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Biography: James Ebear Grimes born March 7, 1867 – photograph

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Tallapoosa and Coosa County, Alabama

James Ebear Grimes was a well-known farmer and surveyor of Weogufka, Alabama. He was born at Newsite, Tallapoosa county, Alabama, March 7, 1867. He was a son of Thomas Martin Grimes and Mahala S. (Goss) Grimes, a grandson of John Palmer Grimes and Lenda (Rowe) Grimes, and a great-grandson of Thomas Miner Grimes and Anna (Powers) Grimes.

Thomas Miner Grimes lived and died in Madison county, Georgia. He was born May 9, 1791, and died Oct. 30, 1822. Anna Powers, his wife, daughter of William Powers, lived to be very old. She was born Dec. 7, 1793, and died in 1882.

John Palmer Grimes, the only son of Thomas M. and Anna Powers Grimes, was born Jan. 22, 1814, in Madison county, Ga. He came to Tallapoosa county, Alabama, in 1848, served in the Indian War of 1836, participating in all of the principal battles, and after settling on the Tallapoosa river, operated an extensive farm. He was a prominent Baptist and devoted to his home and family. He died at Newsite, Jan. 9, 1874. Lenda Rowe, his wife, was a native of Connecticut, born July 3, 1815. She was educated in New Haven, and with her father moved to New York, and thence to Madison county, Georgia, where she met John P. Grimes and was married Aug. 3, 1834. She was also a member of the Missionary Baptist church, and she died at Newsite, Feb. 29, 1884. Steven Rowe, her father, moved to Jacksonville, Ill., in 1834, and died there in 1850.

Thomas Martin Grimes was born May 15, 1839. He was the oldest son of John P. and Lenda (Rowe) Grimes, and was nine years old when his parents removed from Georgia to Alabama, He was one of the first to enlist in the Confederate army, entering an independent company with Jackson, and afterward joining the Fiftieth Tennessee regiment. He was captured at Fort Donelson and held as a prisoner of war for seven months at Fort Douglas. After the surrender, he returned to his home at Newsite, where he was married to Mahala S. Goss, daughter of Charles Goss and Mahala S. (Smith) Goss, Jan. 4, 1866. The Goss family were also Missionary Baptists and moved from Georgia to Alabama in the early forties. Mahala S. Grimes was born April 22, 1844, and died Aug. 27, 1884.

James E. Grimes moved to Coosa county with his father in 1878. He received his early education in the common schools, later attended the Lee academy at Goodwater, then the Sylacauga academy, after which he took a complete course in the Normal school at Bowling Green, Ky., graduating from the commercial department of that institution.

He taught for two years, then turned his attention to farming and surveying. For seven years in succession, he held the office of county surveyor for Coosa county, discharging the duties of the position with marked ability. For some time he was engaged as a merchant at Weogufka, but his principal occupation has been farming. He owned about nine hundred acres in Coosa county and was regarded as one of the most progressive farmers in that section of the State. He was always a Democrat and kept himself well informed on all the important questions of the time.

Nov. 30, 1893, he married to Matta Miller, daughter of Charles T. Miller and Elizabeth (Mitchell) Miller, of Bentleyville, Coosa county, Ala. Her parents and grandparents came from Georgia in 1852. To Mr. and Mrs. Grimes were born five children:

  1. James Sylvester Grimes, (1894- 1980)
  2. Charles Martin Grimes,
  3. Jessie Judson Grimes,
  4. Cora Grimes
  5. Clara Grimes. She  died Oct. 4, 1902.

Mrs. Grimes was born April 13, 1877, and died July 31, 1902.

Mr. Grimes married June 16, 1904, to Judith B. McLendon, daughter of Benjamin McLendon and Anna (Gambal) McLendon. Benjamin McLendon was a native of Georgia, and his wife, Anna Gambal was reared near Dadeville, Tallapoosa county, Alabama. Her parents, though very old, were still living at Goodwater in 1904. All of Mr. Grimes’ family are members of the Missionary Baptist church, as were his ancestors and those of his wife. He passed away in 1938 and is buried in Weogufka First Baptist Church Cemetery in Coosa County, Alabama.



  1. Notable Men of Alabama: Personal and Genealogical, Volume 1 edited by Joel Campbell DuBose
  2. Find A Grave Memorial# 7019917 # 7019903# 7704656 # 7019908# 7019869# 7019870 # 122440241 # 122440341

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