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HON. ALFRED GRUBB, SR.


Was born near Pittsylvania Court House, in new Bedford county, Virginia, August 24, 1801. His mother died when he was but twelve years old, and as his father was from home most of the time, following his trade, — that of miller and millwright, — the care of two younger brothers and one sister develved upon Alfred. At the age of nineteen, he was married to a Miss Jemima Greer, and moved to Somerset, Kentucky. In 1823 his wife died, leaving four children to the care of their father. In 1827 Mr. Grubb married for his second wife Miss Eliza January Porter. In 1830 he removed with his family to Pike county, Ill., and located in Pleasant Vale. At that time there but four families on the Pleasant Vale and Kinderhook road; viz: John Melhiser, S. A. January, Harvey Blair, and Samuel Blair, Mr. Grubb making the fifth. Mr. Grubb had six children born to him by his second wife. Their township increased in population so fast that in 1834 they found it necessary to elect a justice of the peace in Barry township; consequently, Mr. Grubb was selected to fill that office, but he soon tired of it and resigned. He was soon after elected county commissioner, and in 1840 was elected sheriff of the county. In 1845 he was elected to represent his county in the legislature, which he did to the entire satisfaction of his constituents. Mr. Grubb had become so well known for his many good qualities, both as a man and an officer, that he was called upon to fill offices much oftener than was agreeable to him. In 1850 he was chosen judge of the probate court, much against his will — so much so, that he threatened to decline. A friend hearing him, said, "That will never do; the people want an honest man in that office, and have called on you to take it." With reluctance, he accepted the office, and once each month rode from Barry to Pittsfield, remaining two weeks to attend to the duties of his office. This he continued four years, on a small salary. The Judge was noted for his kindness of heart, as shown by his liberality to the widows and orphans, in assigning them dower. His health failing him, the Judge refused to accept the office for the second term, but gave way for another, and resumed the practice of law. He was often appealed to by poor women who thought they had not been dealt with fairly. He never turned them off, but always pleaded their cases for them. Besides his law business, the Judge was engaged in the estate business, and was also agent for obtaining bounty warrants for soldiers of the war of 1812. His whole life was spent in doing good for his fellow men. He was a warm advocate of the temperance cause, and often lectured in crowded halls as well as log school houses. As a son of Temperance and Good Templar, he was equally zealous. For thirty years he was a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and with the governor and fellow members of the house, would pass from the legislative hall to the classroom.

He was one of the few men of this world who lived for humanity; unwilling to let himself become absorbed in interests and schemes of a selfish character, he has always aimed to do good to men. And thus the good man journeyed on, doing good, until the Goos Shepherd said, "It is enough; come up higher." On the 18th day of April, 1867, at the age of sixty-six years, after an illness of three days only, his spirit returned to the God who gave it.

Mrs. Grubb, the relict of Hon. Alfred Grubb, was born January 5, 1811. Her father, Joseph Porter, was born in Wythe county, Virginia, and was the youngest son of a large family of children. At the age of nineteen he was apprenticed to the cabinet trade, and emigrated to Somerset, Ky. After serving out his apprenticeship, he concluded to improve his education; and as the facilities for procuring an education were very meagre in that new country, Mr. Porter was, really, one of Kentucky's self-made men. On the 17th day of March, 1809, Mr. Porter was married to Miss Sally January, the mother of Mrs. Grubb, who was born in Woodford city, May 10, 1790. Her father moved to Somerset, cut the first log for a cabin, cleared the first piece of land, and erected the first cabin where the beautiful town of Somerset now stands. Here he commenced life with a limited amount of this world's goods, but with energy and perseverence sufficient to carry him through all difficulties; he was soon elected magistrate and county surveyor. In 1812 he was a volunteer to help rescue his fellow countrymen who had been so shamefully surrendered by Hull. After a hard campaign of seven months, he returned home, and removed to Tennessee, to take charge of an estate that had been left him by his mother. There he remained, eight miles from Knoxville, for three years, when he sold out and returned to Somerset, when he was again elected to the office of magistrate, which he held for thirty years. He also filled many other important offices during his life, which closed in 1850, with a bright prospect of a happy immortality beyond the grave. Mrs. Grubb's mother died March 12, 1827, when she was little more than sixteen years of age, leaving her the charge of the entire family, three sisters and one brother, all younger than herself. (Her brother entered the ministry of the Baptist church when only nineteen years of age, and still occupies that responsible position.) She soon married Mr. Grubb, as above stated, when they got the children together, and remained at the old home until 1830, when they came to Pike county, as stated above. Mrs. Grubb, at the advanced age of sixty one years, though possessed of a vigorous intellect, and has a prospect of living many years yet, is but waiting the summons from on high, to join her husband in that happy land ‘where the weary are at rest."