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History of Madison
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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Walter E. Grismer.

Walter E. Grismer is the cashier of the First National Bank of Winterset and the consensus of public opinion places him in a creditable and representative position among the business men of the county.  Energy and laudable ambition have carried him steadily forward and give promise of larger success in the future.

Mr. Grismer was born in Hickory Grove, Sangamon county, Illinois, July 10, 1867, a son of Hiram J. and Alivia (Bryant) Grismer.  The father, a native of Berks county, Pennsylvania, was descended from one of the old Pennsylvania families, the name being originally spelled Griesmer, but the present form was adopted by Hiram J. Grismer.  He was reared and educated in Pennsylvania and, taking up the study of medicine, completed a course in the Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia by graduation with the class of 1853.  He then located for practice in Ohio and subsequently removed to Hickory Grove, Illinois, where he resided until January, 1868, when he came with his family to Iowa, establishing his home at Mitchellville, Polk county.  Because of impaired health he had to abandon the active practice of medicine and in Mitchellville embarked in general merchandising.  He there continued until 1876, when he removed to Clay City, Clay county, Indiana, where he conducted a stave and heading business and also was proprietor of a general store.  Some time afterward he removed to Oakland City, Gibson county, Indiana, where he continued in the same lines of business and also conducted a hub and spoke factory.  He spent two years at that place and then went to Evansville, Indiana, where he conducted a stave and heading business for several years, meeting with substantial success in his undertakings.  He purchased fifteen hundred acres of land in Kentucky, his stave and heading business paying for that property.  The timber paid for the land, which was then free from all encumbrance and constituted a valuable property.  Having disposed of his interests in Indiana, he removed to Denver, Colorado, where he lived practically retired.  After making his home in that state for several years he returned to Mitchellville, Iowa, where his death occurred in December, 1894, when he was about sixty-five years of age.

Hiram J. Grismer deserved great credit for what he had accomplished.  He was truly a self-made man and the architect of his own fortunes builded wisely and well.  He never allowed obstacles or difficulties to bar his path if they could be overcome by persistent, earnest and honorable effort and it was the wise use that he made of his opportunities that placed him among the men of affluence in the community in which he lived.  His religious faith was that of the Methodist church and he ever endeavored to guide his life by the teachings of that organization.  Fraternally he was connected with the Masons and the Odd Fellows.  His wife was born in Berks county, Pennsylvania, and was a representative of one of the old families of that state.  She was educated and married there and became a pioneer resident of Illinois.  She survived her husband, but was stricken with paralysis soon after his death and passed away at the home of her daughter in Denver, Colorado, in March, 1902, when sixty-two years of age.  She was also a consistent and faithful Christian, holding membership in the Methodist Episcopal church.

Walter E. Grismer is the youngest of a family of seven children.  His boyhood days were spent at home and his education was acquired in the public schools at Evansville, Indiana, where he continued his course until he had mastered the high-school branches.  In 1881, he came to Iowa, settling at Mitchell, where he learned telegraphy, and the following year he entered the employ of the Rock Island Railroad Company, which he represented in Iowa, Texas and Oklahoma for about twenty years.  During that period he also engaged in the drug business and worked in a bank at Mitchellville for three or four years.  In 1901 he came to Winterset as agent for the Rock Island Railroad Company and in September, 1902, he left that position to accept the proffered position of assistant cashier in the Winterset Savings Bank.  There he continued until 1909, when he accepted the cashiership of the First National Bank and has continued in that connection to the present time.  He is a courteous and obliging official, doing all in his power to accommodate the patrons of the bank and at the same time carefully safeguarding the interests of the institution.

On Christmas Day, of 1888, Mr. Grismer was united in marriage to Miss Gertrude E. Flower, a native of Ohio, who was reared and educated in Iowa, however, pursuing a course in Mitchellville Seminary.  They have one daughter, Anna A., who is attending college at Rockford, Illinois.  Mrs. Grismer and her daughter are members of the Episcopal church and the family is well know socially, their home being recognized as the abode of a warm-hearted hospitality.

Mr. Grismer exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party and is a stalwart advocate of its principles.  He has filled the office of city treasurer for several terms, covering probably ten years, and he has served on the school board for two terms.  Fraternally he is connected with the Masons, the Knights of Pythias and the Woodmen of America and his brethren of those fraternities find him a congenial comrade and one who is ever loyal to the teachings of the orders.  He easily wins personal popularity by reason of an affable, genial manner and he retains his friends through his sterling worth.


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