as a laborer.

Norwich Cemetery - courtesy Jeff Goodson

~ Son William Franklin "Will" Grim ~

Son William Franklin "Will" Grim (1879-1962) was born on Sept. 12, 1879 York Township, Carroll County, the first of the Grim children to be birthed in Illinois.

He moved to Martelle, Jones County, IA in young boyhood. He never married.

In adulthood, William was of medium build and height, and labored as a farmer. When required to register for the military draft during World War I, he stated that his resided in Martelle, working on the farm of Clem Levassun. He also stated that his father was his next of kin.


At the age of 41, in 1920 (the census-taker wrote age 33), William lived at home and continued to earn a living as a farm laborer. He was the informant for his father's death certificate in 1925.

William made his home in Martelle later in life when mentioned in a newspaper obituary of a brother.

The United States Census of 1930 shows William, single at the age of 50, boarding in the farm home of Gerald and Ruth Armstrong in Greenfield Township, Jones County, with him providing farm labor.

In November 1949, William suffered a head injury while at work in a local lumber yard, and was treated at a local hospital.

He died at the age of 83, at Mercy Hospital in Anamosa, on March 21, 1962. An obituary in the Anamosa Eureka noted that "He worked as a farmer for several years in the Martelle community and also at the local lumber yard. Survivors include one brother, Henry Grimm, Ames; and nephews and nieces."

William has a grave marker in the Grim family plot at Norwich Cemetery in Martelle, but the date of his death is not marked.


Norwich Cemetery - courtesy Jeff Goodson

~ Son Samuel M. "Sammie" Grim ~

Son Samuel M. "Sammie" Grim (1882-1953) was born in July 1882 in Carroll County, IL.

As a boy, he migrated to Iowa with his parents and siblings, settling in Martelle, Jones County.

Samuel was a farm laborer, and was unmarried and residing with his parents at the age of 27 in 1910.

Circa 1919, when named in the Anamosa Journal obituary of his brother Stuard, Samuel dwelled in Chadwick, IA.

When he was 42 years of age, on June 10, 1924, he finally married, to 37-year-old Maud Lula Whiting Bebee (1887- ? ), daughter of Charles and Hannah J. (Johnson) Bebee. The nuptials took place in Central City, Linn County, IA. Their home was on B Avenue in Cedar Rapids.

Sadly, the Grims' marriage was troubled. Just a little under four months into the marriage, Maud tried twice to commit suicide at her own birthday party with family present. After she complained of a headache, Samuel gave her a box of pain relief tablets. Reported the Iowa City Press-Citizen and the Davenport Daily Times:

Grabbing the box, from his hand, she swallowed the contents, 24. Then she dashed out of the house, her nephew, Melvin Sherwood, 20, following her. A few minutes later he overtook her. She saw him coming and ran to the center of the railroad tracks. Just then a train whistled. Sherwood made a dive for his aunt. He grabbed her by the ankles and as he pulled her from the track the train whizzed by, barely missing both. She was taken home and a physician summoned. Her condition is reported good....

Maud filed for divorce in about 1929, citing "cruel and inhuman treatment and desertion." Notice of the impending legal proceeding was published in the Jan. 30, 1930 edition of the Journal. The divorce was granted in March 1931.

He passed into eternity in 1953. Interment was in Norwich Cemetery in Martelle, Jones County, IA.

Details of his demise are shrouded in the hazy mist of the past.

Maud Lula's fate is unknown.


~ Daughter Elizabeth "Lizzie" Grim ~

Daughter Elizabeth "Lizzie" Grim (1886- ? ) was born in 1886 in Martelle, Jones County.

She attended a business college in Cedar Rapids, IA circa 1906, and became a public school teacher in Belle Plaine and Martelle, Jones County. She may also have taken additional coursework at Ames Agricultural College circa 1917 in the field of home economics.

Circa 1920, when enumerated on the federal census, Lizzie was single and living at home.

Nothing more is known.


~ Son Henry Miner Grimm ~

Son Henry Miner Grimm (1890-1972) was born on June 27, 1890 in Martelle, Jones County. He grew up on his parents' farm near Martelle.

Henry had brown eyes and brown hair, and was of medium height and build.

At the age of 23, on June 25, 1913, he was united in matrimony with Erma Augusta Benedict ( ? - ? ). She was the daughter of George Olin and Cora Elmira Benedict. The nuptials were held in nearby Mt. Vernon, Linn County, IA. He was the only one of the brothers to wed.

When Henry was age 27, in June 1917, he and Erma dwelled in Martelle, with him employed as a farmer with R.M. Peet in Greenfield Township. That month, he registered for the military draft during World War I, and signed his name "Grimm." When named in a 1919 obituary of his brother Stuard, he lived in Cedar Rapids.

Later, he resided in New Sharon, Mahaska County, IA.

Henry stayed out of the limelight over the years. In October 1962, he paid a $5 fine in municipal court in Ames, IA for ignoring a stop sign while driving.

Henry died in or around New Sharon in December 1972.


Copyright © 2017 Mark A. Miner
Minerd.com extends gratitude to the Jones County Genealogical Society Digital Archives