A Standard History of Allen County, Ohio
by Wm. Rusler - Publ.
< CLICK HERE to RETURN to
1921 BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX >
< CLICK HERE to RETURN to LIST
of BIOGRAPHICAL INDEXES >
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
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
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.
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.
A Standard History of Allen County, Ohio - Vol. II - Publ.
Chicago: Warner i.e. Warner, Beers & Co., 1921 - Page 281
SHARON WICK'S NOTE:
Harvey D. Grindle married Mary Coslett and had a daughter Nina
J. (aka Nita Juanita)
FIND A GRAVE
Mary Coslet Grindle b. 31 Mar. 1869, West Unity, Williams Co.,
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
d. 14 Sep 1950, Lima, Allen Co., OH
bur. Floral Grove Cem., W. Unity, William Co., OH
Memorial ID 91855640
Nita Juanita Grindle Sarber