|Biography of Joseph Porter
Grubb, b. 1833
Contributed by Nancy T. Green
|From: Portrait and Biographical
Record, Buchanan and Clinton Counties, Missouri
containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and
Representative Citizens, together with Biographies and
Portraits of all the Presidents of the United States.
Chicago Chapman Bros. 1883
JOSEPH PORTER GRUBB is the oldest active practicing attorney of St. Joseph and has served for more years as Judge of the Circuit Court than any other man in Buchanan County. He is said to be the best posted attorney in the city in regard to fine distinctions in law, and is justly considered a very impartial and righteous judge.
Mr. Grubb was born in Pike County, Ill., February 3, 1833. His parents were Alfred and Eliza J. (Porter) Grubb, natives of Bedford County, Va., and Pulaski County, Ky., respectively. His paternal grandfather, Jacob Grubb, was of English descent, and raised tobacco extensively on his plantation in Virginia. His maternal grandfather, Joseph Porter, was a civil engineer and surveyor, who taught those branches, Judge S. D. Cowan, of this city, being numbered among his pupils.
Our subject's father followed agricultural pursuits, was married in Virginia, and removed to Kentucky, going west in a wagon in true pioneer style. In 1830 he took his family to Illinois with teams, locating on new land in Pike County. He was one of the pioneers and in 1832 took part in the Black Hawk War. About eight years later he was admitted to the bar and practiced at Pittsfield. For several years he was sheriff of the county, and in the winter of 1846-47 was a representative in the Legislature. He later served as County Judge for a number of years, having probate and civil business. He continued in practice until 1867, when he died at the age of sixty-six. In politics he was a Democrat, and both he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The latter, who was the mother of twelve children died in 1873. Seven of these are now living, our subject being the third in order of birth. By his first marriage Alfred Grubb had four children, two of whom are deceased.
The school advantages of Judge Grubb were limited in his youth, but in later years this deficiency was amply atoned for. He lived on the homestead farm in Illinois until seventeen years of age, when he became a clerk in a country store and there continued for several years. In 1853 he came to Weston, Mo., by boat and entered the service of D. & T. D. S. McDonnell, general merchants and dealers in produce. For this company he was bookkeeper for a year. They were largely engaged in shipping hemp, and at that time Weston was the largest point for the shipment of this product in the world. Mr. Grubb was engaged in the general commission business in St. Louis during the following year.
In 1855 Judge Grubb began reading law with ex-Governor Silas Woodson and the late Bela M. Hughes, of Denver, Colo. He was admitted to the bar in the following year, and at once began the practice of his profession, being elected in 1860 to the city attorneyship, to serve one year. The following year he was appointed Circuit Attorney of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, which then embraced the entire "Platte Purchase," and which now constitutes the Fourth Congressional District. He continued in the difficult position during the border troubles and until January 1, 1865. He then resumed his general practice, in 1868, being elected City Attorney for two years. In November, 1872, Mr. Grubb was nominated Judge of the Circuit, on the Democratic ticket, to fill an unexpired term, while holding this office having charge of the civil and criminal cases of Buchanan and DeKalb Counties. In 1874 he was re-elected without opposition, but when he ran for the position in 1880 he was defeated by William H. Sherman. The successful candidate, however, died and Judge Grubb was again chosen to fill an unexpired term, which he held until the end. In 1886 he declined further service. In 18?? [unreadable] he revised the laws and ordinances of St. Joseph and the great assistance he lent toward strengthing the foundations of law and order in this district by his numerous and practical suggestions can scarcely be over estimated.
In October, 1857, a marriage ceremony performed in St. Joseph united the destinies of Judge Grubb and Miss Cora A., daughter of Dr. Daniel G. Keedy, who was a prominent pioneer physician of this place. Two children grace the union of our subject and wife, namely, Joseph and Cecelia K., wife of C. A. Taney, a wholesale dealer in Texas.
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