Major Robert Marshall Grubbs
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 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." Grubbs served as a major in the 84th Indiana Volunteer Infantry.
By 1880, the household
had moved to nearby Sherman,
living on North Travis Street. On June 2, the Census taker listed
as a hardware merchant. Also present were wife Ella, 26; two young
(Pauline and Blanche); Major Grubbs, 52,
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
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.
Elaine Nall Bay
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