Julius C. Grumme.A man's real worth to the community in which he lives is not a matter of the accumulation of wealth, the ownership of broad acres, or the controlling of commercial enterprises; except he use a portion of his wealth, his business influence, and a part of his time in the upbuilding of his town, city or county, and to assist through advice and example, his fellow citizens to fruitful labor and prosperity, and to live honorable lives filled with kindness and helpful deeds. Therefore, a publication of this nature exercises its most important function when it takes cognizance of the life and labors of those citizens who have been material factors in the development and betterment of the commonwealth; that there may come objective lesson and incentive, and thus a a[sic] tribute of appreciation. Clay county, Kansas, represents, in her present development, the persistent industry, unflagging zeal, and impregnable faith in the possibilities of her resources, of many men, numbered among whom is he whose name initiates this article.
Julius C. Grumme was a native of Germany, who came to the United States in 1847, locating first in the city of Philadelphia. He was born in the town of Harste, Province of Hanover, April 6, 1826. He was reared in his native country, received his education in the public schools, and learned the trade of a harnessmaker. On attaining his majority, he sought the broader opportunities offering in America and as before stated came to the United States. A few months subsequent to his arrival in Philadelphia he removed to Pittsburgh, where he remained about eighteen months, going from there to Virginia, and in 1850 located at Galena, Ill., where he remained until 1885. In the last named city he secured the position of foreman and cutter for the firm of Grant & Collins, harness makers and saddlers, the senior member of the firm being the father of Gen. U. S. Grant. He resigned this position a few years later, purchased their harness and saddlery equipment and engaged in business oh his own account. This enterprise was highly successful, and he accumulated profits rapidly. His loyalty to his adopted country was intense, and on Lincoln's call for volunteers, in 1861, he endeavored to enlist, but was rejected on account of physical disabilities. During the war Galena was a hot-bed of contending factions, Copperheads were numerous and bold and Mr. Grumme did his fighting at home in refuting their arguments and in strenously standing by the National government. His generosity to the wives and children who had lost their loved ones in battle was abundant. He purchased burial lots in the cemetery and buried, at his own expense, a number of those who had died in battle or from wounds. To him and others of his kind was due, in great measure, the integrity of the Government during those days of stress. He became a resident of Kansas in 1885, and located in Clay Center, entering actively into the business life of the city and county. In addition to establishing a harness and saddlery shop, he purchased a number of lots in the business section of the city, which he improved with substantial buildings, among which was the building now occupied by the Union State Bank. He was not only of great value to the town from a constructive standpoint, but also from that of quality, being insistent that his buildings should be the best examples of construction possible and that they were kept in a thorough state of repair. He retired from active commercial pursuits in 1893, removing to a farm near the city, where he spent the sunset years of his life among the woods, the fields and flowers, which he loved. His death occurred on December 11, 1905.
On March 23, 1852, Mr. Grumme married, at Galena, Ill., Miss Olive J. Stebbins, who, with five sons and one daughter, the result of this union, survive him. Mrs. Grumme is a native of Portage county, Ohio, and was born on April 28, 1833. The children are as follows: Inez A., widow of Walter Puckey, of Clay Center, a review of whose life follows this article: W. F. Grumme, of Galena, Ill.; Charles, Frank, Arthur and Harry Grumme, residents of Clay county, Kansas. Mrs. Grumme resides on the home farm.
Julius C. Grumme was a fine type of the true Christian gentleman. He was a believer in the gospel of help and hope. He knew how much better, how much more sacred, a kind act is than any theory the brain has wrought. His life filled the lives of others with sunshine. He always had a pleasant word and a cheering smile for all. When such men pass to their last reward, the world is poorer, for there never will be on this poor earth nearly enough of those who possess the generosity of smile and word which cheer and lighten.Pages 425-427 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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