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A Standard History of Allen County, Ohio
Vol. II

by Wm. Rusler - Publ.



  BENJAMIN A. GRAMM.  In 1900, at the age of twenty-eight, Benjamin A. Gramm, had earned the respect and confidence of a comparatively small circle of people in his home town of Chillicothe, where he was connected with one of the leading banks.  Chillicothe was his home community.  He was born there July 30, 1872, son of Adolph and Anna M. (Lauer) Gramm.  His father was a native of Portsmouth, Ohio, and his mother of Chillicothe.  Adolph Gramm was a cigar manufacturer and died in 1909, while the widowed mother is now living at Lima.
     Educated in the grammar and high schools of Chillicothe, Benjamin A. Gramm began his service with the First National Bank of Chillicothe as a messenger, and was with that institution seventeen years, reaching the post of assistant cashier.  In the meantime, on Apr. 10, 1894, he established a home of his own by his marriage to Minnie Young.  She was born in Richfield Springs, New York, a daughter of Major John W. and Mary (Palmer) Young.  Her father was a Union officer, served with the rank of major and was discharged as a colonel.  He was in Libby Prison, made his escape from that famous old warehouse, was recaptured, and experienced many sufferings and hardships.  Mr. and Mrs. Gramm had two children: Willard Joseph and Mary Catherine.
    These are the facts of the normal American life, engaged in commonplace duties for the most part, with growing responsibilities of a business nature, with a home and with an interest in the community where his home and business are located.  Mr. Graham also had a play interest - a diversion.  Mechanically inclined, he had become interested in the first experiments for perfecting motor driven vehicles.  Perhaps more important still, he possessed that optimism which enables him to look ahead and realize to some degree the wonderful achievements of the motor age.  Nearly every community had a few motor cars, largely the one-cylinder type, in 1900.  The application of automotive mechanism to freight trucks had been barely considered by the most ardent automobile engineers.  Mr. Gramm for one believed that the difficulties of this application could be solved and that a wonderful future awaited practical automobile trucks. 
     There is a picture still preserved showing the first Gramm commercial car, built in 1901.  It was governed by a one-cylinder engine.  His first experiments were made in a small shop of his own, but in 1904 he moved to the plant of the Logan Construction Company, then the largest in America for the manufacture of motor trucks.  Here he produced "The Logan," the first two-cylinder truck.  This was followed in 1906 by the first four-cylinder truck, and one of those trucks was still in use at Chillicothe thirteen years later.  From Chillicothe Mr. Gramm moved in July, 1908, to Bowling Green, Ohio, where he organized the Gramm Motor Company and continued with increased production for two years.  On account of poor transportation facilities at Bowling Green a better location was sought.  In the fall of 1910 members of the Lima Locomotive Company and Mr. M. Bernstein bought an interest in the Gramm industry and in the same fall a large plant was built at Lima.  This plant was occupied in January, 1911, and the Gramm trucks were manufactured there until the spring of 1912, when the Lima Locomotive Company sold its interests to the Willis Company of Toledo.  The plant was then taken over by the Garford Truck Company.
     In July, 1912, Mr. Gramm became associated with M. Bernstein in forming the present corporation, known as the Gramm-Bernstein Motor Truck Company of Lima.  Mr. Bernstein is president and treasurer and Mr. Gramm vice president and general manager.  In eight years this has become one of the largest motor vehicle industries in the world.  The corporation's success has undoubtedly been due in part to limiting its production to one line, motor trucks exclusively.  If there is one standardized name synonymous with motor trucks in the world today it is Gramm-Bernstein.  Here Mr. Gramm has seen all his drams and hopes realized.  The great plant at Lima covers twelve acres and employs six hundred skilled workmen and about seventy-five laborers, and in addition to branches in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia there are dealers and representatives of the Gramm-Bernstein Motor Truck Company in all parts of the world. 
     Mr. Gramm served  in an advisory capacity during the conferences held in Washington in the summer of 1917 to design a motor and a motor truck which could be standardized by the Government for the United States Army.  Known as "father of the motor truck industry" his counsel was indispensable to the success of the program, and many of the exclusive features of the Gramm-Bernstein were incorporated in what is known as the "Liberty Truck."  The making of the first sample Liberty Truck was awarded the Lima Company, and by heroic efforts it was completed Oct. 7, 1917, three days before the scheduled time.  Taken to Washington under its own power, the truck stood the exacting tests and was publicly accepted Oct. 29th, and a few days later the first order for this class of Liberty Trucks was awarded a number of truck manufacturers, the Gramm-Bernstein Company receiving an order for one thousand.  The Lima plant again achieved an honor by having the first fleet of thirty trucks completed, ahead of any other manufacturer, this fleet leaving the plant for the east on Mar. 10, 1918.  Hundreds of these trucks were doing duty behind battle lines in France before the great war came to an end.
     Since 1917 Mr. Gramm has been president of the National Motor Truck Association.  He is a director and part owner of the Lima Steel Casting Company, a director and part owner in the South Side Commercial Star, is president of the Lima Manufacturers Association, is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, a director of the Lima Y. M. C. A., is a trustee of the Ohio Northern University at Ada, is a Knight Templar and thirty-second degree Mason, a member of the Elks, Lima Club, Shawnee Country Club, and is vice president of the Kiwanis Club.  He is a trustee of the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church.  May 28, 1919, the Ohio Northern University conferred on Mr. Gramm the degree master of arts.
Source:  A Standard History of Allen County, Ohio - Vol. II - Publ. Chicago: Warner i.e. Warner, Beers & Co., 1921 - Page 7
  HARVEY D. GRINDLE, attorney-at-law and referee in bankruptcy, is one of the sagacious and dependable members of his profession located at Lima.  He is a man of strong personality and extraordinary abilities, who has always been able to capture and hold the confidence of those with whom he is associated.  His strong and well-balanced mind easily brought him into the position to which his talents entitle him, and as a position to which his talents entitle him, and as a referee in bankruptcy he is rendering a service which cannot be overlooked.
     The birth of Harvey D. Grindle took place at West Unity, Ohio, Nov. 25, 1866, and he is a son of David J. and Catherine (Rodgers) Grindle, of German-Scotch-Irish stock.  David Grindle was a merchant for a number of years and a man of considerable importance in his community.
     After graduating from the high school at West Unity, Ohio, Harvey D. Grindle taught in the country schools for one year, and then for a year had charge of the grammar department of the West Unity schools.  In 1887 he entered the Ohio Wesleyan University, from which he was graduated in 1891, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and for the next four years was superintendent of the public schools at Montpelier, Ohio.  From there he went to Columbus Grove, and was superintendent of the Columbus Grove public schools for six years.  For the next two years he was superintendent of the public schools at Paulding, Ohio.  In the meanwhile he studied law in the offices of attorneys at Paulding and Toledo, and was admitted to the bar in 1904.  In 1906 he moved to Lima, Ohio, and was with the Lima College as one of the faculty for two years, and at the same time was engaged in the practice of his profession.  In 1914 Mr. Grindle was a candidate for the office of common pleas judge on the republican ticket, but, although he made a good showing, was defeated.  In the meanwhile, during 1908, he was made referee in bankruptcy for Allen, Auglaize and Putnam counties, and his jurisdiction now extends over ten counties.  In 1916 he was appointed to a seven year term as a member of the Bar Examining Board by the Supreme Court of Ohio.  Mr. Grindle is a stockholder in the Old National Bank and the Lilly White Oil Company, and is interested in other enterprises of the city.  He is a member of the Lima Club, the Rotary Club and the Lima Chamber of Commerce.  In his religious faith he is a Presbyterian, and belongs to the Market Street Presbyterian Church of Lima.  His knowledge of the law, especially as regards bankruptcy cases, is profound, and he has long been a recognized authority in the problems which arise in such jurisprudence.
Source:  A Standard History of Allen County, Ohio - Vol. II - Publ. Chicago: Warner i.e. Warner, Beers & Co., 1921 - Page 281
Harvey D. Grindle married Mary Coslett and had a daughter Nina J. (aka Nita Juanita)
Mary Coslet Grindle b. 31 Mar. 1869, West Unity, Williams Co., OH
d. Apr. 10, 1965, Lima, Allen Co., OH
bur.: Floral Grove Cem., W. Unity, Williams Co., OH
Memorial ID 91855657
Harvey D. Grindle (husb) b. 25 Nov. 1966, West Unity, Williams Co., OH
d. 14 Sep 1950, Lima, Allen Co., OH
bur. Floral Grove Cem., W. Unity, William Co., OH
Memorial ID 91855640
Child: Nita Juanita Grindle Sarber



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