History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
Names and Page # Index


Hon. Webster Grim

HON. WEBSTER GRIM, of Doylestown, representative of Bucks county, in the upper house of the state legislature, was born in Nockamixon township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, August 11, 1866, and is a son of Dr. George W. and Elizabeth P. (Koons) Grim. On the paternal side his ancestors were early German settlers in what is now Montgomery county, the pioneer ancestor being doubtless Adam Greim, who emigrated from Rhenish, Bavaria, arriving in Philadelphia in the ship "Anderson," Captain Hugh Campbell, August 25, 1751. The family of Grimm, though for several generations, residents of Prussia or Rhenish Bavaria, trace their descent to early Franks who were residents of that part of Gaul which became later Normandy, whose descendants became allied with those of their Norse conquerors before their migration to the Rhine provinces about the tenth century.

            The earliest American ancestor of Senator Grim of whom we have any definite record was George Grim, who was a resident of Upper Salford township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. He married Elizabeth Favinger, also of German origin, and they were the parents of three children, one son Adam and two daughters. Adam Grim, son of George and Elizabeth (Favinger) Grim, married Christina Desmond, daughter of Daniel Desmond, who was of English and Irish extraction. Adam Grim was killed on the Reading railroad in 1846, when his son George W. was fourteen years of age.

            Dr. George W. Grim was born in Montgomery county, March 13, 1832. He was educated at Washington Hall, Trappe, Pennsylvania, and received a good academic education. His father dying when he was fourteen years of age, he was cast upon his own resources, and learned the trade of a stove moulder, which he followed for some years. An accident, by which his foot was badly burned in the discharge of his duties, decided him to prepare himself for the medical profession. He resumed his studies at Washington Hall, where he also taught for a short time, and began his preparation for his chosen profession under the preceptorship of Dr. Gross, of Harleysville. He later entered Jefferson Medical College, from which he graduated in 1859. He located in Nockamixon township, Bucks county, and soon built up a large practice, becoming one of the leading physicians of upper Bucks, and was engaged in professional work there for thirty-three years, dying March 6, 1892. Dr. Grim was a man of good business qualifications and strict integrity, and always held the esteem and confidence of his community. He was the owner of a fine farm near Revere, the work of which he superintended in connection with his professional duties. In politics he was a Democrat, and he and his family were members of the Reformed church. Dr. Grim married in 1857 Elizabeth P. Koons, who survives him, and they were the parents of nine children, as follows: F. Harvey, who succeeded his father as a practicing physician at Revere; George W., a physician at Ottsville, Bucks county; A. Florence, wife of Oscar H. Bigley, of Doylestown, transcribing clerk in the recorder of deeds office; Webster, the subject of this sketch; Frank S., a physician at Baptisttown, New Jersey; Harry E., law partner with his brother Webster, under the firm name of Grim & Grim, with offices at Perkasie, Pennsylvania; Cora B., wife of William H. Rufe, a merchant at Riegelsville; Nora E., wife of Asher K. Anders, Esq., a successful attorney of Doylestown; and James S., professor of natural science at Keystone Normal School, Kutztown, Pennsylvania.

            Hon. Webster Grim, the third son, was reared in Nockamixon and attended the public schools of that township and the Riegelsville high school, and later entered the Keystone normal school at Kutztown, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1887. Prior to his graduation he taught school in Bucks county for five years. Immediately after his graduation he began the study of law in the office of Nathan C. James, Esq., and was admitted to the bar of Bucks county in September, 1889. Locating in Doylestown, he at once began the practice of his chosen profession and built up a lucrative practice. He was the Democratic nominee for district attorney in 1894, but was defeated by a small majority, receiving a much larger vote than the other nominees on the ticket. He has been active and prominent in the councils of his party for many years, and has served as delegate to several state conventions, and was permanent chairman of the state convention of 1903. He filled the office of justice of the peace for Doylestown borough from 1890 to 1900, and did a large amount of official business. He was elected a member of the school board in 1900 and re-elected in 1903 and is at present the treasurer of the board. In the fall of 1902 he was elected to the state senate, and in the sessions of 1903 and 1905 took an active part in the proceedings of the upper house, introducing a number of meritorious bills and serving on important committees. In the latter session he was chairman of both Democratic caucuses, and was the recognized leader of the minority party in the legislature. He was at all times the uncompromising foe of vicious legislation and extravagant appropriations, and his course met with the approbation of his constituents without reference to party. Among the important bills introduced by him was one for the regulation of the speed of and registration of automobiles, which was passed at the session of 1903, and amended upon his motion at the session of 1905; a bill for freeing the toll bridges over the Delaware river between the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and New York; and a bill for more adequate punishment of the crime of criminal assault. He was also instrumental in securing liberal appropriations for Bucks county educational institutions. He was one of the prominent candidates before the Democratic state convention of 1905 for the nomination for judge of the superior court, and only the decision to nominate but one candidate defeated his nomination.

            Being possessed of a natural musical talent he has given much time to the organization and perpetuation of musical organizations. He was for five years musical director of the choir of the Doylestown Presbyterian church, and has since filled the position of choir master and organist at the Salem Reformed church, of which he is a member. He also had charge of the musical part of the program at the Bucks County Teachers' Institute for many years, and has been the director of the Arion Glee Club for many years, furnishing vocal music for entertainments in all parts of Bucks county. He was superintendent of the Sabbath school of the Salem Reformed church for twelve years, and introduced a uniform and graded course of study that has since been adopted by a number of others Sabbath schools in the county and elsewhere. He has been one of the most active members of St. Tammany Castle, No. 173, Knights of the Golden Eagle served as its clerk of the exchequer for several years, and has been a member of the grand castle of Pennsylvania for twelve years and in May, 1905, was installed as grand chief of the order in the state. He arranged, codified and published a digest of the laws of the order which has been in use for several years. He is a past grand of Aquetong Lodge, No. 193, I. O. O. F., of Doylestown, and has filled the position of musical director and degree master of that lodge for several years. As such he organized and instructed a degree staff that has the reputation of being one of the best in the state, taking second prize in a competition this year before a Committee of the Sovereign Grand Lodge, in which were entries in all parts of the United States. He has been the collector of Lenape Council, No. 1117, Royal Arcanum, since 1890, and is treasurer of the fraternal accident order, known as the "True Blue." He has served as a director of Eastern Union Building and Loan Society of Philadelphia since 1890, and is connected with a number of other business enterprises. He has prepared and published two directors of Bucks county, and is at work upon a third edition. In August, 1904, he purchased a controlling interest in the Doylestown Publishing Company, the proprietors of the "Doylestown Democrat," daily and weekly, which he has since personally conducted as president of the company, and has greatly improved the standard of the paper.

            Senator Grim was married August 9, 1890, to M. Alice Sassaman, daughter of Jacob and Emeline (Wildonger) Sassaman of Bucksville, Bucks county, and they are the parents of two children, Ruth S. and George W.

Text taken from 210-212

Davis, William W. H.,  A. M. History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905]  Volume III

Transcribed March 2001 as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html

Published March  2001 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/

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