Name and location of repository
Level of description
Grinnell – Chapin Genealogical Material
Name of creator
1821 Born in New Hampshire
1847-ca.1853 Congregational pastor
1852 Married Julia Chapin
1854 Founded Grinnell, Iowa
1856 Active in organizing Republican Party in Iowa
1856-60 State Senator. Worked to establish public schools in Iowa
1858 Admitted to the Iowa bar
1860 Delegate to Republican convention which nominated Lincoln
1863-67 Representative (Republican) to U. S. House of Representatives
1854-84 Trustee of Iowa (Grinnell) College
Interests included religion, education, politics, railroading, stock breeding, and sheep raising.
More details in Dictionary of American Biography, National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Who Was Who in America, Charles Payne’s Josiah Bushnell Grinnell.
Grinnell, Iowa was founded in March 1854 by Josiah Bushnell Grinnell (1821-1891) who chose a site which surveys indicated would be the junction of two railroads. Grinnell was a minister, trustee and benefactor of Iowa College (later renamed Grinnell College), helped organize the Republican party in Iowa, was a Representative to the Iowa legislature and later to the U.S. House (1863), was active in agricultural development and railroad building. He and his wife, Julia Chapin, were both descended from old New England families; their daughter, Mary Grinnell Mears, may have assembled some of these papers.
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The collection consists of genealogical charts 1480 0 1919. Correspondence ca. 1898-1908, 32 portraits, some unidentified, copies of cemetery inscriptions, Family Association publications for the Chapin (4 books, 1862, 1908, 1908, 1927) and Alden (1 book, 1916) families, sixty Chapin family deeds and documents from Massachusetts 1674-1851, and a 114-page handwritten notebook by E. F. G. of Stockbridge, 1848, family history of Chapin ancestors Dudley, Woodbridge, Jones, and Eliot.
The papers have detailed information about a few branches of the family, little or no information on other branches. The researcher might consult U.S. Library of Congress, Genealogies in the Library of Congress to identify more complete sources.
Genealogical charts in this collection trace part of the Grinnell family from Pierre Grenelle, born about 1480 in France. A descendant, Matthew, born 1602, became a Protestant and moved to Newport, R.I., in 1630, beginning the American line of the family. Matthew’s son married a granddaughter of John and Priscilla Alden. Other charts trace various branches of the Chapin family from about 1576 to Mary Grinnell’s birth about 1857.
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Acquisition and appraisal elements
Provenance of the bulk of the papers in unknown. They might have been compiled in the early 1900's for application to such organizations as DAR and Society of Mayflower Descendents, and later donated to the college by Mary Grinnell Mears’ family. Members of the Grinnell family, many very distantly related to J.B. Grinnell, donated some genealogical charges and biographical notes.
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Subject access points
- College students -- Iowa -- Grinnell
- Congregational churches in Iowa.
- Farm life--Iowa--History--19th century.
- Grinnell (Iowa) - Social life and customs
- Grinnell (Iowa) -- Buildings, structures, etc
- Grinnell (Iowa) -- History
- Iowa Sesquicentennial
- Iowa--History--19th century
- Iowa--History--20th century
- Iowa--History--Pictorial works
Place access points
Name access points
- Congregational Church (Victor, Iowa) (Subject)
- Congregational Church (Victor, Iowa) -- DK Society (Subject)
- Congregational Church (Victor, Iowa) -- Ladies' Social Society (Subject)
- Congregational Church (Victor, Iowa) -- Women's Home and Foreign Missionary Society (Subject)
- Grinnell College (Subject)
- Grinnell College -- Alumni and alumnae (Subject)
- Grinnell College -- Class of 1893 (Subject)
- Grinnell College -- Class of 1894 (Subject)
- Grinnell College -- Faculty (Subject)
- Grinnell College -- History (Subject)
- Grinnell College -- President's Committee for a Stronger Minority Presence (Subject)
- Grinnell College -- Presidents (Subject)
- Grinnell College -- Students (Subject)
- Grinnell College -- Students -- 19th century (Subject)
- Grinnell, Josiah Bushnell (Subject)