CHARLES H. GROOM. Charles H. Groom, one of the most progressive and successful young attorneys of Taney County, Missouri, was born in Holt County, Missouri, January 16, 1861, to the union of Sylvanus L. and Semira E. (Boswell) Groom, natives, respectively, of the Empire State and Indiana, the former born May 19, 1818.
Isaac Groom, grandfather of the subject, was a native of the green isle of Erin and was probably the first of the family to come to America. He passed the remainder of his days in the State of New York. Sylvanus L. Groom and his brother, Edward, were the only surviving members of the father’s family. They emigrated to Detroit, Mich., at an early date and studied law, medicine and theology.
In 1859 Sylvanus came to Nodaway County, Missouri, and began practicing law at Marysville. When the war broke out he enlisted from Holt County in the Thirteenth Missouri Infantry, and served as a private, although he was offered a higher rank, which he refused. He served faithfully up to the battle of Pittsburg Landing, when he received a gunshot wound and subsequently a furlough for thirty days. Upon reporting for duty he was again sent home for ninety days; but before that time had expired he again entered the army, enlisting in the Twenty-fifth Missouri Infantry, Company H, with which he remained until the cessation of hostilities, being mustered out at St. Louis. He was in a number of battles, and at one time was in Gen. Grant’s bodyguard. He was at Vicksburg and was in many of the prominent engagements of the war. After reaching home, he located near Fillmore, and, on account of his health, began farming. This occupation he continued up to 1870, when he moved to Taney County and located at Forsyth. He began practicing medicine and continued this successfully until his death, February 14, 1877. In political matters he was a Republican and a strong Union man. He was an influential citizen and became well known in this and other counties, being one of the eminent physicians of the same. He was the founder of the Masonic and Odd Fellow orders in this county, and built up the lodge in Forsyth, being a member of both lodges long before the war, and a member in good standing in both orders at the time of his death. He was also a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church and a true Christian in every sense of the term. He was one of the men who drove the horse-thieves out of the county.
The mother of our subject, who was the daughter of Levi and Penina (Alberson) Boswell, was reared at Salem, Washington County, Indiana, where she was born, and her first marriage was with a Mr. George Lane, who was a soldier in the Mexican War. After that war they moved to Arkansas and he took up a homestead and died there. One living child was born to this union, but soon died. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Groom removed to the old home in Indiana, and her second marriage was with Wilson Peugh, by whom she had three children: John G., who died January 27, 1891; Penina J., who is the wife of Leonard Silcott, of Nebraska; and Pherba A., who is living in Nebraska and is the wife of Jacob Newland. After the death of Mr. Peugh, his widow married Mr. Groom and five children, four of whom reached an adult age, were born to this marriage, as follows: Charles H., subject of this sketch; Edward E., who is residing at Hall’s, Buchanan County, Missouri, with his family; Leonard C., single, a resident of St. Joseph; Samuel F., married, and residing with his wife and child at Jewell City, Kan.; and William E., who died young. The mother is now living at St. Joseph, Missouri, with her son, who is in the grocery business there. She is an excellent lady and an earnest member of the Christian Church.
Our subject spent his school days in Andrew County, Missouri, where he attended the common schools and Woodcock Seminary, and began contributing to the support of the family at an early age. When ten years of age he entered a printing office, and principally remained in the same until 1882, working on the papers of the county, but after that he went to North Missouri, where he worked on the Craig Meteor and Rockport Mail for some time. In 1886 he began the study of law and, in October, 1891, he was admitted to the bar, and began practicing in Taney County, at Forsyth, where he is considered an able and prominent attorney. He served one term as county treasurer and was the youngest man who ever held office in the county. He is now making real estate, law and abstract work a specialty. In politics he is with the Republican party, was secretary of the County Central Committee for eight years, and a delegate to the conventions of his party. He has ever been interested in all laudable enterprises and is one of the public-spirited men of the county. A self-made, self-educated man, his success in life is due to his own industry and perseverance.
Mr. Groom was married, in 1882, to Miss Tremandria L. Jennings, daughter of L. H. Jennings, a pioneer of the county. Four children have been born to this union, two of whom are living: Jessie E., died at the age of one month; Opal, died when quite young; Nellie P. and Manfred are living and attending school at St. Joseph, Missouri The courthouse was burned in 1885, during the time Mr. Groom was treasurer and all the records were destroyed, but he had so carefully kept his books that he was able to furnish the county with the necessary matter to start a new set of county books. Mr. Groom was an able and efficient officer and stands high in the community.