Grubb’s Mill and Alma

Alma is shown on the 1864 Map on the Little Walnut Creek in the southwest quarter of Section 21 of Clinton Township, at the point the creek makes a sharp turn, northwest of Clinton Falls and a little south of the Edna Collins covered bridge. By 1879, Alma is no longer shown on the Clinton Township maps, but Clinton Falls is. Alma was first known as Grubb’s Mill, named for the mill (believed to be a sawmill) of Collingwood C. Grubb.

Postmasters at Grubb’s Mill were: Collingwood C. Grubb, February 21, 1850; Isaac Firestone, November 6, 1854; Collingwood C. Grubb, March 12, 1855; Harry S. Crodian, January 20, 1858. The post office was renamed Alma on January 21, 1858, and Harry S. Crodian was appointed postmaster at that time. Postmasters of Alma after that were: Leonard K. Dille, August 11, 1858; Henry Brad, October 11, 1858; Henry Brad, November 14, 1860. The post office was discontinued on that day.

I noticed an article in the Greencastle Banner on November 8, 1883 stating that C. C. Grubb, formerly of Putnam County, but now living in Kansas, was back in the area visiting his brother Joseph. It was stated that C. C. Grubb had lost his wife in June of that year and has been visiting friends, and that he had presented his fine specimens of apples, which are far superior to Indiana fruit.

I thought it would be a fun to find out more about this Collingwood Grubb and I found some interesting information on him.

Collingwood Clark Grubb (who went by C. C.) was born July 9, 1810 in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. His parents were Joseph and Sarah (Talley) Grubb. Both of these families were prominent in the early years of the county.

The Grubb family owned agricultural and mining lands in the Delaware River valley of Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The family first came to America when John Grubb (1652-1708) emigrated from Cornwall, England to Pennsylvania in 1679. His son, Emanuel Grubb (1682–1767), was believed to the first male child born of English parents in the new colony of Pennsylvania. Emanuel and another son, John Grubb II (1684-1757) settled in Brandywine Hundred, in what became to be known as Grubb's Landing.

The Grubb family was well connected, maintaining personal and marriage ties with other prominent regional families such as the Crawfords, the Talleys and the Claytons. Emanuel Grubb's grandson James Grubb (1768-1827) married Sarah Ford, who was the granddaughter of William Clayton, governor of Pennsylvania and president of the Colonial Council and of the Upland Court. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, they embraced the religion of the Society of Friends, and when the American Revolution broke out, John Grubb II's grandson, Isaac Grubb (1749-1831) refused to fight on account of his pacifist beliefs, instead paying a substitute to take his place. But Collingwood C. Grubb’s grandfather, Amer Augustus Grubb (1749–1817) did enlist in the Delaware Militia during the Revolutionary War, as did Collingwood Grubb’s great grandfather William Talley (1714-1790).

At the age of 16, Collingwood Grubb apprenticed as a cabinet maker in Philadelphia and five years later started his own business in Media, Pennsylvania. He married Rachel Ann Bailey about 1835 and moved to Clermont, Ohio. They had two children before she died in 1837. On October 9, 1838 he married Sophia Charlotte Webb in Shelby County, Kentucky. Sophia was the daughter of Richard and Nancy (Newgent) Webb, who are buried at the small Webb family cemetery which is about a mile northeast of Alma in Clinton Township. Many of the Newgent’s are buried in a family cemetery bearing that name, which is just over a mile northwest of Alma. In 1838 or 1839 the Webb family migrated from Shelby County, Kentucky to Putnam County, and Collingwood Grubb moved to the area with his new bride at about that time, settling in Clinton Township.

Collingwood and Sophia (Webb) Grubb lived in Putnam County, Indiana, for 19 years and had eight children. In 1858, the family moved to Brown County, Kansas. They traveled overland to St. Louis where they boarded a steamboat up the Missouri River. Collingwood’s plan was to build a new town and with that in mind, he constructed a large house that also served as the post office and station on the Overland Express after the railroad came through a few miles to the north. After that, Grubb developed his 300-acre property as a farm. He was remembered for his knowledge of apples and in 1874 won an award for a display of 51 different kinds. Grubb was believed to be a stationmaster on the Pony Express and Overland stage. An ardent abolitionist, he was said to be a friend of John Brown.

Collingwood and Sophia Grubb are buried in Netawaka, Jackson County, Kansas.

Some of this information was from “The Grubb Family of Grubb’s Landing Delaware” by David N. Grubb

I further researched Collingwood Grubb’s brother mentioned in the November 8, 1883 Banner Graphic article and found out that Joseph Grubb (1816-1892) married Ann Cricks (1818-1893) August 9, 1839 in Trenton, New Jersey. They moved to Putnam County not long after and had 9 children, many of whom are buried at the Little Walnut Cemetery in Clinton Township, as are Joseph and Ann, as well may of Ann’s Cricks relatives.

Malcolm Romine provided additional information that we wish to share. Be sure to check out Malcolm’s book on Clinton Falls and several other communities.

Hubert Clodfelter, who was quite a historian, told me that Grubb's Mill was actually called Booneville at first, and for some unknown reason it began to be called Grubb's Mill. My guess is simply that the man who named it Boonville had either died or moved on and since the Grubb's sawmill was an important part of the logging going on, people just referred to the area as Grubb's Mill. Also, when Dr. Dille, who was a doctor and surgeon, was appointed postmaster of the village, he lived near the falls on the far west side (1.5 miles) of the community and moved the post office into his office. This upset many villagers because it was so far removed from its previous location with the result the community as a whole had some serious disagreements over its name, and according to Hubert Clodfelter, there was agreement to call the village Quincy. But when they applied for the post office in the name of Quincy, it could not be done because there already was another Quincy. Hence, the name Clinton Falls was a 2nd choice. I think it is a much better name than Quincy!

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