Grimsley, Harrison J.

Born: 1821-XX-XX Bath County, Kentucky

Died: 1865-01-05 Beaufort, South Carolina

Flourished: 1846-1865 Springfield, Illinois

In 1846, Grimsley married Elizabeth J. Todd, a daughter of Dr. John Todd and a cousin of Mary Lincoln. The Grimsleys made their home in Springfield, where Harrison was a clerk and a politically active Whig. Harrison struggled to stay continuously employed in the 1850s and occasionally sought work outside Springfield, traveling to St. Louis and Kansas looking for employment while Elizabeth and their children remained with her parents. Harrison left his family and ceased to support them in 1857 and Elizabeth successfully sued for divorce two years later. Due to Harrison’s intemperance with alcohol, Elizabeth was granted custody of their children. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Harrison enlisted as a private in Company E, Sixteenth Illinois Infantry, serving until his death.

John Carroll Power and S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), 716-17; Combined Histories of Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois (Philadelphia: W. R. Brink, 1882), 170; Whig City Meeting; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Sangamon County, IL, 100; Richard E. Hart, Lincoln’s Springfield: Elizabeth Jane Todd Grimsley Brown ‘Cousin Lizzie’ (1825-1895) (Springfield: Richard E. Hart, 2018), 43, 46-47, 58-59, 62, 65, 68-71; Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Gravestone, Beaufort National Cemetery, Beaufort, SC.