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“Biographical Sketch”


(Familiarly Known as “B. R.”)

Written By

Daisy Ferguson Grimes

(Mrs. B. R.”)



Bradford Robbins Grimes, (familiarly known as “B. R.”), grandson of Captain Dick and eldest son of William Bradford Grimes, was born in Texas on the Tres Palacios ranch September 29, 1857. He married Daisy Ferguson of Emporia, Kansas, March 11, 1908. They make their home in Ashland, Kansas to be near their Oklahoma ranch, or in the pioneer Ferguson home in Emporia, or resting in the balmy coast country of Texas near the old Grimes ranch.

Young Bradford’s life as a boy followed the usual pattern of the child on a ranch in a pioneer country. His playmates were children of retainers or of the colored folk, mostly slaves. There were the usual adventures in swimming, sailing a boat, learning to ride and rope and no luxuries such as those of today’s favored child. As other children came into the family, each in turn was nursed and cared for by a colored “mammy.”

Schooling came mostly from a governess brought out from Boston. One term’s attendance was two or three miles distant in the Hawley church, near Deming’s Bridge. The teacher-preacher Charles N. Pierce, by name, is remembered by his one-time pupil as a tall sparely built man who wore a long linen duster and rode a red roan stallion to school. The stallion “Red” by name frequently broke his chain rope and created a disturbance among other tethered horses. At the cry “Red is loose,” the entire school fled to assist in corralling him.

One girl, Mattie by name, was his chief opponent. Once she whispered asking the correct spelling of a word. He told her incorrectly, then spelling it correctly moved ahead. He still thinks of this with remorse.

The Grimes father and mother were ever mindful of the religious and cultural ethics of the home, and Bradford knew from earliest years a fineness in character building that has remained throughout his life.

It was the custom of the elder Grimes to gather the family and servants into the living room for a Sunday afternoon service. This included the prayers as set forth in the Episcopal Prayer Book, and the reading of a long dry sermon from the collection of an English rector. This was rather tiresome to small Bradford sitting on a high straight back chair with bare legs dangling. On one occasion when all the beautiful out-of-doors was whispering and beckoning him out, he essayed a “get-away.” Quietly on hands and knees, he was half way across the dining room floor, when the not unmindful father, opened the door. A greatly humiliated boy was returned to his chair to remain to the end.

He made a contract with his father to sweep the store, (a neighborhood convenience maintained on the ranch,) for 10 cents a month. Bradford soon knew he had made a bad bargain but the father held him to his contract. He learned two valuable lessons,-first give careful thought before making a contract, and second a habit of tidiness.

A trip to Galveston, 100 miles away, was an exciting adventure. From the ranch landing a passenger went by sailboat, the Sea Gull, to the Gulf and then by steamer to the City. Accompanying his father on a trip, Bradford had all of 10 cents to spend. He bought a cocoanut. His father sent his purchases back by freight. Not so Bradford! He carried the precious cocoanut all the way back under his arm. The steamer, with all its freight was lost.

Bradford’s cocoanut was saved and brought home in triumph.





To New York

The Texas Drive

On the Trail-Gulf to Dakota - Part 1

On the Trail-Gulf to Dakota - Part 2

Horse Stealing, Cattle Stealing & Sunday School Outfit

Fort Supply to Dodge City & To Oklahoma

Grimes Cemetery


Copyright 2007 - Present by the Grimes Family
All rights reserved

Oct. 25, 2007
Oct. 25, 2007