Grimsley, William P.

Born: 1803-11-29 Virginia

Died: 1863-04-02 Springfield, Illinois

Flourished: Springfield, Illinois

By November 1831, Grimsley had established himself as a merchant in Springfield, Illinois. As sole proprietor or in partnerships with others, he sold groceries and dry goods in Springfield from 1831 until 1852. In 1845, he expanded into the milling business, raising wheat, milling it, and selling the flour both wholesale and retail. In 1833, he married Amelia Morris. Grimsley was one of the town's prominent citizens who, in 1837 and 1838, pledged funding in order to secure the move of the state capital from Vandalia to Springfield. Politically, Grimsley was initially a Whig; in 1846, he served as a delegate to the Sangamon County Whig Convention and in 1848, he supported Zachary Taylor for President. He later became a Democrat, and he supported the Union during the Civil War. In 1854, Grimsley was appointed a Director of the Springfield Marine & Fire Insurance Company. In 1860, Grimsley owned $55,000 worth of real estate and $10,000 worth of personal property, and his large household in Springfield included three domestic servants.

Gravestone, Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, IL; Bond of Thomas Mather and Others for the State of Illinois; Promissory Note of John Hay and Others to State Bank of Illinois; “Whig City Meeting”; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Sangamon County, 5 March 1833, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Sangamon County, IL, 65; Sangamon Journal (Springfield, IL), 10 November 1831, 4:3; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 26 February 1846, 3:1; Illinois Journal (Springfield), 30 March 1848, 2:6; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 17 August 1849, 2:2, 18 July 1850, 2:1, 6 March 1852, 3:2, 10 August 1854, 3:3; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 10 September 1856, 2:2, 17 April 1861, 3:2.