Samuel Moody Grubbs, for many years one of the forceful and honored factors in financial circles in Litchfield, and one whose influence has not been a minor element among the financiers of .Montgomery county, attained to prominence through the inherent force of his character, the exercise of his native talent and the utilization of surrounding opportunity. He has become a capitalist whose business career excites the admiration and has won the respect of his contemporaries, yet it is not this alone that entitles him to rank as one of the foremost men of his day in his portion of Illinois. His connection with the public interests of his city has been far-reaching and beneficial, for he has aided in shaping the municipal policy, his patriotic citizenship and his interest in community affairs taking tangible form in his zealous labor for improvement while the incumbent in various city offices.

Mr. Grubbs was born in Hillsboro in 1835, a son of Moody and Cynthia Anna (Boone) Grubbs. His father, a native of Kentucky, came to Montgomery county in 1834, locating in Hillsboro, where he died about 1838. He was a brick-mason by trade, and was a member of the Baptist church. His wife, who was born in Kentucky in 1795, died in 1887 when nearly ninety-two years of age. Her father was Squire Boone, a nephew of Daniel Boone, the explorer and pioneer. Squire Boone was one of the valiant heroes of the Revolutionary war and was shot in the thigh by a musket ball. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Grubbs were born ten children, eight sons and two daughters, of whom Samuel M. Grubbs is the youngest. The others still living are Thomas Boone, who is a brick-ma-on at Lemar, Missouri; and Mary L., the widow of Allison Corlew, of Denver, Colorado.

Mr. Grubbs of this review acquired his early education in the common schools of Hillsboro and afterward attended the academy there. He entered upon his business career as an employe in the store of W. H. Brewer, of Hillsboro, for whom he clerked for three years. He afterward accepted a similar position in the store at Litchfield which stood on the site now occupied by the First National Bank. Its proprietors were McWilliams & Paden, and there Mr. Grubbs remained until the fall of 1856, when he returned to Hillsboro and opened a drug store, which he conducted for two years. On the expiration of that period he purchased a general store of W. H. Brewer and carried on business in that line until the spring of 1865, when he again came to Litchfield and entered into partnership with R. H. Peal, as proprietor of a general store, in which he continued for three years. In 1868 he became interested in the banking business of Davis. Haskell & Company, predecessors of the firm of Brewer, Seymour & Company, Mr. Grubbs being the silent partner in the latter. Upon the retirement of Mr. Seymour the firm became Brewer & Grubbs, and this relation was maintained until 1883, when Judge Brewer died and the firm name was changed to S. M. Grubbs & Company. Under that style the banking business was continued until January, 1889, when it was merged into the First National Bank and the institution was capitalized, for one hundred thousand dollars. During the first year Mr. Grubbs was vice-president, and since that time has been president. Under his administration this has become one of the strong and reliable financial concerns of this part of the state, following a very conservative policy that awakens uniform confidence and yet adopting such progressive measures as result to the benefit of the institution and in the stockholders and depositors as well.

Mr. Grubbs is a man of resourceful business ability, alert and enterprising, and his ready recognition of opportunity has made him a valued factor in business circles, while his wise council and sound judgment have contributed in large measure to the successful conduct of various interests. He is connected financially with the Litchfield Marble & Granite Works, has been treasurer of the Oil City Building & Loan Association since 1883, is interested in the Litchfield Water Supply Company and is a member of the firm owning the Gillespie Bank, his partners being E. R. Miller and R. H. Isaacs. He is also a stockholder in the Hillsboro National Bank.

In 1857 Mr. Grubbs was united in marriage to Miss Mary Brewer, a daughter of Judge William and Delilah (Huff) Brewer. Mrs. Grubbs was born in Palestine, Illinois, and died in 1888 at the age of forty-nine years. They were the parents of seven children, but the sons all died in infancy. Those living are Mary G., the wife of Edward R. Davis, formerly of Litchfield, but now cashier of the First National Bank at Chicago Heights; and Delilah A., the wife of Edwin R. Elliott, a traveling salesman of Litchfield. The eldest daughter, Ella B., became the wife of George W. Atterbury and is now deceased. In 1890 Mr. Grubbs was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Betty A. White, the widow of Gustavus L. White and a daughter of Samuel Beach. She was born in Gowonda, Mew York, in 1838.

Mr. Grubbs is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and for almost fifty years has taken a very helpful part in various church industries. He is now president of the board of trustees and has long been a loyal worker in the Sunday-school. Socially he is connected with the Masonic fraternity. He votes with the Republican party and has been honored with public office, serving both as treasurer and as mayor of the city. He is a man of action rather than theory. Through the whole course of his career the prime moving spirit that has prompted all his actions seems to have been improvement and advancement. He is a very busy man, yet he is ever ready to pause in the midst of his business duties to promote the welfare and progress of the city. He is held worthy of the respect which is accorded him, for his name is synonymous with honorable dealing and with all that is elevating to the city and to the individual.

Extracted 11 Apr 2020 by Norma Hass from 1904 Past and Present of Montgomery County, Illinois, by Jacob L. Traylor, pages 7-8.

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