In the year in which Kansas was organized as a territory George Grace came to Doniphan county and through the intervening years he has ever borne his part in the work of upbuilding and progress, giving a loyal support to all measures which have tended to benefit the community with which he is identified. He lived here through the troublous times which preceded the civil war and has noted with interest the marked advancement which has been made by the commonwealth since the cessation of hostilities brought peace to this locality by settling the question of slavery.
A native of Indiana, George Grace was born in Rush county, on the 1st of October, 183 1, and is a son of William Grace, who was born in Virginia. His grandparents, George and Jane (Crotree) Grace, were also natives of Virginia, but for some years resided in Indiana, Where their last days were passed. William Grace married Miss Mary Swift and they became the parents of the following children: John, Robert, James, Abraham, Oliver, George, Sarah Jane, Clarissa, William and Theodore and two daughters who died in early girlhood. In 1844 the family removed to Platte county, Missouri, where the father died at the age of forty-six years. He was a Jackson Democrat in political faith and in religious belief was a Methodist. His wife died in Buchanan county, Missouri, at the advanced age of eighty-four years.
Mr. Grace, of this review, spent his early boyhood days in his native state and in 1844 accompanied his parents to Missouri, where he remained until twenty-three years of age. He then came to Kansas and secured a claim on Enterprise creek. Here he endured many hardships, for Kansas was passing through the stormy period when border ruffians flourished and when a bitter strife was being raged between the friends and opponents of slavery. He was, however, well fitted to endure such hardships as he aided in the development and settlement of the new locality, and in 1850 he had made an overland trip to California from DeKalb county, Missouri, four months and eight days being required to complete the journey, which was made with ox teams. He was in the California mines for some time and then returned by the water route and the Isthmus of Panama. After establishing a home in Kansas, he untiringly devoted his energies to the operation of his land and the improvement of a good farm until August, 1862, when, prompted by a spirit of patriotism, he enlisted in Company C, Thirteenth Kansas Cavalry, under Captain Robinson and Colonel Bowen. The regiment was stationed in western Arkansas and Missouri and though it took part in no very large battles its service was arduous, difficult and often fought with great danger. Mr. Grace was honorably discharged at Springfield, Missouri, in March, 1863, on account of disability and returned home, locating in Doniphan county, where he has since remained. In the same year he married Miss Mary Ann Brock, who was born in La Salle county, Illinois, a daughter of Hiram and Mary (Rector) Brock, natives of Ohio. On the maternal side she is of German lineage. Her father died in Missouri, at the age of fifty years, and her mother passed away in Kansas, when seventy-eight years of age. They were the parents of eleven children, namely: Hiram, a soldier who journeyed across the plains with General Fremont, spending three years in the west: he conducted a ferry in California, and also owned a farm of three hundred acres adjoining Sacramento; James, who was shot in California at an early period of its history; George, of this review; William, who for two years was a soldier in the civil war, serving with the Thirteenth Kansas Cavalry and was killed by bushwhackers in Arkansas; C. Brock, who was also a member of the Thirteenth Kansas Cavalry, and was killed by lightning: Eliza Maria: Nancy Jane Mary Ann; Rebecca; Elizabeth and Ellen. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Grace have been born ten children, but only three are living, namely: Adelia, wife of Gabriel Geradde, of Doniphan county; George, who is living in St. Joseph, Missouri; and Charles, at home. Those who have passed away are Anna, who died in her sixth year; a son who died in infancy; Velena, who died at the age of fifteen mouths; William, who died at the age of thirteen years; John, whose death occurred when he was twenty-three years of age; Mary, who became the wife of A. M. Meyers and died at the age of twenty-two years, leaving a son; and Theodore, who was a twin brother of Adelia and died at the age of twenty-one years.
Mr. Grace and his family are members of the Christian church and are widely and favorably known in this locality. His support was given to Democracy until the inauguration of the civil war, since which time he has voted the Republican ticket. As a means of livelihood during his residence in Doniphan county he has followed agricultural pursuits and is now regarded as one of the most prosperous and influential farmers of his locality. He came to northeastern Kansas during its pioneer epoch and the track of his shining plow indicated the path of civilization. Around him stretched the unbroken prairies on which were scattered but few pioneer homes, but with the passing years have built up and developed the highest civilization of the older east. Mr. Grace has advocated all the movements tending toward the upbuilding of his county in which he is well known.
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