William Hebard Grayum

WILLIAM HEBARD GRAYUM. Perhaps one of the greatest factors in the wonderful progress that the State of Kansas has made in the last twenty years, has been the recognition of the value of education and the provision made for the extension of a sound public school system. Communities vie with each other in efforts to secure for the heads of their own institutions, scholarly men with progressive ideas, and to these hearty support is generally given, with results satisfying to the schools and the public at large. In this connection may be mentioned the able principal of the high school of Neodesha, Wilson County, William Hebard Grayum, who, for the past three years has devoted himself to the interests of this institution. Professor Grayum is a native of Ohio and was born September 17, 1887, at Gallipolis, in Gallia County. He is a son of C. W. and Ora Z. (Hebard) Grayum.

The early history of the Grayum family leads way back to the disastrous dynastic struggle of the Wars of the Roses in England, during the fifteenth century. In one of the Irish regiments, but whether attached to the House of York or the House of Lancaster, is not clear, was a faithful, hard driven soldier of the name of Grayum, and from him descended the British soldier who accompanied his regiment across the Atlantic Ocean to preserve British supremacy in her colonial possessions. Family annals tell of his escaping a service that was little better than slavery about the time of the Battle of New Orleans, in 1815, after which he settled in West Virginia and occupied himself with peaceful pursuits.

William Grayum, the grandfather of Professor Grayum, was born near Wheeling, in West Virginia. In 1861 he enlisted for service in the Civil war as a member of the Fifth West Virginia Volunteer Infantry, took part in many of the great battles of the war, at the close of which he was mustered out with the rank of captain. Captain Grayum had suffered greatly from the hardships he had been called on to endure and never recovered his normal health, his death occurring in 1873, at Gallipolis, Ohio, to which place he had removed after the termination of the war. In early manhood he married Harriet Carter, who was born in Massachusetts, in 1823, and died at Gallipolis, Ohio, in 1912. They had four children, namely: Zim, who is a resident of Columbus, Ohio; Elizabeth who died at Columbus, Ohio, in 1915; Robert who is a plaster by trade, resides in the State of Washington; and C. W., who is a resident of Jones, Oklahoma.

C. W. Grayum was born in 1861, at Gallipolis, Ohio, and was reared and educated there. The greater part of his life has been spent at Gallipolis and Cheshire, Ohio, where, until 1893, he was in the drug business. Failing health caused him to adopt farming in order to lead an out-door life, and subsequently to his removal to Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, in 1901. For four years he conducted a farm there but is now a resident of Jones, having accepted an appointment as a rural mail carrier because of its out-door requirements. In politics Mr. Grayum belongs to the progressive wing of the republican party and while living in Ohio he served in such offices as township assessor, and since coming to Jones has held numerous town offices. He is a member and liberal supporter of the Presbyterian Church. Fraternally he is identified with the Odd Fellows.

C. W. Grayum was married at Gallipolis Ohio, to Miss Ora Z. Hebard, who was born there in 1866, and their family consist of four children: William Hebard; Eva, who is the wife of Boone Wilmott, a prominent banker of Jones, Oklahoma; Edna, twin sister of Eva, who is the wife of Charles Koontz, who is a farmer near Jones; and Hazel, who was graduated from the Neodesha High School in 1915, is engaged in teaching school in Wilson County.

In the public schools of Gallia County, Ohio, William H. Grayum secured his early educational training, attending further after coming to Oklahoma, later becoming a student in the normal school at Edmond, where he completed his preparatory course in teaching, finally entering the State Normal College, at Emporia, Kansas, from which he was graduated in 1913, with the degree of A. B. In the meantime he had taught one term of school at Marion, Kansas, but his real life in the educational field began when he came as principal of the Neodesha High School, in 1913. As previously indicated, he has devoted himself enthusiastically to the work here, has raised the standard and has introduced modern methods which have proved very acceptable. His personality is a leading factor, perhaps, in the success he has attained, for he is young enough to be able to sympathize with youth, and experienced enough to command confidence.

On June 15, 1915, Mr. Grayum was married to Miss Norma V. Quein, who is a daughter of Joseph and Nannie (Hurst) Quein. The father of Mrs. Grayum was a well known journalist during life. Her mother resides with Mr. and Mrs. Grayum in their attractive and hospitable home at No. 610 North Ninth Street.

Aside from professional organization, Professor Grayum has not sought membership in societies of any kind, but he is well known and valued as a member of the Kansas Teachers' Association and the Southeast Kansas Teachers' Association. He is a member of the Christian Church. Having no political ambitions, he has never identified himself with a political party, notwithstanding which he is a good citizen and is deeply interested in public affairs as such and is ever ready to co-operate with the good people of Neodesha in bringing about needed reform and public improvements.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by students from Baxter Springs Middle School, February 25, 2000.

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