In the death of John Grassley one of the oldest citizens of the town passed away Tuesday. He was well known, not only in this community but also all along this section of the Burlington system, with which he was identified for many years.

Mr. Grassley has been in failing health for some time. For months he has been helpless, a constant charge for his daughter, Mrs. Kinney, who has given the most tender and faithful care.

The funeral is at the home this afternoon.

The obituary will be published next week.

(Buda Plain Dealer, Buda, Illinois, Friday, July 20, 1917, submitted by Marcia Murray Holstrom)


John Grassley was born in Baden, Germany, Nov. 16, 1837, and died in Buda, Illinois, July 17, 1917, aged 79 years and 8 months.

When five years of age he was brought to the United States by his parents and one sister. They stopped first at Newburg, N.Y. Later they moved to Columbus, Ohio. They made that their home for four years, and then went to Adrian, Michigan, where they purchased a home and continued in active business as long as the parents’ health and strength permitted.

Mr. Grassley began his education in the schools of Newburg, NJ.Y. He continued his studies in Columbus, Ohio and finished in the schools of Adrian, Mich.

At the age of seventeen he entered the railroad service as fireman on an engine on the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern and fired the first engine that was run on the road, which was run into Detroit in 1854. Later he worked in the shops for a year and then became an engineer on the same road with which he continued until 1866.

He then went to Galesburg, Illinois, where for two and one half years he was in the shops of the C.B. & Q. R.R. Subsequently he served as an engineer and later was promoted to be testing engineer, which position he filled for five years. On the first day of January, 1884, he accepted the position he held at the time of his death, and removed to Buda.

For fifty-four years he has been in the service of the C. B. & Q. railroad and his long retention by that company attests his faithful discharge of duty and the confidence and trust reposed in him by the company.

He was married to Miss Margurite (Marguerite or Margaret) Keck, of Riga, Mich., September 23, 1861. Eight children were born to them. He was a devoted husband and father, the happiness and comfort of his family being his greatest desire.

Although he was not connected with any church in Buda, he was a loyal believer of the Lutheran faith, of which church he was a member in Galesburg.

Socially, he belonged to Vesper Lodge, No. 584 A. F. & A. M. of Galesburg.

There remain to mourn his loss his wife, two sons and three daughters: Mrs. J. A. Henig, of Chicago, John Louis Grassley and Mrs. C. C. Tyler, of Galesburg, Mrs. Amelia Kinney, of Buda, E. O. Grassley, of Moline, and one sister, Mrs. J. B. Gippert, of Lorado, Mo. Also fourteen grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

These of his immediate family have preceeded him to the other world: Mary, who died in infancy, Miss Nettie and Mrs. E. E. Chambers, of Galesburg.

The funeral services were held at the home Friday, conducted by Ref. F. I. Stevens, assisted by Rev. E. F. Schwab. The remains were laid away in the Hopeland cemetery, where the Masonic order had charge.

Among those present at the funeral were J. D. Besler, C. Rogers, C. E. Marsh, A. Johnson, J. T. Basset, L. W. Owens, H. A. Bullock, D. E. Markley and wife, Leonard Adams and wife, J. L. Grassley and family, C. C. Tyler and wife, Mrs. W. A. Olson, John Lane, Mrs. Willits and Mrs. Scott Templeton, of Galesburg, August Henig and wife, Frank Henig, A. J. Henig and Duke Cameron, of Chicago, E. O. Grassley, wife and son, Mrs. Roy Kelly and Mrs. Mary Churchill of Moline, Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Mallory, of LaCrosse, Wis., and Ed Flinn, of LaGrange, Ill.

Card of Thanks

We desire to give expression to our appreciation of the kindness of the railroad men, neighbors and friends during the long illness of our loved one. The kindly remembrance of friends brightened his last days and added to his happiness in many ways.
Mrs. John Grassley and Children.

Note: John Grassley was the father of Elizabeth Grassley Tyler who was the mother of Vera Tyler McClanahan, mother of Mary Elizabeth McClanahan Holstrom. Vera Tyler married Benjamin Vaughan McClanahan on March 29, 1917, and shortly after that they relocated to the Virgin Islands where B. V. was stationed during WWI. That is probably where they were at the time of Vera’s grandfather’s death and why they were not at the funeral.

(Buda Plain Dealer, Buda, Illinois, Friday, Friday, July 27, 1917, submitted by Marcia Murray Holstrom)




Copyright © Janine Crandell & all contributors
All rights reserved