Since the early settlement of Newport and Portsmouth, R. I., shortly after 1638, the Grinnells have been identified with Rhode Island and Massachusetts history, the earlier generations living largely in the towns of Newport county, R. I., and for the past hundred and more years branches of this southern Rhode Island family have been representative of the best citizenship in the old Massachusetts town of New Bedford. At New Bedford lived Capt. Cornelius Grinnell, a patriot of the Revolution, and long engaged in the merchant service, who married into the old historic Howland family, and one of whose sons, Joseph Grinnell, for almost a decade represented the New Bedford district in the United States Congress, and was long prominent as a merchant and manufacturer and banker of the town; and there lived the late Lawrence Grinnell, father of the late Frederick Grinnell, who so long was at the head of the Providence Steam and Gas Pipe Company and the General Eire Extinguisher Company, a man of genius in mechanical lines, whose inventions gave him distinction, and one of whose sons, Russell Grinnell, is at this time vice president of the General Fire Extinguisher Company. It is with this New Bedford branch of the Grinnell family this article deals.
Location: Yellow Springs Ohio
J. B. THOMAS. There is no enterprise of equal importance in Howell County, Missouri, than that of insurance. Among those engaged in this business is our subject, J. B. Thomas, one of the representative men of Willow Springs and abstracter and notary public of that city. Mr. Thomas came from southern Iowa and has made his home in Willow Springs for the past five years. He is a native Kentuckian, born in Mason County August 27, 1859, and his father, James C. Thomas, is farming in that county at the present time. The latter is also a native of that
John Hunt, meat-market, Mattoon; was born in Fayette Co., Ohio, Nov. 6, 1837; his father came West to Illinois and settled in Jasper Co. in 1845; his early life was that of a farmer’s boy, and his advantages for securing an education somewhat limited; most of his education he obtained in the schools of Xenia, Ohio, and as a student of Antioch College, after he had attained to manhood; he left home at the age or 18 years, and engaged in teaching school some four years; in 1860, he purchased a farm in Coles Co., and followed agricultural pursuits for