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from Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa

Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, 1887, p. 234-35


CHARLES K[eeling] GRIMES, one of the early settlers of Ringgold County, is a native of Fountain County, Indiana, born in February [26], 1831, a son of Andrew and Phraney (MYERS) GRIMES, natives of North Carolina, where they were reared, and after their marrige moved to Indiana. Our subject remained at home until manhood, working on the farm in the summer, and in the winter attending the district school. The summer after reaching his majority he worked four months, at $12 a month, and the following September was married to Harriet BALLARD, of Montgomery County, Indiana, but a native of Ohio. After his marriage, he lived on a farm in Indiana until the fall of 1855, when he moved to Marion County, Iowa, and thence to Ringgold County, in May, 1858, locating on the southwest corner of section 7, Tingley Township. His first house was a little frame building, 14 x 16 feet in size. He first bought 170 acres, 160 being prairie and ten acres being timber. He then entered eighty acres from the Government, and the next winter bought another tract of 157 acres. He has improved his land and now has one of the finest farms in the county. While living in his first house eleven families made their home, at different times, with him until they could locate their land and get a house built. His house was always open to the entertainment of strangers, and as settlers were few, he was always glad to receive those who came with the intention of settling. he also had fequent visits from the Indians, being near their trail from the Southwest to Iowa City, where they made yearly trips to draw their money. The despised colored man always found him ready to give aid when he was a refugee fleeing from slavery and the South to Canada and freedom; at one time he had six secreted under hay-shocks through the day till he could get a favorable chance to send them on rejoicing. He was the first man to introduce sheep into his township, and that a time when the prairie wolves were troublesome, but by vigilant watching he was successful. He was the first postmaster appointed in his part of the county, and held the position twelve years. A part of this time he carried the mail from Eugene to Mount Ayr in a sack on his back, making the trip on foot through mud and high water. He was the founder of Eugene, laying it off and platting it in 1857. He and Edgar SHELDON are the only ones of the first settlers now living in Tingley Township. When he commenced life in Indiana he was a poor man. After clearing eighteen acres of heavily-timbered land he concluded to sell out and move to a country where the land was already cleared, and, accordingly, located in Iowa. By industry and energy he has acquired a good home for his old age, and by a life of kindly deeds and honorable dealing has gained many friends. In politics he was first a Democrat, casting his first Presidential vote for President PIERCE, but since then has been a staunch supporter of the Republican party. He is in religious faith a Lutheran. His family consists of nine children, five died in infancy and four are living - Josephine, wife of James HOLT; Ida, wife of Andrew BROWN; Iola and Wilbur at home.

C. K. GRIMES settled in Section 7, Tingley township, in May of 1856. He was a native of Indiana while his parents were natives of North Carolina. He was married to Harriet BALLARD in Indiana. His first house was 14x16 and at different times eleven families made their homes with him while they located land or built their cabins. Indians often visited them as they were so near their trail from the southwest to Iowa City,where they went to draw their annuities.

The southern slave found a friend here when fleeing from slavery to Canada and freedom. At one time he had six slaves hidden in hay shocks through the day until a favorable time for them to travel on. He was the first settler in Tingley township to own sheep as the wolves were so troublesome, but with eternal vigilance he succeeded with them. Mr. GRIMES was the founder of Eugene and laid out and platted the lots in 1857. He was the father of nine children, but all died in infancy but four.

NOTE: Charles' father Andrew GRIMES was born March 11, 1804, Rowan County, North Carolina, and died December 3, 1882, Putnam County, Indiana. He was interred at Phanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery, Putnam County, Indiana. Andrew married Charles' mother Phraney MYERS February 14, 1826, Davidson County, North Carolina. Phraney (MYERS) GRIMES was born March 9, 1808, Davidson County, North Carolina, and died May 21, 1883 with interment at Phanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery.

Ida GRIMES was born March 13, 1864, Eugene, Ringgold County, Iowa, and died March 31, 1913, Fowler, Fresno County, California. She married Andrew Ralston BROWN in Ringgold County, Iowa, on May 30, 1882.

Harriet (BALLARD) GRIMES died in Kingsburg, California.

Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa, p. 234-35, 1887

LESAN, Mrs. B. M. Early History of Ringgold County: 1844 - 1937 p. 20. Blair Pub. House. Lamoni IA. 1937.

WPA Grave Survey

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2009; updated May of 2010

Biographical Sketches Pages Index: A - F,   G - L,   M - R,  S - Z

To submit your Ringgold County biographies, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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