Grayson County TXGenWeb
 
Major Robert Marshall Grubbs


Major R. M. Grubbs served two years as Mayor of Denison. He was born in Kentucky in 1831 and received a common school education before settling in Indiana, a state he represented in the Federal army. He came to Denison in 1873 in charge of D.W. C. Davis hardware store.   That year he was appointed Postmaster, an office he filled to the satisfaction of the public for one year before being elected mayor in 1877.

DeWitt W. C. Davis (1850–1881) was born in Michigan and in the Civil War served as a private in the 7th Regiment, Michigan Infantry. He married Ella R. Grubbs (1852–1932) and was in Denison, Texas, shortly after the town's founding.

The 1876 Denison City Directory listed him: "Davis, DeWitt C., hardware, stoves, tinware and agricultural implements, 113 north side of Main between Houston and Austin Avenues; residence north side of Gandy Street between Burnet and Rusk Avenues."

Living in the same house with DeWitt and Ella was her father, Major Robert Marshall Grubbs. According to his tombstone, he was born on December 12, 1825. In 1876, the City Directory had him: "Grubbs, Robert M., asst postmaster, residence north side of Gandy between Rusk and Burnet Avenues." His wife was Elizabeth F. G. "Eliza" Reid Grubbs (1829–1921).  They had married on December 7, 1848, in Henry County, Indiana.

The Denison Daily Herald for January 1, 1879, carried this short profile of the major: "Major R. M. Grubbs served two years as mayor iof Denison. He was born in Kentucky in 1831 and received a common school education before settling in Indiana, a state he represented in the Federal army. He came to Denison in 1873 in charge of D. W. C. Davis hardware store. That year he was appointed Postmaster, an office he filled to the satisfaction of the public for one year before being elected mayor in 1877." Grubbs served as a major in the 84th Indiana Volunteer Infantry.

By 1880, the household had moved to nearby Sherman, Texas, living on North Travis Street. On June 2, the Census taker listed DeWitt, 30, as a hardware merchant. Also present were wife Ella, 26; two young daughters (Pauline and Blanche); Major Grubbs, 52,
a "hardware clerk"; his wife Eliza, 52; and a mulatto female cook, Ellen Roy, 31.

DeWitt passed away on February 18, 1881, in Sherman, and was buried at West Hill Cemetery there. He left behind an infant son, DeWitt Clinton Davis Jr., born September 26, 1880.  Major Grubbs managed his son-in-law's estate and served as guardian of his three grandchildren. After he died in 1897, however, Ella had legal trouble. Her efforts to protect her children's interests resulted in protracted litigation, the positive results of which can be seen in the Southwestern Reporter, vol. 50 (1899), pages 1087ff

In 1886 Major Grubbs and his family received news of their daughter Maud's death in New York City.
Whitesboro News
Whitesboro, Texas
Friday, April 16, 1886

THE OLD, OLD STORY
The Sad Death of a Young Lady From Grayson County, in New York
Many of our readers remember Miss Maud Grubbs, who left this county several years ago to become an actress in New York.  Her father is manager of the D.W.C. Davis house at Sherman.  She was at Sherman last summer visiting her father and sister, but now she is dead.  A telegram from New York gives the following account of the sad end of a once happy and light-hearted girl:
Maude Stuart died at the flat 219 West Fortieth street, either Saturday or Sunday last.  The doubt is occasioned by the efforts which have been to keep the knowledge of her demise from the newspapers.  Miss Stuart was 21, and unmarried.  She died of pyaemia, following puerperal fever, the direct result of a confinement.  She passed away in the arms of a friend in a little room on the top floor of the Fortieth street flat.  Frederick De Belleville, an actor, whose life been a romance, is the responsible occupant of the flat.  Next door to him, in modest rooms on the upper story of the flat 217, Dan Leeson of Wallack's lives.  The janitor of both these flats did not know Maude Stuart.  He had heard that Mrs. De Belleville had died.  Maude Stuart's right name was Maude May Grubbs.  She was an Indiana girl, who came of an excellent family, and was brought up in Indianapolis.  She was born in May, 1864.  At 16 she was on the stage.  Starting in a small way, she quickly developed talent, and there were plenty to encourage and flatter her.  It is probable that De Belleville would have married Maude Stuart if he could legally done so.  Their friends say they were deeply attached to each others.  When "Paquita" failed in this city, four remnants of the venture hastily made for 'Frisco.  Bartley Campbell and pretty Mary Mills were one couple; De Belleville and Maude Stuart were the other.  The departures were on every tongue about the "Rialto," though at the time, by reason of his perculiar conduct, Campbell was most talked about.  Campbell and Mary Mills came back east by rail.  Miss Stuart and De Belleville remained on the Pacific slope until late in February.  Then Miss Stuart left for this city by the steamer.  During the passage she gave birth to a child.  It was impossible to attend her with the necessary care and skill, and she reached the city suffering from puerperal fever.  As quietly and as quickly as possible she was taken to the little flat in West Fortieth street where she died.  The dead girl's mother, father and sister have been informed, and the sister has come to the city.

 Major Grubbs passed away on April 21, 1897, and was buried in West Hill Cemetery in Sherman, Texas. His wife, Eliza, died in Denver, Colorado, in 1921.

After residing in Kansas and Chautauqua, New York, Ella, in 1930, was living near her daughter and son-in-law (Pauline and Stanley Ferguson) in Alhambra, Los Angeles County, California, She died there on March 29, 1932.




Biography Index
Elaine Nall Bay

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