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quent conceptions; and I do not hesitate to say that Mr. Grinnell was a genius, and would have made his mark as an author, if he had devoted time and elaboration to literary work. The only man, so far as my limited knowledge goes, who distinctly recognized this, was Rev. H. Melville Tenney, his last pastor, who in the funeral address, said, “He was of an essentially poetic temperament
He caught the ideal in every situation This element characterized his deeds, his writings and his public addresses. His thoughts, tinged with poetic glow, rushed out into expression, sometimes faster than logic could arrange them, and sometimes they seemed to mingle in inextricable confusion, but almost invariably emerged in some telling climax that justified all that had gone before. There was a real Carlylian strength in his style when at his best."
One period of Mr. Grinnell's early life, otherwise overlooked, was touched upon by Ex-President G. F. Magoun, D. D., on the same funeral occasion. “In the employ of the American Tract Society, he was the most useful man ever engaged by that great truth-distributing organization. He could see more people and say more in a day than any man I ever knew. He was a herald of light and truth to the early villages of Iowa and Wisconsin.”
Besides being the founder of several towns (including Chapin, Iowa, named after his wife's family), and both founder and president of a university and of two banks, and other institutions, Mr. Grinnell held the following official civil appointments : Special Agent of the Post Office Department for the North-west — by President Lincoln; Arbitrator in adjustment of Wool Schedules under the tariff law -- by the Secretary of the Treasury; Agent to report on Animal Industry in the United States — by the Commissioner of Agriculture. The following offices he held by popular election: State Senator, 1856, on a platform of Free Schools, no saloons, and no extension of Slavery; Representative in Congress in 1862, and re-elected in 1864, by 6,000 majority, but declined to canvass for a third term. The following were honorary appointments: Referee in the Treaty purchase of the Cherokee Neutral Lands, and as such conferring with United States Senators and the President; Receiver of the Central Railroad of Iowa, and acting Superintendent, and more than vindicated in his management by the Courts and the Press; selection by the National Cattle Association as Chairman of the Committee on Pleuropneumonia to
draft the Bill passed by Congress, affecting millions of property by its enactment. Add to these, numerous presidencies and other offices in State and district associations, directorships of railroads, etc.
From a long editorial on his life and work, in the Iowa State Register, of Des Moines, the ensuing extracts may be made as indicating the great public estimation in which he was held, far and wide:
“Mr. Grinnell's life record would be a history of Iowa. He was one of the leaders of the noble pioneers who settled in the state within the first decade of statehood, and his unceasing efforts have done more to develop the central portion of the state than has been accomplished by any other citizen.
“It is difficult to write of Mr. Grinnell in a brief article. His splendid life record has been a continuous labor of love for his State and Nation. He was a close student, a constant reader, a deep thinker and one of the most condensive writers and speakers of his time. His short, vigorous and expressive sentences always betokened his conscientiousness, fidelity to principle and unswerving integrity. Of a progressive mould he was continually striving for improved methods and better regulations in all the affairs of life No state boundaries could encompass his good work. He has been a prominent and zealous laborer in the business, church, educational, temperance and political affairs of the State and Nation, and had gained the personal acquaintance and respect of more of the leading men of the past forty years than any man who has lived continuously in Iowa during the period named. He had a personal acquaintance with Wendell Phillips, Charles Sumner, Thad. Stevens, Horace Greeley, Henry Ward Beecher, John Brown and nearly all the other noted statesmen, scholars, ministers and patriots of his time, and was popular with all of them, as he has always been with all good people.
“He was engaged for several years in compiling reminiscences of the past forty years. His notes, library and memory were all stored with data gathered by himself, and we understand that he completed his book, or nearly completed it, before he was compelled to cease his labors, by the disease that finally conquered the spirit that never acknowledged defeat from any other source. This history will be invaluable to all coming generations of this state as he has included Iowa men and times in his reminiscences of the past four decades.
“After Emancipation, the good heart of Mr. Grinnell took up the work of education for the negro, as actively as he had participated in the struggle for freedom. To the black race he was the foremost and most conspicuous friend and champion in Iowa. When this state, first of all in the Union, enfranchised the negro in 1868, he was the leader of it all, and made every stump eloquent with his appeals for justice to the oppressed race. Deep in the heart of the black men always will live the memory of Mr. Grinnell.
"Mr. Grinnell's life began in Vermont in 1821, and closed in Iowa in 1891. Between the cradle at New Haven, Vt., and the deathbed at Grinnell are seventy long years of high thinking and noble living - a pilgrimage that reads like the scriptural accounts of the lives of the elect who walked with God and who in their hearts carried the consciousness of a divinely appointed mission on earth. The two facts that st.nd out most prominently in the earthly pilgrimage of this divinely gifted man were his devotion to truth and his love of freedom. Fearless because deeply conscious that he was right and had truth and justice on his side, he remained until the great struggle was over, a leader in the ranks of anti-slavery and pro-Union thinkers and workers. Of the end he never despaired. The dark days came, the clouds lowered, human hearts were burdened with almost more than human strength could bear, God and victory seemed to hesitate between the North and the South, the Right and Wrong - but here was one strong man, whose hope dimmed not, whose faith faltered not, and whose courage forsook him
“Distinguished in public life, Mr. Grinnell was loved in private life. He was a man of the home before he was a man of the rostrum, the forum or the school. With him the home was the beginning of all that is noble and all that is pure. It was with him the source of personal strength and National security. He loved his own home. He loved the wife of his heart who tenderly consecrated there her life. He loved his children with the warmth of a great heart. This man's life, so fearless in the discussion of public questions, so brave always, was as tender and as gracious as a woman's in his own home. Outside of the love of his family he was loved by thousands. He had troops of friends and never were friends more loyal to any man. He held them in the grasp of his strong love, and as he neared life's end they grew nearer and dearer to him. They thought of him and he thought of them. They inquired more and more earnestly after him as he grew weaker and weaker, and from a deeper depth of gratitude sent back to them his fervent, 'God bless you all!.
“Mr. Grinnell, by residence belonged to Grinnell, by faith to the Congregational Church and by politics to the Republican party, but in a wider, truer sense he belonged to no city, no sect and no party — but to the people, to the state and to the cause of the greatest good for all men. His good will, sympathy and assistance were denied to no good cause. He investigated all subjects of human thought. He labored in all fields of human endeavor. And whatever he espoused, whatever he touched, he enriched with the love of a warm heart and the genius of a determined spirit striving for success. Poor, struggling, full of hope, full of ambition in his youth ; active, pushing, energetic, enterprising, determined in the prime of life; in old age an oracle, and in death mourned and regretted - such are the life and death of Iowa's noble pioneer and lionored citizen, who lies awaiting the last sad rites, at his old home in Grinnell."
Mr. Grinnell died of throat disease, complicated with asthma, March 31, 1891, at his home, fronting the park in Grinnell. The eloquent tributes paid to him by his neighbors and the western Press would make a volume; some extracts are given in an Appendix. He was buried with the heartfelt mourning of the whole community.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Birthplace — Ancestry - Family Pioneers -- Childhood – The old
Church and Minister – Youthful Episodes — The Boy School-
A Student — Moot Courts - First Visit to New York - Notable
Erents and Persons of Half a century Ago-- Oneida Institute -
False Theories - Club Life — Westward, ho !— Wisconsin Prairies -
Codding, the Abolition Orator -- The Home of the Badger -
Washington Society - Its Intolerance - The new Congregational
Church - A Liberal Club-Distinguished Reformers — Dr.
Garrison Whittier Simms, the Fugitive — U. S. Marshal Dev-